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CLASSICAL PIANO/REPERTOIRE: Recordings
THOUGHTS OF A CLASSICAL PIANIST: My Classical Piano Blog
Thursday, August 16, 2018
Lake Ingalls hike - I heard about this as it was suggested, but finally went on it after having to be reminded again (with the release of the BFA expansion, it gets a bit more difficult to get off my lazy ass or be motivated heh). It was hot as well as hazy yesterday, and the lake water was ice cold as expected - couldn't stay in the water for more than 15 seconds. We got to the top around 4 PM, so the sun was not going to hit an optimal angle I suppose. The descent was more pleasant than usual, with being gradual and not a lot of stones. Most of the climb / descent appeared to be on a ledge (near a cliff), and there was one hair-raising section where it was narrow as fuck and a bit inclined. With a sheer cliff on one side and not much stability, this was one of the most nerve-racking moments I've experienced in awhile. There was one-brief moment or sensation where I felt I was going to slip - the combination of loose gravel and sand made things slippery. Thankfully, there were some sturdy evergreen branches to use as a crutch to get past this.
Congrats to "CRA" as it is exceeding expectations, and it is just the beginning. The momentum should continue not just with this film, but there should be more projects and films involving an Asian-American casts and leads. Keep creating and supporting!
Let us not forget about the influential AA films of the past such as "Better Luck Tomorrow" that have shattered stereotypes, and gone on to become a great film. Props to Roger Ebert for being a staunch supporter (oh yeah, and it'll always be Hammertime!). "We can be whoever the hell we want to be". Because we can. Some recent articles below:
Sunday, August 12, 2018
It begins tomorrow at 3 PM PST, so get yer battle on! I'll have a beer and perhaps a box of lucky charms at my side - after all, it's magically delicious heh. But the concerns are obvious - log-in problems, disconnects, long queue times, etc. If it's a "one launch to rule them all", perhaps it'll turn into "several issues to rule everyone" muhaha.
My next recordings are going to include Studio Ghibli music as well as a few more Mendelssohn. After that, either a Beethoven movement or a Chopin Nocturne. More thoughts at another time on the classical piano blog.
The ending of "Daylight Savings" left us with no resolution, and wondering what happens next. Hopefully, it'll be addressed in the third film, and am looking forward to it. For me, I just prefer independent movies.
Divisiveness among Asians is certainly an issue, which "Yappie" addresses in one of its episodes. Whether you are an SE (Southeastern) Asian or an Eastern Asian, I think we should all support each other. Not necessarily always agreeing with each other or having similar tastes, but just by acknowledging the importance of an event or an achievement. "CRA" is an example.
Thursday, August 09, 2018
I've been a fan of Goh Nakamura's music for awhile, in particular what he sings about - lyrics that convey just everyday, ordinary things or activities like parking tickets and suitcases. Of course, there might be some relationship undertones to some of the songs but at least it is not noise - it is music. Bobby Choy is similar. I'm sure he'll be able to get a few Chopin Waltzes up to tempo (or a variation of it) with more practice heh. With that said, I'm excited to hear about a possible involvement in a third film of the "Surrogate Valentine" series. He was the main character in the first two, and logic would dictate that he would be in the third. But who knows - it could be a new story with new characters, but he better have a major role.
Mendelssohn's "Scherzo a Cappricio". Yeah, I feel like that sometimes heh (in a metaphorical sense of course). This is a piece that seemed impossible to play, but has become more possible fortunately. It reminds me of a crossover between a Rachmaninoff and Chopin, with the arpeggios of chords.
Quote of the Day - "It's more than a movie, it's a movement" - John Chu
Tuesday, August 07, 2018
I never thought I'd see the day that I'd face anyone from the past, and I'd usually plan ahead accordingly to avoid such situations. Talk about "Old faces, new places" (new house, familiar faces). I've just moved on as if a lot of folks had never existed. I'm just continuing to move along with my life, and continuing to solidify my identity: classical pianist, video gamer or WoW'er (until I quit that is), and an advocate for Asian-American rights and opportunities. If anything, it was pleasant and I wish them good luck in their future endeavors and family lives.
