Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Fishtanks, Scott Pilgrim and MCR.

So, Reece came over yesterday with three large boxes that contained my Christmas present - a fishtank with stand so that I can get axolotls. He even set it up for me. Which means I GET PETS. :D He's so good to me.

We then watched Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, which was actually quite good. Funny. He adored it thanks to it being basically his mind put into film form - lots of 90s video game references. It is a good movie, and that's saying something coming from me.

MCR... ah, MCR. I got the new My Chemical Romance CD today from my parents for Early Christmas. It is, quite simply, an amazing album. Punk with a little bit of dance on some tracks. A real anarchist theme. Catchy. Sad. Romantic ("Can I be the only hope for you? Because you're the only hope for me"). I'm on my third or fourth run through. Okay, MCR isn't for everyone - I know a lot of people hate them - but they're my favourite band, and they've really improved over the years. Danger Days: True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys - I give it a 5/5.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

It's been three years since I played music.

Yep, three years since I picked up my flute for the express purpose of playing again and sticking with it. I played for five years before I quit, and in that time (at risk of sounding conceited) I got pretty damn good. I spent a few years in concert band, first in primary school and then in high school as first flute. I was classically trained in high school. I have a collection of music that's reasonably impressive. I was good - I was playing Grade Five AMEB without ever having done AMEB before. (AMEB = Australian Music Examination Board, or something similar. Very fancy.)

And then, like many other things, I got bored with it. I quit. The conductor in band heda-hunted me for a while, and I was head-hunted again when we moved interstate, but I never got back into it. In the last few months, I've felt tempted to go back to it. Music has a power to it, a sense of release. You can stop playing but it never really leaves you.

So, yesterday, I got my flute and my sheet music out of my cupboard, sorted through it and resolved to get back my talent. I'm rusty, no doubt about it - I'm ashamed to admit I've got a fingering chart on my desk in case I've forgotten notes, which I have - but the sound is okay. I need to exercise to get my lung capacity back up, and need to do something about my poor arthritic fingers/bad circulation. But I can do this.

I've got three pieces out: one I know for certain I was playing perfectly before I quit (Chorale from Jupiter, from Holst's The Planets), one that's stunning and moderately difficult verging towards technically challenging (Sicilienne, from Pelleas et Melisande by Gabriel Faure) and one that I spent six months on with my tutor just to master the first half - the technical nightmare that is Hungarian Serenade by Victorin Joncieres.

I know I've got a lot of work to do - I'm working first on re-mastering Jupiter, and when I'm satisfied that I've achieved perfection with it I'll move on to Sicilienne, which is more challenging. And when I'm content with that, I'll resume tearing my hair out over Hungarian Serenade. Once I've mastered those three, it's off to the music store to get NEW SHEET MUSIC :D

I may post videos of the perfected pieces if you beg enough :P

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

The Christmas Season is Upon Us

It is, once again, December. And we all know what that means - Christmas. Decorations, carols, advent calendars with chocolate that tastes like Play Dough (I admit, I love the stuff) and entirely too much happiness for my liking.

I have probably said this before, but I hate Christmas. I can appreciate the reason for the holiday - birth of Jesus, etc. I respect it as a holy day for one of the world's most prominent religions - but I have no respect for it as a holiday. Christmas is really just a Capitalist's wet dream. The ideal money-maker. Tackiness, cheap nothings and 'Christmas spirit' - there's a lot of selling power here.

Really, it drives me insane. It's like Valentine's Day - a religious day being twisted to make money. There's only so much tackiness I can handle before I start getting pissed. Just *thinking* about Christmas sends me over the edge.