Saturday, August 25, 2012

Mozart and Stephansdom

I hadn't realized anything of Mozart's religious views, really, and still have a lot to learn regarding that.  But, when I visited Stephansdom in Vienna for the last time, I paid a little to get inside the main area that was roped off from the general public, and I took a tour with an audio guide.  There, in a far back region and to a side, was a room dedicated to Mozart, and something telling about him and his donations towards the church, as well as something regarding his religious views.  I wish I remembered more in detail about that, but there was so much to be taking in all at once just being there.  What I take away from it, though, is that he in fact had deep beliefs and ties to the church based on spiritual beliefs, at least this is how the church portrays it.  This is a change from seeing him as just a frisky man with only boyish tendencies in life and I appreciate that shift in viewpoint.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Back at the Ranch

It's 4:30am on Thursday, August 2nd.  I've pulled my digital piano into the garage and it's time to begin practicing for the day ...

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Erding, Germany

As I have decided to keep this blog going past my specific travels which started it, there will be current posts intermixing with my digesting of the experiences I have just returned from.  My posts won't necessarily be in chronological order, either, as they will most likely reflect my current ability to digest my experiences there.

A week ago today, I was in a little town in Germany called Erding, in my hotel room there after a 5 hour bus ride to the Munich airport and a taxi ride to my hotel, barely able to stay awake and therefore napping.  At some point I did walk around the town a bit just to see what it was like and to get a feel for the place.  This is not the most artistic photo, but you can get a feel for the architecture, you can see the stone walkways, and get some little feel (and for me a definable memory) of what little Erding was like:

And I found myself in a little park just on the edge of houses and business buildings.  I am generally fascinated by architecture because I feel it's a reflection of man's perception of life and nature, philosophy, etc., and feel it can exemplify how man interacts with life.  So, here I'm in the park but feel compelled by these little buildings and the stone pathway I was walking:

Tuesday, July 31, 2012


During my time at the Festival, I worked with one of my regular piano teachers, Dr. Mark Fouxman, and with my voice teacher for the Festival, Jurate Svedaite-Waller.  I learned very much from both of these individuals during my time at the Festival, and felt supported with each step I took while I was there.  Both are pictured below (with me, too) as we are on break during the Vladimir Chernov masterclass early on in the Festival:

And here is Vladimir Chernov, talking with me after his performance in the Prösels Castle.  He often talked with me in a hushed tone and with sincerity, about next steps for me in my life.  I was very grateful for his thoughts and work with me:

Back to Reality

I'm back home after having landed here from Europe just before midnight on Thursday the 26th, and then left for the weekend in Portland with family the following morning until yesterday (Monday) evening.  I'm getting re-adjusted to this timezone and starting the journey back to life here as I knew it ... except, it's different now.

I did lose touch here on my blog as I suspected might happen, but I do aim to update as I sort through my experiences in Europe.  It's different being back because I am different; having grown in numerous ways through various challenges, observations, and simply the opportunity for growth.  My experience in Europe and at the Festival was very personal and it was difficult to know what to share through writing here.  Ultimately, I will simply hope to have the opportunity to share an enriched love for music and performing throughout this year.

My days at the Festival were very packed, starting with breakfast as early as 7:30am (that's the earliest it was served), practice, lessons, then there were masterclasses in the afternoon and almost always two concerts in the evening; one at 5pm and one at 9pm.  The concerts were sometimes faculty, sometimes guest artists, sometimes students.  All were generally extremely good.  I performed in 4 between voice and piano, and each performance was an extremely positive experience for me for various reasons.

There were 4 trips planned through the Festival, only one of which I went on and stayed back during the others in order to practice.  Perhaps you can imagine that most of my time was spent in the practice room and at masterclasses and concerts ... and though it was exciting to me, generally not something to post photos about.  I met some very beautiful people and worked with wonderful teachers.  There are some individuals I will probably continue to be in contact with and even work with throughout this coming year.

Being back home on the first morning, I find myself extremely motivated to practice with clear goals for the year to come.  I will love to share more about these goals for the year as time unfolds, so stay tuned!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Heading back

This morning I've left Italy on a bus to Germany, and it is in Germany where I will stay for one night until I start my journey of flights back to the US tomorrow.  I've had mixed thoughts and feelings about leaving Völs and returning back to the US, mainly because I loved the musical immersion and feel I thrived there.  I also feel I adjusted to the culture and way of living there, and it may be quite a shock to be returning to the US - but I think I am ready for that.

I have some sorting out to do upon returning home, lots of practicing to be done as well, but will be planning some performances in the next couple of months - perhaps even one which will be live online.  There are more updates for me to give about my experiences being away, but lack of internet connection and tricky timeframes complicated the process before I left.  Perhaps in many ways, the journey just only begins :).

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A taste of Völs

Today was a really good day which ended in great laughter.  I got to sing for Vladimir Chernov in a masterclass this morning, and he spent 2 hours with me, which was really fun and informative.  Then, I had a piano lesson, then normal Festival life with practicing and dinner, and then we took a bus to Prosels Castle in another town, where we heard gorgeous music, the second half being Vladimir Chernov ... then we missed the bus back to Vols!  We had gotten caught up taking photos, and realized we ought to get back to the bus, and as we were nearing it, it pulled away ... and despite me and another girl running after it (and me yelling for it to wait), there it went ... up, up, and away!  Thankfully, a nice fellow who heard us running after the bus drove us home (very fast, over very skinny, windy roads with hardly two lanes and a sheer cliff).  We ended the evening with such a nice reminder of the need for laughter and lightness.  Things are great here, but I really appreciated the light-heartedness of that experience for us.

Here is a little taste of Vols:

A view of Vols

Prosels Castle (a tiny peek)

From the outdoor Hall

Breakfast, served at the Hotel