Wednesday, 10 April 2013

PYO Annual Concert Review

PYO did a fantastic job at their annual concert on Sunday 7th. The soloists were especially impressive. Merran Kay, a cellist, who has been a member of the orchestra for four years, performed Kol Nedrei (Max Bruch) meaning “All Vows” which begins with a melancholy chant and concludes with a more radiant second theme. Her rendition of the piece conveyed the emotion within the themes and displayed her technical ability.

In contrast was Magnus Pickering’s rendition of Alexander Aruturian’s trumpet concerto in A flat major. This piece was bold and uplifting, not to mention excellently performed. This is not surprising considering Magnus is the current recipient of Scotland's Junior Conservatoire’s Gilbert Innes Prizes for Brass.

The soloist received the Eoin Bennet award and glass medallions as a reminder of their performances with the orchestra. Their names will also be entered in a bound scroll of past soloists.

Both Merran and Magnus did well to conquer their nerves and share their talent with the audience and of course, this could not have been done without the accompaniment of the rest of PYO. Not only did the orchestra accompany the solo performances, they also put on a good show of their own in playing pieces such as the opening score Crown Imperial (William Walton). PYO also performed two further works; St Paul’s Suite (Gustav Holst) and Symphony No.2 in B minor (Alexander Borodin).

PYO was lead through these works by Euan Holmes, 1st violin, who has been a member of the orchestra since 2009. The orchestra was conducted by an ever enthusiastic Allan Young who never fails to entertain at concerts. Mr Young brought the concert to a foot stomping close with the encore piece Lord of the dance much to the delight of the audience and members of PYO alike.  

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Jack The Giant Slayer Film Review

The title of the film says it all really - Jack the Giant slayer - a tale of epic heroism, giants and bean stalks and of course the all-important beautiful princess. It's based on the tales of Jack the Giant killer and Jack and the beanstalk so it's a completely fantastical production. Nicholas Hoult plays unlikely hero, farm boy Jack and does a pretty good job of it too. His counterpart, Eleanor Tomlinson who plays Princess Isabelle however, does not. Her poor acting is made up for by the rest of the cast which includes Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci and Ian McShane. I just have to take this opportunity to say that Ewan looks pretty good in armour. At one point during the film he also winds up wrapped in pastry dough... 

The film's graphics also made for stunning visual effects and I get the feeling that it would be good in 3D. The giants lived up to expectation which basically means that they were ugly, disgusting and had a taste for human flesh. Their leader even had two heads! What could be better than that? Well, knowing what happened to Jack's uncle would. He appears in the beginning of the film as a cantankerous old man and then seemingly vanishes...

Apart from all that, I really liked the idea of the plot and the reason as to how Jack came to acquire the beans. The way the film also highlighted how stories change over time was clever and brought the film to a good conclusion.

My overall impression of the film was that it was a bit of harmless family fun and I'm giving it a rating of 3 out of five. That said the film really didn't grab me in the way that many others have. I think it was lacking something but I don't know what it was. So, maybe I should really be giving it a 2?

Nicholas Hoult as Jack
Eleanor Tomlinson as Isabelle
Ewan McGregor as a pastry

Friday, 5 April 2013

First Backflip

This is a video of the first time I've ever done a backflip. It was a pretty scary experience but the thrill was definitely worth it. I want to become a pro snowboarder and this is my first season on proper snow up in Glenshee. I've had lessons to start me off, just for the basics and now I'm able to go down black runs (expert level of difficulty). This backflip may not seem like much but for me it's the start of everything. I've sent emails to lots of different sports brands i.e. redbull, bawbags and DC and their answers have all been the same. I have to improve and this is the beginning of that improvement. I hope to meet their standards in a few years (I'm only young so I've got a bit of time) and eventually get a job in British Columbia. It may seem ambitious but I think I can do it! Here's my video - it's pretty short, only a few seconds in fact. I'll be posting more videos in the near future and updating everyone on my progress. Thanks for reading this.

Brother and Bones

Hey guys! I thought I should just put up a quick post about a band that I've been fairly recently introduced to. If you've been following any of the post I put up on you'll probably be able to guess what I'm about to say next. Brother and Bones are less well known band and that's probably one of the things that makes them so great. Their music isn't popish and is in general brilliant. I think having a smaller fan base than a lot of bands means that their sound hasn't sold out to some of the rubbish that gets put out on the charts nowadays. I'm not here to tell you that pop music is awful because that's not true as you do find a few good tracks out there now and again. I'm here just to inform a bit of the world about Brother and Bones because I think that their music deserves to be listened to! Also, I just want to clarify that I'm not the sort of person who gets into just one sort of niche in music, I will listen to it all. I might not necessarily like what I'm listening to but I try to be open minded. I think I've only got one of the Brother and Bones albums - I'm not sure because my friend who introduced me to them gave me a mixed CD. In fact, I'm not even sure that all the songs are from the same album. As you can probably tell, I'm not really a music fanatic, I'll just listen to whatever and if I like it I'll put it on my iPod! I don't even know that much about Brother and Bones to be honest but I don't really think that matters. If you like the music that's all that really has to be said. So..without further ado here's a video of one of them performing and if you like them, you can investigate a bit more. Speaking of which, I really hope you like them!
I just got the video off youtube and it doesn't play the full song and there's a bit of background noise so just try to ignore all of that if you can. Thanks for watching the video! And just in case you can't be bothered looking up anything about the band I've added in the link to their website:
That's all for today :)