Chat thread! :D

Chatterbox: Down to Earth

Chat thread! :D

Chat thread! :D

submitted by Lupine@BB&Peregrine, age 14,she/her, Platform 9 and 3/4
(October 13, 2021 - 7:40 pm)

I probably don't have very good advice on this because I haven't completely figured out a good answer for myself, but I think my main thing would be to embrace being mixed! Accept that you're not just Japanese or just could call yourself mixed, or hapa (which is a term that I prefer but I'm also very conflicted about it because it's supposed to just refer to people who are part Native Hawaiian, and I am not that, so...not sure if I should use it?? :P), or something else. I think that haafu is also used to describe people who are specifically half-Japanese.

And, look stuff up online...which is usually not my advice for anything but discovering stories about mixed race people online can really help you feel like you're part of a community. Or (and this response is more fun) find books with mixed race protagonists! It's really hard, but some good ones are New From Here; Lupe Wong Won't Dance; Prairie Lotus; and I haven't read them, but Keep it Together, Keiko Carter and Just Be Cool, Jenny Sakai are both by the same author and about 1/2 Japanese, 1/2 white girls. And books with not-Asian mixed protagonists, like Blended and I Can Keep This Promise, can also be relatable.

Of course I turned this into a conversation about books xD but for me, I have kind of always wished I was more Japanese or more Asian-looking...I think I've said this before on here, but I've wished that my hair was black, my eyes were more "Asian" (which to be realistic isn't even a thing), or my skin was darker. But there's not one way to look Asian, even if you were fully maybe it's pointless to spectate.

Anyway, thanks for bringing it up! I'm glad I can be someone you can talk to about this :)

submitted by Lupine, Flourish & Blotts
(July 13, 2022 - 12:17 am)
submitted by Top please!
(July 12, 2022 - 12:08 pm)

Thanks Lupine! I'll post more in a bit :D

submitted by Blackfooted TOPcat
(July 20, 2022 - 1:32 pm)
submitted by Top please!
(July 23, 2022 - 10:35 am)
submitted by Top!
(July 26, 2022 - 10:48 am)
submitted by Top
(July 28, 2022 - 10:59 am)

Sorry! I haven't forgotten this, but between auditions coming up, a viola summer camp next week that I'm preparing for, and a new book I'm working on that I'm a tad too obsessed with, I've been pretty busy :P

Um, what to say, what to say... I hope the summer camp will be good though! Unfortunately the music is pretty easy. And one is a waltz. Why. Why do they hate me so much. (Seriously, though, I hate waltzes. Does anyone have a good time when they're playing waltzes?) Anyway, I'm doing most of the divisi parts as double stops because it's more interesting that way. But the music isn't easy to the point of the other one, which was just... so... easy... But I mean, I did it on viola of my own volition. My teacher said that the violist who will probably be there is really, really good.

And also, anyone have any intonation tips? Please? Please? Please?! I know drones and double stops and I've been playing slowly, I just wondered if there was anything else that could help, especially for speeding it up. I've gotten better, but I don't have super long until auditions... and yeah. @Peregrine, you're playing Bach too, right? Only that's solo Bach (*is impressed*). How do you get that in tune?  

Oh, and my teacher is away for a few weeks... and I have some questions... mostly about 6/8 time. But I guess I'll have to ask the person at the camp, which will make me look bad because that's pretty basic, but OH WELL -

Oh, or I could ask you XD How do you read what would look like a quarter note or a eight note in 6/8 time? I can't figure it out. 

Also, I'll have seating hearings eventually and I have no idea what I'll do with that... I might have to play the end of the first movement because I'm not sure I'll be able to get the third movement into manageable shape in that little time. I might as well print it up and start working on it.

Um, that's about all I have for now. Sorry this took so long to write! How are you guys doing?  

submitted by Blackfooted Bobcat
(July 29, 2022 - 2:14 pm)
submitted by BlackfootedTOPcat :D
(August 8, 2022 - 8:29 pm)
submitted by Top!
(August 12, 2022 - 1:07 pm)
submitted by tooooop
(August 16, 2022 - 4:41 pm)
submitted by top
(August 28, 2022 - 12:25 pm)

Ahhh I'm so sorry I haven't posted :P I haven't really been on the CB at all these past few weeks since school started T_T

I hope your viola summer camp was fun, Blackfooted Bobcat! Super easy music is better than super hard...usually xD The only intonation tips I have are for really high shifts -- I always play them an octavae or two lower first so that I know what it sounds like before I play it. I don't know how that works on viola though. Do you shift high up on the A string?