Whenever there is a controversy on Youtube, I don't pay any attention to it. Of course, awareness is important as well as finding supporters and sympathizers. But in the long run, it might do more harm than good. Haters and racists thrive on attention (such as the damn libs and extremists) - and they are usually jelly as fuck at your success or talents.
I usually enjoy hearing behind-the-scenes as well as how-it-came-to-be production stories like "Yappie". The same old excuses of, "Oh billy,...what's the catch?" or "Oh billy,...there's no market or is not profitable" are just cover-ups or a subtle way of saying that they do not want to cast Asians or produce shows with Asians in them. You can't paint prejudice and discrimination any more clearer than that. "Better Luck Tomorrow" was a film that went through a similiar situation (such as with most minority shows or movies), but the film director stood his ground and eventually financed it on his own and did it his way. The result? A high-quality film that rivals and even surpasses most mainstream films of today.
It's obvious now that Asian-Americans have to create their own opportunities and continue to speak out. Never mind the obstacles or adversaries / opponents that get in the way. Move around them and focus on positive endeavors on creating / supporting for what you believe in or want to support.
Sunday, August 05, 2018
We got another respite or relief for a few days as it cooled down. But it is summertime - expect it to get hot again (hopefully, not brutally hot). I do need to get in another hike in before summer's over, perhaps even camping out. I've never been an adventurous person, nor someone who is open to trying or experiencing new things. But I'm sure that's what would make life more invigorating or interesting, if a person can overcome that anxiety and other 'irrational' concerns or issues. Or perhaps I've been too complacent in the routine, and I can find myself feeling out of it or mildly depressed with no motivation to do anything. Especially on Sundays, I call it 'Lazy Sunday's', which are often quite a lot of them - especially after a hearty brunch.
Troubleshooting and identifying software or hardware issues in a computer is never easy. Apparently, there was a broken clip or connector and a damaged cable that was interfering with the system board. I should be pissed at the other repair shop for not installing the new hardware properly or evenly, or it was not pointed out if the problem existed. Now that's been taken care of, it's running like it's brand new. I would absolutely recommend Renton Computers. Every computer repair shop should have a team of at least two persons, and should have flexible hours. A one-man crew might be fine (if you have unlimited energy), but there are more room for errors and your computer or device might be waiting even longer. No thanks.
I'm glad to see that a lot of Asian-American personalities in social media and in the film/tv industry have come out to support "CRA". I had my doubts but if it's getting the support and reviews that it has, why not. For now, I plan to watch "Searching" in theaters. Also, hats off to "The Good Doctor" for a new season - it's one of the most diverse and unique (if not the most) shows out there.
Sunday, July 29, 2018
I don't really have the patience nor the desire to shop - in particular, grocery shopping. But it has to be done (online except for the groceries. Not that I need nor have the desire to shop anyway). I'm usually sitting on my ass in front of the computer screen most of the time, but then again we're all on our devices in some way, shape or form. But this morning, I felt I needed to go out after tweaking my lower back (fortunately, just temporary) instead of sitting all morning. Yesterday, I was literally on all fours crossing a shallow river with currents (four points of contact of course heh). The stones on the bottom were slippery as fuck, and combine that with the currents, I had to be cautious. Next time, I have to get one of those grip slippers or footwear. Nonetheless, the water was quite cold - but refreshing. Certainly, always refreshing in terms of relief from the hot temperatures (as long as its clear, clean and cold - the three C's). I think the mountain lakes are the most ideal and tranquil places to take a dip - but be prepared for ice cold temperatures.
Roller coasters can be even more nerve racking if they don't have restraints that feel secure or just around the waist / legs. I don't think I laughed that much since watching the "fat guy destroys xbox" video for the first time. But to be fair, I'd be panicking quite a bit if I were to go on one - more like "get me off of this thing!".
Interesting to note that not only is there "CRA" (with a full cast of Asians), "Wish Dragon" is a computer-animated film with a full cast of Asians voice acting. That is coincidence I guess, but it's a wait-and-see for me whether I'd be interested in them. I'm neither a CRA or a Yappie, but it would make life easier for sure if I were. But I would never compromise my beliefs nor sell-out just for the sake of wealth. But from sheer hard work and dedication - that's what it should be about, which a lot of talents have.
