Tuesday, 1 August 2017

4. Update: Blogger Of The Year, Jazz + Books

This is officially my first update post of August and the first thing I can think to say is where on earth did July go? It seems to have sped by so quickly, as has summer. It won't be long at all now till the new semester begins. I am studying Dutch at twice the pace now and it is odd to look back to just a month ago, because the amount I have learnt since then is quite significant. My current favourite word would definitely have to be roomijs (ice cream).

The past week has been filled with some of the adventures that have been on my summer bucket list for a while. The first of which would have to be going to the Vintage Sunday showing of The Wizard Of Oz at my local cinema. It was strange to see a movie from childhood all the way through that I haven't seen since I was small enough to wear my own shiny, ruby slippers for world book day 2004. It was a film which really influenced me as a child too, featuring one of the very first songs I ever sung. In fact, it's part of the reason why I wrote the essay for the Amsterdam Concertgebouw a while ago. It's had a big impact on my life, as a lot of art based projects do for others.

Something which I found particularly interesting about seeing it at the cinema and for the first time as a young adult, is how much it caters to the genre of road movie. Whilst it doesn't possess features of the great depression which preceded the second world war the way movies such as Of Mice and Men perhaps does, it is still very much about the path to self discovery, the desire for home and the determination to achieve the shared dream of reaching the wizard. I tried not to focus on this too much during the film though, otherwise I would have started to analyse. It reminded me as well that at the start of my first year of undergrad we were warned in advance the urge to analyse everything would drive us crazy once we had mastered it!

There's no place like home - Copyright CLSS 2017
That evening I also ended up going to a jazz concert at a little stage under the railway tracks, hence why the series of concerts over the next few months is nicknamed 'under the railway'. It felt very much like the sort of adventure you'd read about in books. Mark Nightingale was playing and the music had his usual lyrical approach with a few surprises along the way. 

There is a lot that I cannot comprehend about jazz, from the many different modes (I know the word lydian but not necessarily the scale!) to being able to hear straightaway quotations that the musicians contain from other pieces within their own improvisation. But despite this, I do really enjoy the way that listening to it can just wash over you and make you use your ears as people tend to use their eyes when they read. Suddenly, we are reading with our ears. I see colours when I hear things and everything just sounded the loveliest, warmest shade of yellow. At points it would shift from yellow to purple and those were the moments where everything sounded its' most innovative. Jazz is constantly re-writing and re-inventing itself. That is something I have a great deal of respect for as a writer because it isn't easy to do. 

The views of the sunset on the way home were equally beautiful - they looked like something Van Gogh would paint. The wind turbines slowly turning as the sky switched colours the way that the jazz had gone through so many different shades as the notes whirred and changed. Despite feeling sleepy, I am glad I managed to stay awake for that.

The sun has gone to bed and so must I - Image copyright CLSS 2017
The last part of this blog has to contain a giant thank-you to all of you reading who voted for me as blogger of the month throughout the past year because I am officially UCAS blogger of the year 2017! 

Throughout 2016/2017 so many wonderful opportunities have come my way and I still can't believe how lucky I am to be able to write these blogs and to be able to write in general. It always feels so much like a dream come true and makes me determined to continue with the hard work to ensure that there will always be a new opportunitiy waiting just around the corner. It's fun, it's rewarding and overall, it's simply wonderful to be able to share my experiences and advice with you all. 

I've changed a great deal since this time last year. I was making the transition from music college to university to study literature, as well as travelling for the first real time in my life. And whilst I've changed a lot, I am in a similar spot now. I am about to move again for study, this time to a completely different country. With my last Halle Tour coming up in the next few weeks, it is an emotional time - I am about to start on another new adventure. And I'm so excited to share that with you. 

Thank-you all, I'm UCAS Blogger of the Year! - Copyright CLSS 2017
Thank-you for all your support and comments. It is a fantastic thing to be able to help answer any of your questions and to share my adventure with all of you. It makes my day every day! 

If you like, you can click here to vote for me as Blogger of the month. Thank-you!

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