Archive for September, 2007

Measure 23: John Williams – One-Night Performance with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra

Posted in Columbus Symphony, John Williams on September 27, 2007 by cellomuser

On Wednesday evening, the three of us (wife, our son, and myself) – went to the Ohio Theater to see a one night only (sold out) John Williams performance by the Columbus Symphony Orchestra conducted by John Williams himself.

My first impression of Williams the conductor – not Williams the award recipient – was that he moved eloquently up on the podium. His bearing was such that he showed that he was in charge – but in such a respectful manner. It was as though it was truly a privilege for him to be leading the Columbus Symphony – but it was his mission to ensure they played HIS music at a level he – and we the audience – would be content with.

Another thing that stood out was his sense of humor. He shared some stories of his relationship with Steven Spielberg that gave us a brief glimpse into a friendship that has spanned 30 years; the fruits of which pretty much any living American over the age of 10 have experienced.

Some of the songs the orchestra played were from E.T., Star Wars, Schindler’s list, Memoirs of a Geisha, the music he did for the Olympics, Indiana Jones, and two other compositions he put together. In addition, he took the audience through an exercise of matching music to film by showing a 4 minute scene from one of the Indiana Jones movies and talking about where there should be musical emphasis aside from just the regular music. The symphony then performed the music for that 4 minute section of film – the audience went crazy. The Olympic piece they played was also to video. It showed clips of American athletes from the Seoul Olympics – the musical score was awesome.

Our eight year old son really enjoyed the evening – especially the Star Wars pieces. He remarked on the way home – in a very matter-of-fact manner – that he felt lucky to see a once in a lifetime event here in Columbus. It was truly a wonderful evening that allowed an eight year old to enjoy and appreciate music that spanned 30 years – all of which his parents grew up hearing.

Simply put, our evening together – one night after our 14th anniversary – was one of those priceless moments that make being a parent worth it all.

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Measure 22: New Instructor Update

Posted in Uncategorized on September 20, 2007 by cellomuser

On Monday I met my new instructor for lunch at a sandwich shop just off campus from Ohio State. It was sort of awkward, but we were quickly engaged in some friendly dialogue. The restaurant was right next to one the bigger book stores, so there were quite a few students in the general area – to get their books for the quarter – with Mom and Dad close by to foot the bill.

Anyways, I will refer to my new instructor as L. I will be L’s first adult student that has played for longer then one month. I am very optimistic that she will be able to deal with me and teach me. It sounds as though she has done an extensive amount of teaching with children leading up to this – maybe more then my first instructor – but that is a moot point.

I took my Suzuki 2 and Dotzauer book to show her what I have been working on. We also had some brief discussion about what led to each person’s interest in the cello – her’s was related to first instrument to learn as a child, mine was simply wanting a new challenge.

So there you have it. My first lesson with L will be either 9/26 or the week thereafter. My wife, son, and I are scheduled to go see John Williams at the Columbus Symphony on the 26th, so I might have to postpone the cello lesson.

Measure 21: Meet the New Cello Instructor & New Bow

Posted in Uncategorized on September 17, 2007 by cellomuser

After a month of waiting, I finally get to meet the lady who will more then likely be my next cello instructor for the next nine months or so. She is a student at “The Ohio State University” and was the first recommendation from my first instructor who went on to grad school at Florida. I offered to take her to lunch there on campus today to meet her – ok, assess her from a compatibility perspective – and show her what I have been working on.

The new “Ary France” has been wonderful.

A few weeks ago, I finally took all the remaining tape markers off the cello. This was a really important thing for me because I felt I was becoming too dependent on them. However, my finger placement is not perfectly consistent yet, so I am finding myself finding the first note of any particular piece before starting to play it. Once I get that note, almost everything else falls in place when I begin to play.

Speaking of playing, I am still working on Minuet 1, Minuet 3, and “Chorus from “Judas Maccabaeus” from Suzuki 2. I have also taken the liberty to begin playing “March in G”, “Them from “Witches’ Dance”, “The Moon over the Ruined Castle”, and the very intriguing “Gavotte” – my new favorite.

