Featured

All the Light We Cannot See Book Review

Screen Shot 2018-04-14 at 9.14.25 AM.png

Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See is a novel that truly touched my heart, one comprised of endearment and compassion found in the most forbidding of times. Set in the midst of World War II, the French and Germans at endless battle, two characters, Marie-Laure and Werner, each face their own array of harsh struggles on opposite sides of the war, yet the desires of both military forces to attain (and retain) an object of myth and fortune only serve to intertwine and connect the inspiring stories of each.

Continue reading “All the Light We Cannot See Book Review”

Food Preparation | French Connection

New French Connection Logo.png

One of the most defining aspects of French culture, and a topic we covered in class last year (sigh) and again this year (with the same vocabulary)… food. Luckily, I never wrote an article on the preparation of food itself (I believe), so I do have something to write about, if minimal.

What I did enjoy, though, was the deeper cultural exploration that took place in class, learning about the standards of food and the cultural significance that la nourriture holds over France. Between the exclusivity and symbolism of certain dishes to the prestige restaurants are held over, not to mention the unique environment and ways in which food is prepared and enjoyed (described as an artistry), the stark differences between French cuisine and that of the US are clear.

Continue reading “Food Preparation | French Connection”

In Tune: The Pop Instrumental Genre

New In Tune Logo.png

Since In Tune began, I’ve covered an extremely vast area of musical taste, from the most classical to musical soundtracks to pure pop. Each of these have peaked my listening interest, but given how different they are, I’ve found a particular liking for pieces that combine aspects of each style. In particular, this includes renditions of modern-day songs in highly instrumental, stylistic forms of playing.

My favorite musical group in terms of this type of music would have to be The Piano Guys. First of all, their music videos are phenomenal. Titanium would have to be one of my favorites (and also one of the most famous), but I also love this really amazing and creative take on a One Direction song (just look at the way they play the piano). Of their most recent music, they did a really beautiful cover to one of my In Tune features, Niall Horan’s Flicker.

What I love about this genre is that you still get the recognition of much of the pop music you hear today, but instead get to hear it in a completely new light and perspective. Image result for piano guys album coverEspecially as pop songs start to die out and get old, it re-sparks my interest in a particular piece, if not even improves it.

The bass-heavy, auto-tuned modern style is removed and replaced by music that is purely instrumental and true. It’s absolutely wonderful to listen to, and I love being able to appreciate the authentic musical qualities that brings a piece of music to life.

In all, this sub-genre blends the very formulaic methods of both pop and the style of classical music and improves on each in such a way that creates a beautiful medium between the two, and my exposure to this music brings me so much enjoyment and joy.

And it’s not just the Piano Guys who do such a thing- even acoustic versions of songs on the radio really put a new and unique perspective on the music that surrounds us in this day and age, and I would encourage you to explore the intricate personalities of the genre further.

In addition, you can view the playlist filled with every previous In Tune feature on my YouTube channel to get a very general idea of my true musical taste.

Thank you so much for reading!

Gabe

A Tail of Three Kittens: Live Photo Collection (Video)

Since last August, I’ve been sharing countless stories and pictures from our adventures with our three kittens who live in our backyard. And pictures give a great view of the lives of our cats, but with Apple’s Live Photo feature, I had the idea to take such a perspective to an additional level.

I’ve compiled a video using the live versions of some of my favorite photos, put it to some pleasing music, and uploaded it to 12 and Beyond’s YouTube Channel for you to view.

Click on the image to watch:

Screen Shot 2018-03-21 at 7.12.12 PM.png

Gabe

In Tune: The Les Misérables Collection

Image result for les miserables logo


Les Misérables has held a tremendous presence in my life over the past several months, and the experience was incredible. As a member of the pit orchestra for my school’s production of Les Miserables, we held our finale performance this past weekend.

One of the things I loved most about the pit was being able to play and listen to every song in the soundtrack (all 2 1/2 hours of it), an advantage you usually don’t get in the cast. Within the music, there were plenty of defining moments (usually in the main melodies) where I found so much confidence and triumph, and would get very expressive and joyous in my playing. That feeling was amazing.

