Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Trailer Tuesday 2#: The Raven

Trailer Tuesday is two Tuesdays awld! Woo-ee. It's the thing where every Tuesday I pick a trailer that caught my attention and show it off. I cheated this week and wrote the post wayyyy in advance because I knew I'd be doing other stuff this vacation. Like whipping my manuscript into shape.

Anyway... here 'tis. The Raven:

It's Edgar Allen Poe. Sort of. It's a mish-mash of his stories with him as the main character.

The good? There are way too few movies featuring his writing. Which is criminal because he's only like the most original Victorian author in the history of ever.

The bad? It looks kinda hokey. Like a 19th century SAW. Even though I doubt there'll be a The Raven PART 17 coming out in a few years like there will be a SAW flick. I wish someone would make a really great Gothic movie that's perhaps not total horror schlock like that Van Helsing movie was. I liked that Van Helsing movie, mind you. *gasps all around* But it was schlock. A big fat bowl of green slimy schlock and vampire babies.

So. Excitement factor for this one: Not freakoutable-making. Probably won't watch.

.          .           .

And since that was really boring, this Trailer Tuesday comes with a bonus feature: Look what certain kind folk brought back from Salzburg for me!
 















*

Aaaaaah luv eht. It sits on my editing and goggles at me, and it makes me feel sane.

*There was an old Mozart who swallowed a violin. I don't why he swallowed a violin. Perhaps he'll die.
There was an old Mozart who swallowed a piece of sheet music. I don't know why he swallowed a piece of sheet music. Perhaps he'll die.
There was an old Mozart who swallowed a snow globe. He's dead, of course.  He asphyxiated and now looks perpetually jolly and cross-eyed! Yaaaaaaaay...

And that'll only make sense if you've read this loverly  rhyme once or twice in your life. It's like the best one ever.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Graphic Violence

This post is not ok for children under fourty-two.

It snowed.























Oh yeah.







And I had a post all planned out about snow, and snow, and people in snow, and horses in snow, and lots of pictures of snow, and then the snow melted.

Like that. *snaps fingers*

So we're having a green Christmas. Again.

Lameness.

I do have one bit of news though: I got my first editorial letterrrr! It's huge, and frightening, and exceedingly wise.

This'll be me over the next two weeks.




Yep.

Merry Christmas!!! :D

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Trailer Tuesday #1: Chronicle

I have decided, dum-da-dum-dum, that after failing miserably to keep my own blogging schedule last week, I should come up with a fail-proof way to get regular content up heah. So I did. And here it is: Once a week I'll post a trailer I've seen recently, that perhaps you have not seen, and give my two cents on it.

If I were smart I'd talk about books instead of movies, but a lot of people already do, and I like movies, and I never claimed to be the brightest star in the sky, and even if I rarely get around to watching any of these movies, the trailers have all the good bits anyway. :)

(Note: There'll still be random weekly posts about whatever's going on in my life, and about books, and music, but they'll just pop up whatever day I get around to them. That way I can't be late.)

Trailer the First iiiiis... "Chronicle"!

Watch, watch. Blogger makes it tiny, so just hit the box if you want to embiggen on Youtube.



Looks pretty interesting, no? It's like a mumblecore superhero movie. I'll admit I never would have stumbled across this myself. The mighty film co-agent who is peddling my book to Hollywood mentioned it over the phone. She was talking about the many glamorous people who make up the skin-and-bones of her job (apparently her agency reps Johnny Depp), and me being somewhat star-struck, ran and looked them all up afterwards. (Not Johnny Depp. I knew who he was. Because he's famous and stuff.) The director of "Chronicle" was one of the peoples she mentioned, and so I watched the trailer, annnnd it was cool.

Found-footage has been done to death. So have superheroes. But both at the same time is fresher than most things out these days. Also, the concept of kids with awesome powers, yet not a streak of hero-tude or responsibility, makes for a rather intriguingly disturbing premise, dontcha find?

Excitement level: want to watch.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Hunger Games (It's Like Survivor for Psychos)

Katniss: LaLaLaLa.
Effie Trinket: Isn't she just maaahvellous? *smirky smirk*

I finished it! It was very thrilling. But the second half got mushy. And the whole thing struck me as weirdly light and fluffy for being about murder-for-entertainment. There were some passing remarks about superficiality and rebelling against the authority, but I guess with all the hype, I was expecting something deep and thought-provoking. I dunno. It's not like it wasn't tragic. And violent. Maybe it just seemed light and fluffy because I was in a light and fluffy mood while reading it. Being in a pity-me mood always makes books so much more dire.

