ysobel: A kitten on a piano keyboard (music)
Still taking prompts if anyone feels like suggesting topics

Day 3: Music, & feelings about singing?

This is the not-chorus part of my answer. Because that's for another day. (Also because this is Rehearsal Hell Week and so my answer would be "fuck chorus", which is not actually how I feel most of the time.)

1) Music. Music is vital. Music is -- or at least can be -- transcendent. Music is life.

The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treasons, stratagems and spoils;
The motions of his spirit are dull as night
And his affections dark as Erebus:
Let no such man be trusted.
-- Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice, act V

Ahem. I should really do music babble on a day when I am NOT braindead from Rehearsal Hell Week.

I have never known a time in my life without music -- from "Itsy Bitsy Spider" and other children's songs, to my parents playing [blanking on term here, sort of folk fiddle dance tune things? hornpipes and such?], one on flute and one on guitar with us kids joining in on violin as we got good enough, to participating in choirs and orchestras and ensembles and such, to my parents taking us to classical music concerts. (In fact they would, apparently, go to such concerts when I was a baby, and I would just fall asleep to the music.)

I can't create -- at least not in the sense of composing -- but that is one of the things about music, in that you can create music without taking it out of thin air. And there are moments in certain pieces that just give me *chills* all over, because the music is just so fucking *right*, and because it resonates with something in my soul.

I am also lucky that I have had music lessons: violin and piano, mostly, and so I can read music (but treble clef better than any other; bass clef, or variants like alto clef, I still have to "translate), and I also have a decent ear for how things are supposed to sound.

2) Singing. Is something I have always done, but I have grown increasingly self-conscious of my own voice as a solo instrument. I mean, I got a bit self conscious about it even in junior high, mainly because of the quaver it got when I was nervous, but.

There are two things. One is that I have no vibrato. Absolutely none at all. And while this is good in some contexts (imitating a boy soprano, and some group choral situations), and certainly better than having a wild vibrato that one cannot control, it makes my voice sound ... raw and unpolished, and kind of sharp. Vibrato, good vibrato at least, smooths the corners and edges to make a more pleasing sound.

I was always told, at least through junior high and some of high school, that vibrato was just something that came as you got older. (Like a sex drive, though they didn't generally mention that.) And so I waited and waited for it to happen, and it never did. (Though I doubt it has anything to do with asexuality.)

Some of it might be that I don't have great lung capacity -- for people with FOP, the rib cage tends to get locked up, which is part of what makes pneumonia so deadly. I probably have better than average-for-FOP *because* of my singing, because it was something I was doing even before the disease kicked majorly into action, and because singing tends to provide good breath control and good practice using the diaphragm muscles and such. But I can't hold notes very long, and sometimes I wonder if vibrato just needs more airflow to kickstart. Or maybe my posture isn't great because I am sort of slouchy. Or maybe I'm just broken and don't have vibrato.

The other thing that bugs me about my own voice is that I don't have good control over beginnings and endings. Especially endings (often I just run out of air and the sound goes splat).

Or consonants. Because consonants take up more air (seriously, a good beginning K will use up most of my reserve of air) and because I haven't figured out how to do loud consonants but quieter vowels.

Or ... well, let's just say that I don't make a good soloist. And that singing alone in front of anybody, especially authority figures and/or someone I respect, is kind of awkward. And I also think I sound better than I actually do.

On the bright side, I have damn good pitch. Not perfect pitch, and if the whole ensemble is flat I can't always tell, but I have good relative pitch, and am really quite good at "we play two notes, you match them" type entrance "tests" for choral ensembles.

But singing is also one of the things keeping me halfway sane right now. Because it is the only sort of "instrument" I can "play"; the only sort of music I can produce. Violin is gone, piano is gone (I can plunk out individual notes for e.g. figuring out a part in chorus piece, but actual playing takes mobility), the harp I taught mysefl is gone, even iPad apps either require more mobility than I have (e.g. a virtual harp where you need to use one hand to select or change the chord while the other "strums") or are too limited to be of much use (e.g. the piano app I have, and use for chorus, which only effectively shows an octave at a time, and you can side-swipe for other octaves but that's still rather awkward).

