Saturday, July 31, 2010

Numbered days

I have exactly one more month. And I have a feeling I won't be ready to say goodbye when that month is over.

Sighhh.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The awful extreme

To all bloggers: Do you ever come across something interesting during the day and go, "Ooh! Here's something to blog about!"

Or something to that effect.

It can be anything. From a delicious sentence you read, to an eye-catching picture, to the jogger who jogged passed you who looked weird, to a new music piece, etc. etc. etc.

And that's awesome.

But there's an extreme.

The extreme - being awfully involved in the whole blogging idea and obsessively trying to find something to blog about.


Personally, I find it rather pretentious to conscientiously look for topics to blog about. After all, writing should be a natural process. Mind you, I don't mean that you don't look for topics to blog about. I myself am alert to what's going on in my brain and around me, hence all my blog posts. What I mean is: Some people go around looking, hunting, searching for things to blog about. They try really hard to find some infinitesimal happening of the day, just for the sake getting another post on wall. It's pretentious, I tell you. And obvious too. More obvious than he/she thinks.

*note: I'm not directing this post to anybody. I'm just writing in general about some of my random observances of anonymous people.

"You don’t write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say."- F. Scott Fitzgerald

I love Fitzgerald's assertion. It's an idea I want to embrace and apply in writing. Truth be told, I'm light years away from the writer I want to be. As said before, writing was never part of me. I try, nevertheless, to change that mindset.

To shrug off presuppositions and embrace the now.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

And her name is...

Samantha.

Yup. That's her name. My External HD's name.

I feel the bond. I shall call her 'Sam' for short.

No offence, Prophet S. Hahahahahaha.

This. Is very random.

A sign I'm tired.

*yawnnn*

Monday, July 26, 2010

So...

Dalat has only two books on my to-read list :(. Better than nothing I guess *shrugs*

I've been wondering, how to people manage to decide what to read anyway? I mean seriously. I can enter a library/bookstore with a single book in mind and lose myself the moment I lay my eyes on the delicious array of literature.

I'm a terrible decision maker, if you haven't already known.

Currently reading: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.

I love how he portrays Death as the narrator. Very apt, I must say.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Yup

I have to start clearing up my stuff. Mom says so.

And so I did.

I started off with my 21" by 12" shelf in the study room. Guess what. All the files and papers so very neatly arranged on my shelp turned out to be junk - perfectly organized junk acccumulating since the begining of high school. And I can't seem to decide what to keep and what to discard.

I'm a perfectly perfect pack rat.

Will attempt to start on my room tomorrow. I'll probably unearth more neat junk in my super neat room (thanks to Mom).

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Vague is beautiful

I have a thing for impressionism lately. Debussy and Ravel fascinates me. I'm even looking into impressionistic artists and writers which, coming from me, is horrifyingly unheard of.

Take this for example:



This sends shivers down my spine. All the colors Raymond constantly raves about impressionistic music have come to life.

Good sign :]

Fixed!

Eliz - you're a genius. Thanks heaps for letting me know about the adjust width thingy. Whoohoo. Probem solved :D

Type A personality with a raging perfectionist edge satisfied.


Yay :]

Nothing's perfect

Urghhhh.

Ever since I noticed, I've been trying and trying to fix the About Me section on my blog. I don't understand why the tiny lil write-up about myself can't start under the picture. It bothers me that it reads:

Ste
phie
In a
nuts
hell:

instead of:

Stephie
In a nutshell:

This is driving me crazy.

Sympathize with me. I'm a type A personality with a raging perfectionist side within me. I can't take this.

Somebody, PLEASE tell me how I can fix this.

Friday, July 23, 2010

I can smile now

Because the worst is over.

oh yeah.

Now I'm just gonna relax make full use of my time here while I still can.

It'll be easier, for now I'll be able to put my whole soul into music, without having the pressure of exams. And I don't mean that I didn't put my whole soul into the music while preparing for or during exams - I did. With all my sweat and blood. But there's something different about it when you're not rushing and striving to get that piece just right, ploughing through the endless technical exercises, soaking every advice your teacher has to offer, and finally hoping/praying you don't blow it in the examination room.

Now I have space. Space to explore new sounds, experiment with nuances, thoughtfully shape the phrases, widen my color pallete, and ultimately make the music my own. There is more to music than I initially thought. Music travels waaay beyond just getting the notes right, following all the performance directions on the score, and practicing endlessly on various technical exercises and studies. Even expressing and interpretating the piece requires thinking, decision making, listening to countless recordings (youtube helps, big time), and research. Only then, can you let go of everything you have absorbed and pounded in, and just let the music take you as you effortlessly glide over the notes you have gone over hundreds of times.

After all, music is more than just a number you put on a piece of paper. It's subjective; it deals a lot with tastes, character, and style. You can play a piece over and over again, and find something new each time. It's an endless journey, a lifetime of learning and discovery.

Which, again, explains why I love music so dearly.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Tada..

My new baby:

My beautiful 500GB external hard drive in which I will store all my precious documents/music/pictures/files.

Pocketsized too. How convenient.

