Bobby McFerrin at Duke

The always amazing Bobby McFerrin was at Duke last week. This was the second time I’d seen/heard him in concert. The first time must have been at least 15 years ago and I was so stunned by what seemed to me at the time to be just plain too much talent that I don’t think I saw him as a human being at all. Over the years, hearing him on the radio with Yo Yo Ma and Chick Corea and his solo work I’ve gotten more used to the idea that a being from this planet can do all that he does and even have a great sense of humor. It was brought even more down to earth at Duke when after some beautiful solo pieces he called up the newly formed Durham Children’s Choir (directed by Scott Hill) for a couple of pieces of theirs (he joined in) and then he got up and directed them in a kind of call and response of “Bobby sounds”. They so quickly, naturally, and enthusiastically performed this totally spontaneous piece he directed them in that I realized that his immense talent is natural and human and that any one of these kids could be the next Bobby McFerrin. The concert was fun, heartwarming, and full of surprises. Plus the music was great. His website is a lot of fun, too. Check it out.

Google makes me happy again

I can see my house!!! They’ve done it again. I’ve said it before – I love maps, I hate Mapquest. Google maps came out with a much better system though it’s still in “beta” – meaning it can only get better. And now they’ve added satellite images. Just type in your address, zoom in, and then click on “satellite” to see your picture. You can move the image around and follow roads or streams or whatever. My only complaints are that they don’t have the higher resolution images for all areas so you may cross over into an area with lower resolution. And the images are not up to date – I’m thinking that the images of my area are at least 2 years old. But it’s still great fun!

Unshackled Cello

Went to a wonderful – well, mostly wonderful – concert featuring Master Scottish Fiddler Alasdair Fraser and Juilliard cellist Natalie Haas. They were a perfect duo so clearly tuned in to each other. Great energy! And Natalie has got the Darol Anger “chops” thing down to a science. Who needs a percussionist? I’m still trying to figure out how to do it on cello but no luck yet. I say it was “mostly” a wonderful concert but there was way more Scottish dancing by some local groups than a person should have to sit through. I mean, it was all very nice but it seems that there are only 4 or 5 shapes a body can make in traditional Scottish dancing – kind of a limited repertoire. It all starts to look the same after a while. The only good thing I can say about it is that they spend at least 50 percent of the time up in the air which I find pretty amazing. The Cape Breton dancers, on the other hand, seem to improvise like jazz tappers or at least they’ve got a larger repertoire to pick from. Anyway – I highly recommend hearing Natalie and Alasdair. Here’s their duo CD: Fire and Grace CD

Violin Beasties

I’m a little behind on things (yeah, things get in the way….) and generally what’s out of sight is out of mind so every now and then somebody does something to nudge me along. My daughter is on spring break (Spring! Where?) from college and so sent this picture from her mom’s house perhaps to remind me that I still haven’t cleaned all my stuff out of their basement…..

Violin Case Beastie

That case, by the way, is over 5 inches wide.

Morning Fog

The radio says dense fog this morning. Of course they live in a building with no windows but there probably is fog somewhere. We just don’t get it here. The light just gets softened a little – a bit more filtration. Something about the lay of the land here that keeps us out of the fog. New Hope CreekBig winds, too. When the last hurricane came through we could see tree tops in the distance leaning over sideways yet the trees here hardly moved. Protective bowl, I guess. Other people in the area complain of noise from the highway that is over a mile away but only on the stillest of nights with no leaves on the trees can we hear it. The mallards are back today. Winter daphne is in full bloom (sweet smell!). Temperature supposed to hit 60. Ah, North Carolina in February!


Google Maps

Google Maps Oh, I like this! Double click your area on the map to center it and then zoom about halfway in, recenter to find your area and zoom on in. You can drag the map to follow roads and find exactly what you’re looking for. Search for anything in the text box and it shows up on the map. I love maps. I hate mapquest. I love this!