But it was great for what it was, which is a lightning-paced, incredibly intriguing dystopia. Definitely stayed up way too late reading it. And I ran and bought the sequel as soon as I was done, even though... hmm... I'm kind of afraid it can't be as good as the first. The main charm of THG for me was the arena, and these very different kids being pitted against each other in a fight for survival, and the fact that every waking second CATO MIGHT KILL YOU. Like I said: charm. I don't know how compelling it will be once the characters go their merry ways.

We shall see.

Three things I feel obligated to comment on:

- on page 4, Katniss pulls on her boots first and then her pants? Ummm... ok. I've tried that and it never ends well.

- Peeta's name. I mean, I get that he's a sonova baker, but naming him after bread? Suzanne Collins was probably like, "Hmmmm, I could call him Muffin or Taco or Danish Pastry, or... OMG... Pita!!! It's like Peter just Pee-tah, and then I shall spell it like Peeta and ooh my I'm very brilliant."

- The last third. The part where Peeta and Katniss are >:O *SPOILER* >:O lolling in a cave and being fed lamb stew from silver parachutes. And Katniss is madly in love. And then after they win, and they're on the train home she's just like, "Ah's jez messin' witchoooooo."

Cold.

Disclaimer: Stefan Bachmann can not be held accountable to rabid fangirls for any statements made on this blog, nor does he mean any disrespect whatsoever to Suzanne Collins, who he actually does think is very brilliant. He's just a brat. If he ever meets her he will be like, "I think Peeta's a GREAT NAME."

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

YOUR DOG IS A COWWW

This week I:

- ate gold-plated chocolate.

- figured out how use iTunes. Clever,  clever!

-  had an interesting experience involving a dog in night-time.

So there was this kid, see, maybe four years old, walking past our creaky old house one evening. And lying in front of Creaky Old House was our doggy Retta.



See? Doggy Retta.










Perhaps not the most intimidating creature on the planet.

Doggy Retta is pretty much afraid of everything except things that are afraid of her. So things like snails and newborn kittens. And certain children. Like this kid. She spotted him, he spotted her. She sensed he was terrified of her. And no doubt thinking this was an opportunity not to be missed, she started barking up a storm.

The kid screeched, "YOUR DOG IS A COWWW!"

O_O

Nooooooo. Why is my dog a cow? I distinctly remember bringing a puppy back from that farm in that valley by that river. How could this happpennnn... * distress*

The kid actually said something else, in some foreign language I don't understand, and the mom had to explain this to me patiently after I lol'd at the expense of her poor barked-at kid. But I liked the first explanation better.

And speaking of cows - I got pictures with some. Because my editor asked for informal 'Swiss' photos of me, and what could possibly be more Swiss than cows I ask you? To which you reply, "Why, nothing, of course! Switzerland invented cows". To which I nod sagely and put on a pair of sunglasses.

So. Cows being in the field, my mom and I sidled up stealthily and took pictures.




This is me being stealthy.

Note how The Cow is totally not looking in my direction. In fact, it's clearly completely oblivious to my very existence.











This picture wasn't sent to my editor, BTW. I thought you should know.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Goodreads, Yo

Look what friend Amber drew. It made me laugh violently. So she let me have it. :)

































In sixty years, I want to look igSAKLY like that.

Maybe a little bit happier.

...

Anyway. Three things:

Firstly, is anyone I know on Goodreads? Anyonnnnnne? I just set up shop there and am utterly friendless.

This is me. Ping! You can add me. Or tell me who y'are and I'll add you.

Secondly - I finished a bunch of books and bought two new ones. They're both several years old and a teeny bit famous. One is The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, which has won the Newbery and the Carnegie and just about every other shiny award out there. The other one is The Hunger Games.

Yeah, never thought I'd do that either.

I actually bought it because of the trailer for the movie. It intrigued me. I'd heard of the book just like everyone else, and I knew the basic premise (a bunch of teenagers go off and kill each other for television cameras) but somehow nothing about it caught my interest. The trailer did though. Weird. So I'll read the book and then watch the movie. The Zürich bookshop only had it with the hideous new UK cover unfortunately.

