1.12.2007

Hobbies...

So I have picked up some new hobbies and been able to resurrect a few I haven’t had time for:
I bought a camera. It’s no DSLR or anything paparazzi, but it’s teeny enough to fit in almost any pocket I have (except for those stupid ones sewn into the other pocket in your jeans, on the right side. I do use that one for chapstick or my pocket knife sometimes, though…). Me and H’n’B went to a few places after I got it and drove around taking pictures. I got a few I’m proud of and she got some that were awesome, nay, stunning. I’ve been using it egregiously ever since, and have gotten a Flickr page. Check it out. I’m actually really happy with some of the stuff I’ve gotten.

I’m working on technique and have started to realize that the things I see that would make awesome photos need this thing or that thing before they’re gonna be anything special. For instance, I have a color thing: I’m not quite the greatest at identifying colors. Not red/green or anything, but I had to ask someone the other day what color my car was because it looks blue to me, and I didn’t think I had a blue car. Turns out it’s dark green… I tried to point out the orange [whatever it was] to somebody the other day, and they picked up the yellow one, DOOFIS… turns out the widget they picked WAS the orange one. I meant the yellow one. That sort of thing. ANYway, things that I see that would be framed well or make for an interesting subject often times lack a striking quality, like color contrast or sharp shadow. I see things that look really good, or may have cool angles, but they aren’t what they could be because of the (lack of) color. I’m getting better at that and have been on a red crusade. Because (as I’m told) red and green are opposites on the color wheel, red is striking against green (to most people, including me, because I don’t have that deficiency), and therefore looks striking in nature. I’ve been looking for red stuff, and despite the fact that there isn’t much GREEN now because it’s WINTER, red is still super cool. We have a plethora of old red barns or brick buildings or things that are pretty neat. So that’s what I’ve been working on.

Also, I have picked up my piano-ness again. It seemed like it came and went, non? Well it’s back. I had some friends over this past weekend and was helping one of them with a piano thing, and sat down myself to work at a few others. I love it, although the Wurly is coming out of tune because of the weather change (and the fact that before I had it, it wasn’t tuned for twenty years… poor thing). Anyhow, my piano store closed down, so I don’t have any place to go play the Bechsteins anymore. I’ve been looking at (and have had some small obsession lately) with the musical equipment that famous mainstream pianists use. Some of them are listed more than once with different manufacturers, and some are listed as Yamaha artists, when in fact, they’ve been seen with Baldwins (Rufus Wainwright). But that’s okay: Amy Lee and Ben Folds both play Baldwins. Sarah Mclachlan, Alicia Keys, James Blunt, Charlotte Martin, Vanessa Carlton (x4), Elton John, and John Ondrasik ALL play Yamaha (as well Tim Rice, from Keane). I’m surprised at this, because there’s a certain something to be said for playing a piano that’s handmade, or at least helped along. Of all the (even American) piano manufacturers, there are still some really excellent names. It’s that whole ‘God is in the details,’ thing. Mason & Hamlin, Steinway (Hamburg), (old) Baldwin all make nice fancy pianos. They’re still not the Stradivarius of pianos like Bechsteins and Bösendorfers (what the Awesomeness plays exclusively) (and maybe even Seiler and Fazioli), but it seems strange to me that these classically trained, post-Julliard concert pianists who are so particular about the fruits and veggies served in their dressing rooms aren’t as particular about the quality of their instruments. There’s nothing to say that the aforementioned pianos aren’t high class (geez, you could buy a fancy sports car for the same price tag, and some are easily six figures), but there IS something to be said for a fully handmade piano that’s been broken into that has some personality, etc. I dunno. (stop).

I’ve also been vehemently interested in progressing in my German, so I’ve started a notebook to carry around with me to jot notes, thoughts, definitions, etc. I also have a pocket dictionary assigned to my car, as well as a new 1500 page dictionary (for $3) in my room. Mein Deutsch ist geht zehr gut. (I still can’t spell or write very well…)

I think that’s all for now. I must go, and will post again hopefully before August.

 

“Life is like a piano... what you get out of it depends on how you play it.”

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

"The Awesomeness"...hehe. Ditto. Can't wait. I've been filled with excitement since you mentioned the harpsichord's reappearance. Oh I can't wait.
We still need to putter over to the Bosey store, especially since you started playing again and I'll learn something by heart that will hopefully sound fairly good on a grand and I'll be confident enough to play in front of the typical four or five people that definetly know what they're doing on a piano. Maybe after China, or a treat shortly before?
Can you put up a link on the side for your flikr? Please?

Anonymous said...

Bösendorfers--yes!
so awesome...
Aside from tinkling a few, I played on one for a recital once, years ago--the instrument was one of those models with the extra keys at the lower spectrum--distracting at first, but OH the sounds...
(and you like harpsichord as well, eh? nothing better to get your articulation on a piano better than practicing on a harpsichord...have fun!)
-'nica'

The Polyglot said...

I know... I haven't had a chance to play one yet, but there's a dealer not far from my house I've been wanting to go visit. I wish there were a harpsichord around I could tinker on... not that I'd have anything to play on it that would sound right... I wish I had time for lessons, etc. I'd be so into that... love me some piano