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Back to the beginning

My first post on this blog was way back in March, 2007, and it was entitled The Importance of Something Different, but I have a feeling that I had some posts created a bit earlier than that. Hmm…

My Website first appeared in June 2004, and was an HTML effort promoting me as a musician. It went through a few different redesigns, and it was the design in 2007 that introduced a blog. At that point, I was running WordPress on a spare computer at home, using it as a web server. I’ve since moved onto the WordPress.com servers where you view my site now.

I think part of the reason I started building my website was because I wanted a place where I could try out the HTML techniques that I was interested in learning. Plus I was able to share some feelings of what I was going through at the time, and share interesting videos.

I’m a bit sad that I’ve lost many of the posts from my old blog. I don’t know what happened to them, or remember what I didn’t do in transitioning over to this blog. But Thanks to the WayBack Machine, I’ve found my first post. Here it is, titled “Out into the wide blue yonder”:

Well… not quite yet. Though I’m half way there. I’m on my way but I haven’t started yet.

I’ve completed one course… and Advanced Diploma of Performing Arts, and am now just commencing a Bachelor of Music. I’m still a fair way off a career… but it’s kinda scary that I’m only 18 months from being outside of the University arena.

Current Goal: Become an orchestral violinist.

Other possibilities: Instrumental teacher, Musicologist, Music Critic

Pathways: Practice like hell, see what my new teacher can do for me. Get in as much experience in orchestras as possible, and learn as many orchestral parts as possible. Pick up new students to supplement income and pay for flights for auditions.

It’s nice to have something to aim for. For the past few weeks, my interest has been waning a little, but I’ve got my first lesson with my new teacher on Tuesday. I’m looking forward to it – I’m looking forward to seeing what she can do with me, and what I can do with her.

Well, that’s a rather odd Intro for where this blog is going. It’s basically going to be my forum for ideas about my career progress, interesting tidbits I pick up. I’ll also be adding in some Concert Reviews, and Classical Music news.

Maybe I’ll go through and post some interesting posts that didn’t make it through…

Postaday2011 links

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Classic 100 Symphonies

I voted today in ABC Classic FM’s Classic 100 Symphonies. Put my three votes in for Beethoven Symphony No. 5, Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique and Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 6 “Pathetique”. I was very glad that I could pick 3 symphonies, instead of just one, as that would’ve been a lot harder.

Will be interesting to see how the order goes. I have a feeling Beethoven 5 will be fairly high, as most people will know it, but we’ll see.

http://www.abc.net.au/classic/classic100/ <- go vote.

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Applause, please

Crowd applause taken at the Liverpool Arabic A...
Image via Wikipedia

Henry Fogel recently wrote a piece exploring whether denying people the opportunity to applaud between movements of a piece was causing people to be scared of attending a classical music concert. He quotes various sources from the past pointing out examples of where the audience have applauded during the work, and makes it seem natural.

Now, I am a “traditionalist” – though Mr Fogel would have me believe otherwise – because I do not want to applaud after movements – only after the work. There are a number of reasons that I do this. First of all, I have been a performer. I know the concentration that is required for an entire work. Just because you’ve completed one movement, doesn’t mean that you can let down your guard. If someone chooses to clap, and the whole audience then joins in, your concentration is broken, and it can take a little while for you to get back into it. Second – despite what Mr Fogel says – I believe that works are intended to be conceived as a whole. Even a work such as Scheherazade, which Mr Fogel claims to be four separate tone poems, is in itself one tone poem that is split up into four different sections. But there is a common story line that runs through the whole work. Disrupting this through applause is like standing up and cheering during an ad break on the telly. There’s still more to go, and it’s just going to get better. In Scheherazade, the whole work is building up towards the last movement.

And it’s not just tone poems either. Concerti are the ones most often interrupted by Applause, generally after the first movement, which more than likely has the most fantastic cadenza that even I want to applaud their work. However, any multi-movement work – including concerti – must be conceived in a wholistic manner. If you separate each movement then the connection is lost. There is then no reason for the second movement to be slower. There is then no reason for the works to be in related keys.

Now, I don’t scorn the people who do applaud – and perhaps that is the real change that needs to be made. Ensure that we as musicians do not scorn those that want to applaud, but in a like manner – allow those who wish to remain silent and take in the work as a whole to do so. The change is then not so much of a forced one – one of encouraging people to applaud, thus taking away from those who wish to take in as a whole – but is a welcoming one that welcomes people into classical music, no matter whether they want to applaud at every movements end, or whether they – like myself – wish to take in the work as a whole.