Contradiction? Similarity?

The title says all for my current streamline of thought: does my somewhat-newly discovered interest of reading & writing (blogging for me) interfere with my love, dedication and appreciation for music? Or should I fuse the two together to become a bigger patron for the arts? Currently, I’m for the latter, but it will only happen if you (the reader) can convince me otherwise.

I feel the only people who would understand my previous paragraph would be my family: when I randomly talked about my LiveJournal they would be the first to comment (and with plenty of wisdom), more specifically “they” = my sisters. My older sis (to protect them, I’ll call them by different names) Janet has always been a big intellectual influence on me, but her and I had a bad history when we were growing up and it still taints us to this day. Not as in murderous terms, but bad enough that guilt and uneasiness contributes to bringing this up in the first place. I feel the connection is there, but perhaps it’s not as strong as it could be (Janet, if you’re reading this, plz plz PLZ comment on this. I want to hear from you. Ruv ru)

My other sis is my fraternal twin. She’ll be known as Alice for this blog. Common myth = twins know a lot – if not every single thing – about each other. Amongst my friends, I can say the myth is completely debunked. Twin friends of mine have a constant interaction, whether it be through actual face time (not iPad face time) or on FaceBook, and the relationship stays strong as a result. However, life happens – and I really feel that’s what happened between me and Alice. Not out of anger or frustration or any negative emotion/feeling/whatever. Merely out of acceptance of life. It is what it is. She’s family, I love her just the same, and that’s it.

Regarding the first paragraph, maybe – just maybe – writing interferes with music. My writing experience is based solely on what sounds good at the moment and charisma. I didn’t (and can’t) read more than 300 pgs at a time for any writing assignment – shit, I start falling asleep 10 (ten) pages into ANYTHING. However, some of my best middle school years and high school years incorporated three main things: 1) Janet & Alice; 2) Video games; and 3) Music. And because of said-three-things, I’ve grown to appreciate, understand, and (hopefully) write good writing. Perhaps the next step IRL (In Real Life) is to actually tell them in person what I just wrote. Oye. Anyone got some cajones? I really feel I don’t.

End. Done. Capiche. Reading!??!?!? DON’T!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Le Sigh, August.

August… WTF!?!?!?!?! WHY ARE YOU HERE, AUGUST?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! AOIEJFOAKLDSMOIASJDFAOKLSDFJAOIDSJFALDFOIAJSDFOIAJDFOIJADOI/endrant

Time sure does pass by quickly.

With that, the summer has taught me a few things: 1) I am human, as ambitious as I set myself out to be ( I feel the title of my last entry sums this up); 2) I need to think* of summer gigs before summer actually happens; and 3) It’s a beautiful time for gettin’ shit done.

*along with booking

Regarding #1, I’ve been chiseling away at the workload I set for myself and made progress. Despite the fact it’s not at the level I wanted to be at by this time, I internally argue about auditioning anyway for exposure (which is a word of advice that I pass off to friends and colleagues) knowing that I’d ultimately be making a complete fool of my professional self. Another internal struggle with me is sticking with a schedule I established… which could be simplified into one word: discipline. Ironically, I have enough insight into myself to identify what the bane of my existence at this moment is, realize it’s plagued me for the last fifteen to twenty years, and still not do anything about it. I get to the point where I start fixing and putting my life back together, feeling good about it, then blah: I go back to square one. It’s something I cannot put off anymore considering I’d like to live a somewhat decent and happy life. Not to say I am unhappy with my current situation; I feel I could be happier and more relaxed if I can nip this in the butt. Moving on.

#2 is simply a fluke on my part, but a very understandable fluke: Verge of graduation, senior recital (which, mind you, I STILL have no idea why they passed me), realization of a much needed break from school… you get the picture. I am usually pretty good about this. Just not this summer. I got through it, but now is the time to roll my sleeves up and get my hands dirty hunting for gigs for the next year. Lots of options available: a string quartet (www.belmontstringquartet.com*), a cello quartet (www.love4cello.com*), a duo with a flute player (www.website-to-be-determined-but-stay-tuned-anyway.com*) and myself (www.professional-looking-website-for-myself-with-links-to-above-mentioned-groups.com*), so your input/references for getting a good, solid word of mouth out would be greatly appreciated. As gratitude for your help, I’ll buy you lunch/dinner/food/coffee/tea/Magic cards (yes, I got back into it… ^_^)

*will be constructed by the end of the month O_O

Originally, I wrote #3 in the spirit of being free from the binding, somewhat-restricting chains of the devil we all know as ACADEMIA!!!!!!, which was a few weeks ago… Come to think of it, perhaps it’s better to say since starting this blog. However, I recently had a conversation about the current state of classical music as we know it with a good friend of mine on the way to a rehearsal. He had two really strong arguments:

1. To perform a symphony (of any size, whether it be Mahler or Mozart, regardless of the quality of the work itself), it requires a LOT of people. This can become expensive, especially when you consider the people you hire to perform it (75% of the time – hoping) are professionals. Chamber ensembles – for this example, a professional performance ensemble that has three or more members – are cheap, but are also professionals.

2. To start a chamber group during our current economic situation may seem somewhat crazy, but essentially it would be the best time to start. Personally, I have a hunch we’ll hit rock bottom soon, and the only way from there is up – everyone will make the effort to restore our economy – which will result in people spending money for whatever reasons (I intentionally made this sentence vague and broad for NOT starting political arguments on my blog). Regarding the chamber group, the time spent during the economic recovery will be directed towards learning a lot of repertoire and developing a core sound – two very vital points for any group.

