New England Morning

25.10.2013 § Leave a comment

I flew in to New York City by noon on Tuesday for ACT’s annual conference, which lasted til five, then went to a business dinner, and got up early the second morning for more ACT meetings til three when I immediately caught a train to Providence, RI. It was a hectic two days.

The second morning when I got up, it was already dawn, and as I looked out the window, the water and fall scenery drew me in and brought instant serenity to my mind. Seeing the quiet bay and horizontal road dotted with red foliage and a tall chimney, I said to myself, “Ah, this is New England.” A native New Englander might not have recognized why this was so New England, but as an outsider, I could pick up on the subtle, yet distinct differences that made this scenery unique.

New England Fall New England FallNew England Fall

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Nella Fantasia

27.12.2012 § 1 Comment

I joined a community choir near work. I will see if I can insist on finishing this term despite my busy schedule. I believe that singing can be a stress release and, with all that breathing practice, is good for my health.

They tested my range and put me in with the sopranos. I should really be a mezzo-soprano, but we do not have enough sopranos, so I am one now. By the time I have to reach high G, I am literally screaming. The conductor, who is an Emory Music School graduate, has such a beautiful voice. She demonstrates a lot, and I feel like I am getting a free recital every Monday evening. She gave us “Nella Fantasia” to learn; what beautiful melody and lyrics! I had heard this song before but did not know the meaning until now. I had goose bumps when I read the lyrics in translation while she was demonstrating the high notes. Here is the song and a touching Cinderella story about a singer from Korea.

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Same Moon

14.12.2011 § Leave a comment

This past summer when I took a Japanese composition class, my Japanese teacher was a Japanese American. She has been supporting a group of psychologists in Tokyo who run a social program to help counsel the Tsunami victims. At the end of the semester, she brought little knick-knacks to the class to fundraise for the program. The money is used to buy “American” candies or toys for the children when they come together.

Midwest Japanese Association publication image

Program Event (bottom right)

Midwest Japanese Association publication image

Program Event (right side)

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New World Symphony

17.10.2011 § Leave a comment

I remember when my older boy Leo was in high school; he would have his string quartet practice at our house. Leo invested in a bunch of Antonín Dvořák’s string quartet sheet music, and the quartet played gigs throughout their senior year. The sheet music was expensive, and they had just earned enough to cover the investment when they split up to go to college.

It just so happened that I had to remodel my house during my sons’ adolescent years, and I built a light maple floored room with a 14-foot pitched ceiling. The room reflected sound so well when it was completed that the boys used to call it the Echo Room. However, the room provided a good venue for their music practices and I got to listen to live music. They were no professionals, but they were good enough for my amateur ears. I enjoyed those pieces and was pleased to discover and learn more about Dvořák. Before, I had only known of his symphony no. 9, the New World Symphony. « Read the rest of this entry »

Snow Flakes

01.03.2011 § Leave a comment

About ten inches of snow at least. The car windows were frosted solid, I had to scrape very hard to get it off. Every window is frosted; I spent quite some time to scrap each window, enough for me to notice many different shapes of snow flake flowers, how beautiful! Why do we complain about the snow? It is such a blessing to get to see things created by nature!

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