Watching Conrad Tao play piano is a bit like watching a dance between piano and man. As his fingers fly across the keys, his body and the piano emanate a rhythm that mesmerizes audience. His body bounces off the seat, hunches over the keys and leans back away from them as he plays. His who body emotes the music he plays. His performance on November 9, 2014 at LaSells Stewart Center in Corvallis as part of the Corvallis-OSU Piano International Steinway Piano Series included movements by J. S. Bach, Elliott Carter, Ludwig van Beethoven, Toru Takemitsu, Frederic Chopin, and Igor Stravinsky. He played each movement with an energy that emoted from the stage entrancing the listeners. I felt torn between wanting to close my eyes and float on the music and a desire to watch his dance with the piano. Toward the end of his performance, there was a segment that sounded strange to me. I'm no expert and can only report on what I like or don't like, but there was a small moment where I grimaced involuntarily even though I couldn't pinpoint why. My husband also caught this moment that sounded not quite right. Overall, I found the performance simultaneously rousing and relaxing, so I would definitely recommend seeing Tao perform if you have the opportunity.
Tao recently released his debut solo album, Voyages, for anyone who may be interested.
I ordered 52 Lists for Happiness: Weekly Journaling Inspiration for Positivity Balance and Joy by Moorea Seal because I enjoyed her The 52 Lists Project: A Year of Weekly Journaling Inspiration. I wanted to keep exploring this idea of a weekly guided journal. 52 Lists for Happiness took on a different tenor for me though. I opted to do the lists every Sunday because I felt it would be a good way to start off the week. I had some struggles this year that sometimes made the lists hard to write and other times the lists cheered me up. Focusing on simple moments of happiness gave me an opportunity to remember the good in my life no matter what happened in the world around me.
I read Four O'Clock Sizzle: A Rebecca Mayfield Mystery by Joanne Pence while travelling. It's an easy, light, fun read. Pence likes to blur the lines between procedural and cozy mystery in this series in a way that makes Rebecca Mayfield sometimes do things it's hard to imagine a police officer doing yet Pence gives her believable if flawed reasons for making the decisions she makes. The chemistry between Rebecca and Richie Amalfi has the reader both cheering for them and wondering what each of them is thinking at different times throughout the book. And, then there's the police investigation where Rebecca is torn between her feelings for Richie and her concerns that the rumors about Richie might hold more truth than she wants to believe. She struggles to reconcile the Richie she spends time with and the Richie of his reputation. As her investigation continues, Rebecca finds she needs Richie to solve the crime and she needs to protect him from danger for her own person…
Remarkable Oregon Women: Revolutionaries & Visionaries by Jennifer Chambers offers a snapshot into the history of the role of women in Oregon's history. Chambers provides enough information about each woman mentioned to spark an interest in learning more even providing sources for further reading. Remarkable Oregon Women is an interesting book that reminds the reader that women have always played an important role in the progress of society even when they've been stymied or their efforts have been hidden by history.