Busy, Busy, Busy

September 23, 2009 at 10:08 pm (Music, School) (, , )

School has been driving me nuts. It’s only week, what? Three? And I’ve been running around like a decapitated chicken. I’m up to six songs for my voice lessons this semester – minimum requirement for a second semester student: six. I am working on memorizing the four-song cycle Blue Mountain Ballads by Paul Bowles, I have the de Luca song in Italian down pat and am struggling through the two Handel as per usual.

Baroque music is hard, in case you didn’t know. For a look at the second song I am working on, look here:

The soprano doing it is fantastic and I’m a little jealous. Ah well, someday!

As she ought to, Dr. D’s coming down hard on my bad habits. I have several years of bad singing habits deeply ingrained into both brain and muscle memory, cemented by two voice teachers. I was taught by a tenor for a while, which apparently was the worst idea ever because the way their voices and bodies work to produce sound are so vastly different from all voice types that having them teach is just bad all around. A lot of it is breath management and breathing, with which I can legitimately argue that it’s not going to improve until I move somewhere where I won’t be exposed to allergens 100% of the time. More importantly, though, is convincing my brain that no, I am not, in fact, a heavy voice type, therefore I have absolutely no reason to be pushing as hard as I do.

Out, not in.  And turning off my brain for half of what I am doing would also be brilliant because I tend to overthink what I do. As Dr. D says, I work too hard and being a lyric soprano I should not be working hard at all because it’s equivalent to erecting giant barriers to work around. It can also damage the vocal cords in the long run; I’ve had a few close calls before and have no interest in repeating that experience or winding up like either Karita Mattila or Natalie Dessay, who both required surgery to reverse the damage done.

I’m also struggling a lot with piano; I am simply not very good at it and I’m absolutely terrified I won’t do well in this class, thereby ruining my GPA and dashing all hopes of transferring wherever I want to. I haven’t had the chance to talk to Dr. D about transferring and recommendations and such yet because she’s been just as ridiculously busy as ever, but I have an appointment with a guidance counselor for next Tuesday. Here’s hoping it’ll go well.


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Life Goes On

July 15, 2009 at 7:16 am (Fun, Life, Music) (, , , , , , )

Since I am in England and this is where I can get all my health care, I decided to do the full shebang. I went in for a refill appointment last Thursday and am now all stocked up on the various medications I was running low on. Yesterday, I had a dental appointment since it has been over a year. One small cavity and a cleaning – I get the cavity taken care of next Tuesday.

The technician doing the cleaning was a lovely, bouncy young lady, maybe five or six years older than myself. Her office was covered in music paraphernalia, including an ukulele on the wall, various pictures of Elvis, some certificates of competitions she’d entered and several decorative guitar statues. Our shared love for music made for a good time.

When it was time for my cleaning, she handed me her iPod and told me to pick what kind of music we’d listen to. Navigating an iPod Touch was a little confusing at first, but I managed after a while and then settled for Lady GaGa telling her that she amused me. The technician laughed and said, considering I was majoring in classical music, that was a strange choice. “Yes, but she’s so absolutely batshit crazy that you can’t help but sort of like her. Besides, she actually has TALENT.”

We proceeded with the cleaning, all the while talking about Lady GaGa. At one point I stated I hoped her second album wouldn’t be about fame again, because it just gets tacky after a while.

“I heard she’s gone bankrupt, like, four times now!” the technician exclaimed. “How does that even work? I mean, seriously. She’s making a lot of money.”

“In that case, I suggest a cover of ‘Gold Digger’ for her new album.”

She laughed. It was probably my wittiest moment in weeks.

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June 14, 2009 at 1:41 am (Music) (, , , , , )

I watched Fantasia 2000 on the treadmill tonight because I had not yet seen it. (Way late, I know.) My expectations were low, my younger sister had said she didn’t like it. Some pieces were better than others, but I enjoyed all of them immensely. Which brings me this next clip, set to Igor Stravinsky’s “Firebird Suite.” I think it is the most gorgeous piece of animation I have ever seen.

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This Tornado Loves You

May 28, 2009 at 4:53 pm (Music) (, , , )

I love this.

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May 5, 2009 at 10:53 pm (Art, Life, Music, School) (, , , )

I would not say it went perfectly, but overall, the concert was fabulous. I invited my cousin – who, as I found out, lives and works in D.C. and has done so for the last five years – to come out and listen. He seemed impressed. It turns out I had a nice little support group, but I feel it’s weird to receive compliments for the performance. I feel like I was only a tiny, tiny cog in the machine that made this happened and can’t accept praise for the entity as a whole.

I am a little sad we did not get to hear the piano concerto; it appears that, too, went well. Instead, I sat in the rehearsal hall with about fifty other people and chatted for a bit until we were allowed to wander to the Performing Arts Center. I am still trying to figure out which YouTube Channel this whole thing is on because they will apparently be put up at some point.

More importantly, it turns out we – my aunt and I – know the production manager, which means I may be able to get a DVD out of the whole business. My family will certainly be pleased with this news. There will be no pictures of tired Dani in choral garb, as I am now off to bed because I have voice lessons at eight o’clock tomorrow morning.

Good night!

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People Got A Lotta Nerve

April 29, 2009 at 11:57 pm (Music) (, , , , )

No words needed, I think. This is for all those idiots who think snuggling with various wild animals is a good idea.

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April 29, 2009 at 11:28 pm (Life, Music, School) ()

There is nothing, absolutely nothing, like a whiny college student discovering their major is pretty dead-end. Case in point: moi.

I love music. I love my major. I love singing. So why am I unhappy?

A lot of it has to do with the fact that sopranos are a dime a dozen. I am averagely talented at best. I sound horrific to myself. My voice is far from spectacular. And to top it all off, I am not some exotic-looking beauty, but just your average white girl who passes for cute on good days. I just have no idea how I will ever find a job doing what I want to do, which is singing. On one hand, every untalented fucking hack is successful with a good marketing team – for proof, just look at the majority of what you hear on the radio these days. Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus, the list goes on. Why should it be any harder for me?

I’m working with an entirely different scene. I sincerely doubt half-talented idiots like myself have a good chance in the classical music community. In other words, I am hosed and destined to sign up for the Army Chorale so at least I won’t live on the streets. It’s not what I want. I’ll try and work for something better, but right now I can’t see further than the end of my nose and with the jury date looming ahead. I’ve been working on these fucking songs for twelve weeks. Why can’t I just have them down and perfected yet?

Don’t mind me. I’m just being a spoiled asshole.

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Depeche Mode

April 26, 2009 at 9:47 pm (Music, News) (, , )

I remember watching this while it was broadcasted, live, in the summer of 06. It was beautiful, brilliant and awe-inspiring. The video is horribly out of sync, but who cares!

I feel like a bad fan for not realizing they had a new album, Sounds of the Universe (released this month). But the following factoid made me smile! They have a song called “Jezebel” on said album.

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April 26, 2009 at 8:30 pm (Life, Music, School) (, , , , )

My aunt and I went to the Honors’ Recital at my school’s music department on Friday. It kind of raises the question – what qualifies you as an honors’ student? Being at the school for a certain amount of time? All I know is that I was pretty disappointed in a few people who did perform. The instrumentalists did fine, but the three singers were kind of . . . meh.

The sad thing is that I knew two of them were much better than they presented themselves as on Friday. I’ve heard them practice. They were much better in the practice room than they were on stage. I realize nervousness plays a large role in performance, but seriously? It was lackluster.


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An Attempt At Vlogging

April 22, 2009 at 10:46 pm (Life, Music, School) (, , , , , , , , )

Because I am too lazy to type.

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