Emotional Rollercoaster

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I know I’ve been MIA a bit…with my stepdaughter moving back in after her break up with her boyfriend and subsequent stay in the psych hospital, my life has been turned upside down again. I know this is the time I need to write the most, but I just haven’t even been able to pull myself together enough to do that. This is why I’m just trying to even drop this little note to get back in to it, even if only the first step. At least it serves as a reminder of what I need to do to keep sane through a time I can already feel myself sliding down a slippery slope, very quickly. As things start to settle in, I will make it a priority again to get back to writing here. It is essential for my well being. I haven’t even been able to express myself through my music, because the school year came to a culmination and I hadn’t even been able to get myself together enough to email everyone about scheduling, especially since I teach a decent amount out of my house, and my house has been a holy wreck for a month now due to my crazy end of the year recital stuff and my step daughter moving back in, which entails a whole ton of moving things around within our house to get a room ready for her again and moving a lot in to a storage unit. One big ball of chaos and in flux again. I just don’t know how much more of this life (style) I can handle. I’m tired of my life being shaken up by everyone else. It might be time for me to do some shaking of my own…

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Feeling Famous

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Today I received an email from a professor at Fairleigh Dickenson University, a composer, asking me if I would be interested in taking a look at some of his recent compositions for clarinet. I just resigned from two different community colleges as the Adjunct Clarinet Instructor, but he sent this email to my direct email address, and it wasn’t flagged as coming through my website either. I think I may have the actual email address written out on my website somewhere, so he could have just copied it rather than linking to it. I never attended or taught at or that close to that University, nor do I have any connections at that University. I have NO idea how he found me. It is times like these that make me feel semi-famous in my little music world. To know that I was scouted out in some way, that my opinion matters in the clarinet and University/Professional level composer world means something to me.

I know I will never be the principal of the New York Philharmonic, or a big shot soloist. I made the decision a long time ago while I was still in college and met my to be husband that I wanted a family and I knew that meant I would need to make sacrifices in my career. Right now I’m still not quite where I want to be, especially recently because my husband has had to take 2 full time jobs to help us out financially which has meant that I have even had to turn down some gig opportunities because I need someone home with our 10 year old, and I don’t have many sitter options. I am hoping that as she gets older and within the next few years when she is able to start staying home by herself at night as well that I am able to start taking and seeking out more gig opportunities again. I miss playing more. I still perform, but hardly anywhere near what I used to, and even then it wasn’t as much as I had wanted to. I am 40. I’m getting up there in terms of music career to be feeling like I haven’t even really broken in the way that I have wanted to. I started a bit later having a kid (I started by raising my older step kids first, so I didn’t have my biological daughter till I was 29). I hope it’s not too late by the time I’m actually able to get myself back out there. The one thing I have going for me that’s unique is that I can play 3 instruments almost equally well, Clarinet (my primary), Flute and Sax. There are people who play all three in order to play pit orchestras, but not many can actually play the level of solo repertoire on all 3 the way that I can. I am able to play a full length solo recital and play all 3 instruments with equivalent level solo material on all 3 instruments, which makes for something that is not really done. So I hope that I am able to begin re-pursuing that in a few years again.

Emails like the one I got today are little reminders that my name is out there. People in other states have heard of me. I hope that this will work to my advantage 6 years from now when I really work on becoming famous for real. Fingers crossed.

My Professional YouTube Channel

Would love for you to give a listen to  my recordings of me playing and subscribe to my channel 😘

 

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(Yes, those are all my instruments, I played all of them in the pit orchestra for a musical a few years ago)

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/famous/

Lines, Lines, Everywhere Lines

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My daily life is permeated by lines. Lines everywhere. I am a musician: performer and instructor. The picture above is my music studio office at one of the schools I teach at. It is one huge conglomeration of a myriad of lines. Written music, the lines where the walls meet, the memes that I decorate with, the artwork I made which was more of a logical art piece that was a mathematical presentation in an artwork of a musical composition, one of my favorite flute pieces which is hanging on the wall towards the window (also made of lines itself). There are chairs, my flute, a music stand, bulletin boards, ceiling tiles, etc….All of which are very Stark and straight lines. There are also more fluid or curvy lines such as those of the trees peeking outside my window, the pictures inside some of the artwork hanging on my walls, the fluid lines of the clefs on the large staff paper on the wall on the far right which contains theories of a research project that is part of my life’s work that I intend to see to fruition and that I hope will be a part of my legacy and that I truly believe in and that I truly think could make a notable difference in the music field.

