Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sweeney Todd.

I know, it's been quite a while. And I have no excuse. But this was exciting so I'm going to tell you all about it!

On Thursday, I had the opportunity to see Sweeney Todd at Portland Center Stage and it was quite possibly the creepiest musical I've ever seen. But it was good. Boy was it good. It was incredible!

The first bit of incredibleness, the first thing I saw when I entered the theater, was the set. It was quite the set. Very detailed and well thought out. It did its job.

The next bit of incredibleness was the wonderful actors. Those actors had quite the voices. And their accents were right on. I was immediately swept away into 19th century London and it was amazing. The casting was pretty much perfect. The actors seemed to fit their parts very well. My only complaint was that the young man playing Anthony seemed kind of wimpy. I couldn't quite figure out his accent either. But he did a fine job still. And the lass playing Joanna was incredible! You see, the way it is with Joanna, you either get the one who plays ditzy and annoying and drives everyone crazy or you get one who is actually halfway intelligent and you can actually feel pity towards. The Joanna in this show was, fortunately, the second type. And then some. I was really happy with her.

The final bit of incredibleness worth sharing was the music. One thing I love about PCS is the orchestra pit. more often than not, the conductor's head can be seen sticking out of the pit, and by the end of the show, the top of their head has had more time in front of the audience than anyone else in the show. Those lucky conductors. Also they get to hang out with the awesome musicians. Double lucky. The orchestra itself was teeny tiny, I think they said 9 people, but they put out a sound much larger than what you would expect from 9 musicians. It was a great sound.

Really my only complaint was that it was just too loud. Granted, I was in the second row (cool right?), but it just about busted my poor eardrums! It was probably just fine for the elderly couple in the back row though.

Anyway, it was a great production. Closed today I believe. It wasn't even as gory and bloody and messed up as they had made it sound. Well, okay, it was pretty messed up. But the fake blood was bearable and not overdone (interesting fact: the fake blood was made from dish soap mixed with food colouring because apparently because of the soap the dye washes out of the costumes easily).

On a side note of sorts, my mom told me a couple things worth sharing:

  1. She had a friend in college who arranged to meet and interview Sondheim. How cool is that!?
  2. One of the main melodies in the show, "Swing your razor high, Sweeney" is based on "Dies Irae" or "Day of Wrath" from the 13th century Catholic Requiem for the Dead. Creepy, right? 
So it was a great experience. I think we've established that. 

If you're interested, here's a link to some backstage behind the scenes stuff: 

You should check it out because it's really neat.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Some Real Talent

This is a friend of mine from choir performing My Party Dress at our Pops concert last week. This is by far the best performance out there.

This is the same girl along with another performing What Is This Feeling from Wicked.

These girls are going to go far!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

I think I'm done with music for a while.

This is what I was thinking when my choir concert ended this afternoon. But don't worry, I'm not done with music. I'm just done with singing for a bit. You see I've done quite a bit of it lately.

Yesterday my school choir went to compete at a choir competition. We did a fantastic, amazing job on our songs, but when we got to the sight-reading portion we were thrown for a loop. My director said that the sight-reading we were assessed on was the most difficult she'd seen in 17 years.

Today was the spring concert for my out-of-school choir. We did pretty well but we had severe trouble with our 2nd to last song. Nevertheless we ended strong and the rest went pretty smoothly. I love choir, but it takes up so much time and energy that I'm glad it's over for the year.

I actually have a new composition that I hope to get up in the next week or so. I'll have to see how my schedule works out though.

My school's Tournament of One-Act Plays opens this week and I'm involved in 2. I'm feeling a bit unsure about them since we had so much trouble pulling them together and we haven't even rehearsed on the stage yet. You see, the directors for one of the plays didn't do their job so we replaced them. Our new director decided to rewrite the script and condensed the entire 20+ page play into just 3 pages. We began work on that only this last week. The amazing things about plays, though, is that somehow they always seem to come together in the end. I'm confident that we'll do just fine.

I have a new goal: Write something that sounds Chinese. I'm not really sure where to start, so I'm listening to a bunch of traditional Chinese music and experimenting with chords and all. I'll let you know how that all comes along.

Goodnight, my friends!

(Because you can't have a post without a picture)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Composer Todd Barton on The Seagull

The first play we saw in Ashland was called The Seagull. It was written by Anton Chekhov, a very famous Russian playwright. This is what the composer Todd Barton has to say about his experience writing the music for the play.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Changing things up a bit, and a wee update (complete with pictures!)

I know, I know... It's been a long time. I hit a bit of a rut and I just didn't know what to blog about. I had plenty of interesting things to say, but I didn't know how to say them, so I didn't. But I'm back now.

I think I'll be more likely to post neat things if I don't feel like I need to write some long, beautiful post.

And so, as of now, you can expect short, concise posts. They will contain neat things I find or learn, maybe something fun I participate in.

I believe the whole reason why I started this blog was for fun, and that's how I intend to keep it. I hope you can bear with me.

Alright, let it begin!

2 weeks ago I had the opportunity to go on a school trip with my best friends from theatre to Ashland, which is about 6 hours from where I live. We got to see 4 plays, attend a workshop, and explore the town. It was an incredible experience!

On the bus...

This mask has music notes on it. Therefore it is amazing.

Pose of the weekend!

love this picture!

The door fell off our bus. That complicated matters.

"I could get used to a view like this... Yep, I'm used to it."

Okay, I won't bore you with any more pictures as they hardly do it justice. I absolutely cannot wait until next year's trip!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Totally Cool Giveaway!

Jonathan Maiocco is giving away a signed copy of his newly published piano piece Café Français along with a CD containing 5 tracks! You can enter here. Be sure to follow him! And if you do follow him... Make sure to say it's through me!

In case you couldn't tell, this is very exciting. Maybe one day I'll have a piece published...

Saturday, February 11, 2012

A Question For My Readers

I have encountered problem after problem when it comes to posting photos. It started when my Picasa album became completely filled. Since every photo I upload is automatically added to the album, I needed another way. I switched to Flickr but it will only allow 200 photos to be visible at a time unless I pay.

My question is: Do you have any suggestions for a site I could use to store my photos so I can embed them without having to pay? And, if I stay with Flickr, will my older photos still be visible on my blog even if I can't access them?

Thanks for your input!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Some New Favorite Songs:

Gotta love Owl City!

Also from this album: I especially love The Real World and Dreams Don't Turn to Dust

I'm figuring out how to play this on the piano. It's quite remarkably easy.

This is from Leeland's latest album. It has a different sound from their previous and at first I wasn't completely satisfied, but once I heard this song I was sold. This is by far my favorite of their songs so far.

Also from this album: I really like I Wonder, which is quieter, and Not Afraid Anymore, where they pick up the pace and take on the sound I know them for.

Finally, I have fallen in love with this song by Sidewalk Prophets, and guess what, I'm also learning to play this on piano. Which includes me listening to 3 seconds at a time and carefully writing out the piano part. Yep.