Thinking Aloud

Oh boy, yet another very uncreative title for another mainly useless post that serves mostly as a means in which I can think through stuff and share my eccentricities with the public.  Hmm, is uncreative a word?  Maybe it’s noncreative… anyway the point isn’t to debate on the proper use of a word, even though most of the time I’m a bit of a grammatical nut…

So, yesterday’s events really didn’t result in too much.  Regarding the flute servicing, my local tech informed me that Thursday’s are really good for him, which means he wants me to bring my flute in on some Thursday or other so that he can devote all the time he has to answering my questions and tell me what needs to be done.  Am I really that bad when it comes to keeping people busy listening to me talk?  Meh.  Can’t really change that much… it’s deep in the genetics, I guess.  Many of my relatives are the same way…

As for getting the Nagahara headjoint fit to the Miyazawa body, I’m no less nervous, though the worries are about different subjects this time.  There’s an informational form I’m supposed to fill out when I send my instrument to Nagahara Flutes.  According to that, and also according to a lady named Jerri, with whom I spoke yesterday about the process, they can put a nonpermanent silver sleeve on the headjoint when fitting a gold hj to a silver body.

I really, really don’t want to do that, though.  I was informed that it wouldn’t change the sound of the headjoint in any way, but really, I just don’t trust it!  I am drawn to the gold and platinum combination for a reason, you know, and not just because the platinum allows me to put more power into my playing.

My biggest worry is that if I’m required to get the headjoint fit using silver, I’m afraid the timbre of the gold will be diminished, if not altogether lost.  My local tech told me that the silver would only be used in an extreme case, where the hj needed enough expansion that it would present problems within the hj’s structural… something or other.  I really need to make sure that it’s not required.  Plus, it’s an extra $100 to get the silver fitting, when normally all I’d have to pay is the postal cost, which includes insurance for $15000 and shipping both ways.  I’ve still got to figure out those costs, come to think of it, and those won’t get laid out until I’m in the post office ready to ship off my flute.

So my goal today is to call Jerri and ask if the silver is absolutely required when it comes to fitting a gold HJ to a silver body.  Well that’s slightly annoying… because I also need to find the serial number, which is written on the barrel of the instrument in print which is most likely too small for people to read.  Ha, I don’t even really know where the barrel is, in order to tell my sighted assistant where to look.  This should be fun.  I suppose I could call Miyazawa and ask them what normally would come with the particular model I’ve got.  I was smart enough to get that information yesterday thank heavens.

My head is unfortunately reeling, though, for reasons that I am not altogether sure of.  I know what I need to do, which really isn’t that much, but my brain is treating it like it’s this huge thing that will take ages to get done.  I need to ship it off tomorrow, if I’m going to get it to Nagahara Flutes and ensure they receive it by Tuesday next.  Once it gets there, they will then be able to get it to me by Friday, which will be just in time for Susan to come over and see it as we’ve been planning for the last couple of weeks… she’d be over on Saturday.

My thoughts of course nag at me and say what if they don’t get it done by then?  Or rather, what if they get it done and ship it off promptly, but what if something happens on the journey?  Sending it away will be just as worrying for the same reasons.  You know what, sometimes I wish I had a different brain makeup or something.  I get worried over the dumbest things and I can’t help it!  Most of the time I end up worrying for nothing, and yet even when I try to tell myself this, my emotions don’t listen and the worry just sticks there like gum in a kid’s hair and won’t go away.

At any rate, there’s my update for today, I guess.  I don’t really have too much to say, other than I watched a couple of really good movies during the wee hours of the morning, when I had woken up just because it was one of those broken sleep days.  I’ve already been awake for eight-and-a-half hours.  Such is life, I guess.  I’ll no doubt fix my sleep schedule within a week and then everything will turn out fine.  Things usually do, as I said, and I worry for nothing most of the time.  For now, though, I’m just gonna have to grit my teeth and wait till all of this passes.  Anyone got a spare patch of happy?  Heh.

Forever Thinking,

Me

Update Number 2

I really should try to think of more creative titles for these posts.  One of these days I’ll be looking through my updates and wonder whitch one is witch.

At any rate, I had a dentist appointment today.  I normally don’t feel like writing anything special when it comes to such things, as I really can’t stand the dentist and nothing really great usually happens there.

The whole thing in a nutshell was that I didn’t have any cavities.  I also didn’t get any huge lists of advice on how to better take care of my teeth, which is a bit of a plus.  During the checkup, though, my dentist did ask me, “How come your teeth are so much better than your dad’s?”

My immediate reaction was to think, “How the hell am I supposed to know why?”  My mouth was full of fingers though and so I couldn’t do anything but shrug my shoulders.  How the hell am I supposed to know indeed…

Well, with the dentist out of the way, I’ve got a couple of important phone calls to make today.  One to my flute repair man, (Hmm that sounds like funny calling him that… oh well), the other to the Nagahara flute company, to see if I can’t get any info on their fitting process.