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I read music all day long. Music is written on paper, paper made of 4 lines. The music itself that I and my students translate and transmute in to sound is transcribed on 5 horizontal lines and 4 spaces called a staff. There are vertical lines that divide the staff in to measures, which sort of punctuates the music and keeps it from looking like one gigantic run on sentence. The rhythm/length of the notes are notated by vertical and/or horizontal lines as well. The sharps, flats and naturals all contain lines. The articulations, how a musician tongues the note are mostly made of lines, some curvy and some are straight edged. And if any of those lines are printed in any deviation from what the musician holds in their brain to be associated with a specific note or rhythm, an unnecessary mistake will often occur. This is in a very raw form part of the basis of my research project. I am able to predict which printing variances produce specific mistakes and I believe I have figured out a way to make a preemptive strike against the potential and often iminent mistakes before they happen to many musicians, especially younger student musicians. I just need to get the right people to hear my theory and solution and I am confident that I can make a tremendous impact on the future of music education and performance consistency. The picture of the sheet music is one of my students exercises that is riddled with some of the deviations that have caused her several mistakes that I believe could have been avoided once I am able to develop my method once I find the company backing I am in search and in need of to get my idea off the ground. Fingers crossed to find the person who will be the right advocate soon.

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/lines-2018/

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/notable/

If there is no question…

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If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

A very common philosophy problem/argument. If no one is aware that the tree has made the sound, does the sound in fact occur? Some have answered the question stating that it would not make a sound. Their reasoning for this is that sound is something that only occurs in a human ear when something (air or object) is set in motion. Therefore, if no one is in the vicinity to observe with an ear, to input the motion of the tree, the the tree would not in fact make a sound.

However, the tree will make a noise (which is a hearable noise), even if no one is around to hear it. The noise would be hearable IF someone was around to hear it.

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Sometimes we, as a human nature characteristic, become frantic when we get caught up in our desperation to solve our problems when everything seems to be going wrong. We start trying to fix every single thing and begin trying to change everything in our midst. We respond with frustration and anger and turn everything in to a huge philosophical problem that, like the tree making a sound question, we go around and around with and see no end or solution. Sometimes, we need to stop asking the questions, and stop trying to fix everything and work towards acceptance. If we constantly focus on all things negative in our lives, that is what we will continue to dwell on. In doing this, a negative cyclical pattern emerges.

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Conversely, pondering the first meme posted on this writing….Sometimes, when you simply surrender, and quiet yourself, answers will appear. Even when you have not asked a specific question, or if you have asked a very generalized question a very long time ago and stopped searching for the answers, often times something will come along in your life and you will not even realize that was the key or one of the components that was missing. That was one of the turning points when it wasn’t ever something on your radar when you had tried so very hard to change everything that you thought was plaguing you.

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Or when you’re Sheldon Cooper from the “Big Bang Theory” and your formulas or theories “just won’t coalesce”. Sometimes after pounding formulas or thought processes from the approach you think it should logically come from for what seems like forever, when you’re on the brink of giving up, maybe you have given up, and suddenly, like a bolt of lightning, the answer itself, or the method for solving the problem comes to you.

My music research project illuminated a problem with an answer to a question I was never even asking in the first place. I saw the answer first which made me ask the question next.

