May 22, 2007

and you never would have thought in the end how amazing it feels just to live again

....because my semester is FINALLY over!!!!! *And there was much rejoicing ....*

Ok. Well, since my last post, which wasn't so long ago, A LOT has happened.

The first thing is that I have a new job. I stopped working at Payless a few weeks ago because I am now working as a barista at Starbucks at Union Square in Manhattan. The people I work with are great, and there are lots of fabulous benefits, so I'm thinking this is going to work out very well.

Two weekends ago, May 12, I performed at the Brooklyn Public Library with the Baroque ensemble I've been involved with this semester. We performed Bach's Brandenburg Concerto #2 for piccolo trumpet, recorder, and violin, with me, of course, playing the solo violin part. We also performed Vivaldi's bassoon concerto, with my friend Antonio, who was preparing it for his upcoming recital. The concert went very well and was rather well-attended for being in a stuffy room in a library on a hot day. Our coach, plus several Brooklyn College music faculty and friends were in attendance, as well as many library patrons.

Here in this picture you see most of the Baroque ensemble: from left, Ryan (harpsichord), Antonio (front-recorder/bassoon), Louis (pink shirt-cello), Gabi (violin), Adelquis (trumpet) me, and Brian (viola).


The following Monday was a composer's recital, in which I helped to premiere two compositions. The first piece was called Subtle Stench and was written by the same guy that wrote the can-cutting and scratching on a gong piece from the Contempo concert. This piece was just as interesting, being written for cello, violin, flute, bass, and percussion. We were each given a timer, and the durations of our music were to be timed out. Best of all, he wanted us to play 'out of tune' as in, by quarter-tones and micro-gradations of pitch. It was quite interesting, and easy to put together because all of the parts were independent of each other. The second piece was a string trio written by an Orthodox Jewish rock band-guitarist. Needless to say, the entire process of learning this piece was an adventure, and he (the composer) ended up having to re-notate a sizable chunk of the piece so that we could count and play it better. Anyway, this piece was second to last on the program, and went extremely well. We re-recorded it a few days later, because the Orthodox rock-band-guitarist composer also knows a great deal about recording, so he was going to splice and edit his little heart out to make us sound fantastic so that he can post it on his myspace page. The point of all of this extra information is that I am going to try and either post a link to the piece, or try and post it here so that you all can listen to it, if you like.
That Thursday (5/17) was the orchestra's composer's concert. This semester, the orchestra had two composers in residence, each of whom wrote a piece for the group. They were each uniquely interesting, and the concert- which was more of a public reading/ recording session- went very well. After this, the chair of the music department presented some annual awards to students.
One of whom was me. Twice. The first award I received was the Orchestra Award, presented to a student who contributed significantly to the ensemble. The second award was actually a composition award, which was a Memorial Award to a student who has excelled in contemporary music.

So there you go. I had no idea I was going to win any awards, let alone two. Everyone assured me afterwards that both awards were well-earned, and I'm sure they probably were. Surely, though, there were students who didn't get awards that really deserved some, and, having been one of those students in the past, appreciate both my awards and the efforts of those that weren't recognized.
Last night was my friend Antonio's basson recital. He played to an exceptionally enthusiastic audience, who clapped loudly every time he walked on and off stage. We performed the Vivaldi bassoon concerto again, and he played a Mozart sonata duet with his teacher. Afterwards was one of the most decadent recital receptions I have ever attended, complete with cold cuts, veggies, hummus, shredded meat, empanadas, a chocolate fondue fountain, and the most fabulous selection of amazing cakes and tarts I've ever seen at one time.
This week is finals week. It's only Tuesday, but I am now finished. All of my school-related performances have been completed. My 20th century analysis final was a paper, which I presented last week and handed in yesterday, and my jury was this morning.

My summer plans, in case you were wondering, are rather vague at this point. Next semester I'll have language and comprehensive exams, so I'll probably be brushing up on French and music history stuff; also, I'll have my pre-recital jury in December, at which time I have to perform at least 2/3 of my master's recital program, so I'll be figuring out what the heck I'm going to play for that. Also, I'll be doing a concert or two with Musica Bella, which is a volunteer orchestra in Manhattan, and a friend just gave me a lead on some sort of off-Broadway production. My lease is up in August, so I'll be apartment hunting again very soon. In addition, I'll be returning to Iowa at the beginning of August for my sister's wedding.
And that's about it.

Title lyrics by The Used "Blue and Yellow"

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Devora! I'm reading your blog! Congratulations on your two awards! What an honor! And a second congrats on the new job at Starbucks. Sounds MUCH more fun than the other job. Take care,

Your cousin Ruth in Denver