Musician vs. Machine

The night breeze whispered through the trees, shuffling their crisp leaves and making them buzz like radio static. It was an unusually beautiful autumn day, but then again, it was January. Always several steps ahead in politics, technology, and accepted morality, Los Angeles remained ever a few months behind when it came to seasons.  But…

Three Principles

As I was practicing piano the other day, I wrote a series of three questions to ask myself as I worked on each detail: Is it clean? Is it beautiful? Does it mean something? First, I work technically, listening even to exercises to discern if they are played with clarity and precision. Are they clean?…

The Girl in the Red Dress

I am a pianist, but I have long suffered from stage fright. My junior undergraduate piano recital was yesterday and, true to my philosophy that no art is complete without a proper understanding of other art forms, I used literature such as Coleridge's The Rime of the Ancient Mariner to create program notes to give greater depth…

Non-Writing Writer

I was inspired this morning as I walked to practice piano for an upcoming recital... this would have been great, had I been inspired to practice. Rather, I was inspired to set the opening of Wordsworth’s The Prelude to music.  My roommate (bless her) stopped me just in time: “Ryanne, if you write a melody and…

10 Going on 30

I turned twenty on November 14th, 2016. It was weird. Every day I was thinking, “one more week until I am no longer a teenager” or “three more days until I am a real adult.” But then, when the day came, I felt the same. This should not have been surprising, but I could not…

Italian Lessons

Okay, so the title of this post is a bit misleading. To clarify, I have not taken lessons in speaking Italian and, if I'm being completely honest, my Italian speaking abilities consists of basic greetings, "grazie", and apologetically smiling and batting my eyes. Oh, and I got pretty good at ordering coffee and gelato. But…

Jill of all Trades or Renaissance Woman?

I am what one might call a "Jill of All Trades," the female counterpart of a "Jack of All Trades." I quite liked this phrase until I saw a quote on Pinterest (seriously, Pinterest? You're supposed to be my social media happy place!) that reads: "Jack of all trades, but a master of none." Well stink.…