Photos from Home for the Holla Days!

Sadly I didn’t get to make the event myself, but Bay Area photographer Junshien Lau did!

From all accounts, the concert was a blast! There are many other stunning photos, in all their glory, at Junshien’s site, so go and have a look-see! It makes me sadder that I couldn’t make the concert, but I am so glad I got to be a part of this!

I also poked around on his site a bit and he takes the most amazing photos! I spent a few hours looking at his portfolio and just soaking in the pretty. I love beautiful photography and I really do wish I could do more with a camera than arbitrarily changing the exposure, snapping at random, and hoping for the best.

P.S. Happy holidays, everyone! Enjoy your break (I know I’m definitely enjoying not having homework!), stay safe, and treasure your loved ones!

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Autocomplete Me

I forget exactly how I found Autocomplete Me, but it showcases, via Google’s autocomplete search suggestions, some strange keywords and terms that apparently are actually Googled quite often. Already some of the entries have made me laugh uncontrollably out loud, and I have, on occasion, entered the search query myself to see if these are real. (Some are, some aren’t.)

Plus, the accompanying captions are hilarious.

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Musical going-ons

I need to start blogging more because I feel like every time I update, I apologize for not updating more. In my defense, I’m currently swamped in rehearsals and practicing and studying for finals. (Not to mention that in addition to my own piano and violin juries, I’m accompanying two vocalists, a clarinet player, and a tuba player for their juries.)

These past few weeks I’ve been plowing through several rehearsals per day in addition to hours of practice, and last Friday I performed Debussy’s La Puerta del Vino and Liszt’s concert-etude Gnomenreigen. (To which my piano professor told me both that it was the best I’ve ever played it, and that I also played it faster than he would ever dare to play it himself.) Saturday I played the same program in a church gig and received some pretty positive feedback.

Tomorrow I will premiere a voice-and-piano piece, titled “The Right,” written by a composer friend. It alternates between being fierce and being sweet, and it’s set to text from Brave New World by Aldous Huxley.

Learning and rehearsing music that has never been performed before is basically a process of discovery. Alon Goldstein, the concert pianist who taught the master class I played for in September, recently blogged about rehearsing a newly written piano concerto. (Okay, I’m not premiering anything as big as a piano concerto, but it’s the same concept.)

When I perform with an orchestra, whether Mozart or Beethoven, Schumann or Rachmaninov, the days of rehearsals are devoted to building the interpretation, the performance. We don’t have to “worry” about the piece. It has already proven itself. It transcended time and place. It is settled. Our time is spent on making our understanding of the piece work.

When premiering a new piece, the center of our attention falls on helping the piece settle as a new entity. Similar to helping a new baby stand on his two feet, we help the piece stands on its 337,486… notes. Of course a good performance helps.

So wish us luck!

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