Happy me :]

Now, what shall I name him/her?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Really...

There aren't enough hours in a day.

And I thought I figured that out ages ago.

*groans*

Monday, July 19, 2010

I'm thankful...

...for everything God has bestowed upon me. And for my parents, bro, friends, teachers, and other notable individuals who have highlighted my life. These are the people who have molded me into who I am. They have defined my individuality and guided me throughout my rather short journey of life.

I'm planning to write a lil note about each of them. Soon. Later.

I start to have all these wistful thoughts now that I'm gonna leave soon. I'm excited to go, yet reluctant to let go of the things I cherish so much here. It's a mixed emotion, and as much as I loathe it, it's one thing I have to live with for the time being.

oh well...

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The KL Chronicles

Oh how misleading the title of this post is. I was only there for two days. meh.


I managed to find the most amazing magazines at most amazing prices. RM 29.90 with free CDs! These magazines each cost up toRM 50 or more in Penang. That is, IF Borders orders them, WHICH they don't now since nobody buys them. *head desk*


Gramophone! And look who's guest editor? Nicola Benedetti!


Interview with Claudio Abbado. Article on Yuja Wang. Yayyy.


BBC mag!



And my fav: PIANIST. Paul Lewis on Beethoven! *diiies* and Fanny Waterman on musicianship - interpretation and phrasing.


Seriously, what more can I ask for? *happy sigh*

I'm looking forward to BBC's August 2010 issue: The 20 greatest pianists, playing fast, a review of the best Shumann's piano concerto recording by Jessica Duchen.

Now. How in the world am I'm gonna get my hands on that issue?

People in KL! *hint hint*


Btw, I also got this for a wicked RM 49.35:

Hal Leonard. Mozart Piano Concerto in D minor K. 466. Comes with orchestration accompaniment CD, so you can virtually play with an orchestra! Awesome stuff.


***


I also bought my bro A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. Publication by Collins Classics featuring:

1. Life & Times - fascinating insight into the author, their work and the time of publication.

2. Glossary of Classic Literature - useful words and phrases at your fingertips.

And it was so cheap! RM 9.90.


Haha. It will be useful when he prepares for his SATs, and really, just for the sake of literary enjoyment and appreciation.



I love you Midvalley MPH and KLCC Kinokuniya.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

My thoughts as of here and now

1. I love writing. Or rather, I have come to love writing. I used to *dislike* writing simply because I was lazy. Too lazy to think and voice out my thoughts, ideas, etc. Thank goodness I've managed to move past that stage! Anyway, Appassionato has been instrumental in providing me the space and incentive to write. Things I love about writing? Its escapist qualities, for instance. And the way it creates a medium for you to express yourself. And it's ability to discover and unravel thoughts you've never thought of before. And the way it challenges the boundaries of your mind, and heralds fresh, new ideas of various subjects, and at times, rather absurd fancies.


2. One of my 'activities' that partly feed my new found love for writing is music. I feel as if I've 'lately' come to a deeper understanding and appreciation of music. While I've always, always loved making music and exploring the expansive scope it brings, I have never really given thought to what I was doing; how that thought came to me is still a mystery. I've learned to open my mind to different textures and styles while hanging on and being able to relate to its older counterparts. Being able to hang on to styles in the baroque, classical, romantic periods, and embracing the fresh, often strange textures and tonalities of impressionistic/20th century music has equipped me with the mindset of appreciating the music for its worth and individuality, instead of how pleasing it is to my ears. Still, I have to admit that I'm a die-hard romanticist, and probably will remain so for a while.

3. And of course, reading. My literature these days consists of Homer, Shakespeare, and the like. I can't believe I'm actually doing this to myself. Cos' if you know me, literature and me are like acquaintances, rather than familiar friends. I'm not going to pretend I actually 'like' reading works from these literary greats. Honestly, they are fully capable of boring me to death. Still, I'm ploughing on...trying to 'see the light' some people rave about. Of late, I've been thriving on the TIME mag. And I still have a weakness for Agatha Christie's crime/mystery novels. Wooops :p


So amongst other rather minuscule things that have crossed my mind lately, here's the main gist of what's been going on in my rather complicated mass of gray matter :]

Monday, July 12, 2010

Raymond's concert was two days ago and my adrenalin's still pumping! Oh my goodness I can't love you guys enough! *hugggs*

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Carl Vine's genius

Carl Vine's 1st Sonata. Brilliant.

Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrZaQ-Oc8lM
Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZGG5rLJ8Lk

This rendition from Spencer Myer is particularly thrilling.

Ohhh listen to the strange, but altogether delightful harmonies, inner melodies, and motifs. The wide span of dynamics this piece encompasses is just amazing. And its tonal edifices - superb. This is going demand lots of concentration, comprehension, and communication from the performer.

I really wanna learn this.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Overflowing bliss

This evening was A TOTAL BLAST. The excitement, the nervous laughter, the cold hands, the last minute run-throughs, the bows, the applause, the flowers (thanks Man Fei!), the countless pictures, etc etc etc. I can go on and on and on and on, but I gotta/havta stop.

