Matthew's Big Blog of Adventure!

Friday, November 4


Hey gang!

Sorry for the long radio silence, but school's been insane! This semester, I'm taking 19 credits again, but this semester's 19 and last semester's 19 are totally different beasts. A lot of 1 and 2-credit music courses this semester involve extensive practice outside of class. I'm accompanying 5 people this semester so far, and at the rate of pianists leaving, who know how many more will call. *rubs temples* Must... learn how to say... "NO!"

Our midterm grade report just appeared in our boxes yesterday! It wasn't nearly as bad as I was anticipating, but there is definitely much room for improvement in piano-related stuff.

Music History has been a real blast so far! I've gotten to write a paper on Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina and Dmitri Shostakovich, and I have another paper due on November 13. Mr. Roberts is having us read a biography on a well-known composer and finding 10 significant events, aspects, or situations in his or her life, and write about how that influences us personally or musically.

Software Engineering and Assembler Programming (for the x86) have also been interesting and have lots of interesting programming and design projects. Speaking of which, I still need to reinstall Windows on one of my extra hard drives so I can work on the projects in my room. I tried installing Microsoft Visio, one of the flowcharting tools we use in Software Engineering, and it somehow corrupted Windows beyond redemption. I think the hard drive it's using is at fault, since all of the other hardware is used when I use my Linux harddrive.

Speaking of Linux, I found a neat-looking Linux distribution called SymphonyOS. ( I'm still downloading the CD image,
but it looks like the most user-friendly and ... pretty version of Linux out there. I'll give it a try in a spare moment sometime and tell ya'll about it. :)

Ok, enough about computers! My BMG Music order just came in and I've been running my new Christmas CDs almost constantly. How the Grinch Stole Christmas, A Prairie Home Companion Christmas (which has a few too many Norwegian-language carols for my taste), and Messiah: The Dream Cast were the Christmas ones, with Hillary Hahn's "Lark Ascending," by Ralph Vaughn Williams thrown in for good measure. Mix these with spiced apple air freshener and York peppermint patties and it's holiday time! ;)

Priester's Pecans ( is also a great place to pick up a bit of the Christmas spirit. We pass by it everytime we drive home for Christmas through Alabama. Try their cider mulling spices if you get the chance! I didn't see it on their site, but if you're in the area, stop by and pick up a few packages.

My roommates, some friends, and I went to the Chamber Concert tonight and it was great! Among the many pieces they played were Beethoven's Piano Trio op. 1 #3 and Fuga from String Quartet Razoumavsky #3, Schubert's Quartet op. 125 #1, and Telemann's Duet from Gulliver Suite.

Guess that's all for now. Have a great week!