Monday, May 24, 2004

it's been a long twenty four hours

yesterday was completely wasted workwise on a trek down to Wheaton College, IL, for the Dupage Symphony Orchestra's performance of Mahler's Symphony No. 2 ("The Resurrection"). let me just get out that i LIKE Mahler, and i like the choral part too. and i really enjoyed being able to sing it with oh, something like a hundred other people. it was a huge chorus. and it's really nice to be able to sing a high Bflat at the top of my lungs (it's also basically the top of my singable -as opposed to squeakable- range) once in a while, in harmony and in a crazily grandiose piece, rather than as a one-off squawk in the middle of some crazy atonal modern piece. and i think that the orchestra did a great job yesterday too -they'd cleared worked far harder than we had (but we only had like five minutes of music) and were enthused about their performance. it was nice. it was also really interesting to be behind the orchestra but sitting down - i've never watched/listened to a symphony performance from behind timpani before, watching a forest of violin bows go up and down in time to Barbara's swooshing baton. i wished i'd sneaked my camera onto stage halfway through the first movement, when the baton was swooshing and the bows were sliding up and down, and there was intense concentration and the light was awesome and i could barely see the audience...

now the griping. i like Mahler, like i said. but i don't appreciate having to waste an entire saturday afternoon late in my quarter driving then rehearsing then sitting through eighty minutes of music to sing five minutes for an orchestra not affiliated to the U of C in any manner except that Barbara, who conducts our orchestra, also conducts the Dupage Symphony.

and singing with older singers is overrated, let me tell you. i love the fact that we had real men (no offence to our basses, but they too know they have yet to really grow into those low notes) who can reach low Cs without shaky wobbly i-can-barely-get-there-ness. but this was also the only time i have ever heard a choir flat out refuse to do what a choral director requests. when requested to return to the (previously unsecured and therefore wobbly) risers, a bunch of very loud older people went 'NO' and thoroughly scandalised us younguns from the Motet choir. the evening only deteriorated from there.

then i couldn't sleep last night - i went to bed around one or one thirty (after getting home from Wheaton, i had to finish reading Sebastian's dissertation chapters for this afternoon's dissection -more later) and then couldn't fall asleep until five am. waking up at 11.30 so that i could shower and get some coffee before class at one was difficult, to say the least. i think i am turning into a basket case. i'm not even sure why i feel so on edge and freaked out all the time, but i am. thank god there's only eight more days of classes and three more weeks of work before the break. i don't think i could make it much longer than that. i just don't feel like i've been very happy the last couple of weeks. even classes have become a chore.

though this afternoon's class was entertaining. Sebastian brought pizza, as promised, and i munched while Lora -who taught, because Sebastian obviously couldn't teach a class on his own dissertation- outlined away on the board, and within twenty minutes the gloves were off. it was hilarious how the class degenerated into random attacks and comments and sub voce snide remarks. i was watching Sebastian's face as i mouthed to him 'The gloves are coming off' in the middle of pstan's attack on authority pooling, and once again i wished i'd snuck my camera with me - the face he made was priceless.

now i'm still really tired, the caffeine has worn off, and i can't have any more. but i still have many chapters of Ferguson's Empire to get through, though it's a great read, the kind of thing i would (and have) read in bed (though i then tend to fall asleep, so i'm gonna try and avoid that tonight). it's like playing Civ III, only inside your head and with real people, instead of on a computer screen with figures the size of cities, and outrageously not-to-scale depictions of your little kingdoms. =)

and tonight, we are once again experiencing Tornado Weather. whoopee!


At 3:08 AM, October 21, 2008, Blogger eric said...

Wow, you sat right behind us during Mahler 2?

How did you hear anything? :-)


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