Honestly 6/8 is confusing xD My advice for weird time signatures is to not overthink it, just listen to a recording of the part and get the rhythm in your ~bones~ 

My orchestra started up a few weeks ago and the music is hard. And boring. The main thing we're playing is Saint-Saens organ symphony, which I *cannot play.* I also kind of hate how it sounds? It's so boring T_T help. Also they're making us stay for 2 and a half hours for rehearsal every Monday at least through the end of September. Too much rehearsal! I can only play orchestra music for two hours maximum before I start falling asleep. 

What else have I been I went to a bookstore. My town has three bookstores: the main one, which is in this pretty old white converted-mansion building, a cat bookstore (which is amazing), and a book truck. The book truck got a new location in the upstairs of a plant shop, so we went there today. It was really cool (and smelled like plants). I got The Jumbies

Okay, that's all I have for now! I'll try to post more often.

Lupine, I play violin and have played the Saint-Saëns Organ Symphony in our community orchestra. I hope it will grow on you as it becomes more familiar. It's really cool when the organ comes in. We performed it in a beautiful old auditorium with a rare old Aeolian organ. As you practice, it won't seem so hard. Now watch the movie "Babe"—one of my all-time favorite movies! Excerpts from the organ symphony are scattered throughout the movie along with narration by adorable little mice. It's so much fun! Let us know again before concert time how you're doing.


submitted by Lupine, age 15!, Flourish & Blotts
(September 5, 2022 - 8:34 pm)

@Admin that's cool that you played that piece too! I heard that it was in Babe and I kinda want to rewatch that now cause maybe it'll get me more enthusiastic about the piece.

submitted by Lupine
(September 12, 2022 - 11:37 pm)

Glad you're back, Lupine! I've missed you. And you shift on viola just like on violin, only there's a bit more room so it's easier to get it wrong (on my viola at least) XD

I mean, I usually actually prefer super hard music to super easy. I'm probably going to ask my teacher for something harder than the Bach after I finish that. I want to get to a really high level as soon as remotely possible. But like, doable hard obviously.

Oof, I'm sorry about the boring music :\ I haven't listened to Saint-Saens Organ Symphony. Are you playing the whole thing? I'm kind of having the opposite problem - I got put on second violin and the music so far isn't quite as hard as I had hoped it would be. I think I'm, like, the first chair second violin (I don't know if that's what it's called) but it still hurts. For the audition, though, they only gave us two weeks to work on our excerpts >:( If it makes you feel better, there are a few pieces of music I started out liking, like the Slavonic Dance, that I ended up really loving. As for how hard it is, what part(s) of it are hard? I might be able to suggest practice strategies.

And about the summer camp - it was awesome. The other violists were great. It was me and another kid and two college students on viola and we got along quite well. Also, the conductor was great! I actually enjoyed the waltz, which was not something I thought I would ever do, and one of the pieces actually had a few harder spots and was really fun. The other piece was ridiculously easy, but it actually sounded awesome and was probably good for working on artistry since it was a slow piece. And I figured out the 6/8 part XD Seriously, though, I should have said something about the part with the 5/8 or the following time signatures: 2/4   3/8    6/8   6/8    2/4   3/8   9/8   2/4   3/8   3/8   6/8   2/4   3/8    9/8   2/4   3/8   6/8   2/4   3/8   6/8   4/4.

Some fun stories: so the other kid had worn a hat every time except for the last one, for the concert, so both me and one of the college students mentioned that he wasn't wearing one and were like "Even though we haven't known you very long, you still look weird without a hat". And during warm-up for the concert (you know the part before when you're onstage but not playing the music yet?) everyone started playing scales on what are apparently rhythms from the first Suzuki book and until the viola professor shut it down it was HILARIOUS even though I didn't know the Suzuki rhythms XD And the other kid was also playing the Telemann concerto, so we played bits of it during break. Also, we all apparently started on viola! I'm definitely going to do the camp again and hope the other people will be there. But, unlike the other camp I went to, there were no discussions of necromancers animating Beethoven's skeleton and having him smash his hands around on a piano with finger bones flying everywhere and a really bad wig, so how good was it really? (Honestly this camp was better but it's still fun to say.) 

I've decided to step back on writing for a bit and focus mostly on viola/violin. I'm not giving up writing completely - I don't think I could do that - but I'll at least be doing less of that for a bit. Also there's this really fun part in the third movement of the Bach where you're playing chords with an open e string and it's so awesomeeeeee! I like the third movement better than the first, actually.

On which note I'm going to go practice. Bye! 


BB, first chair second violin is ranked right after concertmaster, as the second best violin in the orchestra. Leading the second is an important position.


submitted by Blackfooted Bobcat
(September 6, 2022 - 4:41 pm)

Oops, "there are a few pieces I started out liking" should say "disliking", not liking. Sorry!

Also thanks Admin. Although now I'm annoyed that I'm not the concertmaster. I can't win XD 

submitted by Blackfooted Bobcat
(September 15, 2022 - 2:14 pm)