Ricky is quite the OG heheh.
Friday, July 27, 2018
I'm not much of a roller coaster guy, nor do I enjoy going on thrill or adrenaline rides. I would say that I have that "irrational concern" as well. If that is what being scared is, I guess a phobia would be an "irrational concern on steroids" heh. I probably won't be a convert regardless. As far as the Try Guys roller coaster video - that was just hilarious (and educational - yes, your blood rushes to your head and you can experience both positive and negative G's. Nice to note that to further one's anxiety heheh). They should've had an 'Oh Mah Gawd, Oh Mah Gawd...' count as they seemed to scream in unison. The first runs are usually always nerve-racking. And for sure, Physics never fails but remember - it also starts with a "P" heh. The moral of the story is....no thanks - I don't plan on being a convert.
One of my peeves is having to assemble a piece of furntiture using the manufacturer's instructions - often times, you have to decipher some mess that might not describe a section or step clearly. Sure it might be common sense or become second-nature once you have experience. But the combination of impatience and just not being motivated to do these things can certainly put a damper to it.
Thursday, July 26, 2018
And it's on - "Searching" should be out on 8/31/18, one month from now. I'm glad that it's gaining publicity, and that'll certainly be the next film to review - definitely one to look forward to in terms of story, style and quality. I'm also equally intrigued by the fact that it casts an Asian-American family as the principle characters, but they are not casted because of that - but because, as the director said - "Why not". There are quite a few talented, up-and-coming Asian actors, artists, musicians out there. But unfortunately, the discrimination and prejudices persist.
Once again, be yourself. Never compromise your beliefs or stoop low to those who might resort to racist or hateful behavior just because they might not be getting all the attention, or might not have the talent or skill as some. Remember, the same old crap that happens is just that - same old crap. Move on, and focus your energy on positive endeavors - because I'm sure there are like-minded individuals. They might be worth the effort to find and support.
The Nintendo Wii Punch-Out. I might have to get this to try it out - the game is like a cartoon with caricatures. But Punch-Out has some classic characters from the NES days. It should've had all the characters from Super Punch-Out.
Indulging in comfort food in a way is somewhat to what some might refer to as "food porn" heheh. But don't get that attached to it heh.
Wednesday, July 25, 2018
It's been sweltering (especially without air conditioning at home). Although the temperatures have been mostly in the high 80's, it's been persistent. At least we're not in the 90's or 100's - not much of a silver lining however. But fortunately, we have lots of sun as summer should be. Nothing more refreshing than taking a dip in a cold, mountain lake - but that's a hike's worth. Fortunately, there are other lakes and rivers to go to. Just have to get my lazy ass there. I'm pretty much a homebody, but we're looking to go on another hike again.
There are a few other films from the AAIF '18 that I would want to watch, but right now "Fiction & Other Realities" as well as "Searching" are the films to look out for. I'm anticipating that "Searching" is going to be in theaters. Let's get it on!
What we really need or who we need to really call....are some Remake/Reboot-Busters heheh - we need to stop or get rid of all the crap-tastic remakes or reboots. Fortunately, there are plenty that I did not even know existed but unfortunately, exists. Try not to figure that one out heh.
Sunday, July 22, 2018
Some online or Youtube tidbits / thoughts for today:
The Ryan Higa crew should consider making a "Dear Ryan" film - that would certainly top anything currently out there in what's worthwhile and quality. And more parodies - I've been compiling a playlist of parodies anyway. In fact, I'd rather watch their trailers than a typical film in the industry.
Sometimes, there are days when I just laze around and watch Youtube videos. The next WoW tournament season is in Autumn, so it'll be another wait before then. There is a certain fascination with eating and how much a person can push themselves to eat. We all enjoy eating and good foods - I'm no exception for sure. Let's not forget that competitive eaters more or less eat healthy when they are not doing a challenge or a competition, and train / workout in between. If Matt Stonie is Mr. Speed Eater, Erik is Mr. Calories. Guy, eat your heart out.