Today’s Violin Lesson: how to deal with annoyed neighbours

AS AN AMATEUR violinist, I am well aware that the one thing you have to be prepared for is an annoyed neighbour (or several of them) whenever you play — and that often happens to be at the worst time of their day.

[hr_padding] [hr_padding]

It all begins

It happened to me a week or so ago. The lady behind my house began caterwauling with herself (you read that right) about how annoying my violin playing is. Her tactic was simple: should I hear her complaints, she expected me to stop playing.

So I switched from Ave Maria to the Hourglass Song (in case you don’t know, that’s like switching from a triangle to a high-pitched bass drum) and that just irritated her more. Continue reading

Untitled Composition #2

At two minutes long, my second experimental composition is twice as long as my first and perhaps twice as good.

I have not yet thought of a title for this piece, so I would like you to suggest it for me. I’ll choose the one that appeals to me most and call this piece so!

This composition (let us just call it that for now) is for a single violin (and therefore in a single stave) in treble clef and is set in C-Major. I hoped to achieve a subtly fast rhythm, faster than my previous one, and make the first move more related to the stanza. Continue reading

A musical quest that ended in Japan!

I do not remember the first time I saw the advertisement on television, but I do remember the violin music played in the background. However, Seagrams seems to be close-mouthed about the song, its composer, performer and the marketing of its product being advertised under the brilliant tagline of Speaks for Itself. While the purpose of the commercial itself seems to break down, I believe this is a commercial that will linger simply because of its tune.

Spend a while on the internet and you will realise I am not the only one looking for the complete soundtrack from this video. Continue reading

Instrumental, unknown. Original Vocal performance by Julio Iglesias and Willie Nelson – To All the Girl I’ve Loved Before

This instrumental piece, titled, To all the girl I’ve loved before, ranks as one of my favourite violin compositions. When I first heard to it, I neither knew where/who the song had come from, nor whether it was based on an earlier vocal performance.

It was only recently that I stumbled upon the answer to the second question: while I am still unaware as to who composed or so expertly played the piece on the violin, I found out that the instrumental is based on the song, by the same name, performed by spanish singer, Julio Iglesias and Willie Nelson, for Iglesias’ album 1984, 1100 Bel Air Place, which gave Iglesias his first break in the English market. Continue reading

Because death never strikes twice—a short story

The first time that I heard the mellifluous notes of the violin waft through the air, I felt a cold chill run down my spine. Nobody was supposed to be around. The real estate man told me the place was uninhabited at least up to a radius of a couple of miles. And violin notes do not travel that far.

I had bought this house ten days ago. Five days ago, I had got a compound wall erected. Today, I know somebody is in there. It cannot be. Nobody can enter the wall. There is just one gate, covered, locked from the inside, and I have the key. Continue reading

Classical music you never knew you had listened to

I play the violin. I’m no maestro, but I can handle the bow well (but I still cannot play the vibrato!) And this beautiful instrument–which came to me somewhat as a serendipity–has, for some reason, convinced me to spread the word about those great musical masterpieces I listen to everyday. And then I realised people around me hardly ever listen to it. There is no way you can make them listen, but one of the means I just realised was to associate these numbers to some things we are perhaps better aware of than the music itself.

So I sat down and compiled a list of the best pieces which have featured in well-known forms of media, and to which we have probably hummed, all the while not knowing what we were really humming to. Continue reading