31.1.15

Holding the violin

Holding the violin is one of the most important aspect of playing the violin. You'll hear your teacher forever telling you how to hold it while pushing and lifting all the right limbs for you. Some often get so into playing the violin that they kind of shift into the inaccurate position that could be deteriorating for your limbs and muscles in the future. If not that, you may not be able to reach your full potential because of the wrong way of holding the violin.

I've scoured the whole YouTube and websites that could explain to me how to hold the violin properly, comfortably and not hinder the movement for proper and optimal playing. Almost none could help me understand and clink my logic until I found these 2 videos. The explanation is with good reasoning and with great clarity. It helps me to fully utilize my shoulder rest, maintain good posture and Thank God, I finally got rid of suffering the pain at my jaw bones and stop doubting the compatibility of my chin rest with my....chin. If that makes sense. Here's one by Yehudi Menuhin, a great violinist who's very immaculate in teaching violin techniques:



And also this lady,



The science behind it, is that, you don't actually hold the violin by the neck or rest the violin on the loop between your thumb and fore-finger. The violin could be held solely by the relaxed hold made by your shoulder and chin. This is where you should start finding the comfortable and compatible height of your shoulder rest, if you're using one. I'm using the shoulder rest and due to the distance between my shoulder and chin, I had to readjust the height of the shoulder rest. Now...I understand the logic.

Resting the violin onto your hand will hinder alot of movements since you'll be using it to not only play the notes, but to also control it from falling off your shoulders. So, let your shoulder do the work, which makes investment in shoulder rests even more logical.

Have a try and tell me how you're doing. Questions are welcome if you don't mind a good discussion.

^.^

30.1.15

Inspiration

Learning something new is not easy but there is a reason why the Higher Power doesn't create us to live on our own. Inspiration is everywhere people!!

Learning is always associated with an age gap so small that it doesn't represent the bigger part of life. From 'toddler-hood' (if that's even term) to teenage years. Although professionality is best festered up at that age gap, we should remember that, the world is bigger than high school proms and graduations, much crueler than school bullies and brown-nosing  high-flyers...and if you're not careful....much more boring than you expect it to be. And it's all because you don't know where to start.

Inspiration is not easy to find, and when you're an art-inclined person, you'll know what sort of quirkiness it could conjure. What situation and setting to help you get the 'juice' flowing differs from another person's muse.

I could only think when I start to do something. People think that I mess up all the time and are sometimes absent-minded about things when actually...I'm just getting started. I gave up planning things too meticulously since they are rigid and sometimes, cause me to be dependent on something I can't control. Planning is good....but I learn to make room for myself to try to think slowly as I go along with my work; which is a hard thing to do with my paranoid brain darting to just about every other possibilities of failure. It helps when I have an 'example' or an inspiration to remind myself not to be too serious about it.

Being a student that delves into the art of uncertainties and the science of make-do, I have learned to just accept that failures are inevitable. And that I shouldn't expect myself to be know and be ready for everything. I am, after all....not a 4 flat student. With that, I should work harder and perhaps...learn to play just as much. The first terror I encountered with my analysis was just 2 days ago when I try to centrifuge my samples and end up jamming the Megafuge and give off an aftershock of richter scale 3 over the whole rows of table in the lab. I thought I was going to get a heart attack. I screwed up 8 samples and had to start over but not before cleaning up everything after 2 guys helped me pull out 3 jammed tube caps with plyers. It was that horrible. That incident was not a secret...that much...I can tell.

But I couldn't escape using the equipment so, I man up and try again after much apologizing and trembling in fear for any outbursts from the lab manager. I never liked being scolded at and is usually more than eager to just disappear into the background than watch somebody scolding me for something. But just because I want to run off, doesn't mean I will. I'm too slow for that and thank God...I have deep guilty conscience when I know I'm at the wrong. I admit. Then I try. And I conquer. Like a boss.

The mantra I got myself thinking was just these:

Big Bang Theory
CSI NY
Bones

Maybe for the fact that, when I screw up, I get very scared and needed something funny. Sheldon Cooper seemed to be just the right amount of funny. When I write my paper, I had CSI NY on mute at the tv while I absorb their seriousness and channel them to my seemingly endless review paper. Bones....simply make me wanna be smart cause I could relate to Temperance Brennan...alot. So, scientifically....these series are what I adore when I need the vibe for my work. I even had Harvey Spectre's dialogues pasted over my office wall just to kick me in the head when I'm feeling helpless. I just couldn't find me a decent poster.