Look at it.



I don't like it.

Usually, the UK gets the cool, emblematic covers, but in this case the US one is much more muchier.

Thirdly - I'm at 25,000 words for the rough draft of book two! This makes me happy. I like the plot and the characters and the new setting. I'm in that rosy stage where I like everything I write, which is great because that stage is going to end eventually, and then I'll be all like, "Well, this is rubbish, utterly and truly." But so far so good. I just got to write a scene where a character gets eaten by a house.

It's not as silly as it sounds in real life. 

I hope.

Monday, November 21, 2011

La-Di-Da


Yesss! After much torture and twisting of arms, Blogspot has allowed me to post this. 

Beginning at the beginning, last weekend I was at the reading rehearsal with the Musik-Kollegium Winterthur. It's the thing were the orchestra gets to see your music for the first time and basically has to muddle through no matter what.

This particular reading rehearsal was for a huge kiddy/musical/play/opera/thingy that's premiering next spring, and consists of 800 children running around on-stage dressed as foxes and wolves and chickens. They fight and learn French and nearly die of thirst, and one chicken-child gets eaten by a wolf-child. It'll be bone-crunchingly graphic, I'm sure.

Since the directors wanted children - or at least young-ish folk - to do the music too, they called upon the composing class at the Zürich Conservatory. Confetteeeeh. We get to write for a symphony orchestra, and use timpani drum rolls until the poor flutists go deaf, and basically feel like a total rockstar film composers for about five minutes.

Because hearing one's music played by someone who is not one's self - or in this case 100 someones who are not one's self - is exciting. And scary. But mostly exciting. Comparable to having someone else read your stories for the first time.

I pasted a sampling below. It's the music for the oh-so-tragic romance between two of the main characters. Not very flashy, but the wilder pieces I wrote were too glitchy to be disseminated right now. I wrote stupidly high notes for the brass section, see. And for the harp. The harpist actually came over afterwards and gave me talking-to. "Don't make me play stupidly high notes!" Ok. Sorry.

I think the orchestra did really well on this piece, though. It was their first try, so I am in awe. :) I just wish the kid in the front row would stop coughing.

Written and orchestrated by moi:

Stefan Bachmann - Liebesmusik by glassfingers

Thursday, November 17, 2011

It's Not So Fluffy

Sooooo, since I'm not figuring out how to coerce Blogspot into letting me put up a music clip, here's a quick post to pass the time.

Zürich has an English bookshop.


.


Ta-daaa! English bookshop. It's my favourite shop in ze whole citeh.






Yesterday I went there. Look what I got.

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness.

I started reading last night. The illustrations are faaabulous. Really unique and evocative. The book itself has been a teeny bit predictable thus far, but I stayed up until midnight reading so it must be good. I know there's a twist coming. I hope it's a gobsmacker.




The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

Because the UK cover has been on my radar for about a year now. It's so good. Stark and unfussy.

I don't normally read YA. A few weeks ago when I was talking to editors before the book auction, I told one of them that, and she was like "Ohhhhh?" aka "Well, that's really weird." It is a bit. I don't actually have a good reason not to read YA. Teen death books are almost out of fashion, so I can't rant about that. I dunno. I just hardly ever read YA! But this one is about zombies, and friends who have read it have said good things. AND JUST LOOK AT THAT COVER.
 
Haven't started reading it yet because I'm still working my way through Little, Big. Ahem. You might have noticed it's has been in that little 'reading now' gadget in the corner for over a month now? Yeah. That's because it's a slog. And by slog I mean, reams and reams of gorgeous prose and no plot to speak of. I do like the cover a lot. It's pretty much why I bought the book in the first place. I can't say I regret doing so, because the writing really is perfection, but I'll definitely be happy when I'm finished with it.

Oh, and look what else the English bookshop has.












Sweeeet. I did not know this. One more time.















Oooooh. Fluffflufffluffluffluff.
 
You can't buy marshmallow fluff in regular Swiss shops. You can't buy Reese's or cheerios or skittles or liquid vanilla or chocolate chips or any of those things so indispensable to life on earth.

