No Fun

It has been horrendously gorgeous here lately in terms of weather. Now that I've lived here in Houston for almost two years I can kind of feel where the seasons actually begin and end (since when it gets down to 60 in the winter I actually feel cold now...sorry Rochester, Boston, Chicago peeps). I had the perfect amount of snow for this year...snowed on day (very lightly) on Thanksgiving when I was home, and then a few days when I was home for winter break...it was nice to see it a few times and not have to deal with it afterwards!

That all being said, I have managed to get mildly sick despite the amazing weather. I'm not really sure where this came from...I was sitting outside having a latte with friends (it was 75 and not a cloud in the sky) and everything was right in the world. Even stopped by a $1 clothes sale (although I didn't find anything for myself)...but then, later in the afternoon when we were rehearsing with Susanne Mentzer (in a freezing room...air conditioning is already set on full blast here) and starting getting chills and aches...and then I was out of commission by 10pm (couldn't even finish watching Michael Clayton). Now I'm up at 4am...not really feeling any better or different. I hope this passes soon! I'm trying to drink a ton of Emergen-C and drink a lot of orange juice (and take zinc) but apparently Emergen-C doesn't really do anything after all...but I have a lot of it, so I'm gonna take it anyways.


Beer and Orchestra

This past weekend was our second orchestra concert of the semester. The day of the concert was also BeerBike...an event that I'm not totally sure what it even is. For whatever reason, the music grad students (or MUSI's as we are called here) take absolutely no part in this event, while a handful of grad students from other departments do actually attend. BeerBike consists of a bunch of people (aka most every undergrad student at Rice) getting up at 5 or 6am to get totally drunk. Then there is a water balloon fight. At some point people chug beer and race bikes, then everybody sits around all afternoon and drinks some more. I probably wouldn't really even know about this, except for the fact that our orchestra dress rehearsal was during the water balloon fight (it was originally scheduled during the bike race, but got changed) and all of the undergrads were really sad and complained about it. All of the grad students didn't really care.

Today I discovered that there is an undergrad pub in the basement of the student center. I had no idea it even existed. And I'm also confused ...since most undergrads aren't old enough to drink. Whatever.

More about BeerBike here.


Fun Stuff to Do

I'm kind of excited about the coming months!! Here's whats going on:
  1. Faculty recital on March 26th with Leone Buyse, Michael Webster, and Susanne Menzter...I'm playing a short set of Ravel Songs. The concert is at 8pm in Duncan Recital Hall at Rice University.
  2. Musiqa...a new music ensemble here in Houston. I'm playing Copland's Appalachian Spring and a piece called Facade by Walton...hardly what I call "new" music...but I'm more than happy to be playing it (the Copland is actually one of my favorite pieces...who saw that coming?)...the concert is April 4th at 7:30pm at St. Phillip Presbyterian Church here in Houston. There is also a piece by Pierre Jalbert on the program.
  3. Playing some kind of house concert thing with a friend of mine and...Suzanne Menzter. I'm not really sure what it is...but its with Suzanne Menzter, so I don't really care.
  4. Performing Anthony Brandt's opera, "The Birth of Something" at Rice...this is still in planning stages...I hope I can do it! If all goes according to plan, the concert will be on April 16th. I have to find the people to play it too...yikes.
  5. Contracting my first gig at the end of April...I've already been working on this and have got a kick-ass group of people together!
  6. A trip to Rochester at some point to record Ekphrasis sobre "El Miedo" de Tanguy for Jairo Duarte-Lopez...we are still trying to figure out the dates.
  7. My 2nd college graduation on May 10th...I can't believe that I'll have two degrees in a matter of months...its kind of messed up.
  8. A massive trip to Los Angeles...a combination of rehearsal/concert/visit friends/vacation. Out of Context (website coming soon) is my new, new music group featuring AMAZING friends and players from Eastman. We will be presenting a concert of music by David Plylar at a location in Los Angeles and then taking a road trip up to Oregon to present some more concerts there. Its kind of out of control.
  9. Then its off to Tanglewood for 2+ months of amazingness (including lots of Carter craziness).
  10. Hopefully some gigs thrown in there.


The Week in O(h)M(y)T(rill)

  1. There are hella-lotta recitals this week...luckily none of them are mine...Jake (cello) and Catie (Trombone) on Tuesday, Fischer Studio Recital on Wednesday, Eugene (piano) on Friday, Matt (flute) Matt (clarinet) and Lauren (oboe) on Sunday...I'm playing on Matt (clarinet) on Sunday: Mozart and Copland Clarinet Concertos...fun.
  2. School started up again...um, today. (last week was spring break)
  3. Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra plays a concert on Saturday night at 8pm (music of De Falla, Janacek, Vieuxtemps, and Bartok) You should come...
  4. I have my orchestral repertoire midterm on Tuesday afternoon (since I was so out of it and literally couldn't play when I got back from the Rochester experience) I have to play Tchaikovsky 4th Symphony, Beethoven 5th, and Also Sprach Zarathustra...should be fun...except not at all...
  5. I guess I'll practice a bunch.


No Country

Last night I saw No Country For Old Men at the Angelika Film Center in Downtown Houston, it was the first time I've been to that theater (and only the second time I've seen a movie in Houston!)...I need to get on that don't I? (Its only the 2nd or 3rd movie I've seen since this summer...) I used to see every single 'important' movie that came out (at least once) and now I can only claim to have seen two of the movies nominated for best picture this year (and one of them over a week after the Oscars...oops)...maybe I will make an effort to get to the theater more? But we are now in not-interesting-movie-season...oh well... But anyways...its a pretty great movie...in the really disturbing pea-your-pants way. Javier Bardem deservedly won Best (Supporting) Actor for this performance...he was in nearly every scene of the movie...with his very creepy presence...and his even more creepy hairdo (pictured above). Scary. I kept waiting for that "great moment" in the film...some kind of movie speech or something...but never got one...which, in a way is kind of great...but I also missed it. Although I did jump out of my seat every time that something surprised me. Oh well.


I Hate Airtran

I just received a letter today from Airtran. I think they are trying to get rid of all of us angry passengers by giving us a little something for our trouble...they are still gonna here from me (I actually just sent my official complaint). Here's what they said,
Please accept our apologies for the difficulties you experiences while traveling with us on February 24, 2008...In keeping with our customer service commitment, we would like to confirm your compensation of one $75 discount travel certificate.

So, I skipped over a bunch of "we are so nice and we love you" type stuff...but only $75?!?!?!!? I spent almost $600 on the plane ticket and they didn't even get me to my destination!! Not to mention another $100 on the rental car...geez...they better come up with something better than that!


Spring Break

Its Spring Break down here at Rice...I didn't even realize it was coming so soon, so I didn't make any plans...and now I'm finding myself with a whole week and nothing to do...no gigs or anything. I'm just teaching a few sectionals at T.H. Rogers and thats about it!! Things that need to get done:
  1. Practice Dvorak Concerto a lot for the Montgomery Symphony Cello Fellowship...I need to make this tape soon!! And I don't have a recent recording of Dvorak, so I'll do my best!
  2. Learn Paganini Variations on One String...I'm gonna play this for the Houston Tuesday Musical Club Competition in April.
  3. Memorize Jairo's piece...I might use this for the above mentioned competition as well, and everything needs to be memorized for it.
  4. Decide what else to put on the Montgomery tape...Dvorak plus two other works...I'm thinking the Carter Sonata...but what else?
  5. Clean my apartment.