Measure 20: New Bow Selection

Posted in Uncategorized on September 9, 2007 by cellomuser

The new bow trial is over and I have selected and purchased a new cello bow. In a previous post, I alluded to the use of AHP to select a bow and I am pretty happy that I did. In a nutshell, AHP takes into consideration weighted selection criteria utilizing pair-wise comparisons as well as utilizing pair-wise comparisons between options. Do some Google searches on AHP if you really want to learn more about it.

The selection criteria and their post pair-wise weighted values are below:

Selection Criteria

Cost

Long Term Value

Handling

Tone

Criteria Weighted Avg.

0.0897

0.1726

0.4052

0.3325

Percent of Decision

9%

17%

41%

33%

Now that we know what the decision criteria weightings look like, we can focus on comparing the bows to each other. For each selection criteria, I performed pair-wise comparisons between the various bows.

Pre-Weighted Average

Cost

Long Term Value

Handling

Tone

Glasser

0.2065

0.0653

0.0539

0.0755

Steiner

0.7151

0.2084

0.2744

0.5907

Ary France

0.0784

0.7263

0.6717

0.3338

Based on the table above, a few observations can be made:

  1. With the exception of cost, the Glasser scored low in the remaining criteria comparisons.
  2. The Steiner scored pretty well across the board – especially for cost and tone – but the criteria weightings for these two categories were low compared to handling and long term value. BTW, long term value to me is can I sell the bow a few years now for more then what I paid for it.
  3. The Ary France was the best in handling and long term value.

Next, we multiply and normalize pre-weighted averages against the selection criteria averages and we come out with the table below. If you sum across, you come up with final values.

Post-Weighted Average

Cost

Long Term Value

Handling

Tone

Priority

Glasser

0.0185

0.0113

0.0218

0.0251

0.0767

Steiner

0.0642

0.0360

0.1112

0.1964

0.4077

Ary France

0.0070

0.1253

0.2722

0.1110

0.5156

The Ary France wins primarily because of handling, long-term value and a moderate ranking in the tone category – the most subjective of the categories.

Measure 19: “Erich Steiner vs. Ary France”

Posted in Uncategorized on September 6, 2007 by cellomuser

It is coming down to the wire and I have been playing with the Steiner and France bows quite a bit. I have not yet completed my AHP exercise. The Ary France bow handles so well and is such a comfortable bow to use. Technique aside, slurs and string crossings feel and sound so much better and easier with this bow. Trust me; I do not want to sacrifice learning technique. The Steiner bow produces in my opinion, a better tone – but it is not an easy bow for me to handle. More later.

Measure 18: Weekend Afterthoughts

Posted in Uncategorized on September 4, 2007 by cellomuser

This past Labor Day weekend was quite enjoyable and relative-free. I know that sounds negative and borderline selfish – but once in a while – we just like hanging by ourselves.

On Saturday, my wife and I packed our son in the van and headed off to Cincinnati to go to a museum. It was awesome. We watched an Omni-Max movie on the Mars rovers, went to a pirate ship exhibit – that was completely awesome, and then finished it off at the Museum of Natural History and Science.

We then headed off to dinner at Maggiano’s – the first we have seen of this chain in Ohio. When my wife and I visit DC a few times a year – we usually hit the Maggiano’s in Tyson’s Corner – so to get an opportunity to get some of their awesome food in OH – it was a no-brainer.

The hotel stay was sort of a let down. It appears that the hotel we stayed at just happened to be rally point for a bunch of OSU fans coming back from the game on Saturday. I love Buckeye football – but not when people are being rude at 11:30 PM and playing Green Day songs on an acoustic guitar until at least 2:30 AM. I had to turn the A/C on just to drown them out. Of course, our son slept through all of it.

On Sunday morning, we headed off to IHOP. The last IHOP we went to was in Florida in 2004 – the morning after Hurricane Charlie – a blog posting all in itself. Next, we went shopping at DSW and walked out with four pair of shoes (three for her and one for me – mine were a pair of Rocket Dog sneakers).

On Monday, we went to a pool party – the last day of the season. It was an OK party. We knew some of the folks – so it was pretty bearable. The wine in the box (a separate blog posting if I think of it) – was tremendous. The weekend ended with the kiddo in bed and more wine for the two of us 🙂