I feel it’s going to rain (paperwork)


This week that passed on grad school…

  1. You may mess up completely in your conducting and may have to meet your professor for further assessment.
  2. The day feel ready to meet your professor is the day he’s not on campus.
  3. That’s not the way you hold a baton… in your case you should ’cause that baton is like a Harry Potter wand. My response… CRUCIO!
  4. Handel composed “And the Glory WRATH of the conductor shall be revealed”. A song specially dedicated to all conducting majors in the world.
  5. When you think you don’t have enough work, think again.
  6. How many grad students does it take to move a speaker?
  7. Are we on key? Is that a C? a C #? C flat? whut? My thought process when we Glory the anna
  8. Britten concert was a cool experience as a birthday.
  9. You can fall asleep on your couch after a skype call, while your friends wait for you in their house to celebrate.
  10. You will start missing people the day before, during, and after your birthday. (Specially those who are in the moving process).
  11. You all did well, but you still have to take another test of the same material next week (this Wednesday).
  12. My abstract was French with a touch of Dutch… I think I can roll with this… if I can ACTUALLY get the dissertation and scores I asked for… 3 weeks ago?
  13. Lully and Mendelsohn are cool… so cool that I listen to their pieces for basically an hour on repeat and then say WAIT I need to annotate things on these scores. Process may be repeated at least three times this weekend.
  14. J. S. Bach is a cat. With fluffy ears, which I want to pet (if he doesn’t kill me first or tries to escape, and succeed.)
  15. Starbucks Colombian coffee is NOT good enough. I need my Puertorrican coffee.
  16. That moment when your harmony professor calls you and tells you “if you migrate from our harmonic system to theirs (US system) I will disown you. Hey, here’s my email. Anything you need call me, text me or email me (specially for scores).”
  17. Choral Literature Jepordy:  Here… listen to these 3 obscure passages from the 16 pieces. They have no text. Who wrote it?
  18. Something as simple as assisting in giving a midterm may be reassure yourself that you want to be a professor.

 

Coffee


Coffee

Will always drink my coffee and think you’re doing the same. Will always drink my coffee in the mug you bestowed me. My prized possession. A cup of coffee. It might be nothing to some people, but it’s everything to me. That, and the card you gave me for my birthday. They can take everything else, I have those two and I don’t care.

Si vous plait?


Si vous plait?

Wow. I’ve been away for a little while. How quickly time changes! I’ve been in the middle of settling in my new apartment in Illinois, as well as getting ready for my first semester of grad school. Sorry I’ve been away for so long. I’ll be posting further this week!

Let’s Chat Over Coffee- Chapter 8 (a)


Chapter Eight

                 “I can’t do this…” Said Bradley throwing the sheet music to the floor. “Why didn’t I study business or psychology?!”. Picking up his iPhone, he looked at the picture he took with Colin that day they went on their “brodate” to the coffeeshop. “I wonder what he’s doing right now… Maybe he’s reading Les Miserables in French for the thousand time…” He said, laughing at the picture tenderly. Bradley walked to his bed, sat on a corner and looked at the window. “Why am I doing this? It feels like a chore, not something I want to do. I wonder if Colin ever felt this way? Is that why he didn’t study music, ‘cause he didn’t love what he played? I wonder what he played? Was he good? Why did Father made me do this… Music was fun… Music…” Said Bradley as he fell asleep.

 

                 “Do you like music?” Said the stoic man. “Yes. I want to play the piano.” Said cheerfully the short, blonde child. “Well, since the piano teacher is a quarter mile away, I bought you a guitar and you’ll start your classes with Mr. Williams next week. That is all.” Said the man while he left the room. “But I don’t want the guitar, I want to play piano!” Cried Bradley. “Is either the guitar o no music classes.” Said the man from the living room while Bradley cried in his room.

