Saturday, August 11, 2007

11th August

... Wow. I've been so busy that I managed to neglect my blog for a whole month.

Work has been busy but good and I am enjoying many aspects of what I do. Restoring old organs really gives a sense of satisfaction. I'm also loving my routine of getting to work: I get on a bus to Drummoyne at about 7am, I get a coffee there while waiting for my connecting bus to Ermington, and on the bus trip there, I get a chance to read my bible! I've read 2 and a half of the gospels in the last week which is more than I've read in the last few months.

I visited mummy last weekend in the mountains. It's been such a long time since i've visited her (as shown by the completed back deck, new barbeque, gas to the house, replacement of the old fireplace to a gas fireplace, satellite tv and various other things that weren't there when I was there last). It was a nice weekend and the weather in the old "hood" was awesome. I also caught up with one of my old primary school mates which was really cool. Other than that, I just veg'ed with mum, played some scrabble and played some music with her.

In an attempt to keep in touch with my uni friends, I am also going to "second dinner" on Thursday nights (yes credo people, get to the pub on Thursday nights if you still want to be my friend hehe).

I'm back on at kids church this August too, which is awesome. It's also giving me an opportunity to practise on the organ for a good few hours before the 6pm service starts. My organ playing is getting better too which is exciting (for me at least).

Last Wednesday I went with Peter (my boss) to Newcastle to tune the organ at Christ Church Cathedral, which is a beautiful electric-action Norman and Beard organ. It's tone was sooooooo wonderful and suited the church amazingly! Micheal Dudman held the organist post there for quite a while too.

Anyway, I want coffee.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

14th July

Hi there!

I'm back from my one week study camp and am glad I went... there was much that was learned and there were many friends made.

Oh! And I'm working as an apprentice organbuilder now which is very insightful and fun :-)

Not much else to report besides I whoop Jimmy's butt in HOMM3!

Love Nick.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

23rd June

Hurro,

Well, I'm in the gap between my last exam and second meeting for a study camp which I am leading on.

My last exam was not as shocking as I had originally anticipated. Many people were telling me prior to the exam that "the paper had been dumbed down" due to so many people failing in the previous semester. Indeed, the exam was much easier than the past paper that had been supplied to us to study. Celebration is in order as I now presume that I've passed all my subjects (which isn't necessarily a guarantee, but is much nicer than presuming failure). Hooray and praise God for an answered prayer.

Tomorrow is going to be a very exciting day. I'm meeting Peter for lunch and coffee to discuss the possibility of me working for him. I'm really hoping that whatever the outcome, I will be satisfied... but at the same time, I'd really really like to experience working as an organ-builder. If you know me, chances are you know that this has been a dream of mine for the past few years and everything seems to be coming together. Praise God again! If I do get the job and really enjoy it (which I'm fairly confident I would), I would probably stay on. Maybe I would do uni part time in the background after a while? Argh... I'm getting my hopes up. I figure that I'll know what's going on by tomorrow evening! After which I'll be going to church to (guess what) praise God! Huzzah!

Apart from a good day so far, I don't have much to report... I'm just glad that I'll be able to get a few days of constant piano and organ practise without having to feel guilty about not studying for exams... ahhh I can't wait! I'm really enjoying lessons!

Nick

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Such a busy few weeks!

Hello,

I had been intending to write some things here over the last few weeks but just didn't get a chance! Everything has been so busy.

Paul Jacobs, a very famous organist from America, has been in Sydney for the last few weeks giving recitals in several venues around the place. Everything he has played has been entirely from memory. I have been most fortunate to meet with him several times and get some great advice on playing and life in general!

On Sunday, I met Peter Jewkes who is an organ builder who tunes, repairs and restores a lot of the main organs in Sydney. He had advised me to come along to his church Christ Church St. Lawrence (NOT Christ Church St. Ives!) to hear the Hill and Son organ that he plays. The service was unlike anything I have ever attended or witnessed and, I was slightly shocked and confused. I showed him some of the software that I use and some of the organ sample sets that I have made, which he seemed interested in. It was all-up a very good day.

Yesterday, on her majesty's birthday, me and the organ music society went on an "organ ramble" to visit St. Jude's, Bowral and St. Savior's and St. Peter and Paul's, Goulburn. All are homes to historical organs of New South Wales. The St. Jude's organ has been in the process of being restored and sounded absolutely marvelous for a reasonably small instrument.

