Wednesday, May 23, 2007

NYC computer lab

There is a giant Apple store on 5th Ave, and I tried to figure out why it was so packed, and then it dawned on me: free internet! So that is where I am right now. I will be in New York through Liz's wedding. So far this trip I have turned in full whirling dervish regalia down Broadway, stayed in a studio apartment with five people, read a book while on a boat tour of Manhattan, stopped reading a book while on a boat tour of Manhattan because it was, after all, a boat tour of Manhattan, wandered around Central Park (got lost in the ramble), gone to a forum for new choreographers, sang "Bobby McGee" with a crowd of guitarists in Washington Square Park, watched way too much TV (specifically DiscoveryHealth channel, where you can sit and loaf while watching other people get healthy), and spent a lovely evening with Daria listening to awesome stories about my parents (also playing with a very small kitten who has yet to be named.) Good stuff.

Today I am planning on going to the Met and seeing a movie called "Waitress" which my favorite movie critic blog loved and which I missed when it played for a week in Baltimore. Should be good.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

I gradgified! (I may also have made up a word)

If you want more photos, just ask. Quincy Jones was our speaker, he basically said "the world is your oyster, take advantage of everything you cool cool cats" but less succinctly. We were seated in alphabetical order of our instruments (bassoon, clarinet, composition, double bass, etc.) People were supposed to be quiet until everyone's name had been called, but due to one Jonny Charlton, my name had screaming and hollering and after that the ice was broken (thanks buddy! You made me smile) Uh. There was a reception afterwards and uh. Yeah. Oh! I got my actual diploma! They spelled my name correctly and everything! And it says "Bachelor of music, Double Bass"

Today (saturday) I am in New York at a family friends' home (Khadija for those of you in know) and at her request participated in a dance parade down 5th ave as part of a group of whirling dervishes. I haven't turned since I was 10 and and today did it for a mile and half. And I didn't even fall over! Though at one point I did have a near miss with a dog, and some photographers, and maybe the railings blocking off the street....but I didn't fall over! (lets focus on the important things here, people.)

.....and the pictures are proving to be a massive pain in the butt. I'll try to remedy this tomorrow. Good night for now.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Baltimore Nostalgia

I've turned in my studio key, I've been to my last double bass department party, my favoritest housemate has left for the year (and taken all her stuff with her, our house is cleaner now), my bass locker is empty (really, a good thing considering that I no longer have the key. See the first item in this list). I've said good bye to my favorite security chief (Cas), my favorite business office lady (no idea what her name is. I'm a terrible person), most of my Homewood people, and all sorts of assorted acquaintances I've run into around the neighborhood.

Guys! I'm getting really sad! And I don't get to leave for another month-ish! Oi.

In other news, we have a lodger.

Mietra (I think that is how you spell it) is a pianist from London who is here for late auditions. Her hotel plans fell through and she saw one of Angela's sublet signs and so called us. She's great and I've had a lovely time talking to her, not to mention the massive kick I get out of telling people that we have a lodger. Or really, just thinking to myself "we have a lodger!" I can't explain why I think this is so great, but I really really do. Plus, you totally have to give props to someone who would take that initiative and look for unexpected alternatives when the hotel fell through.

The picture is from the bass party. It is the six of us who entered as freshman and who are (mostly) graduating this year. L to R: PJ, me, Slammer (Paul), Taylor, Nick, Andrew, and Ben.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Yesterday I read 5 books

If you're including comic books. If not, I only read 3. (Which is still ridiculous.) Other fascinating things that have happened this week involve the final concert I will ever perform in at Peabody (fortunately it was with the renaissance ensemble which is my all time favorite group to play with.), the bridesmaid dress that I will be wearing on May 27th for Liz's wedding, all kinds of cleaning, zucchini bread, and an impromptu trip to Trader Joe's where the checkout girl said that my selections were some of the most random she had ever seen. (For the curious it was: two boxes of sliced fresh mushrooms, a carton of free range eggs (sound good yet, Mommy?), a half pint heavy cream, two cans vegan baked beans, frozen blueberries, a loaf of bread, a loaf of fresh mozzarella, and a carton of black berries which turned out to be not so very good.)