I spoke yesterday evening to my friend and former flute instructor, Susan, to see if she knew anything about what has to be done to fit a headjoint to a flute, which made me feel a bit better.  It’s really a bit disconcerting having to send something of value off somewhere and not know what they’re going to do to fix whatever needs fixing.

So apparently, what they have to do is expand the headjoint from the inside.  For some reason, you can expand the thing without inhibitting the resonating quality of the metal, but if you try to cut it down and make it smaller, bad things will happen.  She sadly didn’t quite understand a lot of the physics of it and so was unable to give me an answer as to why this happens, but that’s the information for you nonetheless.

On a completely unrelated note, I thought I’d write a little about the title I chose for the site on which you’re reading these posts.  The words out of sight have several different meanins here, and I thought I’d tell you a little about what the phrase means to me, since it shares a bit of my personality.

The two more obvious meanings of the phrase “out of sight” are simple.  The first being the more obvious in my opinion, that I am… out of sight, meaning I’m blind as a bat and proud of it.  That is to say I don’t let my blindness have adverse effects.  The second meaning is “out of sight,” as in extraordinary or outstanding.  As I am achieving to always progress and find excellence, I use the phrase as a reminder, both to myself and others that it doesn’t hurt to stand out by being outstanding.

The last meaning is more personal.  Back when I was in college at the University of Utah, I had an orchestra class which took place every Wednesday evening.  After class was over at fifteen minutes to nine, I’d go to the front of the music building to wait for my ride home.  I usually had to wait twenty or so minutes due to the fact that my house is about a half hour’s drive away from campus.

Anyway, the spot in which I waited was a breezeway between the two sets of double-doors that served as the entrance to the music building.  The acoustics of this breezeway were simply amazing due to the high ceilings and the overall design of the place.  As a result, sound tends to carry from this spot to the rest of the music building, because of the stairways and fairly open floor plan.  I’d often play during the twenty minutes while waiting for my ride home.  Often times, somebody would come into the breezeway on their way out and find themselves stopping to listen to my tinkerings.  When I reached a stopping point, they would look at me and say, “Wow, I wondered where that flute music was coming from.  I looked everywhere for it!”

I found myself rather amused by this reaction, and because of my slight obsession with the musical Phantom of the Opera, I thought to myself “Ha, I’m like the Phantom.  I can play music without being seen and it draws people’s attention.”  So, the title just kind of stuck.  The Phantom Flutist is my nickname, and The Phantom Flutist is always “out of sight.”  Hense the third meaning of the phrase.  I play in places people don’t usually stop to look, and my sound carries to who knows where, making people want to find where it’s coming from.  It’s a bit like the pied piper, I guess you could say, and that particular notion is amusing to me.  It brings awareness to the music I choose to play, and that’s the whole point!

Classical music has seen a huge decline in just the past ten years, and part of why I enjoy practicing and playing where ever I get the chance is because I want people to ask themselves what they’re hearing.  If they ask that question, they’ll almost always try to find the source of the music and then ask the performer questions about what he or she is playing.  It’s the perfect quiet strategy for getting people to stop and listen for a few moments and enjoy life.  It makes people stop and think.  Time slows for a moment, and the rush that permiates today’s society is forgotten briefly, allowing the listener to breathe and appreciate life instead of trying to rush through it.

Well, I think I am going to close here.  I’ve still got phone calls to make, and I’m running out of metaphorical mumbo jumbo to throw at you all.  Take the time, even if it’s just for a few minutes, to realize where you are in life.  Don’t get swept up in the current of society and end up tossed about without a purpose.  Don’t drown in the rapids of today’s society and forget to come up for a breath of air every once in a while!  That’s my advice for today.  And now, I close.  See, this is me, signing out.

Forever Contemplative,

Me

Early Musings

Well, here it is now half past five, and I’m wide awake.  As a matter of fact I haven’t slept since I woke fully at ten this morning.  That really isn’t anything new, though, in all honesty, and this fact is completely irelevent for those that know me well.  Ah well.  I didn’t intend on writing about my normally broken sleep schedule.

What I did want to write about was just some general things I’ve been thinking about.  I tend to stream consciousness over twitter during the hours in which sleep’s fair serenity has abandoned me, and so to prevent the insanity of my followers, I’m going to attempt to post my ramblings here, where I can write a fair amount of stuff without the worry of character limits.

I’m normally not much of a blogger, and that means I most likely won’t update a whole lot, except for when I’m in one of those strange moods where I feel like letting my fingers tap out the steady streams of thought that occasionally assault me during my waking hours.

Hmm, I suppose those last few paragraphs were a bit redundant in nature.  I also suppose it really doesn’t matter, because a lot of what I end up writing will have no particular impact on anyone… at least, I don’t think it will!  So, I was going to get to my original point.  Really I was.  That’s one thing, those that know me well can remember–I get distracted rather easily from my intended focus.  This makes me a horrible multitasker… but right, what about my original thinking?

The whole reason I thought I’d write this is simply because I couldn’t sleep, and I thought I’d see what I ended up with once my thoughts decided to stop flowing from my hands and out into the endless swirls of data that we call the Internet.