So I picked up a jar. Because I'd never had it before and I imagined it must taste like marshmallowy whipped cream. It's sticky and pretty much just tastes like sugar.

Ick.

I'll feed it to my little brother.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Thing One and Thing Two


Because watching graveyards is boring.

Whew! Busy week. Aside from being the worst tweeter (Twitterer? Tweet-typer? Squawker?) ever, I'm also a baaaaad blogger, so I'm resolving to post at least once a week from now on. Hopefully with something interesting to say. Starting next week, because today I have nothing interesting to say.

I got deadlines for book #1 and book #2. Book #1 is done already, obviously, so that deadline is just for edits. Book #2 on the other hand... Slightly worrisome, but not nearly as much as I thought it would be. It's actually nice to know exactly when the book has to be finished. Made me stop being lazy and start writing every day again.

I wrote 9,000 words last week, which makes me terribly happy, especially since some of those words might not have to be deleted next time I look at them. I have the book #2's plot outlined. More or less. I know what needs to happen all the way up to the climax and I've written the last paragraph. :) So second-book-syndrome has not set in! And I desperately hope it doesn't because I'd fall into sheer and bloody panic.

I can just see myself two days before the deadline...

Oh no. My book. It's horrid/unfinished/unconvincing. My agent will hate it and my editor will hate it and I'll be thrown into the street and die a terrible lonely death.

But so far, all's well, and I'm coasting merrily along on the fumes of "Ohhh, I wrote a book and some people liked it." So I wait for an editorial letter on book #1. I do edits. I hope I don't loathe book #1 when I go back and look at it again. And that's about as far ahead as I can see right now.

The next few posts will probably be about querying or the submission process or suchlike, unless I have something musical to report, or some great drama happens at my school, which is not out of the question as great dramas happen there at regular intervals. Otherwise? It'll be about querying.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Firebird

"I think there's room on everyone's schedule for pure, unadulterated stupidity."

—MTV president Van Toffler

Not sure what this is referring to exactly, but it made me lol so there you have it! :) With that in mind, does everyone have time for pure, unadulterated GORGEOUS ANIMATION??? Good.

This video is sew purty, I want to take screenshots of every second frame and paste them over my spectacles or something. It's almost ten minutes long though, so if thousand-foot-high fiery monsters bore you then... umm... Well, I don't know how to help you.

Stravinsky's The Firebird with Disney animation:




Wasn't it purty? Huh, wasn't it?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Oh. Mah. Goodness.

Look at this...

From Deal Lunch, October 28, 2011
Fiction: Middle Grade


18-year-old classical musician currently studying at the Zurich Conservatory Stefan Bachmann's debut THE PECULIAR, about a changeling who suddenly finds himself at the center of a web of intrigue and danger when he is stalked by a sinister faery, to Virginia Duncan at Greenwillow, in a major deal, at auction, in a two-book deal, for publication in 2012, by Sara Megibow at Nelson Literary Agency (World). Film: Kassie Evashevski at United Talent Agency














Auction. Major deal. Film agent. Woah. O_O

For my dear friends who don't know what an auction is, or what a major deal is, or what the helicopter green willows have to do with anything, let me explain.

Greenwillow is an imprint of HarperCollins. I don't know what an imprint is either, but I suspect it's a specialized sub-section of a larger publishing house. And HarperCollins is a large publishing house. Ginormous, in fact. I feel very fortunate.

The auction part means that more than one publisher wanted to publish my book (!), and the "major deal" part means they duked it out for a ridiculous amount of money.

An author by the name of Jay Kristoff wrote all about what auctions are and aren't over heaaah, far more engagingly than I could have, so check that out if you want the detailed version. (He's rather foul-mouthed though, so be warned.)

And that's that! Now the work starts.

I will admit I would have described the book a bit differently than the way Deal Lunch did. Namely that it's steampunk/gothic/faery/alternate-history murder mystery. Because stalking is not really a hooky sort of plot element for Middle Grade. Also, I'm not sure being a classical musician at the Zürich Conservatory is a bragging point, but whatever. Too happy to keeeeeeer! :D

Annnd too tired to write any more today. I have a recorder concert tomorrow for which I'm ill-prepared. You see, my teachers couldn't care less if I'm a someday-going-to-be-published writer. If I mess up on those last five measures of thirty-second notes, it is OVER.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

They'remakingamovieofthesaddestbookofalltimeandthatmakesmehappy!