“Hey, Bradley. I’m sorry for your loss mate. She was a great woman. She was like my mum.” Said Eoin to Bradley. “Thanks. I’ve got to go I have a test tomorrow and if I don’t practice Father will kill me.”  Said Bradley coldly. “Mate, your mum died three days ago! Give yourself some time off.” Shouted Eoin. “Well, I took yesterday off, so I’m behind schedule after this. La Catedral is hard and I don’t have my digitation 100% down.” “Mate… the funeral was yesterday.” “Exactly. YESTERDAY. What’s done is done. I can’t change it. Just got to move on with my life. It’s what she wanted and she loved it when I played the guitar. That’s what I have to do, I have nothing else.” Said Bradley holding his guitar as tightly as possible, his knuckles pale white fighting the sting in his eyes. “Bradley…” “Bye, Eoin. See you tomorrow.”

 

                 “You have to be the best, you will audition to Oxford.” Father said calmly. “Do you actually think I’m prepared to even audition to Oxford?” Spat Bradley while drinking his coffee. “Obviously you are. I’ve spent a fortune in looking only the best guitar teacher in all of England, and you will get into Oxford ‘cause you want to study music, don’t you?” He said neutrally. “It’s the only thing I have, it’s the only thing you’ve given-” “And that’s why you will get in.” 

Let’s Chat Over Coffee Chapter Seven


Chapter Seven

                 On a cold December night, Colin clutched his pillow, shut his eyes hard so that he could fall asleep and forget. Rustling in his bed, the only thing that

“I’m sorry… I’m sorry it was my fault… I’m sorry”

…It was so easy… It just came to me. The Piano… Music… Happiness…

                 Colin walks on the street, with Mozart’s “Rondo alla turca” clutched in his left arm and his right hand firmly grasping his mother’s. He was going to have another fun day with “uncle” Gaius. They arrived to Gaius home, Colin saw the familiar red oak door and he knew it was music time. It sends shivers down his spine, Colin closed his eyes as he let the music rush in. Hunith knocked on the door as the diminute music on the other side stopped abruptly. “Colin! Welcome! How is my favorite pupil today? Said Gauis and Colin looked at him in wonder. I’m ok. How are you? That was “Beethoven’s Pathétique Sonata, right?” Said Colin all his bubbly happiness. Gaius laughed “You are a smart one, aren’t you?” Now in the living room, Hunith prepared Colin’s sheet music on the piano “You already know that Gaius. You know that Colin is… different. You would think that he would be playing basketball outside with Will but he’s always thinking about music and reading.” “Ok Honey, let’s get started. We have to go to go Will’s birthday party.” Hunith sat down on the expensive leather black sofa. “Ok Colin, let’s review your scales and arpeggios. In Adagio, play F#m.” Said Gaius  while preparing the metronome.

 

                 “I don’t like this. I wanna play the song! I like it it’s like a story. Do you think Mozart was thinking of a bird flying over a meadow and, and he sang to the other birds and the flowers and then flew high to the sky and danced and then went on playing with-“ Said Colin as he started to play his scales perfectly. “My, my… for a ten year old you have an amazing imagination. You can play your song after you play C major, B major, C minor and A major in arpeggios in triplets.” Said Gaius. “I like triplets, they’re quirky. They want to stand out, just like me.” Said Colin as he played B major. Gaius was always amazed with Colin and his piano playing. Colin’s playing was so innocent, pure. “Ok, very good. Now you can play your song.”  Colin needed no further instruction, he started playing as his swayed his lanky legs barely touching the pearly white tiles.”

