Thursday, 29 July 2010

blowing my own trumpet

There have probably been a dozen or so occasions over the last dozen or so years that I have resolved to get back into playing music.

Throughout primary and high school, I was basically never not involved in some sort of musical group, mostly on trumpet, but with brief forays into french horn and even tuba. I was never going to make a career of it - I was good at some things like sight reading and time, but my tone and range were never up to snuff - but I wasn't bad. Probably my high point was playing Handel's trumpet concerto near the end of high school (although I also have fond memories of my french horn stuff).

Anyway, since then I basically haven't played. Every 6 months or year, I pick up the trumpet and practice, but then I get discouraged by my lack of range and endurance (trumpet is very demanding on the condition of the player's lip), and put it away again.

Well, I practiced Monday, and Tuesday, and again last night, and enjoyed it. I've transcribed a (bad) arrangement of Alfonsina y El Mar, and I've been trying to get that sounding OK. I've been playing lots of scales. I even pulled out my sheets from the Handel concerto and gave that a try, although I'm still a way off having a lip capable of doing it any sort of justice. We'll see if this lasts longer than my previous attempts.

Monday, 19 July 2010

an early look at candidates

In past years I've gone into some detail on the candidates available to me for the federal election. I'll probably do the same this year. I may be somewhat less engaged in the politics this time around (or maybe not), but the choice I have in my local electorate is much, much more interesting than it has been in the past. The official list of candidates won't be out for a couple of weeks, but there are three significant candidates each with more than 10 years experience as elected representatives in federal politics.

Arch Bevis has been the sitting ALP member for 20 years, but was marginalised at the last election being demoted from a high-profile shadow cabinet post to a minor role as a subcommittee chair.

Teresa Gambaro was the Liberal member for Petrie between 1996 and 2000, and was an assistant minister when she lost her seat.

Andrew Bartlett took the Queensland Democrats seat in 1997, then won it in his own right in 2001, before being defeated in 2007 when the party was wiped out. He is running this year for the Greens.

Last time around, Bevis grabbed 45%, the Libs 39%, and the Greens polled 12%, with Bevis winning the 2PP by 6.8%. Redistribution has narrowed that to 4.6%, and both the Libs and Greens are (in my opinion) fielding much stronger candidates than last time, so the seat promises to be very interesting in the primary. Having said that, I would expect a bump for the Greens, which might actually make Bevis safer on 2PP, even if his primary drops).

My first instinct is to go for Bartlett (West Wing indoctrination?). I don't like the Greens as a party - I think they're unconstructive - but I do like him as a candidate. I will have to look more closely at policy positions, though.