Wednesday, April 7, 2010

My Time in the Big Apple ^__^

The concentration of art in New York City was astonishing. I was completely taken aback; I did not expect to find art of some form on literally every street corner – graffiti, street musician, statue, beautiful architecture on a building, the list goes on and on. It was amazing and inspiring, because it showed me how universal art – all disciplines – can really be. Not limited to the studio or rehearsal room. It is more than the piece of art itself, art. It is a mentality even. Moreover, we had the opportunity to speak with many Stanford alums who were involved in the arts industry. Their enthusiasm for their work and their faith in their own artistic journeys renewed my optimism towards my own. I learned that artistic careers, like art, are often not planned and the result of someone’s creative, open-mindedness towards opportunities that come his or her way. So many of the alums reminded us that life after college can still take unexpected turns and that all we had to do to find our ‘calling’ was to just stick to a vision and trust in our intuition to find jobs and activities that would send us gradually, if not immediately, on the right path.

Highlights of the trip for me was attending the NY Philharmonic’s open rehearsal, walking through Central Park, and watching Hair on Broadway our last night in the city. I have not heard the NY Phil live before and their sound completely blew me away; I loved the velvety, rich tone of the strings in particular (it could have had something to do with the acoustics in Avery Fischer?). I thought it was funny how much better the NY Phil was than the SF Symphony (my opinion), yet Davies Symphony Hall in SF was so much more ornate (pretentious? just kidding) than Avery Fischer, architectural-wise. Anyway, Central Park was a fun experience as well. It was freezing the day we went, but we were not to be deterred from traipsing about for an hour or so with our guide. I liked the seemingly casual and laid-back layout of the park and the fact that there were so many interesting buildings and bodies of water scattered throughout. Broadway on Saturday night was quite memorable. I can’t say I loved the story to Hair (thought it could’ve been fleshed out a bit more), but I was very impressed by the vocals. I wonder how much the performers practice in order to sing the way they do and how hard the audition process/getting slated for a Broadway show must be. Those singers probably braved so much to get there, haha. After the performance, a few friends and I had delicious cheesecake, which completed the Times Square experience! =)

I definitely enjoyed the trip and thought it was one of the best Stanford spring breaks I have ever had. The tour schedule was grueling but rewarding; it was essentially a broad overview sort-of-thing and I went to enough museums and galleries to last me the rest of the year. Haha, no, what I mean is, I will never walk into an art exhibit the same way again. The trip made me acutely aware of all the behind-the-scenes work that goes into all the art forms, be it work on the artists’ parts – rehearsing, thinking, planning the piece – or the producers’ and curator’s – choosing the pieces to be displayed, overseeing construction of the exhibit, directing the show, etc – and it really fleshed out the art industry into something relatable and more importantly, achievable. In the sense of “I can do that, too!” and “I can be a part of that!” sometime in the future, after I graduate. =]

Videos of various street musicians/bands to come as soon as I get them all organized and sorted out!

And a big kudos/thank you to Profs Jonathan, Sarah, and Brian for leading the trip!

No comments:

Post a Comment