Category Archives: music

professional development information for performing artists & interested others

monday mishmash

Hello, Lovelies! It is Monday. Again. And the First Day of July. Where is this year speeding off to, and why? Herewith, despite despair at all that wasn’t accomplished, are a few of the bits that were. . .

I’m thinking of changing my gravatar…

You know, this thingey that pops up whenever I write here or comment elsewhere.

My sticking point is this gravatar connects to two things—the C with CurlsnSkirls, and the thistles with my Scots sewing and crocheting grannies, bless ’em.

What do you all think ? ? ?

Pleeese be very honest and say if you think it’s a nutty idea. I promise I won’t be upset.

Oh. What would replace it? Am considering this, if you can imagine it reduced to 1/4 inch-size.

The left side is undyed

Things are ticking over at the usual hot summer pace, which isn’t spectacularly speedy.

I decided to fiddle about—again—with the dotted duster. I took a good look at it whilst outside at high noon one day and decided it was too white and I wanted a more subdued effect.

Soaking in hot tea

My solution (no pun intended) was to tea dye it in the kitchen sink. Not something I do often, but there were tea bags left from the last bout.

I wrote about it even before that session, so that giant box in the photo was good value.

(For tea drinking I prefer decaf English Breakfast, and other black teas which never get used for anything but drinking!)

Hey-ho. Not much photographic difference, but to me, in full sun, there is. 🤣

Stop the presses! I cleaned off my sewing table! And resolve to stop piling things on the end except when I’m sewing.

It’s about 14″ x 22″

One of those little but pesky (aka, put off forever) sewing projects is done: I cut down an extra pillow case for a little pillow made years ago. It’s gotten a lot of use, and always needed a pillow case. Minorly major or majorly minor, am not sure, but pleasurable every night when I see it.

Slowly but surely more rounds are being added to the crochet project. Baby steps, but that’s fine. No rush!

We have a strange week here in the U.S. At least it seems strange to me. The Powers That Be usually move whatever day a major holiday falls on to the following Monday so everyone has a three day weekend.

However, this week it’s Fourth of July/Independence Day on Thursday. I guess moving that to Monday would not be appropriate. So we have a national holiday on Thursday. It just feels odd.

Maybe we’re practicing for Thanksgiving? 🤔 🦃

Downtown Chicago’s Grant Park, 2008
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needed: inspiration

 

I took a break from work yesterday afternoon and spent an hour listening to current YouTube clips of Dame Eva Turner, British soprano absoluta.

Why? Because her “In questa regia” never fails to move me.

Listening to the glory of her  deep, rich sound, the resonant freedom of those high notes evident even in 1920‘s & 30‘s recording technology. . . always uplifts & refreshes me.

That’s what grand opera used to be all about.

Petite Dame Turner didn’t need deafening amplification, strobe lighting, or smoke. She did it with her vocal technique and her inspiration.

The secret in singing lies between the vibration in the singer’s voice and the throb in the hearer’s heart… Kahil Gibran

That’s communication beyond words.

Christmas Eve from Cambridge

Coming up live via the web or on BBC Radio 4 on Christmas Eve  ~ this year’s programme is available here.

Details from their web site ~

“A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols is broadcast live on BBC Radio 4 on 24 December at 3pm (10:00 EST or 07:00 PST). The service is also broadcast at 2pm on Radio 3 on Christmas Day, and at various times on the BBC World Service.

“In the United States the service is broadcast by around 300 radio stations, including American Public Media and its affiliates (Minnesota Public Radio and WNYC-New York, for example). Unfortunately there is no list of radio stations that are broadcasting the service, so it’s best to contact your local stations or check their online listings.”

 

a weekend treat

For several years I’ve made a point of listening to the Last Night of the Proms. Whilst drinking tea & dunking digestives, I listen on-line.

This year I thought I’d also sew, but got too involved in listening.  I always sing along at the end, thus my copy of “Jerusalem” (above).

BBC web site
the BBC web site from my computer screen

Want to plan your own listening party? The complete concert is available here and here. BBC will have both halves available  “from Sunday 13th September for 30 day.”

There are some video clips of various performers here and here.

I’d heard both the tenor and the mezzo many times a few years ago, and was interested to hear how their voices were aging. Both sounded good.

Voices change as their owners grow mentally and physically. They also tell immediately if the singer is under stress.

(Can’t you tell if your BF is stressed out, often from a single “hello” over the phone?)

Even women’s voices change, particularly if they have children, as Ms. de Niese did recently. Her voice seems to have darkened slightly, having more heft to it, but she’s kept the agility.

Herr Kaufmann’s tenor is also perhaps a bit darker, and his top notes are maturing nicely.  During an intermission interview, we learnt he’s just added the famous aria from Turandot, “Nessun dorma” to his repertoire.

Wisely, he’s allowed his voice to age and develop into this pressure-laden aria. (Men’s voices mature more slowly than women’s.)

Voices are more stubborn than mules. If you think you’re going to do something your voice isn’t mature enough for, or the right type of voice, you will have problems.

A voice can’t take much stress before it starts going haywire! It can develop wobbles, loose agility, lose top and/or bottom notes, develop nodes, or become permanently disabled.

When your voice is your career, you need to understand how to care for it wisely.