Music, Reviews

My First Chicago Symphony Experience

On Saturday, February 4th, I went to my first Chicago Symphony Orchestra concert. Since this was my first time attending a performance for classical music, I had no idea what to expect. As I arrived, I was blown away by the sophisticated, but also exciting, mood in Orchestra Hall. The venue was designed by Chicago architect Daniel H. Burnham, and after many renovations, it continues to be the place where people are able to see and hear world-class musicians demonstrate their talent. The conductor of the concert was the highly acclaimed Bramwell Tovey, a Grammy and Juno award-winning conductor and composer. Tovey has travelled to China, Korea, Canada, Australia, and the United States, where he has taken on the role of a guest conductor while also inspiring many other musicians. It truly felt like an honor to be in his presence and to be able to see his impact on the music.

At 8 pm sharp, the lights dimmed down and the Chicago Symphony started their performance by playing a piece composed by William Walton, the first of three composers featured that night. William Walton was a famous British composer who was one of England’s most important composers. Walton was influenced by Edward Elgar, Igor Stravinsky, and Paul Hindemith and composed scores for numerous films like Henry V (1944), Hamlet (1947), and others. But that night the symphony played Orb and Sceptre, which really woke up and drew in the audience. The piece utilized the many aspects of sound, especially dynamics. It is also the march played for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. The Chicago Symphony played it so beautifully and the piece was memorable and sensational. Because of this, it completely makes sense that the symphony chose this march as an “entrance” for the rest of the concert.

They continued the performance by playing Benjamin Britten’s The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra. As described in the name, this piece singled out every family of instruments in the symphony and allowed me to distinguish the different timbres. He introduced the higher pitched instruments like the piccolo and the flutes and then went down to the lower instruments and the percussion. Britten composed The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra because he was asked by the British Ministry of Education for it to be used in the short educational film Instruments of the Orchestra (1946). This piece was also featured in Wes Anderson’s film, Moonrise Kingdom (2012). I’m glad that the symphony played this because I was able to really focus on each family and appreciate how unique every different sound is.

After about a fifteen-minute intermission, the Chicago Symphony ended the night by playing Act 2 of Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty. Before they started the piece, Tovey spoke to the audience about the story that goes along with Act 2, and how hearing the tone color and dynamics change throughout the piece allows you to imagine what’s going on in the story. As someone who has seen Disney’s Sleeping Beauty many times, I was amazed when I realized that the music wasn’t built on the story, but the story was built and inspired by the music. The symphony played the entirety of Act 2, which was almost an hour long. But there was not one second where the musicians showed any signs of exhaustion or boredom. It was fascinating to see how you could feel their passion not only by hearing the music, but also by watching their body language. Overall, I really enjoyed my first experience seeing the Chicago Symphony and I definitely will be coming back to see future concerts.


Current Favorites (Playlist #7)

It’s been awhile since I shared a playlist, and lately I’ve been listening to a lot of different music. Part of the reason behind this is because recently I saw the movie musical, La La Land, and have been overplaying the soundtrack ever since. Another reason why I’ve been listening to different music is because one of my new year’s resolutions is to try to listen to music from genres I don’t normally listen to. So here are some of my current favorites (as usual, click the links to listen to the songs on spotify):

The La La Land Soundtrack

This December“- Ricky Montgomery

On Hold“- The xx

Best Friends, Right?“- Amy Winehouse

If This World Were Mine”– Marvin Gaye, Tammi Terrell

Feel This Way“- Tangerine

Drive It Like You Stole It“- Sing Street

Brooklyn“- Fickle Friends

Kitchen“- Kid Cudi

I Love You So“- The Walters


Much Love,



Summer Tracks (Playlist #6)

Hi all,

I realized that I haven’t made a playlist in quite some time so I’m here to share some of the songs I’ve been listening to this summer. Some are good tunes to listen to when you’re driving your car with your windows down, and some are good for times when you just want to chill. Many of the songs I picked came from the show, Shameless (amazing show by the way), and a few are new releases! Enjoy x

[click the link to listen on spotify]

Kisses- Funny Heartbeat

Band of Horses- Dull Times/The Moon

M.A.G.S.- My Love

The Temptations- My Girl 

Slow Club- Tears of Joy

Still Parade- 7:41

Tame Impala- The Less I Know the Better

Robert Francis- Baby Was the Devil

Paw City- Canyons

The High Strung- The Luck You Got

Father John Misty- Real Love Baby

Two Door Cinema Club- Bad Decisions

Local Natives- Wide Eyes

LANY- yea, babe, no way

Flume- Never Be Like You



Fall 2015 [Playlist #5]

It’s been awhile since I posted, but here are some songs that I’ve been listening to to get me in the fall/orange-red leaves/pumpkin spice/cozy/sweater wearing mood.

Birdy- “Shelter

One Direction- “Perfect

James Bay- “Stealing Cars

Fiona Apple- “Across the Universe

The Neighbourhood- “The Beach

Troye Sivan- “Talk Me Down

The Paper Kites- “Electric Indigo

Rooney- “I’m Shakin‘”

Ivan & Alyosha- “Running For Cover

Urban Cone ft. Tove Lo- “Come Back To Me

Beach House- “Space Song


Happy fall and happy listening x


Playlist #4

This week I’ve been feeling pretty sad and nostalgic. All my friends are leaving for college so it only makes sense to listen to sad/moody/meaningful music right? (Some of these songs aren’t sad, they just remind me of happy moments which make me sad)

Ben Howard- “Promise

Family of the Year- “Hero

The Kooks- “Naive

BeyoncĂ©- “Naughty Girl

Florence + The Machine- “Shake it Out

Beach House- “Myth

Japanese Wallpaper- “Breathe In

The 1975- “Medicine

The Paper Kites- “Bloom

Marina and the Diamonds- “Blue

Circa Waves- “My Love

Isaac Delusion- “She Pretends

Vance Joy- “Great Summer

Mazzy Star- “Fade Into You

Bleachers- “You’re Still a Mystery

Joywave- “Nice House

James Bay- “Hold Back The River

Mikky Ekko- “Smile

Kodaline- “All I Want



Playlist #3

It’s been awhile since I have made a playlist, but recently I’ve been liking these tracks:

Calvin Harris Ft. Disciples- How Deep Is Your Love

(^ This song was recently released and I don’t really listen to this type of music often but this song is really catchy and makes me feel like I’m dancing in a club in Miami or something)

Next 3 are from the Papertowns Soundtrack:

Sam Bruno- Search Party

Nat & Alex Wolff- Look Outside

Santigold- Radio

(New) Melanie Martinez- Soap

Happy Listening! X




Playlist #2

Since Piqniq is this weekend, I want to share some of my favorite songs from bands that will be performing! [click the link to listen on spotify]

Vinyl Theatre- “The Rhythm Of Night

Smallpools- “Killer Whales

Saint Motel- “Puzzle Pieces

The Mowgli’s- “I’m Good

Joywave- “Somebody New

Catfish and the Bottlemen- “Cocoon

Bleachers- “Shadow

The Offspring- “Self Esteem

Cage the Elephant- “Aberdeen

Enjoy! x