Unfortunately, the samples that I made of the organ in Summer Hill are completely un-usable. The blower was so loud, that it was just impossible to remove it's noise from the samples without hurting the attack transients of the samples. Sigh. 2 days of recording down the drain. On the upside, the minister there has said that I should be able to come back if I need to record again. I might be able to make it quieter by putting noise absorbing stuff around the blower. Also, with all of my new connections in the organ society, it should be relatively easy for me to find other organs to record. Excitement.

Well, so far all I have spoken about are organs and things organ related. University is [b]AWFUL[/b]. This has been the worst semester I have ever had to endure, not in terms of content, but my motivation to do anything has been completely shot from my experience on the internship. I've just totally had enough. I may end up deferring next semester to work or do something else... engineering just doesn't seem to be where I want to head anymore. I'm actually very scared about where I'm going to be in a few years time.

I only seem to get enjoyment from friends, organs and church... I need to work out how I can put all of these together and earn a living at the same time. Pray for me.

Nick.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Today was AWESOME!

Today I went to St. Andrew's cathedral to listen to watch my organ teacher play some music and to get a tour of the inside of the organ! Yes THE INSIDE OF THE ORGAN! I got to stand next to pipes over 5 times taller than me! 32feet tall!

Not only that, but after the performance and the cathedral had been emptied I got to play on the organ!!! I started off playing with hardly any stops out but by the time I was playing the fantasia in g-minor, I was playing almost on the full great organ and for the last bar I had the 32ft contra trombone on the pedal! IT WAS AMAZING!!!

*end venting of excitement*

My first lesson is on Wednesday!!! Woo!!!! Totally beyond extatic.

Friday, May 25, 2007

The annual 25th of May update.

Hello,

It's been a while (20 days) since my last post, which is kinda making me feel like this is turning into a MSN type blog which is likely to become abandoned sooner rather than later... sigh.

I've had a really shocking last couple of days, I'm so stressed at the moment I just want to go away. I'm at about my limit of tolerance of a few people and think I need to get away to cool down for a bit, which is kind of sad! My subjects this semester have been 100% tedious, and I've had severe distaste for every second I have been at uni.

That said, two really cool things did happen today: firstly, I discovered that a guy from my church works at UTS and second, I'M GETTING ORGAN LESSONS!

Frederick from church works for UTS as the boss of the auditors! I had no idea. He's an uber down-to-earth guy which is always really refreshing and I get a lot of enjoyment talking to people like that. Not only did he extend the offer for me to come up and visit when I want, but he gave me some advice on what to do about my severe lack-of-motivation for doing anything engineering related at the moment.

As per usual Organrecitalday (the new name for "Friday"), I went to the organ recital at St Andrew's Cathederal. Mark Quarmby (the assistant organist of the cathederal) came over and introduced himself to me as he had noticed me at several of the recitals now, this was a bit strange as I had actually emailed him earlier in the week as he was referenced to me by another person I had emailed about obtaining organ lessons! It turned out that he did not receive my email, but we've been exchanging emails today and it looks like I'm going to be getting some organ lessons!!! Excitement!

Anyway, I want some sleep... tomorrow is yet another big day.

Nick*

Saturday, May 5, 2007

The Regular 10th of May Update.

Hihi,

I'm excited today because I've organised a date to make my organ recordings at Summer Hill! Which is very exciting indeed. It looks like over the next few weeks i'll be frantically be being busy with lots of planning and equipment testing. I've managed to get the church for two whole days with the possibility of three if the unforseen happens which is totally awesome. I just hope it doesn't rain because that will ruin everything.

Well uni is aweful! I'm trying not to say it because I know that when such things are said with definity, the feelings just tend to become amplified... but realistically, i'm very unhappy at the moment with my studies and course and do not expect that I will be performing at my usual standard this semester. The thing that really scares me is the daunting question of: what would I do if I wasn't doing what I'm doing now? Which is, frankly, scary enough to send shivers of fear down my spine. There are only a few times that I'm finding myself truely happy: when i'm at church, when i'm hanging out with friends and when i'm sitting in front of an organ console. My behavior of late is very out-of-character indeed, I usually feel quite happy and grateful to be in the situation that I am in. I was saying to someone today that I'm actually wondering if the feeling is being caused by something that I've been eating (or more likely with me: not eating). Who knows? Perhaps next semester everything will be great again.

I'm just trying to focus on the happy things at the moment. Hoorah for church tomorrow. Hooray for organ recordings coming up! Hoorah for {insert stuff here}.

Love Always,
Nick