Thursday, December 10, 2009

Two big events done, several more to go

On Monday, Bobby and I both had big big events. Bobby gave a talk at the lab he has been working in since March, the Équipe Lutheries, Acoustique, Musique at the Institut de Mecanique Jean le Rond d'Alembert at the Universié Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris 6. His talk was both well attended and well received. He even had some people from outside of the lab attend! Bobby was excited to sum up the work he's done over the past 9 months and to share it with his fellow lab mates. And he challenged himself to create an entire presentation without using a single equation. Bob once had a professor who said: The moment a student puts up an equation where a picture would suffice says to me that student does not understand what he is talking about. So this time he made his entire presentation text, pictures, and sounds so that no one could say, "You don't know what he you are talking about."

Then, I had a lesson with the great French flutist Pierre-Yves Artaud. Professor Artaud is a professor at both the Paris Conservatory of Music and at the Ecole Normale de Musique. He was kind enough to allow me to sit in on his lessons at the Paris Conservatory before my own lesson. I sat through 5 hours of lessons (all of which were in French) and then after a coffee I had an hour lesson. He is one of the best flute educators I have ever observed. His knowledge of the repertoire is incredible; he knows every note of the pieces his students were playing without looking as the music. He is also incredibly knowledgeable in music history. Though the 5 hours were long, my attention and excitement never left. My own lesson went fairly well. I played the first two movement of the Reinecke Sonata and the first movement of the Bach Partita, both of which I am preparing for my upcoming audition for post-graduate studies at the Danish Royal Academy of Music.

After our exciting events, Bobby and I met at Place de Clichy. Bobby surprised me by taking me out to a lovely dinner to celebrate. The restaurant he had originally intended to take me to was closed, but after some wondering around we found the Moulin de la Galette.

We shared this lovely starter. It was a terrine of young wild boar, foie gras, stewed quince, and salad.

I had the Boeuf Bourguignon à l'Ancienne, or Burgundy-style beef stew, with fresh tagliatelle noodles. It was delicious!

Bobby had this wonderful salmon, which was accompanied by steamed mussels, root vegetables, and two different vegetable purees, artichoke heart and sweet potato. The salmon was covered with a light tarragon cream sauce. Yummy!

To finish the meal, we shared this wonderful dessert, called Opera Cake. It alternated layers of almond sponge cake soaked in coffee syrup, ganache, and coffee-flavored buttercream, capped with a chocolate glaze. As if the cake wasn't decadent enough, the dessert included a scoop of vanilla bean sorbet and fresh berries. What a perfect way to crap off an exciting day!

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