Recently at Cambridge

5 03 2012

Ready for a hodgepodge of information?  Ok, good.  I thought you readers might want to just know some of the stuff that’s been going on.

Recently, I bought the new Kutless album:  Believer.  I was previously unhappy with Kutless’s decision to release a worship album It Is Well in 2009, and boy was I right because it was just plain bad.  With their new release, I either expected another worship album or a full on return to their hard rock roots.  They did neither, and in doing so, showed a surprising amount of maturity.  Unlike many fans, I recognize that bands must change their sounds in order to thrive.  While I think some of the songwriting is subpar, I was pleasantly surprised in the end.  3.5/5 stars.

Nice cover, too.

So, the past weeks I have been planning for what will be a fantastically awesome break.  Why, you ask?  I’m going to awesome places in Europe, that’s why!  WHOOOOO!!!!!!  This opportunity doesn’t come again maybe ever, so I’m sure going to make the most of it.  Due to scheduling quirks, it will be a three-part trip.  The first part I will spend with Jeremy, who is currently studying at Oxford this semester.  The second part I will spend with Travis the studier of literature, and a fellow Oxbridger who is studying at Oxford this year.  The third part I get to spend with my dad, who as soon as I decided on the Oxbridge program at William Jewell decided he would come to Europe to visit me.  He has never been to Europe, and is very much looking forward to the adventure.  Here’s my schedule for the break:
March 20: Somewhere fun in England (Stonehenge?)
March 21-22: Fly to Vienna. Overnight Train to Venice on the 22nd.
March 23-24: Venice. High-Speed train to Rome.
March 25-26: Rome.
March 27: Rome to Florence to meet Travis, train to Pisa.
March 28: Pisa
March 29-30: Naples
March 31: Amalfi
April 1: Salerno
April 2: Reggio Calabria
April 3-4: Cantania
April 5-6: Palermo
April 7: Fly to London from Palermo.
April 8-9: London
April 10: VIP Tour of Cambridge (my dad being the VIP), chunnel train to Paris
April 11-12: Paris, possible side trip to Normandy
April 13: Bern
April 14: Interloken
April 15-16: Germany
April 17-18: Somewhere. Maybe Brussels/Amsterdam.
April 19: London

Whew.  I have a few days to myself before and after the grand trip in which I’ll do something.  Then I have to go back to Cambridge for Easter term.  It so happens that a hefty percentage of my travel will be in Italy, which just sort of happened that way.  That’s fine with me.  I’ve decided I’m going to eat at a pizzaria at every city to which we travel.  I LOVE ITALIAN FOOD.

Naples pizza here I come. And maybe some gained weight.

On Saturday, the ‘University’s flagship orchestra‘ of which I am the co-principal hornist performed.  We played Prokofiev Violin Concerto No. 1 and Shostakovich Symphony no. 7.  Now, nothing can quite beat the last concert, which was ridiculously fantastaliciously awesome (yes, fantastalicious–a made up word of mine; I’m obligated to keep using it because my girlfriend likes it so much).  But this was another great concert.  Dmitri Shostakovich composed under the iron fist of Joseph Stalin and was subject to a fascinatingly bipolar censorship.  Shostakovich composed his Seventh Symphony during the siege of Leningrad by the Nazi army.  Both the Soviets and the Allies championed it as a patriotic work of rousing intensity.  After the war, its popularity declined as the arts community shelved it under the ‘bombastic but shallow work of war patriotism’ section.  However, in the past couple decades, the symphony has rightfully risen in popularity and status, as Shostakovich’s genius has been recognized.  See, Shostakovich wasn’t a supporter of Stalin and the Soviet totalitarian regime–he was disgusted at the atrocities committed by Stalin.  But he was a composer who had to adhere to the censorship of the communist rule.  He was forced to relay his disgust and beliefs subtly in his music; the Seventh Symphony in particular can be seen not as a representation of the Nazi attack and the Russian victory, but as an ironic criticism of all totalitarian governments.  It really is quite brilliant, and is one of my favorite works.  You can listen here:

To close out this random post, I have news to announce to the world:  I now have a Twitter.  Yeah.  I succumbed to the Twitter revolution.  I did not do this to announce to the world what is in my sandwich (ham and cheese most likely), but instead to keep up with news, as Twitter is fantastic for this (especially in regards to sports).  For instance, I am now following Eric Hosmer, Billy Butler, Danny Duffy, and other Kansas City Royals athletes.  Crazy how the world works now huh?  However, since following people on Twitter necessitates having one, I’m going to make the most of it by putting up amusing one-liners, which is my specialty.  LaMar_Matt is my…Twittersign?  Twitterthing?  I honestly don’t know.

Well, I’ve gotta sign off.  However:  Go Royals, and I hope you have a great day.





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