And even then, I could really appreciate playing the smaller melodies that serve as the backbone of the play, especially with the accompanying vocals (which were phenomenal). The soundtrack as a whole is wonderful.

So, I’ve chosen a few of my favorite songs from the play, all for various reasons. Here they are:

Continue reading “In Tune: The Les Misérables Collection”

Proof Concepts: Definitions | It All Adds Up

New It All Adds Up Logo

Today, we’ll discuss a concept found in proofs of all kinds. Definitions can be used to identify almost any aspect of geometry, and constitute an important step in solving a proof.

But first, some necessary background information:

Continue reading “Proof Concepts: Definitions | It All Adds Up”

Dimitri Shostakovich’s Piano Trio No. 2 | In Tune

New In Tune Logo.png

I’ve always had a love for music- whether it be the repetitive, over-played pop music on the radio, or the soothing piano melodies that I listen to at night, but especially for the tunes that I can play myself. I have been playing both the piano and viola, and have a tremendous appreciation and love for both instruments.

However, while I enjoy playing classical melodies on my own instruments, I’ve never really taken a moment to step back, listen, and admire the beauty the genre is. That is, until I met my best friend, Liam.

Continue reading “Dimitri Shostakovich’s Piano Trio No. 2 | In Tune”

Finding Inspiration

landscape tree water nature wilderness mountain meadow lake mountain range pond reflection autumn park blue reservoir body of water sunny mountains alps loch atmospheric phenomenon mountainous landformsLast April, after purchasing my new laptop, my mom, who is a writer, and I purchased the app Scrivener. It’s truly worked wonders in allowing for her to prepare a manuscript.

I, however, haven’t gotten as much use as I have wanted to, and that’s due to one factor: I’m waiting for inspiration.

Inspiration happens all the time, especially for me. Every day, for example, I’m inspired by the writing pieces I read. They might lead me to write a new book review, or simply provide a new Word of the Day. Each month, when I write a special edition, new ideas come to mind as far as what beyond my education I can explore. Our backyard kittens, for example, inspired not only a new series, but inspired us to care about and interact with an animal species in ways we could never have hoped to before.

Perhaps one of my greatest sources of inspiration was my Cross Country trip this past June. It was a life-changing experience, and I really got to observe the beauty of our country and the culture, nature, and landmarks within. It inspired a whole slew of posts thereafter, but also inspired me to gain a new perspective on the way I thought of our country, which I wrote about in this special edition.

As you can see, inspiration occurs to me every day. But for something as large as a novel, it has to be just the right idea. Once you find the right base for a story, that’s where all the smaller ideas can come into play. I’ve jotted down several smaller ideas, but none have come across as just the right one. And I’m okay with that.

Last Spring, I wrote about how I would strive to begin a novel over the next year. I’m still waiting for the right time, but that time will come soon enough. And I’ll keep you updated when it does. For now, I still have so many little inspirations to build off of, those that fuel my favorite content on 12 and Beyond.

I have yet so much content to release, and I look forward to continuing to share my story.  The next two months will be very exciting, as I have multiple special posts (especially in April) and a video planned that I can’t wait to release.

Finding inspiration isn’t easy or hard- it comes across in the smallest (or largest) of ways, and you never know when the right idea will hit you. I’m still waiting. 🤓👏

Gabe

 

12 and Beyond’s Gallery: Now Open

Screen Shot 2018-01-31 at 8.49.51 PM.png

12 and Beyond’s new Gallery, a collection of my best work, is now open. Through a new, organized, and streamlined design, you have easy access to discover your next great read. Click here, or visit the Gallery page at the top of the blog, to visit my Gallery.

12 and Beyond has become a representation of myself as a whole, and I hope you’ll enjoy my collection of both my favorite and my best written posts, including Travel blogs, opinion pieces, and book reviews, as much as I enjoyed writing them.

Thank you,

Gabe