36 Years Ago

36 Years Ago, Vienna 1971—A Student Journal

Day 092: Tights, tutus, and tippie-toes


Vienna 1971—A Student Journal
A year of music, study, travel, sightseeing & friends.

Day 92 —Tights, tutus, and tippie-toes
02-November-1971 (Tue.)

Austrian skiing


Spent most of the day doing busy work. Trying to collect info for Mike and his skiing trip.

However, began to write some ideas for stage band. Actually, got a lot down. For once, I’ll try to finish something.

Swan Lake by Tchaikovsky. First ballet here. I enjoyed it immensely. Music is beautiful. The trouble with ballet is that sometimes it seems pretty corny, but other times very beautiful. I guess the beautiful parts outdo the rest.


Chair lift to the slopes
Skiing. I really love skiing, even today. However, for most of my life, I have rarely gone skiing to “exotic” places. In college, I skied mostly in NJ, also in New York state, and to Vermont only once, I believe. So, what do you think? I’m getting buzzed about skiing in the Austrian Alps. How amazing is that? THE AUSTRIAN ALPS! God, a once in a lifetime opportunity. Brother Mike and I are ready.

Why don’t we do the things we love? Looking back, I would say to you—do the things you love, when you can. Whether young or old, spend a little money to go on that once-in-a-lifetime excursion. If you can afford it, do it. Your “youth” is a good time to do things.

Time is money. Money is money. So, why don’t we do what we love more often? The same two major problems that plague us forever—time and money. As you get older, time and work become an issue. The Europeans know how to vacation—I think 4 weeks is the norm for many. Money is also an issue. It’s not cheap to travel, especially with the sad state of the U.S. dollar. Rents, mortgages, kids, college expenses all take their toll as you settle in to life. Convenience is also a factor, if you live near a ski area, you’ll ski more often. If you live in Vienna for a year, you’ll see a lot of opera and music more often. Happy

One of my regrets in life is not traveling more. Especially after this wonderful year in Vienna. Time and money. If you can travel as a young adult, do it.

Big Band. I guess I am writing down some music ideas for a “stage band” arrangement. Stage band is another word for a “big band” or jazz band (saxes, trombones, trumpets, and rhythm). I like that I am being creative and excited by writing. I don’t remember the result of this writing.

It’s nice to finish things. I make the remark that “For once, I’ll try to finish something.” I’m speaking here of being creative. This problem has plagued me my entire life. While, I finish many creative things, I often leave them as unfinished. For example, I often write music very quickly by playing it and recording it on computer or tape. The next time I write, I prefer to move on to a new idea, rather than polish and work on a single piece. I call these “roughs.” It’s good to have a ton of roughs. It’s better to have a totally finished piece that you can market to the world. Finishing projects and execution of ideas is something I need to work on and overcome. Even today.

Ballet tights, tutus, and tippie-toes. What a great way to end the day by seeing the Swan Lake ballet by Tchaikovsky. Many of you may also know Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite, a holiday favorite. You remember Piotr Illyich. Tchaikovsky is pure romanticism with lush string writing and memorable melodies. I went to Apple's iTunes Store and found a highlights album of Tchaikovsky's ballets by the Wiener Philharmoniker (Deutsch Grammophon). I'm buying it.

This is my first ballet in Vienna. You have all heard
Swan Lake with its many beautiful themes, especially the oboe playing the main theme—“Dah, da-da-da-da, dah-da-dah-da, dah-da-da-da-da-da-dah.” (Hope I counted that right. Damn the RIAA.) Ballet is beautiful to watch. Tchaikovsky is even better. Enjoy the tights and tutus.

Till tomorrow.


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