Teaching myself so many things, I appreciate many people who are willing and are in love in spreading their passion. Musically speaking, I couldn't find a more comforting example of great music and inspiration than The Corrs. Taylor Swift or Lorde couldn't beat them even if they have 20 more years in with their music career. With this very digital world, I appreciate the wholesome and richness of their music...they signify the importance of taking your time to achieve perfection...not to feed consumerism. It's awesome who in those days, what they wear didn't take over their whole career and it was all about the music and the appreciation for humanity. When I listen to them, it's like I listen to Maher Zain and Raihan...there's comfort in their music that I want to have and make. So, learning to play the violin doesn't feel like a big pain in the ass anymore.

Of starting late and doing things from scratch....tell yourself to find an inspiration...something that comforts you and gives you great pleasure. Something you want to be like and it gives you all the epiphanies you need and the profound truth in your work.

Cause in the end....what you love don't mean a thing. It's what you work hard for that matters...since it's something you don't have but you strive hard to own and keep. Like this hero that has become my inspiration

Man with the violin

24.1.15

Tuning and scaling the violin

The first time I played the violin, it was awkward, tiring and I got basically fed-up with the awkward posture and I think my jaw rest didn't fit me. And it definitely had nothing to do with me being taller than my very Russian violin teacher. But I thought I wasn't made out for it and the fees were sky-high since it was an established music school. Doing piano and violin at the same time meant having my dad's wallet being 2 times lighter each month. So I stopped. Both, ultimately. Took it back again when I thought I had the time with another teacher, but dropped it again because moolah is the problem.

But from all the brief formal lessons that I'm forever thankful for, I understand scaling and started to learn on my own seriously, at the last few months last year. And from all of those classes, I learn that:

1) Your violin never sound the same each time you open the case for each new sessions

AND

2) When you play by ear like me on your own with not enough training yet, you're more than likely to notice the difference just as you play your scales

Yes.

Scales, is the most important thing when you play the piano cause it's one of the major warm up other than arpeggios, chromatics and broken-chords. I sucked at the aural test and my ears weren't sensitive, so, my piano exams always had me flunking aural. But with violin, I can feel my sense of notes starting to establish themselves. It's plain obvious when you play the one instrument that has no indicator of notation on its physiology other than the different strings.

With scales, you can establish the sound on one string and be able to work out the sounds on other strings. For me, this is like MAGIC. The science behind the change in amplitude caused by just shortening or lengthening the vibrating strings or loosening or tightening them.

But, it you're a real newbie, I recommend having an application for violin tuning downloaded where you can have it at your convenience. Digital ones can be costly and I definitely don't know how to use the fork tuner. But, let's put your phone to real good use. There are a few free ones with great features like metronome; which I find useful.

Look forward to tuning your violin everyday because it helps you to develop the ear for the notes. It'll come in handy for sight-reading if you ever want to take formal lessons in future.

Self-teaching yourself how to play the violin is nothing to be embarrassed about other than the screeching sound you make that would probably have your neighbors spurting their coffee.... (^.^)  Just find a suitable room for yourself, close the door and start tuning and scaling your way into the efficiency of playing the right notes. It takes alot of practice and you'll get the hang of it.

Are you a self-taught violinist? Do tell me your experience!

"(>0<)"

Magnificent

The most beautiful things in life are something that couldn't possibly be obtained easily. The pain is the gain. And the fleeting moment is the most treasured notion about beauty. There are not eternal, but with memories, they only become more beautiful.

I have come to experience that moment again yesterday; Friday. And it becomes more satisfying and filled with happiness because, it was at the dawn of my most favorite day, that I have accomplished the one thing that I swear to be done with; my review paper. Though, it could be a mass of info that clutters aimlessly in 52 pages; minus the reference list, I was so happy that I woke up in the same position I slept in earlier that past midnight. 

The happiness was so youthful it felt like I was embraced and pulled back into time where I dreamed of possibilities in empty classrooms on Friday afternoons. When the sun was its highest, it was weird how people rarely notice the beauty in it and always seek for its rising and setting. When it was there, at the time where it was nearest to the life....I thought it was at its most magnificent. It was like....falling in love. Into perfection. It felt like I've finally....felt happy sitting at the seat I was in that class 10 years ago. 

People move on and I was finally....moving on...being happy.

With just being done with something that hung over my head...a mission that I marked at my embarkment into a new solidarity of my own...building a human in me. I am finally happy. I am just sorry it took me so long....but I realized that....the pain of scouring the endless papers, mapping out my mind into an understanding and forever arranging my words that I came appreciate this moment more. 

