Saturday, 31 May 2014

"Look Up"

If you haven't seen this video, then I recommend that you watch it. Ever since I watched it, I've realised how much I look at my phone, just because I'm 'bored', when I could be spending time with people. I'm making a conscious effort to put it down when I don't need to be looking at it. And I realised that, even though I dislike it when people do this, I am guilty of sometimes looking at my phone while talking to someone. This is something I've changed as well.

This video has a great message about today's world, with all the social media and technology.

Are you guilty, like me, of over-using your phone, or any technology, while there are other people about? What do you think of this video?


Exactly 1 week ago, I was at my friends house, waiting for another friend to arrive. We had the eisteddfod that night, to perform with the clarinet group, which we are in! We were having a lot of fun, sitting at her kitchen table, eating Tim Tams, and talking.

The clocks began to strike. 4 O'Clock. These clocks were entertaining, there's a lot of clocks in that house, and they all seemed to be set to go off approximately 30 seconds after one another.

At 4.30, our other friend arrived. After grabbing our clarinets, we all headed out to the car. We were about to go! But first, we had to pick up the sister of the friend who had picked us up. Off to the netball courts we went! By the time she was finished her game, it was nearly 5 O'clock. On the way down, we were hoping we weren't on first, since it's an hour's drive, and the session started at 6.

We were nearly there, it was around 5:45pm, when one of my friends received a text. It was from another girl in our clarinet group. "Where are you?", the text said.

Because my friend had no credit, I pulled out my phone to reply. "We'll be there in about ten minutes," I typed. Around five minutes later, I received a reply. "Okay, we're on first." At this point, we all started worrying. We had to get there, set up, warm up (if we had time!), and tune before we could start, and it was nearly 6!

We arrived at the Eisteddfod at 5:58pm. We hurried up the stairs, and headed over to our group. They had rehearsed the piece earlier, since the three of them (and our teacher) had arrived with plenty of time.

We set up our clarinets, but had no time to warm up. After jumping right up on the stage, we tuned. We started a few minutes after 6pm, but we couldn't help that. Fortunately, all of our clarinets were pretty much in tune right from the start!

Our teacher was conducting us. We began to play the piece we had prepared. It is called 'Evil Doctor Craw' by John Barrett.

After we finished, we hopped down. I know I made a couple of mistakes that made me cringe slightly, but nobody else seemed to notice. Or, if they did notice, they didn't mind. I didn't notice many mistakes in the other 4 parts, which was comforting. Our teacher gave us a big thumbs up after we left the stage, and, at that point, I knew we had done well. We won our section.

Three of the members of our group went up later to play a Rondo Trio. And, I must add, they did extremely well.

All in all, it was a brilliant night, full of music and smiles. I wasn't nervous that day, because our previous rehearsal had gone fairly well.

Have you ever entered an Eisteddfod? Were you nervous? How did it go for you?

Daybook - No. 2

Outside my window...
Cars are driving past on the highway. It was raining yesterday and today, so it is very wet, with a huge puddle right outside our house!

I am thankful...

For all my amazing teachers and lecturers at TAFE

I am thinking...
About the play tonight: only one performance of Calamity Jane left!

Learning all the time...
Yesterday I learnt how to edit and 'comp' vocals in Pro Tools. Comp'ing is when you record a few takes of the same vocal line, and then cut them up and take the best bits of each take to paste into the final version. This way, you get the best vocal possible in your songs!

From the kitchen...
My sisters are cleaning the kitchen at the moment.

I am creating...
I've started a couple of drawings. I bought some blending stumps yesterday, and I am testing them out in one of my pictures.

I am working on...
Building a steadier schedule for my week. At the moment everything's happening so fast; a week goes by in just the blink of an eye!

I am going...
To the theatre tonight.

I am hoping...
That the rest of the term goes smoothly.

I am praying...
That my pieces, which I am preparing for my upcoming music exam, will come together nicely.

I am reading...
I'm not currently reading any books, I need to pick one up soon, I think!

I am listening to......
'House Of Cards' by Human Nature.

I am hearing...
My family talking and watching television.

I am struggling...
With fitting everything in. This is why I am trying to set up a stable schedule.

Around the house...
Two of my sisters are cleaning, my brother is probably playing a game, another sister is probably sewing, Mum and Dad are talking and watching television, and my final sister has caught a tummy bug. I'm hoping it doesn't get passed around to the rest of us!

One of my favourite things...
I love playing board games, and I have an eye out on a few I'd like to buy one day!