The PRE concert was great. We had two performances, one on Thursday and one on Sunday. The audio engineer who recorded it (Albert) did such a good job that Mark Cudek is seriously considering making a CD from the best takes of the dress and the two concerts. So that would be totally spiffy. My debut on random percussion could be a sold commodity! The program was all Spanish music, but not just Christian and courtly music. We played two Sephardic sets and one Islamic one, which were both super cool and Jacob rocks on the recorder (as do Julia and Peter on, well, the voice.) I didn't totally figure out that this was my last PRE concert until the second half and then I got sad. But Helen Jean took some pictures of the group playing and Jacob and Andrew and I went out for Middle Eastern food, so that helped.

I sold CD's at intermission and got to deal with irate people who were mad that we didn't take credit cards and eventually just thrust a $100 bill at me. So that was definitely a highlight. The audience had at least two accepted students who were trying to make a last minute decision about where they are going this fall. Tracey, a singer from DC, is deciding between Peabody and Longy, so we traded phone numbers and had a really good talk on Sunday night about the various pros and cons of both schools. I don't think I was helpful in terms of making one or the other a clear winner, but I know that I gave her more information- so that was good. Peabody's early music department is growing by leaps and bounds and apparently (according to Andrew Arceci and Jacob Lodico) will be bigger than Oberlin's by next year. I had no idea, but how exciting is that? (The bass department is not having as much luck, last I knew they had six people leaving (if you include me, but I've been gone) and only one new person.) Oberlin doesn't even have a permanent Baroque Orchestra, and next year ours will be three years old. How cool are we?

Oo! The other thing that I went to on Sunday was the Peabody Percussion Group concert and oh wow. They are amazing. There was an alumna who came back and played a set with her chamber music partner who is a flautist. They played some Piazzola and something else. Tragically I remember neither her name, nor the piece- but oh. Wow. She danced the entire time she was playing, and her phrasing was incredibly nuanced. (How do you get nuance out of a wooden gong-like thing that you hit with what appears to be a very short croquet mallet? How?!) So that was super neat. My friend Lonny and I sat on the side of the stage area (this was in East Hall where there is no actual stage, so it was sort of like percussion-in-the-round.) And everyone who sat down with us eventually moved. Their loss. They saw the front, but we could see the side very clearly and that was cooler. You could see the performers' entire body instead of just what showed around whatever they were playing and that meant that you could see where they were keeping the pulse, how much they were dancing, preparations, cues, all sorts of stuff. It was neat. The final piece was a sextet by Steve Reich and the percussion teacher made the audience stand up and crowd around all the marimbas so that we were more involved. I don't know how much that idea actually worked, but it was fun looking around at the audience and seeing who was letting themselves rock out to the pulse of the piece and who wasn't.

Lets see, what else did I list up there at the top...? Oh, zucchini bread. I made some, it disappeared quickly. I made a big mess. Not that good a story. What else have we got? Bridesmaid dress: It is blue, and it fits perfectly and Liz was fussy because hers (which is beaded all over and lovely and of course is going to take some work) has to have a bunch of alterations, and mine (which is blue and has only a little beading at the hips) doesn't even need hemming (assuming I'm wearing 3in heels. This is gonna be fun.) so I got to take it home. But first we went to this Mexican restaurant across the road from the bridal shop (the best bridal shop in the greater Baltimore area. Looks extraordinarily tacky from the outside, but inside they totally know what they're doing. And plus, are really nice.) The Mexican restaurant where we got in and quickly realized that it would probably be helpful if any of us spoke Spanish. Fortunately the menu had pictures, so we were set and Liz and I were able to get really music dorky and try to figure out why the music from the other room and the music from the TV behind us lined up so well. Later when they didn't- we got to groan. All around, a very successful afternoon.

Um, the cleaning is because I'm preparing to move and I want all my stuff to fit in the van- so I'm going through boxes that have been sitting in Angela's room all year long (she has a closet three times as big as mine, which isn't as big as Miranda's which is maybe five times as big, but still.) and my closet and (don't be alarmed) my bookshelves. So I have to find a Goodwill or something around that will take my stuff. I think that will be my project for tomorrow. Today I have a meeting with Jeffery Sharkey about Guildhall.