Oct. 7th, 2016 10:17 pm
spiralflames: (black_cat)
it's the best time of the year...i refuse to sink into grimness because of the impending DARKNESS that will really kick in once we lose an hour to the time change...but i am not a cave woman, i am living in the 21st century, and there are LIGHTS and there is caffeine! huzzah!
i've shyly started practicing, doing good work on brahms op 117 and relearning rorem's _poems of love and the rain_. which deserves more appreciation. i'm without a rudder- no lover to play for, no smart adult students to teach, no teacher. and i don't say that in a self-pitying way, either-- for the first time...damn...EVER..i'm not fighting for anyone, not fighting against anyone, not trying to prove myself to anyone. i admitted to richard in a phone conversation "i don't know who i am as a musician!" I was always trying to please someone, always the dutiful student, even when rebelling- even the act of rebelling is still working AGAINST someone, and they're more present when you're shouting "fuck you!" than they are when they say "good girl."
time to quite trying so hard to be anyone's "good girl." there are some that do that naturally. i was always uncomfortable there. i'll save the less meaningful for FB.
spiralflames: (black_cat)
lakewood autumn, mpls MN142
ok. here's the second music dream- this one came about a week after the master class dream i talked about last entry. this one was more philosophical- i woke up remembering ideas rather than events. but i've never quite thought about music this way before.

i learned: there are 3 basic kinds of music. (there would be combos, exceptions etc, but this is the main point-) and as musicians, it's up to us to decide at which frequency the music resonates- what vibe it has. if this happens and the music and the musician are in agreement, then there's a direct connection between composer, performer, audience. if this synchronicity doesn't happen, people get bored- impatient- cynical- sleepy- and all the things we've been when attending a concert.

SO: there are 3 "frequencies" of music, vibrationally- high, medium and low.

high= transcendental, celestial- brings us up out of ourselves and we are transformed.examples for me are: barber adagio. ravel GM piano concerto mvt 2. schubert CM quintet.

medium= music that has elements of more than one, moments or sections. each piece is different. most of chopin, most of beethoven. most lieder.

low= music that grabs you in an earthy, visceral way. mahler, most of it. bruckner. WAGNER.

so our job as performers- to decide where you want the piece to resonate, where in the body (chakras?) you want to feel it- and play it in a way where a listener can understand it that way as well. so- let's say something is "low frequency (root/sacral chakra.) does it stay there? do we focus on the sensuality and revel in it? (example: salome') does it get tempered by the middle frequency where intellect and emotion make sense of things? does it want to move one way or another (bernstein) or is it happy talking about us as humans and living right there?(brahms)... does it seek to transcend? (late schubert, mozart, some liszt) if so, is it successful? what about music that starts out in the ether-(arvo part, ravel?) is it less profound than wagner, who slogs away for 13 hrs before the world comes to a full stop and everything is somehow made simple in the last 3 minutes of the Ring? or more so, since it never dealt with lower basic stuff at all? and what about the mid-range stuff...beautiful and all, but which never plumbs the depths nor does it ascend past human experience? after all, is that not where most of us live our lives?

so it's not at all arbitrary- or simple- or easy- and it has everything to do with who we are either as performers or listeners at any given time, and also to do with how much "self" we invest...whose vision is it? composer's? performer's? audience? 2 people sitting next to one another at the same concert- one is checking his phone and making laundry lists- the next person is openly sobbing and wondering if she can make it through the performance without making a scene. or other things. or not.

but it's up to us. writer- performer, listener- all are important. WE HAVE TO DECIDE.
spiralflames: (black_cat)
ready for my close-up, mr dogMille...
behold my excellent boy!!
ok. don't send mental health workers to check on me, i'm really quite OK...but.. lately, my subconscious has been giving me very specific piano lessons in my dreams. i kiddest thou not. they've been very realistic, not at all fanciful (no ghosts of beethoven or other fantasy characters) and i've learned a lot. here's the first one: i dreamt i was performing in a master class given by pianist andrei gavrilov. (he's friended me on facebook, so i see his name quite often.) i was playing the mozart c minor fantasy. it starts with a slow intro in open octaves. about 3 lines in, he interrupted me....stop, stop, STOP for god's sake!!!! needless to say, i did. "really? this is all you're going to do? start again, and make me believe that not only your own life, but the lives of the whole free world depended on your making them pay attention!" Andrei can be quite intimidating when he's in the mood.
i thought, i gathered force, i felt myself concentrate into a pinpoint of white light and......
C OCTAVES. like the final tolling of the bell before heaven. E-FLATS.. everything went dark except for a circle of light containing my hands and the keyboard. F-SHARPS. i felt all the extraneous sound suck out of the room as into a vacuum. i made it about 3 lines. i was so exhausted i couldn't continue. a drop of sweat gathered on the tip of my nose and dropped on to middle c. "WHY DID YOU STOP?" he said from outside of the vacuum. "that's all i had." i replied. "it was too much work! if i were to play like that, like every note is the most important sound in an otherwise silent world, i would die!"

"great." Andrei said, his face relaxing into a big grin, letting me know he actually hadn't been that pissed at all, and that it really wasn't his nature to come across like an avenging norwegian god...but just wanted to push to see if i had it in me. "now play like that ALL the time."
spiralflames: (nanpractice)
harmony's asked me to provide a list of favorite tunes as possible wonderful things to listen to in the classical music world. mine's admittedly piano-centric, so i thought i'd make this public- feel free to chime in with additions?