It was an absolutely fabulous concert, with a wonderful audience, great performers, and Raymond: The best piano teacher in the world :].

My mind is running so much, I can't think enough to compose a proper post.

Pictures will come up later, I promise :D.

Eugene, Man Fei, Jane, Michael, Michelle, Chun Han, Janice, and Benjamin I LOVE YOU GUYS SO SO MUCH! I'm so thankful I know such epic people as ya'll are!

GREAT JOB EVERYONE!

Thanks Be To God.

Really.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Desires

I have cravings....

Read Queenee's post on our last escapade to Paddington's. http://neeneeboo.blogspot.com/2010/06/paddington-house-of-pancakes-with-steph.html



*drools*

I want more.

meh...

So I'm sitting on the family couch with my bro's laptop opened (I don't have a laptop. odd, that). And I'm thinking...does anybody, anybody at all, read my blog? With the exception of a few notable individuals, of course. lol

I mean, here am I, purposing to blog about my life on a regular basis. Everything's been going great, but I do feel that it's pointless at times and a little waste of time. On the other hand, I believe blogging widens boundaries and communicates to a larger, waaay larger pool of readers. (come on, compare that to a diary/journal). It also serves as a channel to express myself openly, a place to jot down happenings, and to note my start/*end* on creative, new obsessions.

Ahh well. All in all, I've come to the conclusion that I'll stick to it regardless of who reads/does not read Appassionato.

For the love of writing.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Happy reminiscences of the day

I love our Te Deum Trio! Mike, Jane, and page-turner Eugene are amazing people. Period. The passion, energy, and enthusiasm, all lumped together makes us so motivated. And Raymond, we owe you so, so much. Thanks for everything :D.


Marvelous practice today.

Great fun.

Uncontrollable laughter.

What a way to end the day.

Whooohooo!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

TS3

After a whole morning (and actually part of the afternoon) of music classes, we went to gurney to hang out with Elizabeth. I accomplished great things: got a pretty sweater, ate at sushi king, got stuff from Popular, and WATCHED Toy Story 3.

Without a doubt, TS3 was amazing. In perspective of what the producers have done in TS1 and TS2, TS3 has surpassed all of my expectations. A great storyline complete with new characters and scenes carved to the utmost perfection, TS3 totally opened a whole new dimension and enlarged its boundaries.



A must watch.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Fun, hyperness, epicness, all lumped into one

TONIGHT WAS FANTABULOUS! There's nothing like a gathering of hard core music lovers making music in their beloved music teacher's house. (overload of "music" I know but that's totally the point riiight?) :p

Eugene, Man Fei, Jane, Michael, Michelle, Chun Han, Janice, Benjamin! Ya'll are awesome/amazing/fantabulous/marvelous/epic. Take your pick.

And ASHLEY, you're adorable =)
And Raymond's the BEST piano teacher in the world. :D






I love you guys.

Small Wonder

Maaaaan.

I waited for 2+ hours for my name to be called today. Don't ask me why and what for.

ANYWAY.

I just had some of the most amaaazing noodle soup ever. Mom's a great cook. Better than all other mom's, seriously no joking. (teehee huge bias here).

On another note, I been delving into Barbara Kingsolver's collection of essays. I'm still in the middle of it, but reading the Foreword practically shaped my idea of the whole book. Or so I thought.

Written the day after Sept. 11, 2001, you might think the author might perhaps pen something comforting, uplifting, and assuring to placate, or rather, convey some solace to the chaos during that fateful time. Ironically, the Kingsolver's main thrust throughout the book was to delve deeper and deeper into the uttermost low. She proved that it is possible to move away from the vast, unbearable pain and loss by "diving into the wreck," to borrow the quintessential words of Adrienne Rich.

The unbearable suddenly becomes manageable.

This collection of essays ranges from current events, life happenings, and other issues of more general and enduring interest. A book for everyone who has suffered, or is suffering bereavement with honor, trepidation without faltering, and who has the faith to persevere - for one more day.

We may yet show the world we are worth our salt.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

And everything nice


I like this.
For very obvious reasons =)

Hanging on

When the going gets rough, there's always hope.



I may not be there yet, but I'm closer than I was yesterday.
***
Because he who conquers endures.
***
I know so.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

It's a fact: you think more as you grow older

Two months left till my departure. Two measly months. Sighhh. And I feel like I want to accomplish more before I leave. There are a host of things to be done; not everything on my to-do list has been done just yet. And as we all know it, things ALWAYS crop up as the year progresses. Wholesome things, things that tempt the senses of the ambitious, things that stimulate thinking, and that motivates you to strive for excellence. Good things.

One question, however: In striving, and possibly gaining all these things, how did I use all these assets to benefit others? I mean, seriously, what's the use of gaining the whole world when you do not serve others, and give back what God has blessed you with?

Argh. How I long to have just a leeetle more time in Penang! I'm so not ready to leave my dear little island just yet. And I may never be.

As it has been since the beginning, time never waits. I have known this ages ago, but one can't help wishful thinking, no?