I wish I could tell my dad that I did it...

I wish I could tell myself 10 years ago not to avoid the difficulty and the pain despite being slower than others. Because...that's what will make me that happiest; to overcome a benchmark and strive for the higher level. That's how that happiness felt like to me....

How does it feel to you? What kind of thoughts does it conjure up in you? 

17.1.15

To Dearest Readers: of Interest and Pursuit of Happiness

Writing is my passion and blogging is just one of the many things that made writing so much fun for me. I've been wondering though, is there anyone out there who are following my writings here?

I rarely write about products of some sort, and if I do, it's because whatever that thing is, it served its purpose well. From fitness, to laptops....from interest to work...I wrote alot of things over the years and never bothered finding out if it did more damage on people than good. Hopefully, it helps people more than I expect it would.... (>.<)

For 2015, I am eager to find a new direction of writing and it involves the exploration of interests; mainly my undying love to write music and analogue photography. I found that when I write and log my interests here, I have a goal of what I want to achieve and not be self-absorbed by just thinking and not acting out.

Currently, I am self-teaching myself violin and fortunately, I have some brief coaching on the basics before stopping a few years back due to lack of time to practice. But now, I'm back and screeching it away into oblivion. As for film photography is concern, I love to be able to snap shots using film and hold them in my hands to be processed. The first thing I did was buy a very affordable 35mm film toy camera over the online shop. 

With the years that had gone by and everything that had happened in 2014, I found an epiphany so clear that I want to live doing something I am proud of....and not just something I love. So, it's like picking up all the lost dreams in lifetime before and deciding to lay them out in front of me. From there, I get the inspiration of not pausing to think too much and get lost in my own labyrinth of mind. Just do what you're set out to do so that when you pause for a moment of realization at the pantry, or while walking down the streets, or even while riding a bus...you're doing what you would want to be caught dead doing.

"(>0<)"

I'm not challenging myself because I know I'm not someone who gets off by being challenged. I get better when I'm doing things at my own driven course....meaning...something has to have a purpose for me to want to do it.

So...do what you want to do and when you want to do it. Forcing yourself may not work...and if it doesn't, take my advice and do it without thinking to much...because I think, most of us suffer from over-thinking and over-analyzing, thus being too hard on ourselves.

Tell me, what do you think of doing this year. No...wait. What are you going to do after this?

Man....I thinking of that beautiful lipstick Mai Billsbepaid of 'The Balm'!!!! I wanna it and I'm gonna get it.

When you find your dream...give me a holler!
Who knows, we could be sharing the same goal   :3




16.1.15

Blue Afternoon




Blue Afternoon

Emoticons

Remeber the times we spent trying to make state-of-the-art, mind-blowing text messenges and emoticons? Well people...I'm the hard-core fan of it.

What's not to love? In fact, I'm writing this from my phone!
ヽ(´ー`)ノ

With the widespread of smartphones, emojis are more common and they are really not the same. (@o@)

Emoticons are not to be mistaken with emojis. Emoticons are made using unicode type-sets (I think) while emojis are very elaborate colored miniature of pictures. In other words, emoticons are elaborate typesets while emojis are clip arts.

It is one of the joys of texting and messaging since the invention of short-messenging-system/SMS/texting. We used to save prettily made up emoticons and use it over and over again while texting. From simple ones of the horizontal smiley like this :) ...hard-core texters brought it to the next level with these (☆^O^☆) and this (人´∀`*).
They become so elaborated that it has become a language of its own. The history of its development had seen the creativity bloomed into making objects like buildings or greeting cards with the unisans typecodes. I used to wait receiving them from friends, classmates and loved ones.

Maybe texting kind of grew old and gave way for emojis, but emoticons still reserve the personal touch of effort even it is just a shared and chained info sent from one phone to another just as available as emojis.

With the development of the private messaging applications taking over texting, people prefer stickers over emoticons and that is understandable since they are free, and much more attractive. Emojis had started taking over since polyphonic colored phones started to get into the market. Since then, emoticons development and spreading dwindled a little. But emoticon fans aren't really gone yet and they are still around scouring app store to find them.

They are cute and I couldn't not feel like smiling when I see them...what's not love other than it's 'organic' nature and originality?

But many voracious Whatsapp users seem to be spewing dissatisfaction on many developers who promote their emoticon app as seemingly emojis and sometimes, things get pretty harsh. I decided to take it into my hands to inform that emoticons are NOT emojis. Please don't hate or be angry at the misconceptions on these terms.

