Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Trecento Concert and Day Off

Well, the concert went well.

Pedro Memelsdorff was in attendance, so there was a bit of nervousness within the group. But the group managed to pull it off. :-)

You can imagine, after a week of rehearsals, plus a pre-concert rehearsal before the actual concert, that my voice needed a little rest. So I didn't sing on Monday at all.

Monday was rainy and dreary and since my voice was exhausted, I stayed inside and loaded Logic Studio onto my computer. I recently purchased a 2T hardrive (in addition to the 3 1T's) to partition so I could have several startup drives running specific large programs. All of this, to eliminate (hopefully) any conflicts which would otherwise occur.

It took several hours to upload Logic Studio, even with 12 G of memory. But let me tell you... it totally rocks! I am SO PLEASED! I struggled with ProTools for months with its' depressing interface and magically, I was recording with Logic and its' happy interface within minutes of finishing the installation! It was amasing!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Trecento: Early Flowers of Polyphony

This afternoon is our final rehearsal for our first performance of the "Trecento" music set. This concert will be repeated at the Berkeley Early Music Festival in June 2010. We might get a few minutes of a break before the concert begins at 7pm.

Pedro Memelsdorff will be attending. The group is a little nervous since he is considered by many to be the world's foremost expert on the very music we will be performing. Many of the tunes will will perform tonight, his ensemble, Mala Punica, has recorded.

We are doing some very interesting pieces by Landini, Jacopo, Firenze, and Ciconia. There are now only 22 pieces on the concert.

My clothes are ready to be donned and I begin warming up once I finish up here. I leave in about 2 hours to head out into the unusually heavy rain to drive the 42 miles to the venue. Sometimes the rain makes for a small crowd at events and sometimes, it bring people out in droves. It will be interesting to see which it is this time.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A New Experience

I got a facial yesterday. I've never had one before and it was a very different experience. I really like the woman who gave it to me. Actually, it was because I liked her at a chance meeting that I originally scheduled it. Overall, it was rather enjoyable. She is very kind and interesting.

The only downside was the music.

Although her cd was of the "classical" variety, it was essentially "classical musics' greatest hits". You know the one. It has been produced over and over again with only minor variations regarding the pieces included. A prepackaged bundle of over played pieces for the non-musicians of the world who choose to not risk listening to anything else. After all, it might not be safe.

To make matters worse, it was played in the muzak style. Do "Air on a "G" String" or "Gymnopedie" really need the muzak treatment for non-classical music listeners to be able to safely remain in the room?

I assured her that there is plenty of beautiful Early Music that is extremely well suited for a relaxing atmosphere without offending the sensibilities of the musicians that utilise her services.

By the way, it's Wednesday and the concert is a mere 4 days away.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Concert Week

It's Sunday. Only a week until Coro's preview concert.

The week ahead will be extremely busy with the concert coming up next weekend. I have several rehearsals in preparation for it between now and next Sunday, April 11th. As I mentioned in an earlier post, there is an immense amount of music and only one short piece is somewhat easy. Not only are the individual parts challenging, but the ensemble aspect is quite a challenge all in itself.

I have also been offered, and I have accepted, an opportunity to sing with an ensemble in south bay in September. I am slated to sing Vivaldi's, "Cum Dederit" from "Nisi Dominus, RV 608" and a cantata or other large work of my choice in an all Italian concert set. Pretty awesome. I am considering Pergolesi or Scarlatti for the larger work. There are to be multiple performances of this set of Italian works around the bay area.

That invitation was very exciting.

Here is Andreas Scholl singing Vivaldi's, "Cum Dederit":

Thursday, April 1, 2010

A Cool Peformance

I have had several totally awesome long term voice teachers over the years. I have had lessons with even more. There's one in particular that I want to plug in this moment:

In January, Anna Carol performed the last of her bi-annual birthday recitals. She is still performing, but she decided that the birthday recital idea had run its' course.

I just received word that Anna Carol will be performing next week. Even though this performance is in direct conflict with my own, I have to tell you about it. She will be performing as the "guest artist" in San Francisco City Chorus' performance of G.F. Handel's, "Semele". There will be another soprano performing the title role of Semele, but Anna Carol will be singing "Oh Sleep, Why Dost Thou Leave Me?".


Anna Carol sang it in the American premiere performance of "Semele" as a staged opera, in UC Berkeley's Hertz Hall in 1962.

This is what Anna Carol has to say about this exciting appearance:

- In 1962, Handel's opera, Semele, was given its premiere American performance here in Hertz Hall. After the original London performances more than 200 years earlier, Handel wrote a revised version, to be performed as an oratorio. That version had been performed in the U.S., but not the original opera version, until our performance.

I sang the role of Semele. If you want to see what I looked like, you can go to the upper foyer of Hertz Hall on the UC Berkeley campus, and face the wall which shows many pictures of faculty members (I was a graduate student's wife, not a faculty member). The first photo in the top line just to the right side of the organ shows a scene from the performance. Having been taken up to Heaven by Jove, I am high on a platform, singing "Endless, pleasure, endless love Semele enjoys above."

The San Francisco City Chorus is performing an oratorio version of Semele, next Friday, April 9, at 8 p.m. at the First Congregational Church of Berkeley, Dana and Durant. In recognition of my having sung the American opera premiere in Berkeley, I have been invited to perform a cameo role, singing "Oh sleep, why dost thou leave me." There will be a repeat performance Sunday afternoon in San Francisco, 3 p.m., Lakeside Presbyterian Church. -

This will surely prove to be a fabulous moment not to be missed!

For performance dates, times, locations, etc:

New Stuff

It's been an interesting week for the studio thus far.

I bought a 2TB drive for the computer. I partitioned it to have several different versions and copies of my running system so I can easily run programs on separate partitions that create conflicts for one another. This will open up the other drives for storage purposes. Audio files really need their own drives. I ordered 8GB more memory, as well, and I'll be picking that up.

Ooooo! Shiny!

I purchased this very cool toy. I'm waiting for it to arrive. It's a new mic. It simulates AM sound. Yes, I know, you can get this by manipulating the EQ, compress like mad, and adding some effects. But this thing is cool. It'll be a while before it gets here, but once it does, I'll let you know how it sounds.

I also got the program, "Things". So far, I haven't done anything with "Things" that I don't already do with "iCal". I absolutely love "iCal". But my relationship with "Things" is new and we are just starting to get to know one another. I am reserving judgement.