1)chopin: piano concerto #1 or #2

2)brahms: piano concerto #2

3)Chopin: etudes and/or ballades

4)beethoven: piano concerto 1,3,4 or 5

5)barber: adagio for strings

6)gershwin: rhapsody in blue

7)beethoven: piano sonatas, "moonlight", "waldstein" or "appassionata"

8)js bach: brandenburg concerti

9)rachmaninoff: piano concerto #2 or #3

10)saint-saens: carnival of the animals

spiralflames: (Default)
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why, she says with wide eyes, such a coincidence, because in november i WILL be releasing a CD, if all goes well. chart-topping? errrm....not.

it will be a benefit for the minnesota angel foundation ( http://www.mnangel.org ) which gives financial support to those individuals and familes touched by cancer.

in my mind? this is the CD you want in your earphones when you're going into chemo for the first time and you're scared right down to the bone. it's going to be 8 songs by classical composers with erika gesme, a wonderful soprano, (with me at the piano) 3 native american stories read by frank williams, and a couple solo piano things.

the name of the CD is going to be "when you walk through a storm."

spiralflames: (Default)

there are 3 things i do. teaching, making music (playing piano), photography.

teaching= my business.
music= my training
photo= my stress-free love.

i find my teaching emotionally stuck on ground level. my personal piano...eh. it isn't totally stultified, but hasn't made a break-through to sunsets and high trees.

i need to bring my teaching and my playing to this same loving place.

it should all be about working with Light.

what if...

May. 1st, 2010 11:20 pm
spiralflames: (humor)
i actually might get my assets into bed before midnight. think the World As We Know It will come to an end?
need to start choosing tunes for a summer recording project: faure', schubert, debussy, brahms songs..played by me on piano w/the voice part played by an oboe. cool or what?
i am addicted to NHK, "your voice on asia." it's fascinating getting the news from the other side of the world. in japan, the BIG STORY is whether the US is going to honor its promise to get the air base off okinawa. here, we don't hear about that story at all, much less hear any concern that US/japan relations are being "further strained." then, in china, men are going into kindergarten classes and stabbing scores of children to death in china? how DOES a person stab 28 kids, 2 teachers AND A SECURITY GUARD without people flipping out and RUNNING AWAY? do they just line up? and in thailand? riots. red shirts, yellow shirts. a link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/apr/29/man-stabs-children-china-kindergarten
oil spill. what a tragedy.
ok. big day tomorrow, so...to sleep, perchance to dream. wishing you the same.

spiralflames: (path)
sunday morning, i went back to spirit united church. i think i might have found a spiritual community- and this is amazing. i've sometimes been offended, sometimes been angered, but usually, at churches, i've just been BORED. i put up with an extremely twitly lutheran suburban church for 3 years, but that was because they had a really good choir and a fabulous director- and i got to sing the Brahms German Requiem, which had always been one of my musical fantasies. smaller churches are more to my liking, but i always somehow feel like i'm not only an outsider, but an O!U!T!S!I!D!E!R!!!..and i end up feeling like i just don't somehow fit in withn Basic People. but SU is truly amazing- incredibly diverse, like i mentioned before, and somehow they just sort of LEFT US ALONE- didn't rush to feign interest, but we just felt like it was OK to be us, be there, and hang out. works for me.

AND they had this amazing group of women singing/chanting/improvising, and afterwards i went up to the main one and said "i want to be a Goddess too!" (the call themselves the Idisi, which is the Nordic version of Valkyrie)..her response? "well, you're already a Goddess, but can you SING!?"

brilliant. so i went to their rehearsal on sunday night. this is a truly amazing bunch. this woman who leads it, who was dressed in purple velvet palazzo pants, a yellow mini-skirt tied around her waist, and a striped t-shirt, and who had to be 6'2" and 450 lbs- this amazing amazon female- is a TALENTED jazz choral director. she teaches 3 and 4 part songs by rote- just goes over parts til people get them, and then encourages people to go off on their own harmonies. she had us improvising, toning, listening..it was amazing, fun, exhausting, spiritual, bonding, and energizing. and 3 hrs without a break! they practice 2x a month, on the 2nd friday and the 3rd sunday, both of which i can do.

NEW. PEOPLE. AND. ACTIVITIES. IN. MY. LIFE. i've been wanting this for AGES.

party on, excellent! :-D

darkness, originally uploaded by spiralflmz.

spiralflames: (music)
this is the most freakishly virtuosic playing i've ever heard. and it's a trumpet. yes, a trumpet. playing paganini. like a god. (well, this looks like a flugelhorn to me, but he's mostly a trumpet player.)

i agree.

May. 10th, 2009 11:57 am
spiralflames: (wise_words)

two lip, originally uploaded by spiralflmz.

my life is filled with passion- and i'm not talking sensuality (tho there is that, and that's grand)..music is in my life, i am writing and ohhhh the photography..

it's interesting. in the flickr photo groups, a common compliment is "great capture!" that's what we're doing, isn't it..trying to capture, remember, and recall, the beauty. photography is SO not "living the moment"..sometimes my philosophical soul tells me i should put the camera down-- and i do. but sometimes i know i examine things closely that i've ignored before. how could i have disregarded the amazement of the inside of a flower, its sensitive parts, its flowing lines, its graceful curves? mmmm.

and friday i took my 83 yr old dad shopping- new hawaiian shirts, summer shoes, swimming shorts, water shoes. i'm taking him SWIMMING. he absolutely blooms when someone gives a damn. i tell myself it's not my job, he HAS a wife-- but she doesn't care for him and make him feel wonderful any more, if she ever did. it's not my job, but my being there once a week makes his face light up like the morning sun, and that's enough.

and my score for the poulenc _sextet_ has already come in the mail

lakewood spring5 mpls mn, originally uploaded by spiralflmz.


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