Those are all gone, but my voice is not. And I can't make pretty music on my own, but I can in an ensemble. And I am damn well singing to my niecelet if I can get over the self-consciousness to do so, because I want her to grow up with music too. (Not that she won't, because my sister is as musical as I am -- her current instrument is the ukelele, but she's also done lute and guitar and violin -- but I can add to that.)
ysobel: (Default)
There are still days open! Go suggest topics for me :D. Else I shall be forced to, idk, write more poetry, or picspam baby niece, or something. ...wait, those aren't really punishments.

Favourite books, what are they about and why do you like them. :)

Five favorites, in no particular order:

* Barbara Hambly's Windrose chronicles (in particular the first two, Silent Tower and Silicon Mage). Brief summary: a slightly gawky/awkward computer programmer gets kidnapped to another world where an evil wizard is trying to take over, and she end up allying with a rather adorable not-quite-sane wizard to try to, well, survive. Antryg (the not quite sane wizard) has rather Holmesian deductive abilities, which tends to get him in trouble. The first book makes my heart ache in places because I know things that the characters don't, and they make perfectly reasonable assumptions given what they know, but I love the characters, and the world, and Antryg manages to hit some sort of narrative kink I have that I can't quite put info words.

* Watership Down. Because rabbits, and also because of the lapine mythology and the storytelling. I have a fondness for mythologies that involve trickster gods, of which El-ahrairah definitely counts. It also makes a good audiobook to listen to while going to sleep.

* Midnight Riot / Rivers of London. Smart-ass geeky fannish police officer in London discovers magic exists. I like it for the worldbuilding, for Peter's irreverence and the fact that the shortcuts he takes or invents sometimes help but sometimes make things worse, for the fact that it is totally not whitewashed.

* Good Omens. Because Terry Pratchett (and Neil Gaiman, though I am less enamored of him than I used to be) writing about the apocalypse that didn't happen? Is just plain awesome. And hilarious. And then there's Aziraphale and Crowley being awesome in the way that only angel+demon BFFs can be.

* Spock's World. Because Spock. And Vulcans. (This, along with Pandora Principle aka my favorite Saavik book, were frequent rereads in high school.)
ysobel: (Default)
I like the momentum I've gotten with NaNo -- not all fiction (it's about half "memory dump blog of my childhood/past", a quarter fics for Yuletide, and a quarter misc other stuff including some of the longer journal entries here), more about getting words out at all than about getting a narrative -- so I figured I'd do the December Talking Meme bandwagon.

Pick a date (or not) and give me a topic, and I'll talk then about that. Not sure how much I have to say, because it will depend on the prompt and how I'm feeling and what phase the moon is in, but I'll say something. Can be anything, fannish or not, personal or not, though I reserve the right to decline prompts I'm not up to handling.

Days (11 taken) )

Prompt me!

Nov. 29th, 2013 06:10 pm
ysobel: (Default)
(stolen from ... meh, someoneorother)

Pick a date below and give me a topic, and I'll ramble on. I'm good at talking. It can be anything from fandom-related (specific characters, actors, storylines, episodes, etc.) to life-related to pizza preferences to whatever you want.

They will probably be brief, or not, depending on the subject.

Also, I reserve the right to decline prompts that I don't feel equipped to meet.

Topics: you can get an idea from my tags/from the stuff I usually ramble about/from things you maybe wish I talked about more but don't.

ETA: feel free to give multiple topics (with dates); it's not limited to one per person

December 01 - how soon is too soon for Christmas decorations in a) shops and b) people's houses / gardens, and do you care? ([personal profile] ephemera)
December 02 - ASH - Too hot for tweed...Did armor suit him better? ([livejournal.com profile] zinelady)
December 03 - Ramble about your pizza preferences! ([personal profile] exor674)
December 04 - studying languages. ([personal profile] vass)

[deliberate hiatus for choir burnout]

December 10 - Ramble about your favorite character (or characters) from Haven. ([personal profile] lostdragonfound)
December 11 - Your favorite thing about the dear departed MMO Glitch. ([personal profile] sineala)
December 12 - Talk about one of your favourite tropes/kinks to write. ([personal profile] krait)
December 13 - More stories or pics about Monkey (with bonus!Yahtzee)? Portrait of the Cat as a Happy Monkey... ([personal profile] cadenzamuse)
December 14 - Favourite local restaurant? ([personal profile] trelana)
December 15 - favorite piece of music at the moment ([personal profile] jennaria)
December 16 -
December 17 -
December 18 - Talk about one of your favourite tropes/kinks to read. ([personal profile] krait)
December 19 -
December 20 -
December 21 -
December 22 -
December 23 -
December 24 - Your favorite Christmas present when you were a child. ([livejournal.com profile] zinelady)
December 25 - HOLIDAY FREE FOR ALL. Image! Music! Story! Screw it, it's Christmas, you're not posting anything!
December 26 -
December 27 -
December 28 -
December 29 -
December 30 -
December 31 -

