Hangover Cures and Quick Links

I think that I’ve found the perfect cure for hangovers: conducting concerts. Every time I’ve conducted a concert, no matter the physical or emotional state of being I am in (exhaustion, illness, angry, sad), I have a renewed sense of energy, and my body is always back to par (at least momentarily). If the adrenaline can cure all of these things, why not a hangover? Shall we experiment some time?

This was a crazy weekend. In addition to all of my music gigs, I also spend about 30 hours in an office job for CSU’s Department of Music, Theatre, & Dance. My latest project was oversight for approximately 160 auditioning students this weekend. When I began the office job in January, all of the files were chaotically organized into countless spreadsheets. For any of you who have ever had an office job, you know fully well how much room there is for error when copying and pasting information from sheet to sheet. Or how easy it is to forget to change the sixth spreadsheet when you manually changed the first five. Next year, this will all be in a database. Muah-haha.

My youth orchestra concert went fabulously. It’s amazing how much these young musicians grow from concert to concert. Thinking about the cringe-worthy first rehearsal, it’s nice to hear a polished product. We’ve got one more to go, and then year two recruiting. In a lot of ways, I think the first year (affectionately dubbed SURVIVAL MODE) is not nearly as important as the second year (which I think we shall call DEFINE YOURSELF YEAR). If we can double our first year numbers, we will be in pretty good shape; when all’s said and done, I think we have that capacity. A gentleman came up to our Executive Director after the concert, blown away at the emotional maturity from the musicians during their transcription of the Lauridsen O Magnum Mysterium. What a beautiful piece. It is the perfect illustration of beautiful dissonances in many of the cluster chords used. V7 chords with tonic thrown in for mix – what beautiful colors.

I’ll have to spend some time evolving my thinking on using popular music for youth ensembles – the experiment seemed to be pretty successful.

This week should be less action-packed than the last two abominable eighty hour work weeks. Thank goodness for small favors.

A couple of links:

Adele, the human brain, and the appoggiatura:

http://www.npr.org/2012/02/13/146818461/the-ballad-of-the-tearful-why-some-songs-make-you-cry

A chronological survey of the opening chords to Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony: truly fascinating. Tuning pitch, recording quality, articulation and note length, tempo, the space between the first two chords. It’s amazing how many unique and different things create a composite of this wonderful thing we call interpretation.

http://youtu.be/xb24c77zJ64

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