Classical Music and Analysis: The Performance

Interesting People

I finally got to watch Amanda play some classical pieces last Saturday. Amanda if you remember, is the multi-talented Lead Business Analyst-and-Classical Pianist I caught up with in Corner Conversations #2.  This was a recital in preparation for the Russian world championships competition she will be entering shortly.

Here are some photos of her piano recital.

An alternative lifestyle

Interesting People

Travel BugA little while ago I mentioned that I wanted to grow my Interesting People section and post a catch-up I had with my good buddy Dave.

Well since that chat, we’ve taken things a little bit further and decided to publish his journey here:

I’ll also record future posts under the category “The Travel Bug” – you can do a search at the bottom of the page for the category “The Travel Bug” by clicking on the “+” button.

And so who is this guy named Dave?

Dave is one well-travelled guy, hopping through approximately 50 countries at time of writing (with plans to travel again in May).

He started his travel diary in 1998, before blogging and FB and we partnered up to recreate his story step-by-step i.e. he writes, I edit and design.

Almost Goldman’s

Interesting People

I saw this from Humans of New York and just had to share it around:

“I had an interview at Goldman Sachs. It was a total wipeout. It was really friendly for the first six hours, and I thought I was doing great. Then right at the end, when my brain was turning to mush, they brought in a math mastermind who crushed me.”

Keep your head up – I am sure you will go on to do bigger and better things!

Corners # 2: Classical Music and Analysis

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Classical Music and Analysis: What the HELL?

Can I choose something seemingly more different and off-beat than a post like this? But what may seem different from the surface is in actual fact, no more different than my choice of coffee than the average person (skim macchiato, 1 sugar). That said, this is still very different to most of my other posts which is why I personally enjoyed it.

So for this Corner Conversation, I caught up with Amanda, a classically trained pianist who so happens to also lead a team of business analysts and is also a handy developer to boot.

Without further ado..

PC @ MMA:  So classical music and analysis; what’s the synthesis here?

Here’s what I think they’re about: Analysis and Development in our profession requires one to think in a logical and structured manner whereas in music it’s more about the feeling. In music, you know what you’re going to play, but the timing, feeling and energy you put in to it is very different from analysis. At least those are my immediate thoughts. Any views on that?

Amanda:  I guess the fundamentals on how you approach learning material is the same. So for example since I have a very limited amount of time learning to play the piano, I have had to come up with a lot of tricks. So I can sit in a park and decompose the music trying to figure out where the patterns are. When I do that, I am really coming up with a logical approach to learning.  Things like the IF-THEN-ELSE in IT development could be used a bit with dynamic shaping, For example, if you’re loud now, then you can either go soft next or even louder. But I don’t usually think of it in terms of formal logic.

Another thing is when you’re in the process of learning piano music, you will have to use ‘the reptilian brain‘ for memory and that means you’re going to have a lot of repetitions.

When you have things at a subconscious level, then you can start applying things with standard memory e.g. ‘I have this lag coming up’ or ‘I know I have to play this particular note in here’ when playing music.

Corners # 1: Living through ‘The Lehman Experience’

Interesting People
I caught up for a Corner Conversation with “Maria” on her experience working for Lehman Brothers during the Global Financial Crises.

2008 Timeline

  • Jan – the interview with Lehman
  • Feb – verbal job offer to work @ Lehman’s
  • Mar – paper job offer to work @ Lehman’s | The Bear Stearns event
  • Mar to Sep – rumours swirl, share price plummets
  • Sep – bankruptcy and eventual sale
    • Sep 13 – Fed steps in
    • Sep 14 – ISDA exceptional trading
    • Sep 15 – ASX suspends Lehman
    • Sep 16 – Reorganisation filed in Tokyo
    • Sep 17 – NYSE delists Lehman

Into the eye of the storm

PC @ MMA:  We’ve had corner conversations about this in the past and now it’s time to commit-to-paper.  What exactly went down at Lehman during the GFC?

Maria:  Well I received a job offer to work at Lehman’s Feb 08 but the paperwork didn’t come through til March. Around that time, all the investment banks were looking quite good.

But then March came along and if you remember, there was a bailout on Bear Stearns around that time and the headlines were screaming out: “Who’s next?“.  

Lehman’s name was being bandied around at that time as the next one to go. So I was really worried at this point as I haven’t handed in my official resignation and I had the opportunity to back out. That feeling of ‘should I stay or should I go?‘ echoed inside my head.  I knew Lehman had the same business model as Bear Stearns and people were talking about it.

But I decided to go to Lehman’s in the end as I still thought of them as a highly reputable company and I thought of them as being safe. It was a tough decision.

Interview# 12: Math-Dev DYNAMO

Interesting People
A natural at her chosen field, this half-glass full dynamo can pick up virtually any challenge thrown at her and develop solutions to solve and optimize any business problem. Yes, she can fix it like Bob the Builder and she can develop from scratch if you need it.
She’s efficient as she is funny, and would easily make my top 5 of “people that you would want in your group at work”.

Key qualities: Can-do attitude and willingness to try anything new.

Currently: In Sydney working for some bank.

Let’s hear more from the lady herself.