So now that August is accounted for, September definitely has a lot of potential to be a great month. I have a lot of important communication to establish, a ton of ideas, and too much work to get it all done. But as one of my current inspirations has mentioned before: “Just go out and do it.”

p.s. Speaking of above quote, if you’re reading this and have NOT subscribed to my blog, I’d appreciate it if you did. Creating an account doesn’t cost anything, nor does subscribing, and I’d like to know who my readers are. Thanks!

Posted in General, Life, Music | 1 Comment

Slowly but surely

Many a things happened throughout the month of June (as I quietly freak out from a random moth almost landing on my face in my room O_O).  Perhaps the most significant event was my twin sister coming into town for 3 weeks! ^_^_^_^_^_^_^_^_^^_^_^_^_^_^_^_^_^_^_^_^_^_^ It was good to hang out with her and catch up, and I sincerely missed her – and miss her currently. I’m pretty horrible when it comes to expressing happiness/joy/appreciation for other people when they’re around, but I think – I hope – they know already. If they don’t, they just read it, so HA!

Regarding my summer schedule, everything is panning out very slowly… but it’s definitely going in the right direction. The one thing that sucks completely is getting everything started. And I mean EVERYTHING. I won’t go into exact details because it would take over the post (and I’d sound like a whiny kid), but because of the dreadful nature of the task I am determined to get everything started quickly. Performing is much more fun =)

Being out of school gives a whole new perspective on life, especially anything regarding social aspects. Ever since I’ve been a wee bit youngin’, sociability (in my head) has not been one of my fortes. Granted, I didn’t start really talking until I was about five or so, and eventually spoke like a normal kid around eight thanks to my mom hiring a speech therapist. But elementary and middle school were some rough years. Thinking about those years is putting a frown on my face as I write this entry. The constant amount of teasing and bullying really hindered my ability to be social with others my age. I don’t hold on to those memories anymore, though; if anything, it’s taught me how to not deal with bullshit. *pat on back, high five self, sing “Team America” theme*

However, I think the damage is still there, as I’ve come to the realization that I rely too heavily on people talking with me instead of me talking with people. The initial fear of rejection and awkwardness seems to be the main reason which is pretty rooted with the life story mentioned above. And it hasn’t affected me just this last year; it’s affected me my entire life, along with those around me. And to be honest, I’m pretty sick of it.

Maybe I have my twin to thank for subconsciously placing the seeds to make this epiphany happen. One of the last things she told me before she left was “I want you to make a promise to me. I want you to talk with me more, even though you’re crazy busy and not much of a talker to begin with”.

Thanks Sneg ^_^

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Summer Tiiiiiimee…

And the livin’ is definitely easy…

I wish.

I know I said I would try to make this a weekly thing. However, a lot of events have occurred in the last six weeks, and not necessarily small events mind you. I pulled off a senior recital (in which I just finished listening to it… and despite the very obvious mistakes, I can say it’s satisfactory for what it is); I pulled off a 3.69 GPA for my last semester of college (four A’s and two B’s!); I FINALLY GRADUATED FROM COLLEGE!!!! A well needed break and weekend of R&R definitely helped me recharge a little, and now I’m back into the swing of things. Here’s an idea of what I’m doing this summer:

  • Studying with a new teacher, focusing specifically on basics (something that I’ve been wanting to have covered in all my years of private lessons but never happened).
  • Preparing for American Youth Symphony Orchestra auditions in Sept.
  • Starting a string quartet ^_^
  • Preparing for a chamber recital for Dec. (I’ll have the date locked in this week hopefully)
  • Practicing a minimum of four hours a day, although I might bump this up to five or six eventually
  • Bulking my teaching regime up to twenty hours a week
  • Playing more gigs with my cover band trio (www.dannymaika.com)
  • Exercising at least three days a week (workout buddy anyone?)
  • Tuning in to real life… yes, this means I’ll actually do my laundry and dishes…

I think this is a good start for now. Oh yeah, and I need one more roommate for my house before July 1st. The house is right down the street from Bob Cole (literally walking distance) and rent is really good for the area. Intrigued? Call me or send me a message and I’ll gladly fill you in on more details.

For now, I shall slumber with two things in mind: 1. my mentors, friends and family are the best supports in my life, and I am very thankful for them; and 2. I am beyond excited to get out into the real world. ^_^

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Introduction

Hello everyone! This is the first official post of my new blog. I’ll share just about everything and anything that goes on within my life, considering that most of my conversations with people goes something like this:

Friend/Family: “Hey Chris, how are you?”

Me: “fine.”

Friend/Family: “What have you been up to lately?”

Me: “not much. same ol’ stuff, really.”

Friend/Family: “Ah… Cool.”

Me: “yup.”

-awkward pause-

And that’s the end of the conversation. As a result, most of my friends (the ones I typically don’t see on a day-to-day basis from school) and family have NO IDEA what I’m up to.

So as an attempt to break out of my shell, I am starting this blog as a different format/medium/whatever to share my love for life and music with you. I’ll start at posting a new entry once a week, and if I feel inclined to increase that number, you’ll notice. It’ll have recounts of the week thus far (day of posting is still TBD) and anything of importance that is coming up the following week(s). Hopefully, you’ll get a better understanding of who I am and what I’m trying to do with my life in this crazy world.

I have Facebook, Skype and Twitter accounts (and links/names to them if you want to add me). However, I think I’ll be focusing my energy and time on here. Not that I’m giving up those accounts anytime soon; I enjoy writing and sometimes bad grammar and a limit of 140 characters doesn’t cut it all the time.

So I guess this is it for now. Until then, take care!

-Chris

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