Universal Pictures is making a movie version of Dr Suess's "The Lorax"! This is mostly awesome because it's DR SUESS (who for all practical purposes is the definition of awesome), but also because I remember it being the saddest, saddest book I had ever, ever read. When I was six. I haven't read it since, as it has unfortunately gotten lost amongst the vast amounts of other books in our house, but it definitely had a lasting impact. It's kinda like "The Giving Tree", but less confuzzling and more traumatizing.

Of course, at the time I was blissfully unaware that it was a cautionary fable on responsible usage of the earth and her resources. All I knew is that some bratty fellow cut down all the trees and the countryside looked ugly afterwards.

*twitches* I still don't like it when people cut down trees.

The only other thing I remember is that it had a framing story, which, in retrospect, the good doctor did brilliantly well. If you haven't read it, there's this shadowy figure telling a story about a factory to a kid, and the world all around is dark and ruined, and it gives the story he's telling this super-tragic inevitability. Or something. At least that's how I remember it.

But back to the movie. The description on Wikipedia doesn't look overly promising. I don't remember the book featuring an "idealistic young boy, who tries to find the one thing that will win him affection of the girl of his dreams." Also, Dr Suess adaptations have been a mixed bag IMHO, ranging from slightly rubbishy (The Grinch) to inexcusably rubbishy (The Cat in the Hat) to lovely (Horton Hears a Who). This one is by the makers of Despicable Me which was ok, but has subsequently driven me insane since my little brother got it on DVD.

Ah, well. I'll definitely be watching this one when it comes out next year, but not before I've searched out the book and re-read it. It won't be the same as when I was six, but it'll still be saaad! Those loverly, loverly trees...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Oopdate

Ohhhh dear, I've been frightfully bad at keeping this blog updated. No doubt everyone has given up clicking on it, having found out that I'm quite as dull and uninteresting as my bio suggests.

I warned ya! :)

If you haven't given up, this is me handing you a cookie and typing out a quick post about what's going on.

Numbah 1: My book went on submission. To publishing houses. Much madness ensued. I reeeeeally want to say more, but I'm not allowed to.

2: I swanned off to my sister's house in the mountains for a few days. Started Book 2. Got some news that made me start hyperventilating and running around and jumping. My sister was no doubt entertaining the idea of a strait jacket.

And 3: All you thousands of... um, ten people who click on my blog every day? Thank youuuuuuuu! Makes me feel like I'm not talking to myself. Seven of those people I know. The other two are mystery clickers. From Australia. We should be friends.

S'all for now, but I should have a whole BUNCH of interesting news as soon as I'm given permission to divulge. It will involve terror and excitement and phone calls.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Comfort Zones

Yesterday, on the train, I was accosted by a lank-haired aging rocker type who insisted on trying to convince me of the benefits of pot-smoking.

Yeah, my mind does not understand this either.

Now, I don't normally talk to random strangers. I don't normally talk to aging rockers either, especially not on trains where all the other random strangers can sit and listen to your random strangeness. But he started it.

Me: *scribbling frantically on theory homework*
Aging rocker: "Sooooooo! What instrument do you play?"
Me: (Nosy, much?) "Ummmm... piano?" (Because whenever I say organ or recorder, people become immensely befuddled.)
Aging rocker: "Oohhhhh, cool man! I used to be in a rock band!"
Me: (Eww, rock) "Cooahl. Do you play guitar?" (He looked like he played guitar. What can I say... Guitarrists just look like that.)
Aging rocker: "Nah, I carried things."
Me: "You- carried things."
Aging rocker: "Reeeeeeeeally important things. I was almost as famous as the musicians. Everyone knew me."
Me: "Oh. Well, how lovely for you."
Aging rocker: "Shyeaaah..."

And then he went on to tell me how smoking bans are destroying communication between humans, and how some hippie concert a thousand years ago was really swell. Or something.

At first I was kind of annoyed. I had homework to do. He was a lank-haired aging rocker type. These things annoy me. However! I made a conscious effort to be nice. Step out of my comfort zone and all that.

Broaden your horizons, boah, broaden your horizons. You won't always be surrounded by spoiled-brat music students with good vocabulary, vast trust funds, and socialist ideals.

