I FUCKING HATE MY LIFE
I feel like I’m lagging. No — I am really lagging behind. I cant keep up with my expectations. I am falling behind and I am letting myself to fall. Watching Nodame Cantabile opened my eyes again —- how to appreciate music, and the life that comes within it. It lit my fire again to do best in this industry — but, I am thinking low of myself. My technique is not that good. It sucks. I play so dirty. AND I DONT HAVE ANY REAL PIANO SO I CAN PRACTICE WELL. I just got a fuckin’ keyboard with only 5 fucking octaves! How cool isn’t it? If only I have a true piano, I could practice all day long.
Assignments 101 [October 25, 2012]
Phew! There are a lot of assignments that were given to me by Ms. Fule last Tuesday. And guess what? I got a new piece!! :) Its Impromptu no. 2 of Chopin!
Here are my assignments:
Haha! I didn’t even started practicing. Well, I really need to practice soon :)
Living the Dream I Dreamed
“Two roads diverged in a wood and I —-
I took the one less traveled by
And that has made all the difference”
Walking over the corridors of the conservatory felt very euphoric and overwhelming. I passed by students playing their respective instruments. I also passed by a group of students practicing Solfege. It is very topsy-turvy in the Conservatory. I am on my way to meet Maestra Erlina Fule for my major class when I realized something. It’s been almost two months since I started my college life in the University of Santo Tomas – Conservatory of Music taking up Bachelor’s Degree in Music Major in Piano Performance —- and mixed sentiments of anxiety and ecstasy filled me as I came up with this realization. Anxiety —- for I do not know what the future has for me; and ecstasy —- because this is the thing I am always dreaming of and finally I made it. Never as it seems I will be a music student – yet, here I am, with my white and tailored uniform on and sheets of music resting in my hand.
Last April, I took my audition at the conservatory. I felt very nervous – yes, that’s normal; however, I was stunned with the atmosphere circulating in that place. The breeze of the air is somewhat different – it is not the common polluted air we commonly consume in the streets while riding public utility vehicles. It feels like “home” to me.
I remember my salad days in my music journey —- a beginner – trying so hard to read notes and finish a musical piece. I am like a small caterpillar wandering on an earthy tree with nowhere to settle on. But here I am —- finally, I arrived at my cocoon – the conservatory.
You might ask, reader —- why did I choose an unconventional degree, like music, as my profession or field of specialization? Simple – I made my passion my profession. I remember a quote from one of my favorite movies entitled “3 Idiots” —- “Following your passion for years, you will surely become somebody one day”. I want to live on my own special dream and not by the dream of others. This is what makes me happy – eternally happy.
I grew up in a stern family and as early as preschool my parents already dictated that I should take a medicine program after high school —- but I fought for what I want and what I believe I will excel most —- I took up what my heart beats for —- music. Truth to be told, a lot of people often tell me: YOU’LL NEVER GET RICH IN MUSIC. It didn’t make any sense and I didn’t care, because, in my heart, mind and soul —- this is what I want and this is what I live for.
I didn’t take this degree out of nothing – it is because of my strong ambition and determination to excel in this field of art. I remember what one of my professors said, “We took music not because it’s just our hobby – it’s because of our strong passion in it.” I strongly agree with my professor —- music gives me immense satisfaction and meaning in my life —- happiness. In other words, music gives me that “peace of mind” I am looking for.
It’s a little bit funny because, I remember, I even had a deal with God out of confusion on what degree will I take in college. Frankly, I gambled with fate. It was last January 18, 2012 at 6 in the morning before I check my UST Entrance Exam result, I swore and told God that if I qualified for the Chemical Engineering program (my second choice degree), I will surrender up Music and take the former – however, chance may have done it, I did not qualified for Chemical Engineering; thus, I realized I am really for Music. I remember that I was so speechless at that time because I am in a state of shock in this “miracle” in my life.
I know that my metamorphosis in the Conservatory will take me ages —- but I know that with enough drive and perseverance I will surpass this stage in my life. Honestly, I do not even know what will I be after I graduate in this program —- I just want to make my parents proud and see me perform a piano concerto on stage with a full symphony orchestra.
As I sail through in this voyage, I know that the conservatory will help me to become a VERSATILE artist – because its destiny that brought me here and I took the chance to take risk. I may not know what my future holds in this track but I have faith with my talent and abilities and with it, I can outshine this obstacle. As Elphaba said in the musical Wicked – “It’s time to try defying gravity … And you can’t pull me down”. I love music —- PERIOD.
As I sat on the piano bench inside the Dean’s Studio with Maestra Fule by my side —- I smiled. I know that for the next five or six years, the conservatory will be my home —- my life. Nevertheless, I have no regrets at all. I took this track and it is in my hands to make it on the finish line. My crusade had just begun —- and I know I can defy all odds and make it to the zenith of success.
Artist: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (Allegro) For Two Pianos
Auditions: The Real Test
I took off my hands on my keyboard with a heavy sigh. I just practiced for about three hours straight with no food breaks – only water breaks, of course. My fingers are feeling disoriented and numb that I cannot feel anything anymore. I went to the nearest soda and rest upon its soft seat. Exhausted, I lay down in sleeping position. I begin my realization about my plans on my audition at the Conservatory. I am very pressured and anxious, indeed, because the audition is only one week away. Yet, I also feel excited that finally I will have my glimpse on my future “home”.
My repertoire is not that heavy – Bach’s Invention no. 13 and Beethoven’s Piano Sonata op. 110 no. 31, Moderato cantabile molto espressivo (first movement) which are from the Baroque Period and Classical Era, respectively.
I chose Bach’s Two Part Invention no. 13 firstly, because it is rather short. The piece itself, set in A minor, is very clever, had a sense of wittiness and very sophisticated to hear. There is a sort of anger on the piece which is likely to fade as the piece progresses. When I first saw the score of this Invention, I was really afraid to play it because it is in a canon form or it has two voices counterpointing each other. Each hand has a melody itself and when the music from these two hands combined, it forms very enticing and delicate sounds like tiny little beads of notes floating in the air.
My second piece that I decided to play is Ludwig van Beethoven’s Piano Sonata op. 110 no. 31 first movement (Moderato cantabile molto espressivo). It was one of the important pieces that Beethoven wrote during his last years. The piece is somewhat lyrical, like it is sung (as it is indicated on its tempo – cantabile). I chose this piece because it highlights my achievement as a young artist and trying to step on to the next level of my journey as a pianist. There are a lot of moods in the piece. At first, the piece is very calm or in tranquillo, but suddenly vivid descending and ascending arpeggios rise and introduce as to a new variation of the main theme. Technically speaking, the piece needs technical supervision because it is engrossed with a lot of slurs, legatos and other musical stuff that needs separate practice and techniques. The piece is somewhat I call as a “balance” piece as it started calmly, and ended calmly. It also somewhat portrays life, itself. We are born calmly and with joy, and we also die peacefully.
I really need to practice hard to perfect and polish the two pieces I chose. I really need to concentrate until the Holy Week. April 11 is the date of my “real test”. This is the day that will dictate what I will become years after 2012.
May the odds be ever in my favor.
Wish me luck.