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Showing posts from June, 2011

Singing

Look, I know this post is fluff, but it's very nice fluff, OK?

Anyway, right now it seems to be singing season - as it always is at the end of term. I've just had two rehearsals and a sort-of performance, which have worn me out. Then I've got:

A rehearsal on ThursdayA performance on Saturday (it's for my school's Vis Day, which is basically Speech Day but with a posh name, and I've already signed up to do tug-of-war as well in a flash of house pride...oops)A performance on Sunday at the East Barnet Festival as part of a youth performing arts group (the last time I'll ever be there, unfortunately, since I'm leaving)An exam, of all things, on the 5th of July (my grade 6 exam...anyone fancy telling me how easy/hard it is to pass?)And last (but most definitely not least) I'm going on tour with my school choir for five days of rehearsal, performance and general horsing around (we're around Amboise from the 11th-15th of July, come see us if you want a …

I sang at Abbey Road Studios

And I didn't even get a lousy T-shirt!

Just joking. It was actually an awesome day - we (the Really Big Chorus) rehearsed and sang bits of The Peacemakers by Karl Jenkins, then (eee!) went and recorded it, conducted by the man himself!

The pieces we did are musically quite simple - not much range - but oh my god they're so slow - it was like a breath-holding contest, because at points it's almost impossible to do it all without taking a breath. I'm not bad at breathing, but this took the cake! Still, rehearsing was fun and the chords were amazing. Singing is much harder work than it looks, by the way - loads of effort had to be put into the pieces.

Initially I was nervous because I'm 15 (not 16 or 18) and wondered if I might be kicked out, but nobody commented on my age - in fact, there were a couple of girls who looked about my age or younger - and I was even complimented on my singing! These people came from all over the country (and I even saw one soprano who wa…

Becket

- Otherwise known as me finding another cool thing. It's from Becket (a play by Jean Anouilh if you didn't know), and I recommend that everyone read it - along with Antigone, and hell, might as well read all of his plays while you're at it. I haven't, but I aim to.

Anyway, this is a quote from Becket in the original French - if you don't speak or read it, I'll put up the quote from the English translation. I read it in English first, and it was in English that I fell in love with Jean Anouilh's plays for their themes and honesty - the way they spoke to the bottom of my soul - but now that I've been reading it in French I realise just how much the translation's lost.

BECKET: A vingt ans, avant d'avoir perdu ses dents et pris cet âge indéfinissable du peuple, celui-là a peut-être été beau. Il a peut-être une nuit d'amour, une minute où il a été roi lui aussi, oubliant sa peur.

(It's better if you know what happened right before - the theme…

A Response

I was reading this the other day. It's by Ombreon, and it appears to be about her life. I think the comments I've put will speak for themselves.

My original comment was way too long [it was], so this is a shortened version. I understand that it's supposed to be about your life, and I'll try and tread with according caution, but I can't guarantee that I won't offend you - and I won't guarantee it, either, because by laying yourself bare to the world you've invited people to judge you, both positively and negatively. I'd rather not be flamed, but if I must be then I'll take the insults on the chin. Better to get flak for honesty than to keep one's mouth shut.

Long story short, the writing and emotions are both powerful, but I feel you do the mother a disservice - she's always the opposite of the narrator, and a flat opposite at that. Real life doesn't work that way - which you should know. It feels like you're trying to paint her as …

On Being An Artist

Well, I had my art exam on Monday - a 5-hour mock. It was all right, actually. Although we weren't supposed to talk, everyone did - there was quite the spirit of camaraderie in the room, I think, at least for me. I learnt quite a few things about art in that room, but also in my life as a whole. It's an incomplete list, but I'd like to put it down all the same.

Talent is innate. Someone can be good at drawing without having been taught, and that person will almost always be better than a person without innate talent. It's sad, but it's true.

That said, a person without innate talent can learn how to draw - but it will take blood, sweat, toil and tears. It's not impossible to learn to draw without any talent for it, just difficult - and it takes a lot of time. You have to work twice as hard for half the results an innately talented person would get.

Self-teaching will only get you so far without someone helping you. Again, this is true. I've learnt a lot from t…

On A Leader, Part 2

Yeah, I haven't written anything for a while because of my exams. Iknow I've failed Physics, Biology and RS, but I got my results back for History, French, Latin and Maths today - all quite good, so I'm pleased.

Anyway, they announced the new Praes (prefects for the uninitiated) at school today. Some of the choices were OK, others were a bit...iffy. But that wasn't necessarily what I wanted to talk about here.

You see, they talked about the new Praes being responsible in their roles. They talked about the Praes being able to empathise with the younger students and sort out their problems. They talked about all the things I'd talked about, in fact, and then added more to the list. In short: the leader of dreams and fantasies.

There's nothing wrong with that. Hell, I had a hand in that fantasy too. There's nothing wrong with holding people  to that high standard either - in fact, it should be encouraged. Maybe then we'd get somewhere.

The problems start o…

On women writing

So V. S. Naipaul, the Nobel laureate, has caused quite a stirby claiming that women writers are inferior to men. Of course, some people have been up in arms about it. Some peoplehave just laughed it off. Some people have applauded Naipaul (here's a free sick bucket).

Before I start, I am female and a batshit insane liberal, and sexism gets me mad. So no, I'm not your average bigot. Not at all. (In fact, I'd hesitate to describe myself as a bigot.)

And, for all this, I'm forced to admit that he has a point.

"YOU SEXIST!" you cry. "YOU TRAITOR TO THE FEMALE SEX! HOW DARE YOU!"

"Hold your horses," I say, "and let me explain my point."

Yes, there are good female writers out there - there's Doris Lessing and Agatha Christie, for example, and I'm a Jo Shapcott fan (I know that that's technically poetry, but still). Hell, I've been tipped off that Vera Britten's very good as well. I've got nothing against women w…

Writing

I call myself a writer - not necessarily a good one, that's true, and not one who writes or updates frequently, but a writer all the same. Why? Writing's a part of me that I can't get rid of.

I've been reading this article recently (yes, I know it goes to deviantART, yes, there are nice people and good art over there, yes, you just have to look really hard to find them), which talks about what good writers wished they had been told when they first started.

I've been writing since I was umm...about six, and I've no idea how long I've been writing well for - or if I can write well at all. Mainly I learned through teaching myself and paying little or no attention to anyone who tried to teach me things, which isn't always the best way...

...Looking back on it, I think that one of the things I wish people had told me, or that someone would tell other people, is that no-one can tell you how to write - only you can change things. It's a very trite and clic…

Padding

I don't like to pad things out.

To those who will laugh at me and point out the fact that my blog posts are generally quite long - I did notice the length quite some time ago, thank you very much. Part of it is because they're written like informal essays and part of it is because I like waffling in my introductions.

However, the main points I make are generally quite succinct and waffle-free. Why? Because I like my points to be understood and recognised for what they are.

Evidently, this isn't a very good writing style when trying to comfort people and...oh darn it, it's happened again.

The few readers of my blog (hello there) may be wondering what the hell's up with my writing today: it's disjointed and not as snarky as it usually is. Without revealing any more about myself, it's because I'm bloody miserable and annoyed right now due to family troubles. I'm bloody annoyed for a couple of reasons, which end up forming a story which I'll recount…