Category Archives: music

professional development information for performing artists & interested others

edible?

Thought I’d liven up this Monday with a quick question. Hope nobody minds (or is squeamish). I did have it for lunch today and it was tastier than I’d anticipated.

How many ingredients can you name? (I’ve put the list of ingredients down at the bottom.)

After lunch I had the radio on low enough so I don’t hear the announcer. Suddenly something came on that sent me back to university days.

At first I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I listen to a classical station and this was choral, which they never do unless it’s from an opera or oratorio.

I quickly grabbed my headphones to plug in so I could turn up the volume, then sang along quietly. (These apartments are not sound-proofed.)

After singing the piece in the uni’s choir, I taught it at the high school my first year out of college. I also chose it for the school’s graduation ceremony.

Given all that’s going on in the world these days, I found it surprisingly appropriate and quite moving.

Maybe some of you know the poem, by Robert Frost. I’ll copy it out below for those who prefer to read their poetry. But if you’d like to hear Garrison Keillor reading it, plus his introduction, click the title’s link to go to him.

(Note: He was reading this in 2017, and goes on with other items as normal for this particular radio program.)

Choose Something Like a Star – by Robert Frost

O Star (the fairest one in sight),
We grant your loftiness the right
To some obscurity of cloud—
It will not do to say of night,
Since dark is what brings out your light.
Some mystery becomes the proud.
But to be wholly taciturn
In your reserve is not allowed.
Say something to us we can learn
By heart and when alone repeat.
Say something! And it says, ‘I burn.’
But say with what degree of heat.
Talk Fahrenheit, talk Centigrade.
Use language we can comprehend.
Tell us what elements you blend.
It gives us strangely little aid,
But does tell something in the end.
And steadfast as Keats’ Eremite,
Not even stooping from its sphere,
It asks a little of us here.
It asks of us a certain height,
So when at times the mob is swayed
To carry praise or blame too far,
We may choose something like a star
To stay our minds on and be staid.

For those who’d like to hear the choral piece, written by American composer Randall Thompson, here’s a recording via YouTube.

Performed by the New York Choral Society with the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Richard Auldon Clark, from the album “The Testament Of Freedom/Frostiana” on Koch International.

If you’re still with me you deserve a big piece of your favourite cake! And here’s what went into my bowl of leftovers ~ potato, sausage, diced apples, a tiny bit of chicken breast, carrots, mushrooms, and a sprinkling of sunflower seeds. Plus the chicken broth.

And looots of garlic! 😆

My King’s tradition ~

One of my long-standing holiday treats is listening to the annual Christmas Eve afternoon carol service from King’s College, Cambridge (U.K.).

As the U.K. is 5 hours across the pond from us & ahead in time, their 3 P.M. start time is 10 A.M. here on the U.S. East Coast, and a bleary-eyed 7 A.M. for West Coasters. But sleep in, peeps, as BBC generally leaves this up for a month.

For me, it sets the mood for the remainder of my 2-day celebration. The opening carol, Once In Royal David’s City, never fails to move me. And I get to enjoy the wonderful diction & musicality everyone brings to the service, in addition to hearing traditional Biblical selections as read by that year’s choir, college, and city officials.

From their web site ~

“A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols is broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and the BBC World Service on 24 December at 3pm (10:00 EST or 07:00 PST). The service is also broadcast at 1pm on Radio 3 on Christmas Day, and at various times on the BBC World Service.”

Online at BBC 4 here.

Edited: Now available for replay here.

The programme for the Order of Service is here. (Scroll down.)

silly Saturday

Start your Saturday with some laughter!

One of my favourite profs is Dr. Sophie Scott. This 15-minute video brings out interesting facts about why & how we laugh… but the important thing, IMHO, is that we do laugh.

Hope everyone’s feeling a bit less stressed now, and more in keeping with the season. 🎉

Let’s get to that interesting fabric with the pins. It’s been ageing in stash until I finally realised I’ve been wearing my long denim skirt a lot more this past year. It’s already at least a decade old, isn’t fading or wearing out, but I’d like to have another, similar skirt please!

Enter this remnant, part of a trade with Anne (The Compulsive Seamstress ). So it’s British and therefore rather special. The weight and stretch are just about equal to the denim so I’ve started handling it.

You know what I mean ~ what kind of stretch does it have, and which direction(s). Will it be too stiff? Do I really want something relatively light in colour at the bottom of an ensemble??

What do you think about those selvage edges. huh? I looove ’em, especially the fringey one! It has to be a design feature…

I did some pinning, thinking about a 3/4 finished length with slit to the knee on the left, and am playing with what kind of placket & closure I want. My blue denim has an elasticated waist with side seam slits,. All I do is pull it on & off, easy peasy. I’d like something similar for this.

Must admit Helen’s Closet Arden pants pattern came to mind, but there’s not enough yardage. And no, the thought of a shorter version doesn’t tempt me because of the extended heat/humidity here in the southern U.S. This isn’t a lightweight fabric.

Will report back eventually, I promise! You know how it can go with the creative process. Something else more urgent could come up and this gets pushed aside, to be picked up whenever. Those Works In Progress (WIPs) so many of us have . . . 😉

Will say toodles for now, Lovelies! Do let me know if you enjoyed the TED talk. Dr. S is a favourite. (I recommend all my vocal students watch her 2017 Royal Institute Christmas Lecture. If you’d like to see a live larynx in action & hear a mosquito duet, have a meander over here to my “delsotherstuff” site.)

