Ever since the inception of this site, its updates have been centered around the year end holiday seasons. Recently, however, I'm taking time off from work and spending a lot of time with music, and so I shall have some updates here too.
New place with a study
At the beginning of this year, I've moved to a new place. The place has a tiny study, which I originally planned to slot in a long table for work. But in the end, the table went into the other room and I've been pretty much using this room just for practicing. It's perfectly sized for my bow hand movement, very tall, and all the trees outside form a gorgeous view.
The main feature for practicing purposes is only partially shown on the photos here. I've installed a pegboard full length to the wall of this room to hang my instruments, bows, accessories and other stationary I use when I practice. When I take a short break or need to write on scores, I hang the instrument on the wall so it doesn't take up table space. I've also hence gotten rid of my very old violin case which is now home to some worms, since I'm not taking the violin out anyway.
I've recently added a gateleg table. I now read, write on scores, and sometimes have breakfast here. As someone who works with a computer all day long, I've been longing for a hidout. And it's become my favorite spot at home now.
Playing with a pianist
At the beginning of this year, I've found a pianist who shares some very similar characters with me. He's also an amateur musician. He doesn't play for a living, but he has a same level of affection in classical music as myself. We've been playing viola music together since then.
The most inspiring moment from this process for me is that I felt instead of playing my viola with a piano, I'm playing a bigger instrument that consists of a viola and a piano. It happened when we first played a piece both from memory, we just played our parts and listened to what was going on as a whole, that's such a eureka moment for me.
We're still figuring out this collaboration along the way. Other than practicing music, we also need to practice how to practice / rehearse together.
I've been going to a lot of concerts lately.
The most memorable was a full Shostakovich program, also the first concert with a full orchestra ever since the pandemic.
The first half was Suite on Verses by Michelangelo Buonarroti, Op. 145a. I haven't been to a concert with a bass program before. Apparently there is such a concert and that powerful sound has completely won me over. Even though I was sitting at the very back of the hall, I could feel the sound well embraced me and supported me with great clarity and solidity. I didn't even know such feeling exists and now that I know, I want to go to all vocal concerts now.
One thing I haven't sorted out (maybe I never will) is that I routinely fall asleep during weekday evening concerts. I'm not too bothered by it (as long as I don't sit in the gallery). I wish one day I can go with a friend who will offer a shoulder.