Sunday, November 22, 2009

Jazz Performance at Rock City

The Jazz performance at Rock City went wonderfully last night. Though there were a few technical problems, the performance seemed great. At times, jazz band has been a drag, as the first months are usually devoid of any performances. After performing the music for the audience however, the reason I enjoy playing jazz, and other types of music became clear again. Entertaining an audience is the reason I play music, and is a thing I get to do often, but for few people (besides in Marching Band) . During this performance, I did two improvisatory solos, both were much better live than in rehearsal, ( or on the jazz concert two days before, as I was preoccupied with microphone placement). The rush of performing for so many people pushed me to try to deliver a great musical experience. Though I knew the chordal structure that my solos were to follow, when the time to actually improvise began, I chose to follow my instincts and attempted to play what I felt the need to play, which led to improvisations that I am very happy to have played.
The band actually seemed to do a bit better on some of the pieces during this performance than it did during the previous concert. I believe, that we were less nervous, as we had performed the entire thing for many people two nights before. Having performed the entire set prior to the Rock City performance enabled us to relax more, and to have more fun. The final jazz performance of the semester was a great success, and I look forward to what the jazz band can accomplish next semester.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Semester's Apex Approaches/Japan

This Fall semester has gone by very quickly, it seems that just yesterday I was learning the "All Blues" drill in marching band, and learning about Tokugawa Era Japan and learning that unfortunately Music History involves music theory, and the writing of a theory driven paper. In reality the marching season is over (most likely my last) and I have written my Music History and Modern Japan papers, and will be working on my History of Tennessee papers and begin studying for finals. I will also be performing my Jazz concerts, and clarinet semester end jury and studio recital.
On less scholastic events: though I have been studying Japan intensively this semester in my History of Modern Japan class, my interest in the country and its culture has not waned. I have recently acquired Essential Kanji by P.G O'Neill. This book is very interesting, as it presents the kanji in an orderly way, giving masterfully drawn representations of the characters, ( I would consider the characters works of art), readings and more information on each kanji. I may attempt to learn some of the kanji, but even if I do not, the book is still a great reference. I also acquired an Anime Encyclopedia during the weekend so I can easily look up anime series and movies.
This may be one of the last posts of the semester, as I will have little time do anything but study for the next few weeks. Hopefully when I post again, it will be with an unburdened mind, knowing that I have done great in all of my finals.