So I woke up and had all these thoughts going through my head, mainly about the most current flute competition I ended up finding.  By current, I mean I found it last September, a month after I’d gotten home from studying in Switzerland with Sir James Galway at his annual flute masterclass.

I think the biggest worry at the moment is the entrance fee.  I have this odd quirk where I’ve gotta justify spending money on myself.  That is, I’ve really got to have a good reason to spend money on myself, other than the simple fact that I want something.  It needs to be fairly important and have an impact on my future.  This makes it hard for me to even buy a silly candy bar without questioning if it’s really that important beforehand.  Like I said, it’s an odd quirk.

Anyway, the entrance fee is one hundred and fifty dollars.  At the moment, my mind is nagging at me about the usual what-ifs, the biggest being what if I spend that money to apply and it ends up that I don’t win?  I keep having to remind myself that logically, it won’t be a waste no matter what happens, because I’ll have at least gained another experience on the “aspiring musician” list.

Did I say that was my biggest worry?  I don’t remember, and quite frankly I’m not quite in the mood to scroll up and read everything I’ve written.  Anyway, if I said the money was my biggest worry, I meant that it was the first worry that caught my attention when I awoke.  The second worry is regarding the lack of updated contact info.  I sent an Email a while back to one of the addresses listed on the competition website, and it came right back with a computer-generated delivery status notification failure.

I’ll admit I could have tried the other Email address listed, but I didn’t… so that’s something I’ll need to do in the near future.  As a matter of fact, I’ll probably end up doing that later today.  If, however, I find a phone number first, I’ll call them up and see if I can’t get some more details regarding the prizes and application criteria.

The application form itself still reflects last year’s deadlines, which kind of surprises me due to the updated website.  What if this competition isn’t as organized as it should be?  For an international flute competition, one would think it’d have just a bit more care in such matters.

Anyway, the Alexander Buono international flute competition has several divisions to occomadate for various ages.  According to the site, multiple winners will be chosen for each division, and the first prize receives a debut performance within Carnegie Hall in New York City.  One prizewinner will also receive a scholarship to attend the Alexander and Buono music festival in New York.

There’s one more thing I’m not sure applies, though, as I saw it when the site reflected last year’s information and not this year.  Apparently, the grand prize winner, that is to say the best of everyone combined (at least I think that’s what it means) receives a recording and recording management contract with the Alexander and Buono record label.  I’m not sure if that requires I become a resident of NYC for the year said contract is in place, or if I can stay in Utah.  The problem is that if I’m going to start getting serious about this competition and begin choosing repertoire, I really need to have all of these questions answered so that I can begin working with a clear head that isn’t clouded with anxiety over the unknown.

The publicity which could come from such an achievement is just another thing to add to my resume as a musician.  I seek competitions not just for the publicity though.  I seek them because they are a challenge.  I seek them for myself, that I may raise my own  bars by improving as much as I can for these competitions.  I never expect to get anything out of them but another experience to put on my list of memorable experiences.

Within the past couple of days, I was asked by a friend of mine if I enjoyed pushing myself as much as I do.  The answer is yes, absolutely.  Quite frankly, I don’t see how anyone can go through life without pushing themselves and striving to be the best they can be.  I push myself because every single step I manage to take is one more step taken than if I hadn’t done anything at all.  A brook’s water is clearer and purer than most water you would find in a pond or a lake, because it is always moving.  While the movement of the water keeps it from growing the kinds of bacteria that makes most stagnant bodies of water impure, it’s the rocks which give it its nutrients.  Over time, important minerals are gathered from the rocks that your brook flows over, making your water all the more nutrient for others.  Flow over the right kind of rocks, and you’ll not only keep yourself pure of despair, but be pure enough so that others don’t get sick when they drink from your reservoirs and tributaries.

For those who were completely confused by all of that, I enjoy pushing myself because even if I fail or don’t achieve what I had intended for whatever reason, the experiences I gain will help me grow stronger and less vulnerable to the negative energy.  I’m not just talking the negative energy that other people put out, either.  I’m talking of the stuff we let our heads dictate.  Experiences give self-confidence, which allows one to do more without the burden of doubt.  In turn, you can use that to help others where you can.

So, on that note, I think I am going to close this rather long post, because no one ever reads long posts anymore it seems, and I’ve most likely pushed my boundaries too far for you readers, ha ha.  I do have something else I would like to mention, but I think I will save it for another post, to give your eyes, or if the case may be, your ears, a bit to rest up.  The mind can only handle so much information before it starts to scream at you and tell you to slowly drift away into a fog of boredom.

Feel free to comment on this as you see fit.  Though do note that comments which consist of one word only are just borring and I think everybody needs a little bit of a challenge to write more than one word.  Don’t be borring?  I’ll send good vibes your way if you stay… unborring.  Hmm, lovely choice of words there I’m sure.  Anyway, I’m off for now.  Next post will probably talk a little about the recent updates I made to my little corner, though they are rather miner.  Hey, small things have meaning, too!  Oh, and I’ve been writing for an hour.  Yep, definitely time to close.

Forever Talkative,

Me