A few plans for this week...
For the rest of the week: we have the theatre tonight, and then mass on Sunday. I will be seeing my brothers girlfriend tonight at the theatre, and I'm really looking forward to that!

A little peek at my day...
I have had a lazy day today, so far. I awoke at 11am, and then got up at 1pm. I was absolutely knackered after this week. I've listened to some music, and now I'm doing a check of my internet things.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Re. Why, Google?

As a response to my previous post, expressing my annoyance at Google+, I finally managed to find the widget I had been wanting! It's now called 'Members', and I had to go to the 'More Widgets' tab, whilest I was in the template design, and typing 'Google Friend Connect' in the search bar.

In case anyone else was having the same problem: I've found the solution! Hurrah!

Why, Google?

I have been editing the template and arrangement for my new art blog, and I went to add the 'followers' widget.

What did I discover?

Google removed this widget a long time ago.

They've decided to integrate Google+ with Blogger. Ok, integrating Google+ with Youtube was annoying enough, but they've done it with Blogger as well?

I don't want my Google+ Profile showing up on my blog. It's just something I don't fancy. But, apparently, if I want to add a followers widget to my new blog, I'll have to.

Blogger and Google+ are two completely different platforms. Blogger: you write blog posts. Nice, long posts. You can even earn money through AdSense. You can use your blog as a successful site.

Google+ is more of a 'write a short status', 'like other people's statuses' kind of platform. Two completely different purposes, two completely different uses.

One wonders WHY Google has the need to integrate Google+ with everything. It's gotten ridiculous. I do use Google+, but I'd like it to stay separate from the other services that I use.

I got around the Youtube problem, by creating a separate channel with a separate email address. But I don't want to do that with my blogs, I think it would be too much of a hassle.

So, pretty much, I'm annoyed with Google and Google+.

What are your thoughts on Google forcing us to use Google+ with everything, even though we may not want this?

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

New Art-Related Blog!

Hey everyone,

I've started up a new blog for my artsy things! I haven't posted any of my new drawings yet, but as soon as I am able to I will!

The link is:


Do you do anything artsy? Sewing, drawing, painting, or anything?

I Miss Google Reader

Because I am making a valiant attempt to get back into writing on my blog, I feel the need to get back into reading other people's blogs! I am following a fair few blogs, but actually going to read them has proven to be a bit of a struggle for me.

It was so easy back when Google Reader was running. I'd just click the tab 'Reader', after I checked my emails, and the layout made it incredibly easy to see and read all the blog posts that other bloggers had posted.

Unfortunately, since the removal of Google Reader, my interest in blogs slowly vanished. I didn't have a simple way to read blogs, so I stopped. I tried a couple of alternatives, but I was continuously forgetting about them, and thus I still wasn't reading the blogs.

So, I've started just using the Blogger homepage, and opening up people's blogs whenever I see they've posted something new. It isn't as simple as Google Reader, but at least I'm reading blog posts again.

The only problem I'm having is sometimes my Blogger 'reading list' on the my Blogger Dashboard comes up as empty. It doesn't recognize that I'm following any blogs, when I know for certain I am. It usually fixes itself up soon enough, though, so it isn't too much hassle.

Did you use to use Google Reader? What do you use to keep up with all your favourite blogs' posts?

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Daybook - No. 1

Outside my window...
I hear busy sounds of the highway..

I am thankful...

For all the opportunities I have received, and am still receiving, since I moved..

I am thinking...
About my friends

Learning all the time...
I've become a stage hand in the latest production at the theatre, it's great to learn how to quickly change the sets.

From the kitchen...
Silence. People are asleep.

I am creating...
I'm working on a composition at the moment in F Lydian (key of C major/A minor, but the root chord will be F). Hoping it'll sound ok-ish.

I am working on...
Making sure I eat 3 meals a day, I skip out on breakfast too often.

I am going...
To an Eisteddfod tomorrow

I am hoping...
That the eisteddfod goes well.

I am praying...
That I will be able to locate a job soon

I am pondering....

What should I draw next?

I am reading...
I just recently read all three of The Hunger Games books, and will be reading the latest Brotherband book soon!

I am listening to......
The hum of the highway.

I am hearing...
^ Ditto.

I am struggling...
I'm not really struggling at the moment. Just plonking along at my own rate.

Around the house...
People are sleeping.

One of my favorite things...
Being able to watch the latest play at the theatre group come together, from an audience perspective. With all the plays I've been to since I moved, I have been either backstage or onstage, so it was nice watching it from an audience perspective, even if I'll be backstage for the actual performances.