Desk meme

Apr. 18th, 2012 06:08 pm
ysobel: (Default)
From [livejournal.com profile] luninosity via [livejournal.com profile] melissima, a meme about how cluttered my desk is augh of Five Things On My Desk...

1. A dog toy that started out as a frog but is currently missing one entire leg, half of the other limbs, and some of the stuffing. (Yahtzee is not to blame, but his younger foster-sibling, by which I mean the current puppy being raised by his puppy raisers, tends to swallow things like, uh, toys, and scrunchies. Don't worry, I made the requisite frog-legs joke...)

2. Several crochet projects that are pretty much finished except for weaving in the ends.

3. This quarter's choir music (Duruflé Requiem)

4. A small OttLite desk lamp that I got cheap because it had been opened and returned to the store, but that still seems to work just fine.

5. My mug of tea. Er. It's a fairly oversized sort of travel mug, and while I don't quite remember how much it holds, it's somewhere on the order of 32oz. Teacups just get empty too fast...

Next? :D

(I vaguely considered listing "crochet stuff" for #2, where that includes at least three crochet hooks, five balls of cotton worsted, two balls of fingering weight that were tagged for a tunisian crochet project except that the yarn is dark and very splitty and also I had started a knitting project with one of the balls that I'm never going to finish because it's a scarf and I only have about 4-5 inches done and that took me forever but then it turned out to be a pain for tcro also so I have unfinished projects on both balls, and then there's the aforementioned crochet projects, as well as my hat which is done except for a few rounds of brim and also end-weaving. But that seemed like a cheating way of getting around it being five things.)
ysobel: (Default)
I have gotten onto Draw Something as mimeni. Granted, I am drawing with my non-dominant thumb, so the quality is crap, but hey \o/

Who wants to play?
ysobel: (Default)
the WIP filename meme: Post the names of all the files in your WIP folder, regardless of how non-descriptive or ridiculous.

sc bunny fic
spn blue moon
spn succubus fic
spn wsnb fic
yuletide nyr 2009 kfp

(there are also some wips that aren't in files; I should get better organized, one of these days.)

Er, well. Some of these have been neglected longer than others. And that's not delving back as far as I could possibly go.
ysobel: (Default)
I would like all my LJ/DW/inside-the-computer/imaginary friends to comment about how you got to know me. But I want you to LIE. That's right. Just make it up. If you'd like, copy this to your journal so others can do the same.
ysobel: (Default)
1) Any suggestions for good resources on learning Bulgarian? (There are no classes locally.)

2) I can has SHOE. (this is the first time in a week that my left foot has been able to fit into a proper shoe. the big clunky black full-calf moon boot is not the most fun in the summer) \o/

3) Need writing mojo kickstart. Hence, meme:

Post the first line of a story here, and I'll write the next five. No context or prompts, just a line, and if I don't twig who it is then you'll get something slightly surreal back!

...and I am going to splurge and add the following to the meme: for any responses I make, if you write the *next* up-to-five sentences, I'll keep it going. \o/
ysobel: "This life, it fills me with the boredom." (boredom)

Basically, use the above link to comment anonymously with any feedback on my writing. Whee.

(*crickets chirp*)
ysobel: (Default)
I am goldfish-brained right now, so can't get anything productive done. Thus, a meme:

Ask me anything. About myself*, my fandoms, my hobbies, Dreamwidth, whatever.

Anonymous comments are screened for privacy. Feel free to use for awkward questions, or for, y'know, anonymity.

* Don't worry about embarrassing or offending me. Except for trolls -- who wouldn't worry anyway -- I don't bite. I do reserve the right not to answer questions I don't feel comfortable asking, but that just means you won't get an answer, not that you shouldn't ask.


ysobel: (Default)
masquerading as a man with a reason

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