Friday Quickie: Jet Lag edition

Dawn Harms to play with Vallejo Symphony

Rich Freedman has the story for the Times-Herald, "serving Solano and Napa counties since 1875".

Dawn Harms loved her 10-day stay in Japan.

Loved? Really? Surely there must have been at least one problem.

One problem.


While the San Franciscan is mentally ready for her May 1 concert with the Vallejo Symphony, her body's still on Tokyo time.

Unfortunate. A rare condition that I believe is called desynchronosis. Those circadian rhythms can be a bitch.

"I get up every morning at 3," Harms said, laughing that "even though my name is 'Dawn,' I'm not a morning person. I wish I was named 'Dusk.' But not many people are named 'Dusk.'"

Har har har.


"Not a morning person."

[wipes tear from eye]

"I'm not a stiff 'prom dress' playing," she said.


"I love to do characters. Maybe I'll have a surprise for the encore" in Vallejo.

Ooh ooh. Can you do Arnold Schwarzenegger? I just love that crazy accent!

No cardboard violinist is this honored musician.

Oh, she does Yoda?

figure yoda: When nine hundred years old you reach, look as good, you will not, hrm?

Wait...not a cardboard violinist?

[checks photo on article website again]

figure dusk: Dawn with what appears to be a...cello? Or maybe she just has a really tiny head?

That's enough introduction...how about you randomly change topics?

"My goal is that people learn something and, at some point, be entertained," Harms said. "Often people think, 'Classical music? I don't want to go.'

That's exactly what I think, too. Classical music is soooo boring.

They think they'll get a good nap.' My goal is to keep people awake."

That's a good goal. Keep the bar low, and you're sure to find success.

Also, apostrophe fail?

As of earlier this week, that was a personal problem.


Wait, her goal was a personal problem?

Harms had been back in the Bay Area six days yet still adjusted to the 16 hour difference -- and the food that never found an oven.


figure confused: Look, now you've gone and confused this otter.

Harms had been back in the Bay Area six days yet still adjusted to the 16 hour difference...

Wait. Her goal is to keep bored audience members awake, but that was a personal problem. And having been back 6 days, she still adjusted?

Sorry, Rich. I tried. But you've lost me.

And since we're already mid-sentence, how about another random topic change?

-- and the food that never found an oven.


"Raw everything. You had to catch them to eat," Harms said.

Them what?

For an classical concert preview, this article is taking a strange turn.

"There was this big snail-looking that that was looking at me. I wanted the 'old-style experience' and we got it."


"That that"?

And, though she knows little Japanese and her audience knew very little English, "you understand each other when you
just play music," Harms said. "That was a bridge. They knew Bach, Mozart and Vivaldi and loved it all. It was a real fun experience."

Yep. Music is the universal language...or something like that.

figure universality of music: Those headphones must be nearly 10000 miles in diameter! And how come only Japan and Europe get to listen?

Harms joked that her career goal "is to play every English-speaking country in the world" and that her Japanese concert 'was not a good place to start.

Strange career goal...and yes, Japan would be an odd place to start that goal.

Wait, are you sure you're from California, and not, say, Texas?

Also, another apostrophe fail? Really?

They didn't speak a word of English. I heard they all started English in the seventh grade. They must have all failed."

Stupid Japanese people speaking only...Japanese. Education fail.

Seriously...you're not from Alabama?


Though admitting violinists "break strings all the time," the Hogan concert surely can't be as terrorizing as those dreaded moments as a 12-year-old musician when Harms' violin strap fell into the toilet right before competing.

In the toilet?

"As nerve-wracking as the competition was, I had to use the restroom," Harms said. "And when my strap fell in the toilet, I was mortified."

Clearly suicide was the only option left to you, right?

It was almost 10 years later that Harms made her Carnegie Hall debut as part of a violin-cello-piano trio.

Interesting segue. Strap in the toilet led her to Carnegie Hall...truly a great American rags to riches story.

"Everyone came from everywhere, my dentist sent me 12 roses and there was a great review in the New York Times," recalled Harms.

Your dentist?

She was about the age of her Stanford students, most of whom will go on to become engineers, biologists and doctors.

They don't have sociology majors at Stanford?

"They don't necessarily go on to a career in music," Harms said. "But one goal I have is that when they do go on, they donate money to an orchestra."


You played a concert at Carnegie Hall while you were at the same age as students at Stanford who will become doctors. And those doctors won't have a career in music, but that's fine as long as they donate to an orchestra?

Fuck me. This is going to be a great concert!


Empiricus said...


Sator Arepo said...

Among the wonderful things in this article, I liked your "an classical concert preview"...because making "a" into "an" really classes things up.

More importantly, this reads like it was edited by a hedge trimmer of some kind.

""I'm not a stiff 'prom dress' playing," she said."

I tell you what!

Gustav said...

Crap. My bad.

My favorite part was her story about dropping her strap in the toilet. I really feel like I understand her life now.

Sator Arepo said...


Violin *strap*? What is that?