PARIS Arrives

Snow this morning. A gentle drift.

I keep peeking through the front curtains.

Early still. Just a quick glance.

Not yet.

Spend time with the Little in the basement. Watch some television. She loves Mickey’s Christmas Carol in the morning. I fidget and read some news.

An hour passes. One more trip upstairs. One more glance out the window.

It’s there.

There.

I rush to get it out of the snow.

Then. I slow down.

Open it. Catalogue it. Selfies with it.

Now, I listen.

Feelings Friday

You know when you’ve slept well and you awake refreshed and it’s gonna be a great day, no matter what? That’s today.

Like it’s mostly puppies and rainbows today, but layers of the other stuff, too. The add-perspective stuff. A cross section of all the strati is beautiful, and it’s important to see.

Reviewing posts from the past couple of years has revived my desire to write as an outlet. To journal feelings for my own mental health.

From June 2019 I began documenting some grief, which still isn’t complete. Which also isn’t a thing that doesn’t really arrive to completion. I’ll definitely revisit that.

Then: a long break to November 2020, when I got upset because it was the election, and emotions were running so hot, both from my cozy echo chamber and friends whose opinions differ, and I didn’t know how to navigate certain relationships. And the immediate reaction was to withdraw from facebook, and unfriend toxicity. I still think that was the right thing to do.

Then this month. With Hilary Hahn’s new album release, and me being a total fan. And today I’m being an unapologetic fan. This album is the bomb. Do they still say that? This album is the shit? That feels weird, though I have taken to swearing more. My official review: Paris is perfect.

AND, my little Zinger’s birthday is coming up next month. My brother’s, too. Gosh, my heart is so full.

See you soon.

Fangirl Introspection

Some public figures are incredibly generous engaging with their fanbase. I need to be careful with this, as it can turn pretty quickly into delusion. On my part. Like we’re friends or something. We’re not. I’m just a fan.

Take Instagram. And take violin superstar Hilary Hahn. Her account. I’ve been a fan for over 20 years. She (or her social media manager) has liked a few of my comments lately, and it’s been easy to crank out really lengthy responses to her posts. I mean, there are boundaries, right? A point when it’s too much? And I’ve just kept pushing, seeming the biggest weirdo. AND I DON’T EVEN PLAY VIOLIN.

Here are some of the comments I’ve made, from the most recent to three weeks ago. (These are not counting the ones she hasn’t liked.)

Pretty embarrassing. Yeah, it’s too much. Ultimately, participating in social media gives me the opportunity to come to terms with my fanaticism. Also, perhaps I realized too late that I’ve stopped commenting cold, and instead I have been using her posts as writing prompts. I haven’t been respecting her space. I’ve been trying to perform and practice writing in her space. Pretty rude.

So I’m trying to dial it back.

We’re not friends: I’m a fan. She’s an icon. There’s obvious distance.

The Review, As Promised

I finally got around to writing the review about last week’s concert with the Utah Symphony and Hilary Hahn.

The post is live over at The Glass. While you’re there, take a nice, long look at Chris McGovern’s site. He has gotten to interview some serious names in the classical/ contemporary classical/just plain awesome music circuit.

Enjoy!

I Saw Hilary Hahn Tonight

A review of the concert with the Utah Symphony at the de Jong Concert Hall is coming soon. I’ll be a guest reviewer over at my friend’s music and interview blog, The Glass.

In the meantime, a few pictures:

Here is Hilary Hahn’s autograph:

Here I am talking to Hilary Hahn. She appears to be listening intently:

Here is Hilary Hahn laughing at something I said. Believe it or not, I made her laugh on purpose. This is what happens when you put two charming people near each other:

YOU GUYS.

She was so wonderful and cool, and of course charming, and I was SO starstruck.

More to come.

Higdon & Tchaikovsky Violin Concertos

So I already have Joshua Bell’s version of the Tchaik violin concerto, and it would be nice to have Hilary’s. I know she’ll rock it.  But I’m getting the album for the Higdon concerto. After sampling it on NPR a few weeks ago, I had to have it. This purely 21st century collaboration (of Curtis Institute alumni!) is nothing short of inspired.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Because I Don’t Have Time for Words Today

Here’s a link for a live chat between one of my favorite classical musicians and a Pulitzer-Prize winning composer.