 

                 “Gaius… I want study music. But I have to do an awesome audition if I want to get in Oxford.” Said Colin. “Well, you do have the potential. So I think you’re ready for this one then…” Said Gaius as he gave Colin 5 pieces. “Debussy, Bach and Rzewski… I don’t know that last one but I like the title. And, seriously? Claire de Lune?” Said Colin incredulous. “Ah… it may be “cliché” but very few can play a good Claire de Lune.” Said Gaius as he started to play. The chords and the subtle intensity made Colin’s gasp. He felt in another realm, all the knots in his back from playing in a bad posture were gone; he closed his eyes and dreamed. He felt he was in Paris, under the Eiffel Tower with his mum, after he got accepted to Oxford… he felt at ease and most importantly, at peace. “Now… that is how that clichéd piece should sound like.” Said Gaius laughing. “Now let’s get started. As always you start thinking about College and you’re still… how old are you?” “I’m 16… why?” Said Colin… “Did you forget my age… again?”  “My boy… you need to eat more. You’re too skinny and besides you look as if you were 13 years old. Now, now… go and sight read the Bach”. “Yeah… yeah ok. I’ll start with the Bach,k?” Said Colin as he opened the score. “Bach’s Piano Concerto #2 in D minor… I think I’m going to like this one.” Smiled Colin to Gaius as he started to play.

 

                 “We’re late! Come on Gaius, pick up!!” Said Colin pacing on the porch. “I’m just around the corner… I fell asleep. Sorry, my boy!” Said Gaius, quickly as he ended the call. “Typical” Said Colin. “Mum! I’m going to the audition? Right? Said Colin as he headed to the kitchen. “Yes. I’ll be there, don’t worry. Right after I finish babysitting Asa. I know you’ll be amazing. I love you.” Said Hunith as he kissed his Colin on his forehead and gave him a biscuit.  “I love you too! Bye mum.” Said Colin as he raced towards the door.

                 Emerys, Colin. It’s your turn. “Good Afternoon. I’m Colin Emerys.” Said Colin toward the judges and he sat on the piano. “What are you going to play?” Said one of the Judges. “It’s a surprise… I think you’re going to love it as much as I do.” Said Colin smiling at the judges.  Colin breathed and started to play Claire de Lune. Halfway in the song, he felt something was off… His piano sounded weird…. He looked at the chairs behind the judges. Hunith wasn’t there. He tripped over a few notes, but continued playing. His heart started to race, his hands were sweaty, he lost all concentration. “Maybe she’s stuck in traffic”… Just as Colin finished that though. The theater door slammed open. “Sir… Sir you can’t go in there. There’s an audition…” Screamed a judge. Colin jumped, he stopped playing as he saw Gaius almost falling down… He looked at Colin and Colin felt he was going to pass out. “Colin…” A judge got up and said “ Gaius! You know you can’t be here. Your pupil is in the middle of his audition.” “I know… Could you give me a few minutes? It’s an emergency” “Sure…” Said the elderly judge with a comprehensive eyes. “Mr. Emerys. You can start again as soon as we’re finished with the next one.”  “Gaius… what happened? What happened to mum?” Said Colin agitated. “Gaius! What happened?” Gaius just looked at Colin and said… “I’m sorry… a truck… it started to rain and…I’m sorry” Colin just stood there as his world came crashing down. 

Let’s Chat Over Coffee- Chapter 6


Chapter Six

                 So was this you trying to impress me? By tripping on the carpet. By the way that cinnamon dolce latte is really good. It might be a new favorite. It might be. Said Colin smirking. Oh shut it. I did not trip. As I told you the Earth rotated against my will. Didn’t you come here to help me? Instead you are judging my amazing Earth rotating abilities? I am disappointed at you. Judging someone over they’re abilities. Said Bradley holding his literature book. Ok ok, I’ll stop judging you. Now what is it that you don’t understand? Said Colin smirking. Ok… Here-  Bradley hands Colin a yellow folder labeled “To-Do List”- The ones I can’t figure out are the ones marked in yellow. – Do you even understand the material? There has to be like 30 terms! Colin said surprised. And that’s why I need your help. Said Bradley with one of his award-winning smiles. Ok. So let’s starts with the Iambic Pentameter…