A few plans for this week...
Eisteddfod, and more backstage work at the play! We're currently performing Calamity Jane.

A little peek at my day...
I got up, arrived at TAFE a little late, and then afterwards I wasted time for a couple of hours. After buying some artist's erasers, 
I saw a friend, who I haven't seen in a while. Then headed off to the theatre group for the opening night of Calamity Jane. It went splendidly!

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Igudesman and Joo

I have had a writer's block for this blog. I want to start blogging again, but I don't know what I should write about next! So, I thought I'd share a few funny videos.

These are from a musical comedy duo known as 'Igudesman and Joo'

A parody of 'All By Myself'

Mozart Bond

Alla Molto Turca

I Will Survive

Rachmaninov Had Big Hands

Which one of these videos was your favourite?

Monday, 12 May 2014

Merry Monday!

What's that? It's Monday? AGAIN??
Well then..
Time to brighten it up a little!

And now for something a bit more inspirational!

Have a beautiful Monday, and a fabulous week!

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Happy Mother's Day!

I hope all the mothers out there have had an absolutely fantastic Mother's Day!

We went to church in the morning,  with my brother's girlfriend. Then off to the shops to organize lunch. We bought bacon & cheese rolls and hot chickens. After we arrived home, cut up and had some of a marble cake that my sister had made the night before. It was beautifully tasty.

After a couple hours of rest and sleeping, we headed off to Coffs Harbour. Deciding to go to Kmart, we went a little further to Toorimina. I acquired a Tumbling Tower game.

Tumbling Towers
On the way home, we dropped off my bro's girlfriend. We then bought chips to have with the remaining hot chicken from lunch, and we're now home.

It was a generally nice day, and I hope my Mum enjoyed it!

Happy Mother's Day!

Tuesday, 6 May 2014


Over the past weekend, I had two concerts over two days. One in Grafton, and one in Bellingen. These concerts were with the orchestra that I am a part of: The North Coast Performing Art's Association.

The program was:
G.F. Handel - Ouverture from 'An Occasional Oratorio'
J.S. Bach - Keyboard Concerto in DM, BWV 1052 - Soloist: Jenessa Mok
G.F. Handel - "Be Wise", "Ye Sons of Israel", "From the East unto the West"
Antonio Vivaldi - 'Autumn' from The Four Seasons - Soloist: Lachlan Wilkins
Vaughan Williams - 'Toward The Unknown Region'
Benjamin Britten - 'Matinees Musicales', an orchestral suite, after Rossini

Clarinets were only playing in the last two items on the program (The ones by Vaughan Williams and Benjamin Britten). They were both thoroughly enjoying to play, and my part was interesting! The second clarinet part (which is what I played) had quite a few key parts, and a couple of solo / soli with other instruments bits.

It was heaps of fun, and I can hardly wait for the next set of concerts, in the second half of the year!

For now.. time to concentrate on preparing for my Grade 8 AMEB practical exam!

Friday, 2 May 2014

Easter Holidays

Because we are now a week into term two, I think I should post about the happenings over the holidays, before it's way too late to comfortably do so!

The holidays started a little hectic - mad cleaning and preparations. But for what?
My two eldest sisters were coming home for Easter!

That Sunday, they arrived. The next day was spent preparing their combined birthday party (which was also combined with my 14-year-old sister's birthday).

You could say the party was a flop.. only a couple of people turned up, and everyone was too tired to do anything. We played guitar hero and ate some food, and then watched television.

My brother's girlfriend had also turned up to stay a couple of days. That was also a great deal of fun!

Holy Thursday and Good Friday came around, and we went off to Church. Afterward the Good Friday mass I got to see a couple of my good friends who are currently at university, but were back up for the holidays.

On Holy Saturday we went to the Easter Vigil mass. I love the Easter vigil.. it's one of my favourite masses of the year.. it's beautiful.
I also went to Mass on Sunday morning, which was also beautiful.

That afternoon, on Easter Sunday, we went to the beach.

While we were there, my Mother and my 21-year-old sister organised family photos:

A nice one!
The 'crazy' shot
Yeah, we got really sandy after this one

Also, while there, I went off and decided to make an attempt at sand sculpture. At the beginning, my sculptures kept falling apart, much to my dismay. Eventually, however, I managed to sculpt this, in honour of Easter Sunday:

Also during my sisters' visit, we went to Coffs Harbour to play mini-golf (putt-putt).

My 21-year-old sister's boyfriend enjoyed the fact that we live on the river, by fishing. A lot. He even went fishing at 2am one night. I was glad to know he was enjoying himself.

