Musings on m
y life as a busy opera singer, voice teacher, photographer and mom - not necessarily in that order! I consider myself immensely fortunate to have carved out a way of doing all of these things which mean so much to me - it may sometimes get a little crazy, but it's always worth it. Welcome to the madhouse!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Split personality

Well, I think as a working mom I'm always a bit of a split personality, but the past couple of weeks have taken it to new heights.

The recital two weeks ago went far better than I could have hoped: I had set myself some particular goals and challenges, and I think that I achieved what I'd set out to do, which was very satisfying. Not to say that it was a "perfect" performance (what's one of those?!), but that I had given myself specific goals, and even in the heat of performance was able to follow through with what I had planned. I can't ask for more from myself, really, so even if had it been meaningful to nobody except myself, I'd have been thrilled! But it got better: I'd initially thought that these things were more significant as technical explorations for myself and would be too subtle to really have much impact, but apparently not - the audience responded quite strongly, even if they didn't know why something had particularly affected them. This is a wonderful outcome - I'm thrilled that my experiments in expanding my expressive palette went beyond my own "process"; it's very exciting to have some new tools in the kit and I can't wait til the next string of performances so I can try and take it even further. As an added bonus, the concert attracted the largest audience this (newish) concert series has had to date, so The Powers That Be were happy at a practical as well as artistic level.

As soon as that was done, I switched hats and started shooting photos. Lots, and lots, and LOTS of photos. I agreed to do headshots for the acting class at the college where I teach; I did this last year as part of some of my first attempts at formal portraits (when I had a lot of time on my hands due to the unexpected company cancellations), and the teacher approached me to do it again this year. Except that this year there are TWENTY students to fit into a few short sessions! That's a lot of headshots..... So far I've done sessions with 14 of them; the remainder will be after Easter. In the middle of all that, I also took rehearsal shots for my friends at the Concert Opera.... culminating in a grand total of 2700 frames shot in 9 days . That's a lot of processing! (For those who don't know, when you shoot "raw" digital files, as a I do, the resulting files are really only a digital negative, not the finished image, and you have to digitally "process" them before they look like much. It's worth it for the greater artistic control and higher image quality than the camera's automated process-to-jpg functions can provide, but it's a lot more work!!)

And now, it seems it's time to switch hats again and ease back into my role as Domestic Diva. I have a cold, and our daughter just got sent home from school with a stomach bug, so looks like we'll all be digging in at home this weekend, just trying to get better. I think a quiet weekend might be a good thing all round!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Spreadin' the radio love....

For anybody else who, like me, is a BBC radio junkie, I can heartily recommend this little utility, Radio Downloader.

Simple and easy to use, you select the programs you'd like to hear, "subscribe", and the software goes and fetches them for you automatically as soon as they're available at the BBC radio website. I find this more appealing than live-streaming since I can match up the broadcast time with my own time-zone wherever I am, which is particularly nice when listening to news broadcasts (I can enjoy "Today" over my morning coffee again!)

Highly recommended.