 ______________________________________________________________________________________ 

                 Bad night, Arth? Said Eoin, rummaging in the fridge. “Why are you in my flat? I was informed that you were moving out last week.” Said Bradley throwing himself to the couch. “I knew you wouldn’t live without me.” Said Eoin as he bit an apple. “That means you couldn’t find a flat that was cheap enough, close to the bar and college. And the fact that you can’t cook makes it harder for you to live ‘cause you cant live with just Beer and Healthy Choice’s Café Steamers.” Bradley got up from the couch and heads to the kitchen and slaps Eoin in the head. “So that means you have to pay rent on time, buy groceries and pay half in everything. If you can’t do that I will kick you out.”I am pleased to inform you that you are going to buy dinner ‘cause as you can see my former flat mate ate everything and now I don’t have anything to eat.” Said Bradley hitting Eoin again but with an orange. “Fine! I’ll order some pizza. At least you have some of that wimpy beer”- Hey! Smirnoff is not a “wimpy beer” and what are you talking about? You drank half of them last week!  Said Bradley insulted. Exactly, I didn’t get wasted. Hence why its wimpy and you should buy straight up vodka. What’s the number of the pizza place?  Said Eoin after munching another piece of apple and fumbles with his krazor.

______________________________________________________________________________
For what it’s worth

I miss you…

Why do you linger?

Why do you stay?

Can’t you see this can’t happen?

Not this way?

 

Colin tries to shake his thoughts as he sits down. Closing his eyes he exhales and places his hands on the keys. He opens his eyes; his hands linger over a C7th  he shifts his hands as he meticulously starts playing. Exhaling and inhaling with the beats, he closes his eyes. An amalgam of arpeggios, chords bounce off the walls and fly off the tiny cubicle. Students stop and stare at Colin’s piano playing, asking each other “who is the virtuoso pianist?”

                 When he finished playing, he could feel himself sweaty and hyperventilating. Oblivious to the crowd outside, he closes the piano, picks up his bag and heads to the door. Colin halts as he stares at the people staring back at him. He starts to slowly move towards the door as he looks at the students fleeing the scene and only one figure is left. Colin opens the door and recognizes Eoin. “So why aren’t you studying music. You studied with Gaius didn’t you?” “ Um, yeah I-” Colin started to ramble. “I don’t know why you stopped playing, but you should continue, I’m looking forward to more of you impromptu concertos” Eoin smiles as he flips his black wavy hair to the side as he smiles cockily. “Could you at least tell me what it was?” “The people united will never be defeated, the Variations 27-29th by Federic Rzewski” Said Colin in shock. Eoin walked away as he said “I’ll see you when I see you, mysterious pianist”.

_____________________

Here’s a video of the piece Colin played:

Let’s Chat over Coffee- Chapter 5


            Chapter Five

            Thinking why he said yes to Bradley, Colin waddled to the music department at 6:00pm, in his tight black pea coat, black jeans, gray polo and black converse. “He told me he would be in the second floor… but those are cubicles, not ensemble classrooms.” Thought Colin out loud. Passing through a few cubicles, he saw a big classroom with the door slightly opened, there he could see Bradley from the narrow space from the door, Bradley was singing something as he carefully opened the door, tip-toed his way into the room and listened to Bradley sing.

And I wonder if I ever cross your mind

            For me it happens all the time

            It’s a quarter after one I’m a little drunk & I need you now

            Said I wouldn’t call but I lost control and I need you now

            And I don’t know why I could do without

            I just need you now

Colin smiled as he saw Bradley do a concert like jam and the end, and started clapping, startling Bradley. Colin started to laugh as he said “Nice tune… I know you need me now so you won’t fail your literature class. So Mr. Musician, are we going to talk here, am I going to listen to the rest of your concert or do you want my help?” Said Colin in a teasing tone. “How long have you been there?” Asked Bradley embarrassed of what just happened. “Not long, just saw the ending.”  “Oh… good. The rehearsal got cancelled so I got stayed here. I thought of calling you but I didn’t know if you had something. Wanna get some coffee?” Said Bradley as he packed and grabbed his luggage. “Sure. I’m running low on caffeine. Do you need help? You got a lot of things…” Said Colin as he took a good look of everything Bradley had on. “No thanks, I’m used to it. Dad said I would be better just as a singer. No luggage, thank God I didn’t decide to be a percussionist.” Laughed Bradley.