If there is no question, or if you are not asking the right question, is there an answer? What is the answer called if the answer came before the question? Which came first, the chicken or the egg? All of the problems and solutions the thinkers of the world grapple with frantically, until they decide not to.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/frantic/

A Trio of Quartets

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“What is the most resilient parasite? Bacteria? A virus? An intestinal worm? An idea. Resilient… highly contagious. Once an idea has taken hold of the brain it’s almost impossible to eradicate. An idea that is fully formed – fully understood – that sticks; right in there somewhere.” -Dom Cobb, “Inception”

A quartet of dreams, four layers down. A dream within a dream within a dream within a dream. To plant an idea, a thought so deep in someone’s brain that it will permeate like a disease. In my experience, dreams aren’t necessary to do this. Inception within a dream isn’t necessary for what is essentially mind control. Repetition of ideas and thoughts can accomplish this often times, and experiencing emotions at a primal level can also accomplish this as well. There are many ways an idea or thought can take hold, but it is very true that it can be stronger than a virus and more resilient than a parasite. Thoughts and ideas can be more powerful than death. Thoughts and ideas resonate and continue to regenerate and pass down long after the person who first uttered the idea or thought has passed.

Quatour pour la Fin du Temps

Quartet for the End of Time. The solo movement for clarinet alone-The Abyss of the Birds. Composed by Oliver Messiaen.

This piece is in eight movements. It is scored for Clarinet, Violin, Cello and Piano. This is a very unique pairing of instruments. Messiaen wrote the piece while he was a prisoner in German captivity during the war. The piece was premiered in 1941. It was originally written as a trio and then the piano part was added in, which he played in the premiere. The piece was premiered by himself and his fellow prisoners. The complete work has a duration of approximately 50 minutes.

In the preface inside the score, Messiaen wrote that the piece was inspired by the Book of Revelation from the Bible. The text that he was inspired by that is in the inscription reads as follows:

And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire … and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth …. And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever and ever … that there should be time no longer: But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished …

There are separate inscriptions to describe each movement. Some of the movements are for the full quartet, but some of the movements are for different variations of instrumentation within the quartet.

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The third movement is the Abyss of the Birds, which is the recording above of me performing this movement live at one of my former recitals. I played this movement during a recital that I themed as “Journey through the Woods”. I specifically painted the painting that is on my home page for that recital and I dressed within the theme and had a slide show in the background of Wooded scenes as pictured above. I also wrote a poem and had other poetry read in between pieces. It was a multimedia experience. I was very proud of this recital. It was very stressful putting it all together, but some day I hope to do something like this again, perhaps when my daughter is a bit older and I have a little more time to focus and dedicate the time needed to pull something like that off.

 

Humorous Scherzo by: Prokofiev

Performed by: Galaxy Quartet

Earlier this year, I had a faculty recital performance at the college that I used to teach Adjunct Applied Clarinet Lessons at. I just tendered my resignation this semester for several reasons (all for my own sanity purposes). At any rate, in the past for this faculty recital I had always done a duet with a fellow friend and colleague flutist. Last year I wasn’t able to perform so she had her quartet play. This year I was able to play again and her quartet wanted to play again, but they were short a clarinet player, so I subbed for their missing clarinet player and we all played the recital together. The quartet consists of 2 flutes and 2 clarinets. I had never played in this instrumentation of an ensemble before. It was unique. I enjoyed it, but the other clarinetist and I (who was the leader of the group) had a clash in personalities. So it will be a one time thing. But it was fun to play with a new instrumentation and explore music I had not played before.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/quartet/

Talisman

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I have ritualistic jewelry that I wear for my performances, a sort of talisman. It originally started with just my pearl and diamond earrings that were my grandmother’s that we had converted from clip on in to pierced after she passed away. I have worn those since I was in college. Since then, I have added other diamond like dangle earrings, black pearl drop earrings and my dragon cuff earring who whispers in my ear as I play my melodies. He breathes the life force spirit in to me and I breathe out the music spirit. There have also been specific rings, necklaces and bracelets added as well over time. It may seem silly, but it has just come to be a grounding technique for me as I perform.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/talisman/