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Sick Day

March 15

I’m taking a sick day, hibernating at home, in hopes of a quick recovery. I have to get better pronto, as we leave on our Peru trip next week!

I took the opportunity to make myself my Get-Better-Chicken-Noodle-Stoup, and try my hand at making homemade Chinese Plain Steamed Buns (“Mantou”).  Unfortunately, my head was all fuzzy from the congestion and lack of sleep, and I forgot to add sugar to my dough. D’oh!

And I discovered that sugar is a pretty important component in yeast-based doughs. As a result, my buns turned out bland, dense, and too chewy.

And I really need to learn how to shape them better! The buns are still edible, but just rather disappointing. Ah well, I guess I’d better practise making them more!

At least my soup turned out well! It’s very similar to my original recipe, but more brothy, and with red peppers instead of peas.

Here’s to hoping it will get me feeling better asap!

It’s raining out today. Again. I keep hearing Chopin’s “Raindrop” Prelude in my mind. It’s the Op. 28, No. 15 Prelude, and it’s nicknamed the “Raindrop” because there is a constant repeated note throughout that is reminiscent of relentlessly falling raindrops. The 24 Preludes from this Op. 28 set would be my “desert island must-have” music, and the Raindrop is one of my faves among them. It is mournful, bittersweet, and too beautiful for words. It is also an amazing little masterpiece of a composition. The moment when the repeated Ab‘s become G#‘s, signalling the darker, stormier rain to come, cuts through to my very core everytime I hear or play it. Beyond the visual aspect of the rain imagery, I also think the repeated notes feel like a constant, nagging fear that is always there, and sometimes engulfs us.

And here’s one of my favourite recordings of this piece, by the brilliant Swiss-French pianist Alfred Cortot, one of the greats from the golden era of pianists:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ngwmnd1Qys

I have been asked by many non-musicians (my husband included) why I love such sad music. I am asked why I wouldn’t prefer to listen to more upbeat, cheerful music. And the thing is, I do like happy music. But I can’t really explain what it is about soul-wrenching, darkly passionate music that touches me to my very core. I actually crave it. Listening or playing such music intensifies my world, my senses, and satisfies something deep within me. I suppose it’s deeply carthartic for me. In real life, you wouldn’t actually want to experience such painful emotions, but they inevitably will touch your life. By feeling those emotions within the safety and comfort of music, it actually makes it more bearable in real life. And the music is simply beautiful. And experiencing beauty on such an intimate level is an indispensable form of solace for me.

Don’t worry, I’m not even feeling sad today! Congested and phlegmy, but not sad. 😛 I just crave Chopin sometimes! And between the Chopin, soup, and D’oh-y buns, I should get better in no time!

 

Posted by on March 15, 2011 in Music

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