Entering Perk’s (even better than her “cousin” Starbucks), Colin goes to the line as Bradley chooses two black leather sofas with a coffee table in between close to the window. Bradley was placing his guitar, bag and his 3-inch portfolio carefully as Colin thought “Thank God I didn’t decide to study music, my bag is heavy as it is, but maybe I wouldn’t have had such a bad time… I was a pianist, after all.” As Bradley approaches Colin with one of his “award-winning smiles straight out from a magazine” Colin starts talking “I don’t know how you can walk all around campus with all of that. I would die-” “You get used to it. And besides, since you’re a pianist you don’t have to be with all of that. You just go to the room, sit and play your heart out, don’t cha’? Bradley smirks as Colin blushes “You remembered…” “Hey, it’s not everyday you get to know a student from a world-renowned pianist. Since when did you start playing the piano, though? Why did you leave, I mean with a mentor like that you would be competing against 5 year old Asians in Italy or France.” Bradley says as they reach the Brittany, the perky blonde cashier, as he orders a medium cinnamon dolce latte and a cinna cinna  bum bum for him and a medium black coffee, no sugar for Colin. Surprised, Colin utters in disbelief: “How did you know my coffee order?” Bradley smiling replies “We’re here almost every day at more or less the same time. I’m surprised you don’t know ~mine~ and do you want the two bagels you always order with your medium strong black coffee, Mr. Emerys?”  “No it’s ok. You don’t need to-” “Wait… scratch the cinnamon bum and give me 4 bagels. Two regular, one with some pumpkin spice and the other with some cinnamon sugar.” Said Bradley as Colin looked at the wood flooring cheeks red. “You ~need~ to try those bagels, I don’t know about you but there’s a way their coffee melds with the flavors of their bagels… it should be illegal.” Said Bradley. “That’s why I eat them every time I get here.” “So, what is it that you don’t understand about your Lit class that you need my help. Let’s go over where you left your things before they steal your guitar, you can tell me as we wait for the coffee.”  Said Colin as he slightly pushed Bradley to their seats.

“Right.” Said Bradley to himself as his face turned from happiness to sorrow and frustration. Colin watched Bradley closely as he thought what was so hard that Bradley was so frustrated. “So I’m taking the class with Dr. Ellis and I don’t get it… no matter how I study… I fail his tests, he thinks asks the most insignificant details from the selections and it’s frankly killing me. I can’t fail this class, or anyone whatsoever, if not they will revoke my scholarship.” Bradley sighed frustrated. “Ok, don’t think you’ll fail. Just tell me what are the selections you need to read.” Said Colin encouragingly. Bradley took out his book and notes when Brittany called their names. “I’ll get it. You can start looking through my notes, if you can understand them. There’s a post-it with the selections, its neon so you can’t miss it.” Said Bradley.

Bradley got what they ordered and for a second he unconsciously started at Colin. The way his cheekbones looked in the lighting, his paleness, bed hair and the fact that Colin looked adorable. He thought of how Colin was always dressed in black and still he looked beautiful. Wait… Did I just think Colin was… BEAUTIFUL?! Pendragon… calm yourself and act cool. You can’t think of him that way. He’s just here to help you with a test, nothing more nothing less.  As he was walking toward Colin, he felt that the Earth rotated slightly. Having no idea what was happening until he heard a crash on the floor and a sharp pain in his ankle. Colin asked if he was ok, but Bradley was still in denial of what happened. He tried to get up but recoiled at the sudden pain that made him hiss. Um… sorry. Don’t know what happened. Did I trip over something? Bradley said. The only thing that was heard in the coffee shop was Colin laughter at the scene that played before him.