Tuesday, September 29, 2009

My finger seems to be slightly injured from incorrect or tense practice. Hopefully it´s nothing serious but I will take some time to let it heal.

Bergen has the rawest cold I have ever felt. MN is a tropical paradise in comparison.

Tentative date for my recital: Nov. 27th

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sometimes it knocks you down...but just get back up

Some random thoughts:

I am feeling very far away from the people I love most in the world tonight.

This week was a stressful one. I had rehearsal every day this past week for an average of three hours per rehearsal. One concert on Saturday and one today. Whew! I feel wiped out.
This week should be a little easier but still pretty busy.
It´s good though. I am feeling confident about my playing and feel like it should only get better as I continue to get used to these new reeds. I like them. They have a lot of kick! They are just a bit hard to control. But enough about that!

I resolve not to let myself get sucked into the backstabbing gossip that is the back drop of any music school. It already happened a little bit and I feel really awful about it. It´s not my jam and I don´t want anything to do with it.

I am very excited to soon see a very missed face...17 days!

I´m one lucky son of a gun

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Oh What a Beautiful Morning!

It is gorgeous day today in Bergen. After many days of overcast and constant rain it is refreshing. I feel like I am in a scene from "The Sound of Music" sometimes.

Today I plan to walk to Bryggen which is a part of Bergen that was built in the 900s. It is a part of town that is mostly wooden structures that are near the waterfront. A tourist hot spot!
Here is where you can see a picture:


It really is amazing how old the city is. It is one of the oldest cities in Norway dating back to 1070! WOW. That is especially impressive to hear coming from such a young country. Reminds one what a blip humans are on the radar of time.

Speaking of which, I have been here for a month now! Feels like it´s gone by slow and quickly at the same time. A strange sensation to be sure. This week I will be rehearsing with the Professional Military Band for a performance of " Pictures of an Exhibition" by Modest Mussorgsky. It is a piece originally intended for orchestra but has been arranged for wind band. It should be a cool experience to play with a professional group. I also have to pick an article to study and give a presentation about on October 2nd. I hope to find something this week so I can start formulating ideas. It can be difficult at times to keep focus because there is so much freedom here. And by that I mean I have a lot to do but without the strict schedule I have had in the past. But it is definitely a good thing for me. I am being treated like an adult and it feels good to be given the opportunity to show that I am mature enough to produce good work without someone breathing down my neck. I feel fortunate that both my professor and advisor are so supportive and open but also very intelligent and resourceful. Both of the lectures that I have had have been really interesting. They are 4 hours long but go by very quickly! An experience I have never had before.

Goals for the upcoming weeks:

To get a Norwegian bank account
Pick a date for my semester recital
get through "Ornamentation According to C.P.E Bach and J.J. Quantz"
Play well for the upcoming concert with the Military Band
get my free cup of coffee from 7-Eleven!
Start work on applications for grants for next year
Find out if there is a good place to volunteer once a week
Finish "The Heart is A Lonely Hunter"

more funny things bout Norway:

Hotdogs wrapped in bacon
girls don´t wear pants (shirts and tights and tall boots)

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Listening to:

Vivaldi Bassoon Concertos performed by Tomas Benkocs (there are 37! the most contributed by one composer. Thanks V-meister!)

Wind Quintets by David Maslanka (hauntingly beautiful and so difficult to play. they make my heart swell and tummy flip flop. Even if you are not one to whip out a woodwind quintet recording to kick back and relax you will love this music. i think...)

Joanna Newsom (forever and always. One of the most beautiful song writers of this generation hands down)

Beethoven 3 Eroica

Pictures at an Exhibition

Tonight the Bergen Philharmonic is performing the Firebird Ballet by Stravinsky, Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto no.2, and a melody by Tchaikovsky arranged by Stranvinksy. Such an amazing program!!!

I have been reading Musicophilia by Oliver Sacks who also wrote Awakenings. It´s got some interesting things to say about how music affects our brains in so many different ways. Apparently a neurologist can look at an MRI of a professional musician´s brain and see visible differences. This is not the case with any other type of artist. Weird right?

Friday, September 4, 2009

Top Ten

1. Everyone in Norway is in a couple and most likely lives with their boyfriend or girlfriend because of the tax breaks. Even if they are only 20 years old. seriously
2. I have never seen more pregnant women in one place at a time. And there are babies everywhere!
3. Norwegian locks are completely counterintuitive and they spin and spin with no sign of stopping or of the door unlocking
4. Norwegian bureaucracy is a drag. I will leave it at that.
5. I think that my big money making venture will be to bring mexican cuisine to Norway. Cha Ching!
6. All norwegian women are beautiful. it´s kind of freakish.
7. I might get to go to Japan to play with an orchestra for two weeks in the Spring!!!
8.I learned to gouge and profile cane today.
9. Did I mention I might get to go to Japan?
10. Food here is mediocre at all times...