Recital approaching… EEP!

My recital date has nearly been set. (They’re just trying to find a third examiner but they don’t anticipate having any problem with that.)

So the date will (probably) be Thursday 10th December. I think it will be 6pm.

I’m playing the Debussy piano and violin sonata in G minor and the Grieg violin and piano sonata in C minor. Both pieces are amazing and I shall struggle to do them justice. The Debussy is mysterious, fantastical, distant, capricious. The Grieg is exciting, virtuosic, extroverted and majestic. My associate artists are two wonderful violinists, one from the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and the other a fellow Honours student at the Con.

Entry is free and it’s at Elder Hall at Adelaide Uni. So please come if you’re free and in town. Because this is like, the single biggest event of the year for me and I need all the support I can get!

Once the date and time is confirmed I’ll do proper invites. (Meaning I’ll make a Facebook event, lol.)

My Current Beauty Product Staples

I’ve been thinking recently that I’ve been using some really awesome beauty/makeup products. So I’m going to write about them. Gosh, I can tell that this is going to be an almost unbearably girly post and I haven’t even started writing it yet!

  • MAC Prep & Prime Lash. It’s so awesome. Used before mascara, it plumps and lenghtens up my thin, short Asian lashes, prevents the mascara from clumping and stops it from falling onto my face throughout the day.
  • Olay Moisturizing Lotion for Sensitive Skin. I know that this brand is aimed at older women, but I find this moisturizer works really well. It soaks in quickly and it’s light. I used to use the cream version of this moisturizer, but the lotion is better for the hot weather we’ve been getting recently.
  • MAC Paint Pots. I have a queerly shaped eyelid which is not a monolid, but the crease is quite close to my lashline. Because of the unusual shape and because my skin tends to be oily, eyeshadow has a strong tendency to crease when I wear it. Especially if it’s hot/the eyeshadow is of shitty quality/I wear it all day. Paint pots are amazing for preventing creasing and prolonging wear when used as a base for eyeshadow. I dab it on with my finger. It goes on kind of moist but dries to a gritty powder that really “grips” powder eyeshadow. I also wear it by itself. And I also layer several paint pots on top of each other. Anyone who has problems with their eyeshadow creasing should DEFINITELY try this product.
  • Napoleon Minimal Makeup. I usually get my foundation from MAC. But now that it’s warmer I needed something lighter than my usual foundation. (Studio Fix fluid has good coverage, but it can make me break out.) I wandered over to the Napoleon counter mainly because the MAC counter was busy and I got tired of waiting around for some assistance. The girl at the Napoleon counter was really very helpful and friendly. She actually colour matched me correctly by trying two similar shades, one on each side of my face. (At MAC they’ve only ever bothered to try one colour, and I always go home and realise it’s too dark for me.) Minimal Makeup is oil free and sheer, so I haven’t broken out since using it. I like that I can layer it on if I want more coverage and it’s very longwearing.

Okay that’s girly posting for now, byyyye.

P.S. I’m on the hunt for a REALLY AWESOME lipbalm. Recommendations?

A Fine Ear

What all fine musicians have in common is a good ear. Music is aural, so the ear gets to make all the final calls. A more discerning ear can detect more ranges of sound and nuance. To “laypeople”, a Steinway grand may sound much like a Kawai upright, and a first year Conservatorium student may sound much like a professional artist.

When you learn a musical instrument long enough, you get to a stage where you are no longer simply concerned with merely playing the right notes. Even louds and softs become obsolete. The way in which you judge the quality of sound has to become so refined. The word “soft” by itself isn’t descriptive enough. What kind of soft? A rounded, pebbly sound? Or a bright, sparkly sound? I often find I revert to visually descriptive words to talk about the kind of sound I want. My teacher, on the other hand, always tends towards describing sound as an energy force. Even the mystery of music as an emotive force is an illusion created by sound.

The difference between a fantastic piano and an average piano, is that the average piano will always sound, well, average. Upright pianos of fairly decent quality usually sound pretty unoffensive. A really awesome grand piano, like the Steinway grands we have at the Con are much harder to control. They can sound pretty awful if you bang away on them, not knowing what you’re doing. (Like how I played for most of my time as a student.) But they are capable of a huge range of sounds. To make the most of the instrument’s capabilities, the pianist has to have a large arsenal of playing techniques to draw upon, and, most importantly, the ear to detect what sound they want, and whether or not they have achieved that.

When I started out at the Conservatorium, I was playing without listening. I came from an electronic organ background, so I knew that piano technique would be the difficult thing for me to master. Only now that I have reached Honours level have I begun to make the connection between the ear and technique. Technique is nothing without ear.

Sigh. I’m rambling. As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, my first Honours recital is coming up. So I’ve been preoccupied with piano things. In other news, the music room gets devilishly hot when the weather’s warm, as it has been recently. I’ve moved a fan in there, making it more bearable, but I still have to come out for frequent breaks.

Besides recital stuff, term 4 is always a busy term for teachers. There’s a bunch of concerts and things to prepare for at Yamaha. So… much… to… do!!

Well, bye for now.