Thursday, February 25, 2016

Been a while

Yeah, it's been a while since I posted ... Guess I feel like my life is in a really smooth space at the moment ... nothing much new to report on! (Although I really hesitate to even write that - don't want to tempt fate!)

But this is (for me) a kind of on-line diary and I do enjoy looking back at what I was doing years ago, so ...

Anyway! Yoga is good and bad! Good in that my attempts at bhujipadasana are moving forward. Now I can just about get my hands flat on the floor, so I can start to transfer more weight into my arms. Slowly, slowly progress is happening. Kurmasana and supta kurmasana are going well too. But ... I seem to be going backwards in the marichyasanas! Can no longer bind in MariB, and C seems to be further away ... sigh! Am wondering if it's to do with me having put on a bit of weight, or what!! Well of course I know what to do about that, but it's much harder/slower to take off than to put on!!

Choir and singing - well that's going wonderfully! Choir rehearsals have started again. We're working on a Bach chorale, a beautiful Liszt piece (Salve Regina) and some other things too, for a concert in May. And in the classes I have with Ian I am working on songs by Henry Purcell (I Attempt from Love's Sickness to Fly) and John Dowland (Flow My Tears) ... Both from around the 15th or 16th century! And of course, as Ian told me, this is just to put into practice the work he's getting me to do on vocal development/technique etc.

In addition to all that, I'm also going to classes on 'musicianship'. Lots of work on solfa (moveable do) and things like key signatures and working out what key a piece of music is in from the key signature. Including whether it's the major or minor key for that key signature ... When I was learning piano as a child it was all learning scales by rote. No explanations of the pattern of tones and semi-tones that is the basis of written Western music. But now, picking it all back up again after so many years, I can see those patterns and it makes it all so much easier. Not that it isn't hard working out the solfa of a written piece of music (ie. no keyboard) in a minor key. But I'm really enjoying the challenge!

Someone told me about some wonderful series on music by a guy called Howard Goodall. One is Howard Goodall's Big Bangs and there's another one The Story of Music. Both available on YouTube. I think they were BBC series ... Well worth watching if you're into music, of a more classical variety - or in fact interested in music generally. Like how it first went from being passed down by memory to actually having a system of writing it down (notation), and how that meant much 'bigger' music could be written. Really interesting!!

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