Plus – you can hear her newest album over there, at NPR. Nifty!

I’m unfamiliar with Jennifer Higdon, but I imagine she’s incredible if she’s in cahoots with Hilary.

This is going to be a busy week, and I’m going to try my best not to snap at you, but emotions are running way, way too high.

Love you, all the same.

Hilary Hahn – Interview in French

This interview dates back to 2006. Hilary is about three years younger than I am, so at the time she was 26 or 27. (Her birthday is in November. And I was a very enthusiastic follower once upon a time.)

Girl does most of her touring in Europe, so it makes sense that she knows how to speak French. And German. But French here. Skip over this entry if you wish. The interviewer and she speak slowly enough for me to understand most of their conversation. It’s great how she’s not ashamed to ask about a word she doesn’t know. I love how in part two she avoids using the word email and goes for its purer form, (un) courriel. L’Académie would be proud.

Also, the Paganini/Spohr is a great album.

Vodpod videos no longer available.Hilary Hahn – Interview in French Part 1, posted with vodpod

Vodpod videos no longer available.

I’ve Consigned My Soul to Virgin Records

I walked into the store at Union Square today and I had what I wanted in mind and I wasn’t going to wander and be impulsive, but I couldn’t control myself. Walking into that store was maybe a bad idea.

I picked up Bon Iver, For Emma, Forever Ago. This has got to be one of the  most absolutely heartbreaking records I’ve ever listened to. Justin Vernon’s previous band split up, he and his girlfriend broke up, and he locked himself in his father’s hunting cabin in northern Wisconsin and came out a couple months later with this album. It’s brilliant.

I picked up Fleet Foxes, Fleet Foxes. They remind me a little bit of the Avett Brothers. I love their inviting voices and folky feel.  The instrumentation is fun and solid and rich, but relatively simple. Not a song I don’t like on this one.

I picked up the Schoenberg and Sibelious violin concertos performed by Hilary Hahn. This album is a double-Grammy nominee, for best solo performance and best classical album. I’ve been a Hilary fan forever, and I’m very excited to listen to this one at full blast.

Then I went downstairs to tempt myself with DVDs. I shouldn’t have gone downstairs. Of course. I picked up The Visitor. I saw this movie in the theater, and I really liked it. Richard Jenkins does a fabulous job. The movie is wonderfully cast and acted superbly.

Actually, I didn’t pick up anything I wasn’t planning on getting. Still, I don’t really need those things. The music is incredible and the movie is fantastic. Dangit.

Now, I am watching the 2006 Academy Award short film nominees. This was from Netflix, so as long as I don’t step into another Virgin Records store anytime soon, there’s still a chance for me.

***

I took the elevator back up to the top floor, and a song I immediately recognized floated into my ears, “Stop Whispering,” by Radiohead, from Pablo Honey. I wanted to cry. I wanted to sing at the top of my lungs, “Stop whispering, start shouting!” The song became one of my first mantras when I moved to New York City. The song reminds me of my good friend, Janine, my first real friend here. I knew about Radiohead before I met her, but she got me to really listen to them. Janine is 5’8″ with a skinny body type and beautiful, short curly red hair. She has a quick sense of humor. She’s highly principled and has a very strong moral compass. We hit it off right away. She received me and my personality and sense of humor with very open arms. We used to stay up late, sometimes even into the early morning, watching movies or listening to music or even just talking. We’d sometimes burst into song in building lobbies just so we’d hear our echoes. Once we met in a Starbucks and we came up with a subject and wrote about it for 10 minutes and shared what we wrote with each other. The subject was “victim.” We went to quite a few gigs together. She encouraged my writing, and I got her a book about songwriting, because she used to be in a band. She loaned me books about depression. I went to church with her a few times. I got to meet her friends, and once I started making more friends, she met mine. She left the city to study at a theological seminary just outside of Philadelphia. I’ve not had another friend quite like her. So when I heard Radiohead today in Virgin Records, it was as if I could hear Janine singing it herself. “Stop Whispering,” in the elevator bank on the floor of my office at work, while we’re waiting for the elevator so we could take the train home. “High and Dry” in the foyer of her apartment building, almost sounding like a hymn.

I miss Janine.