Monday, 24 November 2014

From Mozart to Mick and a lot inbetween.

Isn't this a beautiful sight?

Sadly, it's not my piano, it's the one that Sibs performed on yesterday. She said she was nervous, but I couldn't tell. For the past three years she has taken part in an end of year concert where the pupils of a few local piano teachers get together and showcase a little of what they have worked on during the year.

 Year one we had 'Sugar Plum fairy'. That year I could tell that she was nervous and the little poppet played it an octave (or maybe 2?) too high. Her little fingers were almost off the side of the piano! She kept going though and asked me afterwards if I thought anyone noticed. No sweetheart, no- one at all...

Last year I had to drop her off at the concert on my way to the airport as I was away on a work trip. It was horrible.... However, I did get to see and hear her performance later that evening from short little clips on my phone. She got through 'Fur Elise' even though she had forgotten her sheet music.

There always seems to be some story to the piano concert and this year it's a hair story.

As the performers take to the stage they bow to the audience. Sibs's is unable to bend at the waist when she wears her back brace, so rather than just nod her head, she did a rather enthusiastic head and shoulder bow. Consequently her pony tail went flying and didn't quite land back where it should! This resulted in what can only be described as a bit of a punky, almost mohican look! She didn't notice.

Almost every girl that followed Sibs did a hair check when they sat down to play. One girl even checked a couple of times during her performance! We had a bit of a giggle about it when I showed Sibs the video of her playing, but she wasn't too bothered. I think she was just pleased that she had got through her piece. This year it was 'Rondo alla Turca', a piece she wanted to play after watching Pride and Prejudice.

This photo is a practise run - with well behaved hair!

In other (quite different) music news, I saw the re-scheduled Rolling Stones show in Brisbane last week.

These photos are taken on my phone whilst I was moving - it's a wonder they've come out at all!

I was lucky enough to have a bit of an inside view at this show and it was such a great experience. Mick Jagger most definitely has 'the moves' and had the audience eating out of his hand. The band had a great energy and played with no support act and no interval. 

I do wonder how many more tours or shows they'll do, so I think it was extra special to be there. 

An appreciation of different types of music is something that I am trying to instil in Sibs. I remember as a teenager my record collection was always pretty eclectic. There was the predictable Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet and then Lionel Richie, Richard Clayderman on the piano or some choral work or Beethoven.
I'm still the same - my ipod is a mix of so many different styles. I don't think Richard Clayderman made it on there though! Sorry Richard. 

Sibs and I often play a game where we hear the first few notes of a song and we have to guess what it is. She's getting really good at it. Maybe because my ipod is constantly plugged in and on shuffle. It's no wonder that my twelve year old can sign along to so many different bands. 

Music creates so many memories for me. It's as powerful as a sense of smell in evoking past times. 

So as I type this, The Black Eyed Peas have just finished 'Meet me Halfway' and Dexy's are starting 'She Got a Wiggle'. 
Quite apt really, as I should probably get my wiggle on and get prepared for school pick up.

There are many, many beautiful quotes about music but one of my all time favourites is - 

"After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music"
-Aldous Huxley

Happy Monday,

What's your music style?

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Friday, 7 November 2014

Falling in love with Brisbane all over again

The other week I was chatting to a lady who said the most lovely thing. We were talking about the wonderful warm breeze that was floating through the open window, the sight of the purple Jacaranda trees and the sounds of the birds outside (it was actually quite a racket, but never mind!) and she said, 

"This time of year makes me fall in love with Brisbane all over again".

How very true....

It seems to be an annual recurring theme on my blog to mention the Jacaranda season. Each Spring the Jacaranda trees manage to surprise me with their bursts of colour. Each year, they remind me how pretty they are and how the days are getting warmer. I suppose it also makes me love this place a little more too.

It's been a particularly dry Spring here in Brisbane. The grass is rather parched and brown so the bright purple of the jacarandas appear even more vibrant.

There is a stretch of road that I often drive past that always catches my eye this time of year. The houses are set slightly low and there are jacarandas everywhere peeping through the rooftops.

The other morning I decided to stop and take some photos. I had to smile at the name of the street...

...of course, what else would it be called?

As much as I tried there was no way I could capture the beauty of the scene. Well maybe if I had access to a helicopter ! 
The shot below is of the opposite side of the road and gives a little bit of an idea of the type of view that is quite common in this hilly part of Brisbane.

There are brilliant street names in my neighbourhood. (Just as an aside there's a great book written by a local author Nick Earls called ZigZag street and this is the very street.) 

I was really in the photographing mood by now and kept stopping the car to snap away. I only just got to school pick up in time.

This is what the flowers look like close up. I think they're similar to the Bluebell carpets that I remember back home...except theses are purple....and they hang from trees! Oh well, there's a little bit of similarity I suppose!

 So as the Autumn leaves fall off the trees in one half of the world warning of the cooler Winter months, I'm watching the Jacaranda petals fall with their warning of the heat to come.

Happy weekend wherever you are.

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