Sunday, August 27, 2006

All In All...

You know you're a musician when people coming back from the beach yell, "YA-HOO" and you ask yourself, hmm, what was that interval, a compound minor 3rd?

I haven't properly blogged about being here in Indiana, and well, that's because I haven't properly sorted out how it's like being here in Indiana. In a sense I'm not awed at finally being in a Western country, temperate climate and all the things in between, as much as I might have thought or expected. I'm just here, I have a purpose in being here, I'm going to work hard and that's the extent of it.

The adjustment has been quite managable, thanks to Amanda, without whom things would have been much more difficult. Especially since my baggage arrived late due to the new security measures at Chicago's O'Hare Airport, which I might add has some of the rudest security officials I have ever met, and many whom don't even speak proper English - or even, shall we say, American.

Other than that, people have been quite ok, my roomates are decent people - one Korean who has been away with fellow Koreans most of the time, and an interesting Nepalese who as a returning student (a senior majoring in Physics and researching string theory - a different sort than the string theory which I'd be more accustomed). Interesting fact: in Nepal, it's a bigger offence to kill a cow than a person. How about that. Luckily as a man of science (and, apprently philosophy) he doesn't mind my Salisbury steaks, which I've been waiting some 15 years to eat again. Eaten, rather, all consumed over a beef-happy weekend.

I suppose I miss the Asian culture more than the food or the weather. There's more value in subtlety and the way Asians treat the concept of respect than we... Western-orientated young people (yes, I'm young, dammit!) tend to realize. Well, some of us, anyway. There's this whole idea of starting up again, meeting new folk and all that, and there's a balance of being quite used to it, and well, having quite enough of it. But I haven't forgotten to have some value in making new friends, that being here is great opportunity, and how much I've worked to get the scholarship to be here, and I'll be making the most of things. Self pep-talk over.

Music-wise term will start tomorrow and things should get interesting. So far some interesting new discoveries are: The Criminal Trombone, an arrangement of Telemann's viola concerto for alto sax (which is even more criminal, you have no idea), an arrangement of Harold in Italy for tenor (why do these people think that violists have, like, too much to play or something?), and a delicious Johannesburg Festival Overture by William Walton. I'm really looking forward to starting work and managing my budget better, and the MacBook by the end of term is a possibility, but it's more likely to be by Spring, especially if I'm visiting Jing in Chicago and Teng Jian in Williamstown.

I've actually managed to squeeze in enough practice hours over the weekend to get Bach's third suite (originally for cello, but you know he'd have wanted a violist to play it) to a decent level, though I suspect with a just a tad more expression than the Baroque might be comfortable with. Another day to check that it runs well from start to finish, and classes for me start on Tuesday.

Also managed to squeeze in watching a DVD with my Nepalese housemate - and here's the interesting thing, the first movie I watch in the United States, this homeland of a billion-dollar film industry, is a Bollywood flick!

A true description of any true violist. Fer sure.

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