aearwen2: (Sm Sindarin Lady)
Those of you who have been reading my blurbs and rants for a while know that I take part (as in am the musical director of) a small group of performers who put on a program during the first week in August. Well, last night was the performance for which we have labored six months, and it was a smash success!

We did Irish music - all flavors of it. We had moldy-oldies like "I'll Take You Home Again Kathleen" and "Galway Bay", comic bits like "Who Put The Overalls In Mrs. Murphy's Chowder" and "The Orange and the Green", all the way through to modern pieces like "The Island" - ending with a rendition of Celtic Woman's "Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears". We had an eight-year-old singing "A Mother's Love's A Blessing", and a men's group singing "Forty Shades of Green". I even stood up from the piano stool and sang Briege Murphy's "The Sea" to someone else's accompaniment on the guitar for a change!

I'm really glad we started organizing this monster back in February, mostly because so much of what we did were traditional pieces for which dedicated sheet music was hard - if not impossible - to come by. That's right: I did a fair share of just plain old musical arrangements this year, on top of the usual run of transpositions and such. My printer got a really good workout, as the updated/corrected/transposed versions had to be handed out to those involved. My own piece had no real resources available at all - a youtube video only was all I could find anywhere; I had to sit and listen very hard to pull the lyrics and then be glad my guitarist could figure out chords that were within my vocal range.

Thing is, this year's "convention" week was lighter than those that came before - or, at least, it was a lighter burden for me. I didn't have quite so many obligations to sit at the piano bench for activities this time, although those I did have were stressful enough. Included in this convention week was the memorial service for a man who was my best friend for many years, and I was asked to play several "meditative" pieces to fit into a service that Willy actually wrote for himself ten years earlier. (He died of a progressive and degenerative nerve disorder, and he knew what he'd be facing that long ago.)

Anyway... long story short: I'm free!! Everything's done and finished, and I can sit back and genuinely relax today. I have two weeks' respite from organizational meetings before we start doing early prep work on our Christmas play, which starts rehearsal the first Sunday of September. I fully intend to enjoy the fact that I don't have anything going on during my Sunday afternoons for the next two weeks - I may even decide to get myself into minor mischief somewhere. We'll have to see.

But I just had to share my relief, my exhaustion, and my pride at seeing a job through well-done.

Happy Sunday, folks!
aearwen2: (Default)
All in all, things seem to be going along reasonably well of late.

Mundane Midrashery under the cut )

And that's life here of late. Hoping things continue to stay fairly calm and peaceful. It's so much nicer that way...
aearwen2: (Default)
Well, the Week From Hell™ is officially over. Even better: I survived.

Mostly. )

Tonight, however, I intend to try to get a full and decent night's sleep with no performance jitters hanging over my head like a sword. There's a Christmas program (mostly carols, nothing really fancy) to help put together, and I'll be helping our play producer come up with music for a completely new production to be performed in May of next year. Plenty of time to relax for a bit.



Aug. 2nd, 2010 05:20 pm
aearwen2: (Default)
Well, the classical music recital is finished - ALLELUIA!!! - and all of the performers did well.

Our program included:

Piano solo by Simon B.
Prelude & Fugue - I.S. Bach

Violin & Piano by Olga M. & Simon B.
Liegsgruss - E. Elgar
Barcarolle - P.I. Tchaikovsky
Meditation - I. Messenet

Flute & Piano by Annie & Will D.
Für Elise - L. Beethoven
Canon - Pachelbel
Pradelium - J. Hook

Organ & Piano by Aeärwen & Nashoma C.
The Sunken Cathedral - C. Debussy
The Swan - C. Saint-Saens

Piano solo by Aeärwen
Klavierstuck - F. Mendelssohn
Waterfall - J. Schmidt

Other than the fact that my hands sweat so that I was almost sticking to the piano keys, and I'm now sitting here getting over the shakes that I simply couldn't allow myself to have ahead of time, it was a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon event. It was the first ever in that particular venue, and if the lady in charge has anything to say about it, it won't be the last.

NOW I get to relax and enjoy the rest of the busy week. Rehearsals for the musical program on Saturday aren't nerve-wracking, mostly because I'm only the accompanist - and not the only one, at that. It's the solos that get to me - although these folks somehow manage to convince me to play for them often enough that I'm getting better about the cases of nerves I get beforehand.

What I have to remember - and something for anybody having to get up in public and do something to think about - is what Itzak Perlman said one time on a TV interview I saw. His philosophy coming into a concert is not so much that he's performing, but rather that he's sharing of his skill and his talent with those who can't do what he does. It's a great way to think about standing forth, whether it's for public speaking or music or whatever - that what one is doing is sharing of one's knowledge and/or talent with those who for one reason or the other didn't have those opportunities.

It makes it a far less egotistical activity when one thinks of it that way.

Just sayin... :-D
aearwen2: (Default)
Ok. I give up.

Not only has the Muse that was helping me do my NaNo gone into hiding, but her place has been taken over by two substitutes: my fanfic Muse, who dumped a not quite 5k-word sequel to Ghost on me over the last two days; and my music Muse, who is now demanding AT THE TOP OF HER VOICE that I go back to putting in the 8.5 to 10 hours a week (or more) to try to get myself back up to my former skill level.

The manufacturers of aceteminophen and aspirin will enjoy a small boost in sales as a result of the latter, as I'm now working arthritic shoulders and damaged muscles in arms a heckuva lot more in the process of practicing. But I actually enjoyed my practice today (of course, it doesn't hurt to have access to a nice 6-foot Steinway grand to practice ON...)

I will *try* to keep working on the original novel, but without the pressure NaNo puts on one. I still have the start of the novel I worked on last year. Wonderful, having these beginnings on the hard drive, and tinkering with them from time to time.

The thing is, I've done 50k words/month before. I used to churn out that much and more when writing for my old fandom. I also burned out rather abruptly too. I truly have no intent to do anything to myself that will burn out my interest in writing per se.

But I'm jazzed about playing the piano with a little more discipline again. Music really is my first love – and the piano was the first instrument I learned (started it at age 4.) I'm hoping the workout of my arms will help the arthritis, and that working the muscles that I *think* I tore years ago will help them heal too. I've given up my violin and guitar - by Eru, I'll be blasted if I'm gonna give up my piano!!

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