Yesterday I went to Kitchener to hear the Kitchener-Waterloo symphony play Symphonie Fantastique. The orchestra sounded great and Center in the Square is a really fun hall to go to-- it has beautiful acoustics, seems to always be well-attended and also somehow cultivates the kind of community vibe that you feel walking into a summer show at Tanglewood or similar. Since NYO is training at Laurier this summer, it was nice to see the city of Kitchener-Waterloo as well. Dinner before the show came from Imbibe,the bar/restaurant beside the Conrad Center, and this morning was Matter of Taste, a painfully hip coffee shop just down King street (I am assured the coffee was as awesome as the ambiance; I don't drink coffee as it always makes me feel more or less like I've been poisoned) followed by brunch at Rise and Shine, a diner on the Waterloo side of the city divide. I briefly got to see the Laurier music building, from the outside, and am excited to hang out there this summer! I have actually been there before; in my last year of high school I visited the school and did a mock audition, which was an incredibly nice thing for the music school to do-- give potential students the opportunity to see the school and practice auditioning there. I was even met and shown around by two bassoon students there. This was, in fact, the only school visit I did, and only because it was close. I was a somewhat negligent Gr. 12 student, in comparison with some of my friends who were doing university tours all over the country in the 11th and even 10th grades, and I actually never set foot in the McGill music building before my audition. In fact I didn't end up going to the real Laurier audition, but it was fun to look around.
It was good to hear the Berlioz live this weekend since I've even practicing the excerpts from it. Somehow I've managed to avoid having to learn Symphonie Fantastique properly until now, but I'm preparing for the Winnipeg Symphony second bassoon audition and the excerpts have finally caught up to me.
The audition itself I'm not 100% sure about yet-- it's on June 30, which is a week after NYO starts but on a day which when I checked last was tentatively scheduled as a day off. It also means that I have exactly a month to prepare for this one, whereas for KW I had three months and definitely needed all of them. However, this time I have done one audition that I had a good experience at, and although there are more pieces listed for Winnipeg than KW there are bar numbers instead of whole movements given, which is nice.
The other pieces on the program at KW last night were a Beethoven piano concerto-- played by the boyfriend of a violist on the India trip, whaddaya know?-- and an orchestral arrangement of Vivier's Pulau Duwata. Everyone I talked to seemed to agree that we wouldn't have recognized most of the latter as specifically Balinese, but then, all I know about Bali is what we discussed in music history class and what I just finished reading in Eat, Pray, Love-- a book which I began reading almost as a joke to myself and, to my horror, actually finished.
I have to agree mostly with the Bitch Magazine article which aptly retitles it "Eat, Pray, Spend,": "Eat, Pray, Love is not the first book of its kind, but it is a perfect example of the genre of priv-lit: literature or media whose expressed goal is one of spiritual, existential, or philosophical enlightenment contingent upon women’s hard work, commitment, and patience, but whose actual barriers to entry are primarily financial." Of course, there's nothing wrong with any of the extreme steps that Gilbert seems to feel it necessary to take in order to achieve self-actualization. However, it just rings a little bit false when the message of the book seems to be that in order to become truly enlightened and happy it is necessary to spend a lot of money traveling to exotic locales. I am fairly sure that a truly spiritual transformation, seeing as it takes place in the spirit, can be achieved just as well from home as anywhere else. But I suppose "Re-evaluate your choices and habits, Make well-considered and pertinent changes, Continue to behave as a responsible navigator of the adult world" isn't a very catchy book title.
I don't know what book to read next... it should probably be something that could maybe replace any brain cells I may have lost to Elizabeth Gilbert, but the only unread thing I currently have on my kobo is the first Game of Thrones book. Which I don't particularly want to read, but judging by what happens to everyone else who start reading it, I'll probably want to read it once I start. In any case I don't have a whole lot to do for the next few weeks other than read, learn excerpts and NYO music. This is a nice change!