So I did! And we talked. And at the end of the line, when the train pulled into Zürich, we wished each other a good day and wandered off into our very different little lives. I don't think I'll be taking up pot-smoking any time soon. I don't think I'll become a cigarette lobbyist, go to hippie concerts, or do stake-outs on sidewalks with my camp chair with my herd of mournful, malnourished dogs. But I in the end I was happy to have talked to him. I learned all sorts of interesting things. I learned that aging rocker types are rather sad, lonely little people with nothing to do but look back on their glorious youth. I learned that they have yet to discover the use of shampoo. And I learned that they carry packets of illegal substances on them like regular people carry wallets or phones or keys.

So how's that for massive snarky generalisation. Really though, I might do it again. Talk to druggy, disheveled strangers. And even if I don't, I now feel totally qualified to write a lengthy tragedy about aging rockers.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Ahhhhhhhhh...

So remember when I said I would die if one of the two agents offered representation?

*drum roll* *drum rolls some more* *Ba-DUM*

I died.

Both agents offered.

I kid you not. Within days of each other.

And as of today, I am officially signed with the mahvelous Sara Megibow of Nelson Literary, LCC.

Here's my reaction to reading that first email saying she loved my book:

Stefan's head starts to buzz. Stefan reads email again. Stefan walks up and down hallway a few times. Stefan reads a email again. Stefan runs down stairs and jabbers incoherently at his brother and his brother's girlfriend and his other brother and his Mom. Stefan runs upstairs and reads email AGAIN. Stefan lies on bed and stares at ceiling for like... an hour.

Stefan was verrrry happy that weekend.

On the musical side of things, I'm in the final round for a job as organist in the town across the hill. The people there are ridiculously nice. Like, unreal nice. Like Stepford-alien-robot nice. As was brother Florian, who zoomed over on his motorcycle and picked me up after I missed my bus. :)

Yeah. Was a good week.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Zee Blue Monkee!!!

Actually, I lie. I'm not going to tell you about blue monkeys. I'm not going to tell you about the master class either, mostly because I'm afraid someone I met there might stumble across this post and read it and tell the great master, and I will be banished forthwith from his sight in shame and degradation. Musicians do that, you know - google each other in secret to see who is doing what and accomplished such-and-sundry. Or maybe that's just me.

Suffice it to say, the past week managed to make me reeeeeeally tired of playing music.

So I ate this:


(Not all at once. Golly... How could you even think it?)

And watched this:


Yes indeed.

Look at the Cardinal Richelieu's expression in this next one. Look at it really closely. That was pretty much my expression through the whole thing.







Ahahaha. I make me laugh sometimes.

But the movie was definitely lacking class. I think they were trying to go for a sort of Pirates of the Caribbean fantasy/comedy/adventure vibe, but it didn't work for me. Weak plotting, weak directing, lots of Milla Jovovich speaking in husky bubblegum-American. Also, I didn't like the music. A good soundtrack covereth a multitude of sins, proof being The Village and Atonement and a bunch of other movies that I adoaah. This one had some sort of anachronistic James Bond-ish score, complete with drum pads and icky snyth. Didn't like.

The costumes were nice, though. And the ships flew. They fleeeew!

The best news of the month by far, is that I got two requests from agents to read my complete manuscript. Wooooo... That made me happy for about five minutes. All is not lost! They're both pretty terrifying and amazing agencies with NYT bestselling authors and such, so if I got an offer of representation from one of them I would be beyond happy. I would... I'd be...

I'd probably die.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Busytude

Dear Person Sitting Next to Me in the Train: bathing in deoderant, cologne and/or air-freshener does not substitute taking a stupid shower!

That being said, this week is going to be terrible.

Tomorrow I have to play at a funeral. It's my third funeral in two weeks. I get paid for this. Isn't it faintly amusing how someone as insipid as an organist can profit from people dying? Haha. Ha.

On Wednesday I have rehearsal with a clarinetist who I have never met before, playing a Saint-Säens sonata that I have never played before. After that I have three hours of theory, and because our homework was to read something like fifty pages, I have a creeping dread that there is going to be a pop quize. Iiiii need to get that book sharp-like.

On Thursday I have rhythm class. I don't like rhythm class.

