I haven't called Chris yet because I have been feverishly cleaning my apartment all day. It looked so gross when I woke up this morning, and something had to be done. I've literally been cleaning it all day. Please enjoy this clip of Lynn Harrell playing his new Dungey Cello.
This morning I tried to pretend I was living in a real city, and decided to walk to Starbucks and get my latte...unfortunately, Starbucks is about 7 blocks (14 round trip) out of the way from where I was going...so I had to leave 45 minutes earlier than I wanted to. But believe it or not, I saw somebody reading the New York Times in there...not a very common site here in Arkansas.
Also, please note my very cute piano tie shirt. Thank you. I'm wearing it for the first time today.
Geez. I'm confused now.
For those of you who are just starting out watching LOST, take this as a warning, that is only gets more and more complicated every episode. I'm too involved now to stop.
We are playing Beethoven 9 this week...which happens to be one of my favorite pieces to play. It was my first concert when I joined the Chicago Youth Symphony, back when I was a sophomore in high school, and we played it two summers ago at Tanglewood...its such an amazing piece, and is always so much fun to play. So I'm expecting to have a very nice week...thank you very much.
I did watch to Oscars last night. Perhaps this year I will make more of an effort to actually see more of the movies. I only saw Slumdog...which happened to win best pic. Go me.
This year I saw very few movies in the theater...and Slumdog Millionaire is the only one up for any awards that I'm aware of (Role Models and Mama Mia were not really up to snuff to win an oscar I think). I'm not sure if I'm even going to watch or not...well, if I'm not doing anything, which is likely, I probably will. Last year I didn't see them since I was traveling to Rochester and ran into major problems with Airtran...while the Oscars were on I was driving from Buffalo to Rochester in a rental car with a random guy and his daughter. And the year before I don't remember what I was practicing for, but I was practicing for something during to commercials. Possibly my masters recital?? hmmmm.
We also got about an hour to check out Hot Springs and grab some lunch (the downtown area was right down the street from the school). HS is actually a pretty nice town...we ate at Cafe 1217 which was pretty good, and ended up grabbing coffee at a place on Bathouse Row (where all of the baths with the hot springs are...duh)...pictured above, it happens to be the only picture I took, Oops.
During question time one girl asked me if I had a wife that played music as well. Not exactly a question I was expecting.
I had been down to Pine Bluff one time earlier this year to play the Messiah at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff...admittedly, its not the nicest place in the world. According to wikipedia, Pine Bluff is the 7th largest city in Arkansas, but used to be 2nd largest and one of the most wealthy in the state. It is not anymore. Its very run-down, and not very pleasant.
As for the demo, it went pretty well, only one class was a bit on the noisy side, which I'm never very good and controlling. Say "shhhhh" and "quiet down" didn't have much effect, but it didn't really seem like the teachers had much control over it either. At one point the principal of the school came in and interrupted our presentation to say he wished that some musicians would volunteer to teach music for free at his school. We were kind of surprised he did that...and he didn't even stay for the presentation. Hmmmm.
I forgot to take a picture today, so I have included a photo of the Arkansas Symphony van...which the symphony members have nicknames Moby. We drive Moby to every demo and I dread it every time...I really dislike driving big cars. It makes me uncomfortable.
I found that there are actually lots of different opinions on this issue (well, duh)...and you can see them all compiled in a fairly large chart in a wikipedia entry. There are always the same ones at the top, obviously, but its interesting to see what everyone thinks. I trust Barack will work his way to the top of the list shortly.
I couldn't tell you how the scoring works...something about the first jammer to get in front of "the pack" is able to score each time they get around the track...but every time I tried to count how many points they scored, I was waaaay off. There are also penalties for violence, but for some reason or other, nobody ever gets called out on them, no matter what kind of awful things they do. Imagine that.
Each girl also has a very cute little nickname...such as Coco Booty, or Slaymaker, or Covalent Bondage. Those were all girls from the Little Rock team...and yes, we got totally killed. I think the ending score was something like 115 to 40 (we were playing Fort Smith). But what do you expect when the team prides themselves on not playing "too dirty"...it seems to me that its a pretty dirty game...hmmmm.
The whole thing seemed pretty Arkansas white trash to me. I didn't know they even made roller skates anymore.
I spent last week playing with the New Worlds Symphony in Miami Beach. I thought it would be nice to spend a week in Miami and see a ton of friends I hadn't seen in a while...but I ended up totally loving the orchestra. It was concerto week (we played seven concertos on two concerts...5 of them violin concertos) and it was great to play with Martin and KCB (yay Rice/Tanglewood!!)...all of the soloists sounded great. It was nice to have a dinner invitation every night I was there and to catch up with so many old (and new) friends. And yes....I'm doing the audition in a few weeks.
In other news...the Arkansas Symphony is having some trouble...we heard a rumor that the Sturgis Quartet (the one I play in) was going to be disbanded at the end of the season...and then the rumor became fact, and then the players committee freaked, and then the administration took it back...and then the executive director resigned and they kind of forgot about Sturgis. So now it looks like we will still have our jobs for next season...but nobody is really sure about anything. I don't think the orchestra is in the best situation: no music director, no executive director and financial problems...oops. But all seems to be running smoothly now. According to people who have been in the orchestra for a while, this happens all the time and they never end up getting rid of Sturgis...but keep threatening too. I'm sure it will happen eventually. Maybe not.
We are playing a Mancini concert this week...its kind of fun...kind of boring at the same time. A few weeks ago we played Shostakovich 5th Symphony...which was probably the best I've ever heard the Arkansas Symphony sound before. Still not as good as Tanglewood or Rice...but fun to play with. For a change.
I was actually starting to get used to Little Rock...the trip to Miami came at the perfect time, because I realized how many things I really don't like about LR. Its so easy to just get used to your surroundings and be happy with them...even if they totally suck.