10.01.2011

Die Universität und mich...


School has started. I'm sitting on a red therapy ball (bouncing actually, it's almost impossible not to) in our office, sipping some Trader Joe's black tea, Numi alternately sleeping and prodding me with his muzzle. I'm zoning out to the choir works of contemporary British composer James Whitbourn, interesting pieces for choir, organ, and soprano sax. 
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Karajan conducting "New World"
Listening to choir music reminds me that I am not in choir this year. I've decided to get some chops in the orchestra department and am the Orchestra Assistant to Julian Gomez. Next week I will be leading sections of woodwinds/brass and strings. (I keep forgetting that they don't really need a piano cue to get their note.) I'm twisting (ich zwänge!) my brain around transpositions and five different clefs and leaving with Dvořák's "New World" Symphony and Saint-Saens' "Danse Bacchanale" spinning out in my head. It should be busy and very challenging.

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Contrapunctus IX by D. Ramirer
In addition to that I'm teaching the 9:00 section of Music in the Humanities. From a teaching standpoint I'm very happy that this group is talking a lot more than last time. We'll see when test time comes. Nathan graciously mailed me his good hurdy-gurdy to show off for the day on Medieval music (just one day for fourteen hundred years!). I'm concurrently taking Dr. Jane's Medieval music class. I'm excited to get a better handle on that millenium of history (notation = 700s, Hildegard = 1100s) and current potential paper topics are: Russian znamenny chant, mnemonic musical/numerical devices, or something with language, perhaps a multi-lingual motet. I'm also doing an independent study with Jane on Ethnomusicology. Right now it's a gaping chasm of endless possibilities/madness. We have more ideas than is descent. Lastly I have my first theory class with Dr. Middleton: Counterpoint. Very interesting puzzles. On the side I am turning pages for Kendall at Convocation, accompanying "Voi che sapete" with soprano colleague Mandi, ordering 24 Prelude sets through Illiad and Summit, and trying to keep abreast of my thesis goals.
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Whitbourn and Tutu
This year school is a transition. Suddenly difference. Add to that the fact that this is my last year, thirty weeks and then... I don't like being melodramatic, but I am a little bit. It's quite amazing to be handed the final year graduate student checklist, finding references for graduate applications, applying for candidacy, imagining the swift chariot of change Massala-ing me! But here I am, still bouncing on the yoga ball. Whitbourn's setting of a prayer by Desmond Tutu states that light is stronger than darkness. Today I shall tend my candle.
PS. Jessica has introduced me to Pinterest. Very addicting!

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