On Friday I'm in the newspaper.

On Saturday I have my very first solo concert. Ever. I'm not terribly worried about this one, mostly because I don't think anyone will come.

On Saturday I'm playing at a charity concert for the tsunami in Japan. The piece will be the aforementioned Saint-Säens sonata with the aforementioned clarinetist.

On Sunday I go to Schaffhausen to a master class which will go until Wednesday. This one I am terribly worried about. Geniuses everywhere, watching you while a famous dude tells you everything you're doing wrong. It's scaryyyy...
But whatever. I hope I survive. I hope I have some lovely success to report next week. If not, there will be much weeping and gnashing of teeth on this blog. And maybe a book review. :)

Saturday, September 3, 2011

And in my lady's chamber

Yesterday I started watching BBC's 1971 drama "Upstairs, Downstairs". Yes, I am very ashamed of myself. I haven't watched a television show since a very time-consuming obsession with "24" about five years ago. But because class divisons and the decline of the aristocracy are vastly more interesting that gun fights and bomb dismantlings, and because I have such a lot of work to avoid doing, I started watching this one.

I've only had time for two episodes so far; definitely not addicted yet. There's no over-arching plot to speak of - just vignettes detailing the struggles that go on inside a wealthy London household circa turn of the last century-  but watching the servant's life 'below stairs' is absolutely fascinating. From my non-expert point of view it seems super realistic. Some of the acting is really good. A few scenes are really well-written.

Here's one in which a bunch of the servants become drunk and pretend to be the lords and ladies of the house.

Rose, tipsy maid 1#: Annnnnd will we have the pleasure of seeing you at the races this weekend?"
Sarah, tipsy maid 2#: I'm afrraiiiid not. I am going up to Scotland to shoot peasents."
The footman: "They shoot goarse. Not peasents."
Maid : "Well, I'm going to shoot peasents. It's the latest thing, don't you kneeeew..."

On a completely unrelated note, look at this: http://www.choccywoccydoodah.com/product/0384/Cherubim+Petite+Three+Tier

If you were also one of the many people who didn't make it to Briony's London birthday, that was her party cake.

Spoiled to the bone, I say.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Pictures that move

I'm determined to watch all the movies on this list before the end of 2011. Determined.

The Three Musketeers - The new one. With the flying ships. It looks terrible. But the ships... they flyyyy!

Anonymous - Whose bright idea was it to have Roland Emmerich direct a movie about Shakespeare? Also, the trailer music is rubbish. But it's Elizabethan, and has pretty costumes and cinematography.

Hugo - Martin Scorseses + clockpunk! The trailer looks decidedly 'meh' but ya know... clockpunk.

Hanna - On DVD because I missed it in theaters. Joe Wright is an amazing director.

The Lovely Bones - Waaaay behind on this one so also on DVD. Peter Jackson is also an amazing director. You heard it here first.

Never Let Me Go - Milli recommended this one to me. It's supposed to be sad. Sad movies are the best. Also I like the soundtrack. And it has mild sci-fi elements. Sci-fi + tragedy + cello solos. I am intrigued.

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows - I honestly haven't seen the first one. It looked dumb. It was directed by Guy Ritchie. Neither of those things make me want to watch a movie. Now that I've moved on from literary snobbery and can accept the fact that Hollywood needs to steal instantly recognizeable cardboard cutouts so that they have a built-in audience, I think I will watch this movie. More pretty costumes, and I like the shot in the trailer of the tray falling.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Skillz... Mad ones.

I made a blog header. On Paint. Can you tell? Me neither.

In all seriousness now, someday I'm going to pay someone who knows how to do these things, and I will have a really amazing blog header that's actually funny, but for now this is just going to have to do.

Do you like General Malaise? His real name is Napoleon III.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Blahg!!!

I did iiiit! I blog. Happy day.

This blog is mainly for the benefit of a group of heartless lunatics who ran off to places like Oxford and New York and abandoned me to a life of misery at a posh music school. You, heartless lunatics, are heartless. If anyone else cares to read it, I'm honoured. I won't chase you away. I'll mainly be writing about writing (Ahem) because that's the subject I have been investing exorbitant amounts of time in lately, but I suppose there'll be stuff about books and music and school life as well.

Excitment all 'round, I see.

Ta.