Friday, May 24, 2013

Weekly Wish-list

I absolutely cannot wait until The Great Gatsby comes out in the movies; I read the book so I've fulfilled the requirements. On the wish-list today, Gatsby-themed gorgeousness. These two are dreaming-only dresses as they're from Moda Operandi. The first dress is looks almost like she's wearing a long draping necklace and is so stunning. The second one is my absolute favourite because it's got that interesting back (something that I love in a dress) it has a gorgeous slouchy feel typical of the 20's and nice contrast in the floral section. I'm in love with it. Click on the links in the captions if you really want to know how expensive they are...

Looky here and get a closer look at that bead detail. Stunning.

Make sure you zoom in on the detail!
Check the specs here.

Oh and how about this butterfly "crown". I absolutely adore it.. *sigh*

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Something Old, Something New

I haven't done one of these in ages!! I know that for some of you this is not one of your favourite segments.. but I think it's good for me to search for new musical gems, or even rediscover old ones. So today the Old part of this segment is something that I'm playing on tour with the Sydney Symphony this week (to Canberra and Albury). And when I say "I'm playing" I don't mean the solo ;P  It's the Brahms violin concerto which I haven't listened to since I went on a tour with the orchestra at uni to New York and heard Pinchas Zukerman playing it with the New York Philharmonic. I think it's a great concerto and has some beautiful bits of lyricism which make me swoon. Just to be patriotic and loyal I'm posting here a Sydney Symphony version with Ray Chen from 2011. It's only part of the first movement of this concerto but I encourage you to go find the whole thing and have a listen.

Now Something New: The Decemberists "January Hymn". I think this is such a beautiful little song and I always like it when the diction is clear ;) I searched my iTunes for some inspiration and shuffled my songs and this came up as the first non-classical song I had and I can't remember even listening to it before.. I think I might discover some more of their music now! I love that about music, there is never nothing more to discover and the just taking a chance and buying a whole album on the basis of one song is always so exciting.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Outfit Misfit

Sometimes you have to do it: put up a photo of yourself which you don't actually like.. (#firstworldproblems). A little while back I took a number of photos for three different outfits but none of them are really to my liking. The lighting wasn't right, the picture was fuzzy, it wasn't dynamic or interesting.. well it was all a bit disappointing even though it had the possibility to be amazing! However, I feel I owe it to you all to do an outfit post. I apologise that this one is a little bit of a cheat because it's all about a bag; a backpack no less. Rest assured that I will try and do better with my photo-taking (it's a lot harder than you'd think: to get a great and interesting picture in a good location with the person you want to take the picture of you! Not to mention I'm running out of clothes..)

I'm getting off track. The aforementioned bag from Rushfaster coming up! 

The above is the picture I don't like of myself. This was taken a while ago by my brother when I first got the bag. It happened to be Anzac Day, a very appropriate day to be wearing a poppy backpack. Below I felt the bag deserved it's own closeup.. It's the Eastpak "Pakr" bag which I bought off the Rushfaster website and has a 30-year warranty and is made from military materials.

And lastly a photo from the unsuccessful shoot:

Maybe I'm just being fussy but I don't think the lighting compliments the bag very well.. and that was the focus of this outfit. Anyway, I've been using this bag for a good three months now and it's holding up very well to it's 30-year warranty expectations. I absolutely adore it because it is lightweight, better for my posture, holds exactly what I need it to hold (taking my lunch in to "work" is so easy now) and is colourful and happy.


Shoes: Wittner.
Backpack: Eastpak.

P.S (off topic): suggestions welcomed for new chalkboard door art themes. Last month's was space, and I've also done insects, beach, and Christmas. What do you want to see me draw on the back of my door?

Friday, May 17, 2013

Things You Should Know About

Maybe this should be called: "Things I Think Are Cool Which You Should Maybe Know About".

Dumbo Feather. I picked up this magazine at a newsagency the other day because the cover caught my eye (not either of the covers pictured below; I couldn't find the current cover). It's byline is: conversations with extraordinary people.

Image from here.

The Great British Sewing Bee. Thanks to my flatmate for putting me onto this one. I only watched one episode but it was really fantastic! It's much more classy than Project Runway and involves sewing challenges. Loved it.

Image from here.
The Bulletproof Musician. A blog which addresses all the issues we (musicians) raise in ourselves on a daily basis.