They are different and give it a try again if you like. It's fun. Want to make some yourself? Maybe you'll have to start discover alternate symbols and type that imagination onto your next text.

Do text me! (^_−)☆

12.1.15

Je Suis Muslim

Reading the news on what had occured in Paris makes me think how the world goes round and round.

I am saddened by the killings. I am disappointed and deeply hurt by the brash actions of the men, whom without doubt, have a more radical view on honouring Prophet Muhammad (SAW). The manslaughter was no better than the many cases of random shooting. As to find the cause of it, many had condemned the so-called jihadists as terrorist...to which, I may have agreed wholly if it wasn't for the colorful history of Charlie Hebdo in defaming ideas and beliefs.

What these terrorists did was wrong. It is hard to justify their actions based on their intentions that made killing permissible. But the discontent that turned into hate and vengeance at continuous contempt and misunderstanding cannot be overlooked.

There is nothing satirical about journalism. There is nothing exceptional and there is no area of neutrality in writing since writing and publishing something for the world to read and understand comes with great responsibility. Journalism had always thrive for the truth and democracy in opinions and voicing out thoughts. But using journalism as a mode to mock, hurt and dishonour others' beliefs is obnoxious and alike to bullying. The world has turned into highschool all over again. The freedom of is speech is not a reason to be shallow, downright offensive and childish. And in many ways, it only incites useless arguments, ignites hate and a whole new level of oppression.

Journalists should know better the power held in their pens as they raise it in the rememberance of the slain journalists of Charlie Hebdo. The pen IS mightier than the sword. And in this case, the victims of the shooting had experienced it first hand so unexpectedly that I couldn't think of the worse way of dying. That is how mighty your pens, keyboards and pencils are; so powerful that it makes every other person blinded by rage to be grabbing any weapons to 'erase' what you've said. This isn't just about being a Muslim and believing in Islam only. It's also for the many beliefs and causes that had been defamed along the way. And there are other Charlie Hebdos in the world.

"Terlajak perahu, boleh diundur,
         Terlajak kata, buruk padahnya,"

- You can over-run your boat into the water and pull it back
         But you can't run your mouth around and expect to be able to take it back that easily-

At least, that's how we Malays say it. Do not expect to throw stones at somebody and they won't fight back. I disagree to manslaughter of any kind. I am sure the journalists that died are of importance to somebody in the world and they are not unloved. The only thing I am sorry about was not being able to do something about this without discrediting my beliefs; an eye...for an eye. Though the words published by Charlie Hebdo are in no way a weapon, but it feeds the hidden anger of so many people and I am so sorry to see that, the slingshot shoots hard...literally. And in this case, it involves innocent people who had done nothing but live their lives unaware of the extent of mental turmoil that drives certain individuals into insanity.

This is my opinion. There's nothing satirical about it. But this is my appreciation for the freedom of speech.

Condolences to the families of the victims in the Charlie Hebdo shooting.

Childish


When the world revolves around believing only what we see, it is an irony how many scientific discoveries could make sense. Though, narrowness and shallowness of minds make up an ocean of so-called ignorant beings, it couldn't be helped that as we walk ahead, we seem to forget to look at ourselves if we zipped up out flyers.

The differences between star-gazers and astronomers couldn't be accurately explained. The more I learn of the complexity of knowledge, the more I believe in the higher power. How some things take time to be understood, to be digested and to be assimilated into my own consciousness. It wasn't all about making new discoveries and being immortalized into history. But the world seemed to enamored with quantifying, with calculating and hastily generating just about anything so fast, that the truth seemingly adjustable within the palm of our hands. Now, sadly, discoveries are as staple as trending topics virtually.

I do not mind the accusatory looks of rigidity or shallow-mindedness or being at the wrong...What I find vulgar is the conceitedness of the advanced young minds that duel ideas and would not stop berating others just to exert righteousness. I am old-fashioned when I say I refuse to converse scientific knowledge with the sole purpose to killing someone's idea. In time.....couldn't you be more wrong just as the people before you?

Advancement change us...and we feed off it like a thirsty man being given water. It didn't matter if the water had high arsenic or nitrate content....because it's water. We're always drinking even when we don't have to. Not everything born out of our fascination for convenience is good for us, I think. But to hold back and give myself the time to think causes snickers from fast-moving minds.

Will you be accompanying me in my grave? 

When we all starve of attention and approval...

Perhaps in our dying moments too, we would want to argue with God just so we'll be told that we're right.

How childish can we be?

How childish can I be?

10.1.15

I'm alright


Azalea

At the streets





Eli

3.1.15

UP