Posted by: yoko | January 30, 2005

Full Workout

I sure do pack a lot of stuff in on the weekends.

I went to my first instructor’s class in aikido, where we touched upon how much information to give to beginning students, and talked about the purpose of kokyu dosa. I need to do more of this technique to fully talk more about it (even though I’ve been doing it ever since I was a beginner), but every time I practice kokyu dosa, it becomes something completely different to me.

The next morning, I went to my first advanced class this year, and got myself thrown good and proper. Then I helped one of my mentees work on the techniques for his orange-belt test. He learns quick.

I learned a new piece in taiko. I’ve heard it performed several times already, so it was fairly simple to pick up– the only trick was in the choreography. I received a copy of a written transcription of another piece that I need to learn by April, so I’ll have to get to work learning that one. I think I need to get a practice pad so that I can work out the rhythms at home.

Oh, GGS, how I love thee! Sooner, Bevin, Dewey, Shasta and I met up at Miz Peth’s place, and we had tea and cookies while we knitted/crocheted/cross-stitched and talked about FOs, LYSes, and frogging (knitting has a language all to itself), not to mention buying yarn from ebay and subscribing to Knitlist. Sooner got his womb. It was a lovely time.

Seeing a performance of Mahler’s first symphony was like waking up from a long sleep for me. I had forgotten how intensely moving this music is– the colors of the chords, the fragmented motifs against fleeting moments of folksong-like melodies, the depths of pain and beauty all in one. It’s definitely a piece to see live in order to catch certain nuances, like the offstage trumpets, the horns playing with bells up, each section in motion as phrases are being passed around the orchestra. I actually got chills in the 3rd and 4th movements– and it’s been a long time since I’ve experienced that.

Making bean soup for dinner. Need to rest up now.


  1. I always thought Mahler was a hottie. I think it’s the pince-nez specs and the wavy hair.
    I was just complaining to Flame this morning about our local Classical/Jazz radio station, and how I find their classical playlist to be sorely lacking. I am wondering what your opinion is on RTI, being that you are vastly more knowledgeable on this music?

  2. I have always loved Mahler 1 and got to play the crazy e-flat two years ago – one of my best clarinetty memories! Enjoy your bean soup.

  3. Christina B: what I love about that E-flat part is how Mahler puts in the description “Keck” in the third movement– which is exactly the way to play it! Oh, and thanks for the tip about the Cooks Illustrated issue for the sourdough– I’ll have to check that out.

    Pethers: I think you may be more knowledgeable about RTI’s playlist! I only listen to the radio when I’m in the car, and I’m mostly driving at night, when they’ve already switched over to jazz, or on the weekends during the “Creatively Speaking” and “Crossover” shows. From what I can tell, there seems to be more willingness to play lesser-known Classical and Romantic composers these days (WFLN, way back when, overplayed the well-known ones, in my opinion). What I would like to hear more of is string quartet music, though. And ideally, if RTI has to split classical and jazz time, I wish they would do it by days instead of classical in the morning and jazz at night.

  4. You know you would definitely enjoy taiji. However, it’s uncertain whether you could fit something else in on the weekends…

  5. i heard y’all were musing on my nakeness the other night. sadly, i was fully clothed the entire time!

  6. “I need to do more of this technique to fully talk more about it”

    Doesn’t work. At least not for me. The more I practice it, the less coherent my explanations become. The last time I tried to explain kokyu dosa in complete sentences, I heard myself say “Open your spine to the World-Serpent” before I had the good sense to shut my mouth again.

  7. “Open your spine to the World-Serpent”

    Ohmygosh, I wonder how Cecelia would react if I use that as an explanation.

    Sadly, my non-aikido readers are not going to get an explanation here because I can’t verbalize it either.

  8. It’s funny how I always seem to find people rather than what I’m looking for in Google. I typed “quiet practice taiko drum pad” and your blog popped up. Anyway, I’m a taiko uchite myself so I thought I’d say hello. I love taiko~!


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