Sunday, November 24, 2013

for the love of Tchaikovsky--and the Bangor Symphony

Despite the fact that I'm only doing nine credits this semester, I've hit that point where I'm randomly freaking out about how little time is left between now and the end of the semester.

Monday: On the way to school, I got my bus tickets. The bus will be boarding at 7:05 AM, and it seems that every time I get tickets the boarding time is earlier than it was the previous trip. On the plus side, I can snooze on the bus (I never sleep in moving vehicles) and I'll get to see my parents and cats sooner.

I returned Helvetica to the VRC and as usual I discussed the documentary with Rebecca Young (the librarian--and a former NSCAD Photog). While it was well-made, I found the documentary boring. Though I'm amazed that one could do a whole eighty-minute film on a font.

The NSCAD Queer Collective is doing a project on the accessibility of NSCAD's bathrooms (in general, NSCAD is up to its eyeballs in accessibility issues, especially the Granville Campus). That day I finally found the time to fill out the lists for the two bathrooms that I'd been assigned to do.

Tuesday: When I had one of those freak-outs that I mentioned in the intro on Monday night, I was really glad that I'd scheduled some time in the Academy computer lab for Tuesday. A couple hours there and I was back in control (I find that the best stress-reliever is just buckling down and getting 'er done--never underestimate the satisfaction of crossing stuff off of a to-do list).

Wednesday: Class was devoted to work-in-progress (WIP) crits and studio time. We also had meetings with Adrian. He and I discussed editing my contextualizing statement (I'd written two hundred and twenty-seven words more than I needed and this was one of those times where I would look at what I'd written, think, "what's not important? What can I cut?" followed by, "IT'S ALL IMPORTANT!" I needed someone who wasn't as emotionally attached to the statement to go through it and cut out the unimportant parts.). I spent the rest of the afternoon applying Adrian's edits to the statement. Several of us hung out in the computer lab, figuring out the title for the show (we'd gotten confirmation that we had a spot in the Port Loggia gallery in January the day before).

During my WIP crit, one of the things mentioned was that a couple of the pieces needed more photos. One of those pieces meant braving the cold at night with my camera. Because I wanted to get it done with ASAP, I took the photos as soon as I got home that night, downloaded them to my computer and got rid of the worst of the bunch.

Thursday: Another cooking day. And as a result, I didn't get over to NSCAD until late-afternoon. I didn't do much in the way of schoolwork, though I did edit the photos.

Friday: I took more photos for another series that needed different photos (the ones that I had were too similar), edited them and added them to the slideshow. I also bought a 2014 calendar at ViewPoint Gallery and checked out Food, Inc. from the VRC (you never know what you're going to find there). And I added another goal for this year: watch as many movies and documentaries from the VRC catalogue as possible between now and April. Bonus: although the usual limit for DVDs is three at a time for two days (the whole weekend if you check them out on Thursday or Friday), students are allowed to check out more than that and take them home over breaks, which I might do when I go home next month.

On the way home I took some photos of the Waverley Inn's Christmas decorations.

That day, a judge in NB ruled in favour of SWN, "ordering protesters not to interfere with the company’s shale gas exploration [on Elsipogtog First Nation] and giving police power to enforce that order." Reading those words still makes me incredibly sad and angry: the land is Mi'kmaq territory--the Mi'kmaq are the ones in charge of it. Also: whatever happened to freedom of peaceful assembly? Whether settler or aboriginal, we all deserve that right. The way the case was handled was crappy, too: the First Nation "had no time to hire lawyers." I can imagine how it would feel for the people of Elsipogtog: I'd be angry, too, if some company wanted to come drill for some resource or another on my land and wouldn't take no for an answer.

This documentary, which I watched recently, is a really good overview of what aboriginals have had to deal with over the last few hundred years. The things we settlers have inflicted on our fellow human beings--who were here before we were--makes me so angry and sad--and ashamed to be white. This is my own race that has done these things and if I could somehow make it all go away, I would. The fact that I have the tiniest drop of Mi'kmaq ancestry (one person) intensifies those feelings.

Saturday: Once again, I spent a few hours in the Academy computer lab. I also edited the photos that I took Friday night.

Sunday: I've spent the afternoon and evening whittling down my contextualizing statement. The whole thing is supposed to be seven hundred and fifty words. Four years ago (in '09) I would've looked at that number and said something along the lines of, "**gulp** I'm supposed to write how many words?? HELP!!!!" and freaked out. Now, I think nothing of a thousand-word essay. Some of my blog posts have been around two thousand words. And I'm still ridiculously proud of the three-thousand-word monster that I cranked out for my Questions of Obsolescence final this past spring. The thing with the statement that I'm currently editing is that my project combines three things (music, dance and photography) that I could talk about for hours and easily write a thousand to two thousand words on. Art means everything to me, and the way I write about it, including how many words I could devote to writing about it, reflects that passion.

Today the Bangor Symphony did a Totally Tchaikovsky program. They started with his Coronation March, which features a passage also heard in the Marche Slave (which at times sounds like a mashup of other works by Tchaikovsky, which I really like). Brace yourself for awesomeness.

The concert also included one of my favourite concertos for any instrument, by any composer: Tchaikovsky's first piano concerto. What I would give to have the BSO knock my socks off with that piece. Bonus: the violin part is pretty awesome.

I finished Saturday night by listening to Tchaikovsky's fifth symphony, which I'd never heard before. It was the last piece on today's program. My verdict: it's awesome. Thanks, BSO! Also: Bernstein. Need I say more?

As you've probably noticed by now, I usually only post one or two pieces when posting works that the BSO's performing. Today is an exception: all three pieces have that "oh, my gosh, wow!" factor. Why must your music be so wonderful, Tchaikovsky? I've been listing to nothing but his music all day. This is your doing, BSO!

I found out yesterday that students at the University of Maine get two free tickets per semester to events at the Collins Center for the Arts. The Collins Center is the BSO's home stage, so if I went to that school I'd save at least one ticket each year for a BSO concert. Dear UMaine students: I'm officially jealous. And for non-UMainers, student tickets to BSO concerts are $13 including the processing fee--and it's the same price no matter where you sit. Talk about an awesome deal!

No comments:

Post a Comment