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!

Now I get it

It’s dawning on me why this is so hard. I mean, I used to love to write – journals, poetry, long letters, music. It’s the tools that get in the way. Writing with pen and paper makes it easy to express subtle meanings – the shape and size of the script, extra strokes that add meaning. Many of these things are unconscious and maybe even reveal too much. But I’m fascinated with the possiblities of writing on the web and love looking at all the creative ways people use to get beyond mere typed text. Links and pictures and even music make it easy to go beyond the words. I especially love the hyperlinks that become more like additional information included in a footnote or in parentheses. Some posts contain so much extra optional information it’s easy to get lost in an endless series of links but it’s fun, too, like following random trails through the woods. Oh, let’s see where this one goes. But the tools aren’t under my fingers and that’s where things go wrong. I get bogged down in trying to do something simple like add a link or make something bold or italic and can’t even think about even more expressive tools and then I lose that train of thought – the flow. Yes, I’m still waiting for the day when there will be a direct hook-up to my brain and the music I hear will appear on the screen for some final touchup editing and the words that I think will instantly appear without the filter of my fumbling fingers. Sigh – not in this lifetime. So in my 50’s I continue to struggle to be able to just get a few things happening without too much thought and calculation and let the ideas flow. In my whole life I’ve only had two pieces of music come to me whole and complete enough to be able to hold onto them long enough to transcibe. Everything else is like vapor. I enjoy it while it’s here but it’s so quickly gone. Still beats listening to the radio, though. Speaking of the radio – well – I am listening to a sort of radio at the moment. One of the random plays at Magnatune brought me to this artist: Shira Kammen. Check out Music of Waters.

One wrong justifies another?

I was moved to tears this morning hearing Ramsey Clark on NPR saying “if one wrong justifies another there will be no end to wrongs” in answer to criticism of his potentially defending Saddam Hussein in court. I wish our president and our new secretary of state believed this.