One day Mum and my sister went to BigW, and came home with a basketball hoop, bicycle, scooter, some Frisbees, and I managed to get a deal on a basketball and volleyball. Yay for outside toys.

Then, one day, it came to be that it was my sisters' last day. They were packing  the car, and left early in the morning. It was rather nice to see them again, and will hopefully see them again soon!

The whole family! (Except from the cats..)

What did you do over the Easter break?


 Hey everyone.

So.. at the beginning of the year I went to the optometrist. By the time I had left I had organized and ordered glasses.

My lenses aren't strong, as people tend to point out.. but the reason I got them was because I find it difficult to keep my eyes focused on things. It takes quite a bit of concentration without my glasses. Since receiving my glasses, however, it has been a lot easier to focus! Now I can read music and books easier.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Thoughts on Fully Diminished 7ths..

It's amazing what one realises late at night.

I was thinking about diminished 7ths. I don't know what it is about them, but I love them. This is probably because you can shift key with them, or just modulate to a different key, but a dominant 7th chord has become more popular to do so. As a result, fully diminished 7ths have become less popular in modern music. In fact, I also like them because there are more ways that a diminished seventh can lead to various keys than a dominant seventh.

I have a piano program on my computer - so pretty much an interactive piano keyboard on my screen.

I began by playing a C fully diminished 7th. I then played an F# fully diminished 7th.

I frowned. And played them again. I double and triple checked that I was playing the right notes.

My discovery? When you play the C fully diminished seventh in it's 2nd inversion, you are playing the exact same keys as an F# fully diminished 7th. Call me crazy, but I never realised this before. Maybe it's because I haven't really played around with diminished sevenths.

But then I thought: What makes the difference between an F# fully diminished 7th, and a C fully diminished 7th in it's second inversion? The answer was rather obvious to me, but I have heard people complain about this sort of thing
'There isn't a difference!', they cry out, as they rack their brains trying to figure it out. Their souls weary of the complexity of music, they just want it to be simple. So they say the easiest answer. 'There isn't one.'

But in reality, there is. It's the spelling of the chord.

I mean, as an analogy: 'joyful

F# fully diminished 7 has these notes:

F#, A, C, F double flat

C fully diminished 7 has these notes:

C, Eb, Gb, B double flat (the second inversion has the notes in this order: Gb, B double flat, Eb, Gb )

If you look at them - on a keyboard, F# has the same pitch as Gb, A has the same pitch as B double flat, C has the same pitching as C, and F double flat has the same pitching as Eb.

But it's the way the notes are written on the page that make a difference.

B double flat and A may have the same pitching on a piano, but by no means does that make them the same note. They are two different notes. Same pitching. Different notes. That's why we have keys like C# major and Db major. When you play them, they sound exactly the same - the technique is the same. But the way they are written on paper is what makes a difference between the two.

Types of triads..

This post is pretty much a sum-up of the triads that I have learnt so far through TAFE and my other musical studies, so I can quickly refer to this if I need to. The descriptions I've given are the ones that I learnt in TAFE.

Major triad
1, 3, 5 from it's major scale.

Minor triad
1, flat 3, 5 from the root note's major scale (or 1, 3, 5 from the root note's natural minor scale (ie., in the example, 1, 3, 5 from C Minor).
In chords, you can generally look at the third of the chord to determine whether it's a primarily major or minor - the third kind of voices it. If it's a regular third from the major scale, it's a major chord. If it's a flattened third (from the major scale), or a regular third from the natural minor: it's primarily a minor chord.

Diminished triad
1, flat 3, flat 5, from the root note's major scale
'Diminish' means 'make or become less', and that is what we're doing with this chord. We are taking the minor chord, and making it even smaller by flattening the 5th.

Augmented triad
1, 3, sharp 5 from the root note's  major scale
The definiton of 'augment' is 'make (something) greater by adding to it; increase'.
That's is literally what we're doing, we're making the chord 'bigger' by sharpening the fifth.
(Your fingers stretch further on the keyboard).

Ok so I don't actually know if these two Suspended Chords are counted as triads or not.. I was told they were at TAFE but I'm not entirely sure if it's right. I've read some places that they are and other places don't say that they are. If anyone knows, please comment and let me know if they are or not! :)


1, 2, 5 from the root note's  major scale
A Sus chord (suspended chord) is where the third is 'suspended' from it's usual place. In a Sus2, the third is 'suspended' and moved down to the second.


1, 4, 5 from the root note's major scale
The same concept as a Sus2 chord is used, except the third is 'suspended' to the fourth place.