Sunday, September 11, 2005

11 Aug 05: Music fills the whole day

It was a pleasant break from the daily routine to simply eat, drink, and be close to music everyday. Before I could even start to miss my hometown, Singapore, the beauty of Scotland's landscape would wash away all those thoughts of missing home. Maybe I am meant to be in a land of vast space, away from a culture of pragmatism?

What you will be reading came from my travel journal, and I only wrote this page in Heathrow Airport about 6 days after 11 Aug 05. I hope I have remembered what had happened as best as I could.

"In the morning, I arrived early for breakfast. I was trying to enjoy my breakfast, I didn't know when I could enjoy such a feast of breakfast when I return to Singapore.

After breakfast, the festival bus took us to the rehearsal venue. I was keeping my fingers crossed that all would turn out well on the concert day. Somehow, the Brahms' Symphony No. 2 needed to be better, in my humble opinion. Pardon me, I must have been worrisome.

Near New Kings.


In the afternoon, was the precious freetime. I had originally planned to go to the City of Aberdeen to shop and to visit the music shop but heard that there would be a chamber music competition and that a few members of the orchestra were participating. As such, I decided to shelf my plans to shop in the City of Aberdeen to the following day.

But I guess that the relatively lack of sufficent sleep has gotten me feeling tired. While I slept before midnight the night before, I woke up by 6 a.m. to enjoy the morning sun and the calls of the seagulls. In summer, the sun is bright and the day is long. I found it hard to sleep beyound 7.30 a.m in Aberdeen's summer. The summer's warmth is hard to resist. Furthermore, I would rather wake up early so that I could take time to enjoy breakfast, instead of having to rush. Rehearsals is just after breakfast, and I have no intention to be late.

In the afternoon, the festival bus took us to the Cowdray Hall which is located within the City of Aberdeen for the Norman Cooper Chamber Music Competiton Finals. When I reached there, I could not help but grab a seat to take a rest.

The participants of the Chamber Music Competition Finals might kill me if I were to write here that I had dozed for some of the items because their music did not appeal to my ears. So, I shall just excused myself by saying that I had dozed off because I was tired.

For example, I dozed off when the Zortziko Trio played the Spanish tune of Jaoquin Turina's Trio No. 1 Op 35. Movt II and III. My apologies for my unpolite sleeping away. I was just too tired. Forgive me if I had even snored. Did I?

The clarinet players from our orchestra were also participants of the finals. They played well. I like the sounds that they have produced on their clarinets though I did not like the works they have played. Somehow something was missing. They did not sound sufficiently Bach nor Mendelssohn.

Here's to say Bravo to the two teams from our orchestra who successfully saw themselves through to the finals.

I was able to stay quite awake when the Young Sinfonia Piano Trio gave their rendition of Mendelssohn's Piano Trio in D Minor - Movt 1. Overall, they have performed well. So they not only won the first prize for the finals, they also won the audience's prize (where audience voted for what they thought was the best team). Congratulations.

In the evening, there was the festival orchestra rehearsal, and it was held in the Music Hall. K. had to work in the morning, and could only come for that day's afternoon rehearsal. That evening, P. also played with us. I realised I was dependent on listening to him to get a better sense of how the double bass parts in Brahms' Symphony No. 2 would sound. I tried to listen to him to get cues on when to enter. It was not a good thing to do, for being a principal, I should be leading, not P.. I could make up for my inadequacies by striving to practise and to play the symphony as best as I could within the short span of time we have before the gala concert. Even if I don't get to master Brahms' Symphony No. 2 by the gala concert, I hope I could work on it and master it by early next year.

Meantime, to get then, it is practice, diligent practice and effective practice.

That night, I heard the violin soloist for the first time. He was Daniel Rowland. He's good. He knew exactly what he wanted to achieve in the music and he knew what he ws doing. It was an honour to be playing with him.

Earlier, before the rehearsal, I was curious and I asked if P. could show me his bag containing double bass related items. He was very kind to do so, and when I just merely made a casual remark that I could not find one particular rosin in Singapore, he handed that rosin to me as a gift. This was most unexpected. I have no intentions to get anything from him. I have no idea how to return this kind gesture, except to play better?

That night, I left the double bass at the Music Hall. I figured I won't be practising in my room after that night's rehearsal since it was quite late. Furthermore, the next rehearsal was in the morning of the following day."


mistipurple said...

i have some old old rosin and i think they are very special, as i tried just a few strokes of them on the bow, and it produced beautiful strains on the violin. i will have to dig and find them as they were kept somewhere and i have shifted houses a couple of times. if i can find them, i will pass you one for you to try! *wink* (they're over 50 yrs old! and belonged to my father's stocks)

oceanskies79 said...

Huh? But I play the double bass....thanks for the thoughts though.

mistipurple said...

eh.. are there different rosins for violins and double bass?

oceanskies79 said...

I thought so. I know the violins cannot use one of my double bass rosin....because it would not work well on violin.

mistipurple said...

hehe my bad! had wanted you to produce magical sounds from a 50yr old rosin! :p