I decided it was time I wrote another 'serious' blog. Or at least one about goings-on in my life. Just to warn you, if you don't like reading 'long' blog posts, this might not be for you. I have tried my best to make it readable, with shorter paragraphs and everything sectionalised. My weakness (and strength) is how much I like detail. Here I present everything I have been thinking to spend my summer doing (APART FROM a summer job haha).
1. Firstly, I'm doing the tourney!! (wish me luck, and the sanest of sanities) Hopefully nothing will clash with this, but I'm really not expecting to go very far - I won't have hardly much time to practise at all (except in between two exams that are 9 days apart - this would be a risky endeavour considering two eaxms are in two days) and I don't have much experience anyway. But it's always fun to try something new, and I'm sure Frosty is very happy to welcome any newcomers that will commit.
This post does contain some content about classical music. If that scares you, look away now! You can look again at paragraph 5.
2. BBC Proms is on, starting Friday 14 July (2 weeks before my birthday) - would like to watch some of these, but tbh they do take up time so I only want to watch them for (a) favourite pieces and/or (b) select pieces, and (c) new discoveries. I would particularly recommend Prom 14 on Tuesday 25 July (Vaughan-Williams' Symphony no. 9 and Holst's The Planets). In fact, check out all of his symphonies, they're so wonderful yet painfully undiscovered.
3. I couldn't give up playing piano during the hols, especially to keep up my technique. SO, I've decided I'm doing some Chopin Études - I'd love a crack at Op. 10 nos. 1 and 2, Op. 25 nos. 3 and 5, and even Op. 25 no. 6, the infamous étude in 3rds. Unfortunately, most of these are amongst the hardest, and they're all hard!
Also on my list is Medtner's beautiful '6 Tales', Op. 51. Medtner was a good friend of Rachmaninoff's and they thought well of each other's works. He is sadly very underrated, but his 1st piano concerto could serve as the substitute of all substitutes for Rach's ever-ubiquitous 2nd. One other thing I might do - Ravel's Ondine OR Jeux d'eau. The only thing I have to be careful about is making sure I don't overload myself with piano projects!!
If anyone would like to give me a challenge of something to learn over the holiday, totally fire away. I have 10 1/2 weeks this Summer, I'll have the time!
Challenges only to be set by musicians
4. Perhaps the most important thing for me is composing. I could never give up writing music, whether it's classical (as in formal pieces of music for the concert hall), electronic or otherwise. Some possible things I might be composing are a requiem, called 'An Italian Requiem' (approximately 1300 words in Italian, from a modern Italian Bible translation; not in homage to Brahms), some solo piano pieces, something like an oboe quintet, or a piano concerto. Hopefully I won't get ideas for them all at once!! That's always the worst for a composer. ALWAYS.
One possibility for writing music this Summer is to start writing/producing drafts or complete pieces for a debut EP/LP. I have plenty of ideas for an LP, but is it a bit unrealistic to aim for that straightaway? After all, I don't want it to go to waste and not get much money for it. But this is a long-term project (say, in the next 3 years). The LP idea was called 'Creativity', and I even had a colour scheme for the album cover - light green, light blue, yellow and pink. Not pastel colours. Light, full-bodied shades of these colours. On the other hand, I've had a lot of EP ideas in the last week - one of which would be to have around 7 improvisations with some extra instrumental parts - I'd really like to hear what everyone who has listened to my SoundCloud page thinks of this.
5. One thing I hate is clutter. I HATE it. And especially on my laptop - if it looks pristine on the outside, it should look pristine on the inside . I've decided to clear out/sort out all these things:
YouTube playlists - I actually created two Favourites playlists called 'Actual Favourites' and 'Actual Actual Favourites' because there were 250+ videos in Favourites. That's how many are in Actual Actual Favourites now... :/
Things which I've created accounts for online that I really don't need
Collating recipes that I actually want to make (not just the ones that *looked nice*) - so that I can really practise during the Summer - I'll be self-catering
Also included in this point are other projects - learning how to use two rather complex synths in Logic Pro X (Sculpture and Alchemy), doing some art (something I've missed since starting A levels), and reading. The main books I want to read are The Silmarillion [in progress], the Divergent series, and a re-read of the Chronicles of Narnia. Nothing hugely exciting from a reader's point of view, but I look forward to them with ardour and gladness
6. If composing is what I think is most important, this is what is most important. Every Summer since at least 2 years ago, I'd always come up with so many things to do, and feel really bad when I didn't get through them all. Or I'd be rushing to do things in the last 2 weeks before school started and realised I was actually creating extra pressure and stress for myself. It's actually really horrible - you ought to enjoy the entirety of the Summer holiday from start to finish.
So what I think I will do is in the first week or two evaluate how much I am doing and see if I really want to carry on at the same rate. This applies if I don't do as much work as is required to get it all done. I think evaluating your workload is always a good thing to do - you have to listen to your body's physical and emotional responses often before a problem is going to occur, because it's important to stay healthy in your mind as well. I have a feeling that the first things I'll be cutting down are the number of BBC Proms I watch, and the amount of piano/composing I'm doing.
Piano practice every day is wildly unrealistic in big holidays, because it's really not something my Mum enjoys on a day-to-day basis for 2.5 hrs+ . My sister's managed to find a way to ignore it (how she blocks out contemporary music I literally do not know), but that's really not great cos she's not going to be the only one in the house other than me. On the other hand, while my sister tends to block out compositional noise (she does like it though), my Mum and Dad in fact really like it when I'm playing something I've written - they tend to be good at guessing it's one of my pieces rather than some pukeworthy Einaudi () or another similar composer. That actually really encourages me in that moment when I'm writing something - usually I'll carry on for another 45-60 minutes afterwards, or I'll be thinking about it still an hour later. I really ought to put more of my pieces on SoundCloud - those Sketches pieces really do not do justice to my current level of composition.
Well done for reading! I would give you a prize, but this is the internet, and so there is little of real physical substance to offer. I suggest - either go to your favourite cookie shop, or follow this link:
I would be very interested to hear your thoughts on, in fact, any of these points, and indeed the spoilers! Once again, thanks for reading. I really appreciate it.
TheEvoker (a.k.a. Ethan)
EDIT: How does one hide a spoiler within a spoiler? I'm more than sure this is possible, mainly due to Kalle's mega spoiler within a spoiler within a spoiler within a spoiler within a spoiler within yet another spoiler type post somewhere in the Spam Board.