Image from blog linked above.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Weekly Wish-list

I haven't been blogging recently and as a result a few things have come up on my wish-list. So let today be a higgledy-piggledy mash-up of unrelated goods:

I really want need a new wallet. It is a matter of life importance. My current wallet is a Mimco which I bought a couple of years ago. It is not holding up to the destruction that is Time, and that is incredibly disappointing. I'm not willing to go Mimco again because I hoped it would last more than a couple of years and also because there is nothing that really takes my fancy there at the moment. So I had little look on Mulberry, which is a lot more affordable than Miu Miu or other things I love let me tell you. Here's the one I want: the Eliza Continental Wallet.

Specs here.

I know that it's cream, and that's not the most Time-withstanding shade of wallet to have.. but it's so pretty.

I promised myself I would provide a retail reward after my audition; lift the shopping ban briefly. On Monday I was just browsing through Instagram and saw a picture Gorman posted of a pink wool dress. And it gets better: it has pockets! Or should I say had, because it is completely out of stock everywhere in my size in the gorgeous pink colour (and you know me, no way am I warranting the spending of that much money on a black dress). So this one will continue to be on my forever-wish-I-had-bought-that list.

This is the instagram image that lured me in in the first place..
You should check the specs here and go buy it if you're a size 10/12/14/Ihateyou
Now because my Gorman adventure failed, I went over to Alannah Hill where I haven't been shopping for a while (cheer me on my saving money adventure!). But then I fell in love with this cape.. I adore capes, it's like my weird fetish, and this one ticked quite a number of boxes: 1. it's not a boring colour, 2. it has pockets, 3. it has a super cute lining.

Pardon the face.. I was talking to the shop lady at the same time.
I adore this lining!
So danger alert for my bank account: buy 2 full price items and receive a third for free promotion now on at AH...

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Welcome to the real world...

Today I did my first ever audition for a real job. I've done a number of other auditions for youth orchestras and for the Fellowship with the Sydney Symphony I'm doing this year but never for a real-life job. It's kind of an anomaly.. The number of jobs that come up for classical musicians, the odds of winning one, the odds of it being in your country (let's not even talk about your city); well it's all pretty difficult. In the end I hope to have a job somewhere (trying not to be too fussy here) but somehow it all seems almost impossible.

Anyway, my goal for this audition was to get through the first round. For non-musicians out there let me explain the whole thing: there are a number of rounds, however many it takes to have one person knock out all the others (boxing much?). Depending on the orchestra, the audition, or part of the audition, is screened (in this case the first round was screened). That means we play standing behind a big partition of some kind providing a level of unbias or something like that. Prior to the audition, usually about a month, we are given a number of excerpts (extracts from orchestral repertoire) to play and we have to prepare a standard classical concerto (from a certain period of time a couple of hundred years ago) and a modern concerto (for viola that means BartokWalton or Hindemith). Usually we have to prepare the first movement of these concertos with cadenzas where applicable. Today the first round consisted of the exposition (introduction) of the classical concerto and 3 excerpts. My goal leading up to this audition, as I've said, was to get through the first round. I can understand not winning a job considering my level of experience but I really wanted to get through the first round. Alas today they only took one person through to the next round and it wasn't me (yes, that means they box against themselves in Round 2).

I am pretty disappointed overall because the amount of work I put into this audition was pretty huge for me. But in the end: that's the reality of real life (I guess that's why it's called real life). I guess I just have to work harder and improve my general standard of playing. However I did learn a lot today, and even though I didn't get through the first round I truly believe I did a pretty good audition and considering that I'm a nervous wreck that is definitely a huge step forward for me. My approach and preparation for doing better in the next audition that comes along is going to be a more consistent approach to overall improvement. I'm finally going to work on things which I know are my weaknesses (it's so obvious that I should've done this already but it's so easy to hide them..) for example: my lack of variation in vibrato. I've also decided to get nerdier with the music and really start to get into the classical world a bit more. This will involve listening to more music, reading about it, and thinking more about the music I play rather than just instinctually (instinctively?) playing it. Sometimes I feel like I haven't improved in my playing all year but then I realise I wouldn't even have thought about doing an audition like this last year, and I didn't totally bomb it today. Time to exponentially improve people!!

And if you want to know what happens once you've won the audition and are the last man/woman standing? You don't get the job yet! You go on a trial for 6 months to a year and then you might have it.

The view from the communal warm-up room.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Stay tuned..

Stay tuned next week for blogging. Next Tuesday I have a real job audition so I've been trying to practice lots. Wish me luck and I'll be back afterwards to tell you all about it and to continue blabbing away about other stuff too =)

Saturday, May 4, 2013