Take the Lead

aarghghh..  Su and I our such suckers for dance movies.  The latest one we bought and watched last night was Take the Lead.  Typical “inspiring  street/young kids” storyline formula.  Any dance wow factor?  A couple of flashy tango dances.. not sure how it would go down with the real tango crowd though.  Couple of obligatory hip hop and breakdance bits and backflips, but not much else – just very clever editing and booty shaking.

Makes me wish though that someone would promote lindyhop in one of these movies instead of the foxtrot for dancing to swing.  I wonder how many people realise that lindyhop was a street dance of the young generation back in 30s and 40s, much like the hip hop/b-boy scene today.   But also makes me think how hard it is to communicate the “feel” in jazz music if the other person just doesn’t “get” it.

At least it gives the kids a new dance movie to watch 3 times a day.  In the last week, we’ve been bombarded by Breakdance 1 – Breakin and Breakdance 2 – Electric Boogaloo multiple times a day!  I’ve had enough!!  No more benefit concerts pleeeeaaassseee!  Maybe I should the kids back on You Got Served…  hmm…


Violin lesson no. 2

Had another violin lesson yesterday after work with Margie.  Played through the first movement of the Wieniawski again, and at the end the second movement.  All is good, I still have to work on intonation, phrasing, shifts, and most of all, fingered octave runs – argghh!! Who invented that 🙂

One thing Margie suggested was that I set up some goals or performance goals to work towards.  I guess that would help, at the moment, it’s just learning pieces without having to perform them, and so I don’t end up polishing them off totally.  Hmm…  I’ve thought of entering the local comps (Freo and Joondalup and Perth Eistedfodd, North of Perth, etc) this year, but I have a feeling I’m way too old now..

Anyways, it was good – I think I’ll now start learning the Bach G minor (I looovve the Fuga) and start on some Paganini Caprices.  I have to tackle No. 16 again, I had a go years ago before I stopped violin lessons, but I think I need to start tackling the Caprices to solidify more advanced violin techniques further.

Makes me think that Su and I should get some lindyhop privates 😉

More Sibelius

Well, Vadim Repin’s concert has got me all inspired again.  Ran into Semra earlier in the week and she said that on Friday night, Vadim played the Carnival of Venice as an encore.  How cool!  Luckily, I’ve got him playing this already on a DVD called “World Encores” that I picked up in Singapore when we went for SEAJam.   I’m sure it would have been just as fun here in Perth!

Then I started listening to the Leonidas Kavakos version again when my Dad reminded me that I had bought it a few years ago!  Now that’s a great version, so much drama and emotion in the playing.

I really want to finish off the Wieniawski now so I can move onto other concertos!  I had a good 1.5 hour practice two nights ago – my fingered octaves aren’t going that great, but the 3rd movement is mostly just learning the notes for the moment.   I’m trying to balance the 2nd movement so that it’s not too soppy and so each phrase has movement and direction.  I’m relatively happy with the 1st movement now I think – I’ll have to wait and see what Margie thinks of it at my 2nd lesson with her tomorrow.  I’m still semi fudging some of the arpeggiatic runs, or more like the intonation/shifts aren’t exactly in tune…  I guess since I’m doing it more for fun, I don’t have to get it perfect right??? hahahaha

The car is gone!

Yay!  We’ve finally sold our car.  Well, I guess it’s a compromise between getting a good price, and selling the car at all.  We didn’t have very many calls for it, and only had 3 people really interested in it.

It was much harder than I thought – I thought that people would want to snap up what I thought was a bargain, but no…  in the end we needed the money more, so we sold on the bottom end of the Redbook bracket.  Oh well, I guess we’re happy that we got more than a dealer would’ve given us, and we now cut our costs from advertising, insurance, running costs, etc.

If only we can direct that money towards a swing holiday east to Sydney or MLX but I don’t think we can this time round *sigh*

My first 240V electric shock

Well, last night, Su and I sat down on the couch to watch Idol, possibly some ARIA and an episode of Prison Break.  All seemed OK except for some reason my Media Center box was playing up again and this time refused to emit any sound from the SPDIF interface.  So I had to poke around behind the TV (where I hide my Media Center box).  All OK.  Anyways, in the process, I realised that my (standalone) DVD player did not power on anymore.  The power cable runs from the back of my Yamaha receiver.  So I decided, OK, I’ll just feel around and make sure the connection is pushed in properly.

Next thing I knew, there was a big shock going from my right hand behind the receiver, though my chest, to my thumb and palm of my left hand which was holding the front of the receiver.  I pulled away immediately, but whoa! it was a shock!  My hand felt a bit wierd, no burns, but stinging.  I’ve had small shocks before (static, and once from our vacuum cleaner), but this was the largest yet.

Afterwards, I felt really “awake”! Either from the adrenaline, the shock of what happened, or the “shock” itself!  Do I need to go for a medical checkup?  Hmm..  I haven’t gained any superpowers though 😦  Luckily I’m still alive.  I would’ve thought that our Clipsal breaker would have kicked in, but it didn’t.  Wierd.

Puppy School!

Puppy School!  Wow haven’t been to one of these before.  We brought our mini schnauzer, Django, to his first puppy school on Wednesday.  Actually, the whole family went.  We heard that it’s really training for the owners, not the dog, so it was important that we all went, including the kids.

To make things more busy, we organised Django to have his 12 week immunisation shot just before class too.

Anyways, it was all good.  It’s so awkward how these things start, introducing yourself and your dog, etc.  There must be a better way 🙂  Django was really good throughout, not terrorising other dogs, but still being confident.

Well, looking forward to the next one.  Only problem is that it clashes with lindyhop dancing class 😦 *sigh*

Vadim Repin plays Sibelius!

Well, on Saturday night, had 2 tickets to go see WASO’s concert.  I had to go because Vadim Repin was the soloist, playing the Sibelius violin concerto – my favourite!  Su decided it wasn’t her cup of tea, so Dad came along instead.

It was amazing! Vadim is one of the best violinists to come round Perth’s way and he executed the concerto with much ease and great technical ability.  WASO seemed to be lagging behind a bit in the first movement, and Vadim seemed to fly maybe too quickly through some of the runs, but it was amazing to see live.  I think I still prefer Vengerov’s version though.

Then after 3 curtain calls, Vadim came out and played Ysaye’s Sonata No. 3 as an encore, just like Vengerov on his DVD.  I would have liked it to have even more emotion/flair but again it was technically amazing, especially to play the Ysaye after the Sibelius concerto!  I wish I could play either just by itself.

Oh well, it’s inspired me again.  I’ve lined up another lesson on Thursday with Margie.  Have only practised twice since the last lesson (4 weeks ago!?!?) but I think I need to book a lesson in to force myself to practise.  Hopefully will finish the rest of the 1st movement of the Wieniawski 2nd, then move on to the next movements.

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