I had a good productive day yesterday and was in a great mood when I got back from my evening practice--mostly because I'd spent the first hour and 1/2 of it playing duets with Riccardo. Finding a regular duet partner has continued to enliven my playing. After a day spent drilling fundamentals and devoting near constant focus to refining my embouchure, it is a welcome change to sit down with another musician and play (go figure)...MUSIC! Having another's sound in my ears causes my body to instinctively make subtle physical adjustments in order to match their sound. Riccardo is an excellent player. He's got a brilliant tone and pays constant attention to small details of dynamics and articulation. He's a super nice guy, but when I start to get sloppy with things like sound, intonation, and style, he'll stop and ask me to play it again. I appreciate being challenged in this way and when the music finally comes together, it's thrilling.
Last night we finished the last duet in Alan Vizzutti's New Concepts for Trumpet, and started working through more of Chris Gekker's 44 Duos for Trumpet. Gekker's book is a real challenge. Though on the surface the music appears rather simple, it's deceptively revealing and requires fluidity throughout every key, an impeccable sense of time and rhythm, and an ear totally locked into the pitch of the other player. We've also been working up a fun concert duet by Eugene Bozza: Dialogue pour Deux Trompettes.
When I got home I was in the mood to stay up late, and if it weren't for my current sunrise obsession I might have diddled around into the wee hours doing who-knows-what. After making some dinner, I listened to a couple recordings of pieces scheduled for SWE's (Symphonic Wind Ensemble) second concert/recording session of the quarter, and then stayed up till around 11:00 talking to Rob...no harm in having a little Saturday-night "date" right?
This morning came early. My alarm went off at 6:01...then 6:03 (for some reason I never like setting it for evens or 5s) and I grudgingly rolled out of bed and peeked out the window. A couple fluffy inches of snow had fallen overnight and the sky looked as overcast as ever. I very nearly assumed it would stay that way and almost allowed myself to crawl back under the covers for another few hours of shut eye. But no...I said I'd be there for sunrise every day...and even though I was almost certain it would be cloudy down to the horizon, there's always a chance it the sun could peek through and give a really good show.
So, I groggily mustered up the wherewithal to make breakfast, take a shower, and scrape off my frosted car just in time to get to school and see this...
These pictures don't begin to do justice to the scene. It was actually snowing rather substantially during every one of these shots--I was hoping the little flakes would be visible in the pictures, but it appears they just served to dilute the richness of color and somewhat blur the resolution of each photo. I am glad I spent a good amount of time with the camera away from my face so I could fully appreciate the loveliness of the spectacle.
As our star's disc further rose above the horizon, I started to notice an area of parallel brightening off to the north. It appears the sun decided it'd be a good morning to walk the dog...
Actually the little rainbows we call "sun dogs" are created when countless hexagonal ice crystals floating through the air bend the rays of the sun like a prism. The one in this photo is rather dim, but you can see much better views of the effect by googling sun dog.
I'm really glad I didn't sleep in!