Cheers, Lovelies! Hope your weekend is wonderful!

❣️ 😘 ❣️ 🎄 ❣️ 😘 ❣️

bridges . . .

Was reminded of this just now over at bushboys world, written by Brian, who lives in Australia. It led me back to another time, not necessarily calmer, but seemingly safer.

The above isn’t the song that Brian chose, but after listening to the story behind how this one came to be written and recorded, it just seemed appropriate.

Thank you, Brian!

March’s Virtual Tea Party ☕️

Welcome!

So glad you could join us today – help yourselves to a tea of your choice, and some soda bread. Here’s the toaster & spread in case you want to try a warm slice.

I posted the recipe here in case you’d like to make your own. 😉

This sweet bread has a different consistency partly because it uses almost 2 cups of buttermilk. I’ve still got about 2 cups of b’milk left! Anybody have or know of a scone recipe using buttermilk? I’d like to try one, if it exists.

Please feel free to introduce yourselves.  How was your journey? Hope the day’s going well for you. Yes, today is unusually warm for March, even down here.

What do you think about this herbal tea assortment? It’s the first time I’ve tried it. I’d like to be growing my own, if a window box in a sunny window would work.

Any gardeners here? What do you think? I’ve one south-facing window, but later afternoon sun gets blocked. Do you think I could grow some herbs?

Your invitation
Please feel free to celebrate with Su of Zimmerbitch and me  with a post of your own, a recipe, or a piccie of your own cuppa.

I’ll update this post with a ping back to your post. If you’re an IG person, we’re at  #virtualteaparty2021.

******************************************

Margaret (From Pyrenees to Pennines) has invited us over for a sit down in her lovely garden and a slice of her delicious Lemon Drizzle Cake.

Deb (The Widow Badass) has brought some delightful muffins… well, minus the one I grabbed as soon as she came in the door. I can reliably report they are well worth a taste!

🍀   Thank you for coming!    🍀

Season of Light

Finding sewing friends online has brought me great inspiration and joy for which I am eternally grateful.

An additional pleasure has been learning more about customs in other parts of the world, and one of them is the Winter Solstice.

This year I remembered and made up my own little solstice wreath. No log fire to curl up in front of, and I don’t generally do a tree, but candle light is always magical for me.  Which reminds me ~

Thursday at 10 A.M. (U.S. East Coast time) I’ll be listening to the annual Kings’ College (Cambridge) Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols.

Another shared custom that will be a bit different this year, but still wonderful to hear.

“One feature of the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols that is especially important to the College has always been the participation of the congregation of College members and members of the public. We regret to say that this year we are not able to have a congregation in the Chapel.

“We are sorry to disappoint those who were thinking that they might like to attend. We hope that you will be able to enjoy the broadcast and to assist with this we will be publishing the order of service on this website.”

Stephen Cherry
Dean of Chapel
26 November 2020

I generally listen online via BBC World. All the details are in the link above.

Borrowing a tradition and adding an American twist – An old theatre buff and friend from Washington (D.C.) sent me a link to an hour-long radio-style rendering of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

It’s from the historic Ford’s Theatre downtown. (Yes, that Ford’s Theatre, as in Lincoln’s … you know.) I thought some of you might be interested.

Fair Warning: It’s only available through 1st of January 2021. Scroll down for a 6-minute description of how they made the program, and  several downloadable colouring pages.

Wishing you all a wealth of Happiness

Filled with Love & Joy & Light

xx❤️xx❤️xx❤️xx❤️xx❤️xx❤️xx

Riffing . . .

. . .  on Nana Cathy’s Monday post, Morning Pages, in which she refers to Julia Cameron‘s book, The Artist’s Way.

In her post Cathy asks how people cope with their inner critic. She  also talks about a newer book (by Cameron) that I haven’t read, The Artist’s Way for Retirement: It’s Never Too Late to Discover Creativity and Meaning.

This newer book’s title is something I’ve promoted forever, so there are searches going on . . .   expect further comments anon.

Getting back to that inner critic — those are the bits I chose to write about in my older blog.

[Older blog?, I hear you ask.  Let me explain . . .

Before I started writing about sewing, I blogged about classical singing, because I’ve spent my life studying, teaching, and coaching classically-trained singers and musicians.

When I switched to sewing I decided to keep some of those earlier blog posts, and that’s how Del’s Other Stuff was created. Later, I also used it for the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge, which eventually ended, may it  R.I.P.  😿]

Please understand — the posts I’ve listed below were written from a classically-trained musician’s point of view; however, I think you can easily replace music with your own area of creativity.

Going back to Cathy’s query, ‘how do you deal with all the nagging negativity?’

You turn each statement around and replace it with its’ opposite, the positive. Do that firmly. Repeatedly. LOUDLY!

Stomp around and yell if you have to! Just be sure you’re being positive. That’s the only way the other leaves: It’s forced out and replaced with the truth.

Which might explain why a brisk walk can sometimes be a good thing. 😉

In no particular order, below are some of my older posts on Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. I hope you find them useful.

Squidgy package ! ! ! 🤗

And just so’s you know there’s still fabric and sewing and all assorteds going on here, I’ve included a sneak peek at the next stage of my current soft furnishings project. . . . . he-he!

Hope all you lovely readers are keeping going with your own creative pursuits. Being constructive is a positive activity, with all sorts of positives attached for yourself and others.

I’m looking forward to reading your thoughts and comments!

Can you spot the third fabric hiding between those gorgeous top and bottom layers?!