43 posts categorized "Music"


St_francis_gardenSt. Francis and his birds / June 2010

This was the day of being thankful for an office with open windows and tall trees outside where birds perched and sang their hearts out after talking on the phone to someone in a windowless office who wanted to know did I keep birds because they could hear them singing in the background.

Knitting and Luthiering, 2

MinorknittingchordsKnitting cables: CB6 means slip three stitches onto a cable needle and hold them to the back, knit the next three stitches, then knit the stitches off of the cable needle / Mt. House / Feb. 2010

This was the morning of the guitar players and the knitters discovering how much they had in common. Look, said the guitar player, pointing to the cable sequences on the knitting pattern, you have minor chords in knitting, too.

Their rhythm is always the same

Delightfully colorful seeds in my November garden; I think the secret to a content life is to always be germinating new ideas and thoughts and projects and talents and interests / New Jersey / Nov. 2009

“I sing praise to seeds, their rhythm is always the same,
they open and close and jealously transmit their secret.”

(from Lesser Psalm by Edvard Kocbek; full text of the poem after the jump)

. . . and I sing praise to the rambunctious rhythm of the family: Turkey Stomp

Continue reading "Their rhythm is always the same" »

An area of vorticity


Curling, spinning brick wall as if hit by a Nor'easter / Charlottesville, VA / Oct. 2005

“ ... the things you can't remember tell the things you can't forget ... ”

This line has been swirling through my head for the past few weeks. A function, I think, of age, life and all the nor'easters that have hit New Jersey this fall. The nor'easter winds circle back and blow the leaves in endless circles, around and around. In my head, the things I can't remember spin with the things I can't forget. The line is from Tom Waits' haunting song, Time. Over and over, I hear Waits' rich, gravelly voice and the song's mournful melody. It has such wonderful imagery: “the wind is making speeches,” “it's raining hammers, it's raining nails,”  “Mathilda asks the sailors 'Are those dreams or are those prayers?'” Guess I'll have to wait for my storm to pass; for the vorticity to slow. ... so put a candle in the window and a kiss upon my lips ...

* Nor'easters are usually formed by an area of vorticity associated with an upper-level disturbance or from a kink in a frontal surface that causes a surface low pressure area (“vorticity” is the tendency for elements to curl or spin).

Listen . . .


Listening / Mountain House / August 2008

“The sounds of the earth are like music, the old song goes, and the sounds of music are also like the sounds of the earth, which is of course where music comes from. Listen to the voices outside the window, the rumble of the furnace, the creak of your chair, the water running in the kitchen sink. Learn to listen to the music of your own lengths of time, your own silences.”

~ Frederick Buechner, from Whistling in the Dark, A Doubter's Dictionary

On the vernal equinox

A look back at a wintry scene on this first day of spring (it actually sleeted for a while this afternoon) / Northeast PA / Feb. 2009

I placed an online order for a CD with CD Baby.com and received a reply that made me laugh out loud. I don't know if they did this just for me ... but it is, without a doubt, the best "we are shipping your item" email that has graced my In Box:

Your CD has been gently taken from our CD Baby shelves with sterilized contamination-free gloves and placed onto a satin pillow.
A team of 50 employees inspected your CD and polished it to make sure it was in the best possible condition before mailing.
Our packing specialist from Japan lit a candle and a hush fell over the crowd as he put your CD into the finest gold-lined box that money can buy.
We all had a wonderful celebration afterwards and the whole party marched down the street to the post office where the entire town of Portland waved "Bon Voyage!" to your package, on its way to you, in our private CD Baby jet on this day, Friday, March 20th.
I hope you had a wonderful time shopping at CD Baby. We sure did. Your picture is on our wall as "Customer of the Year." We're all exhausted but can't wait for you to come back to CDBABY.COM!!
Thank you, thank you, thank you!

I hope they bring their fiddles and guitars


Sing a radical song of protest / New Jersey / Dec. 2008

In the early 1940s Woody Guthrie worked with Alan Lomax and the Library of Congress to compile the Songs of Woody Guthrie. After receiving a copy of his finished book, he wrote a pleased letter to the LOC and included some advice for congress. As our new congress was sworn in this week, I thought his words (and lyrics) timely:

“Dear Library of Congress
    I just got the copy of my song book that you printed up. I got a carbon copy, and about a third carbon at that, but it is pretty fair, so I guess that's all right. I just sort of wanted to write and say that it is about the neatest thing that ever had my name on it.  ...  Is it handy there for congressmen and senators to come in and sing? I hope they bring their fiddles and guitars around and hit off a few of the most radical tunes. They are awful easy to sing, and you can sing them drunk or sober, it don't matter, just a matter of personal choice. I tried them both ways. The senators, too. You can elect just about as good a one one way or the other. I'd like for them to specialy learn to sing #56, Looking for that New Deal Now, which is a good one for the boys to recollect once in a while between poker games ...  True as the average. Woody”  

When them cards was dealt around
Wall Street drawd the Aces down
I'm looking for that New Deal now.
When them cards was shuffled up
The Workin' Folks they lost the Pot
I'm a-lookin' for that New Deal now.

~ Lyrics, “Looking for that New Deal Now” by Woody Guthrie

The family treasure

The audience at the Hot Sauce Festival talent show knows the meaning of "bringing out the family treasure"! / Mountain House / Aug. 2008

Everything comes from your own heart.
This is what one ancient called “bringing out the family treasure.”

~ Yuan-wu

The sound of thought


At the girls' barn jam in the O's newly constructed barn we stomped our feet to the rhythms and freely spilled our drinks on the floor / New Jersey / Sept. 2008

Because difference constitutes music . . .
Sound is . . . the rubbing of notes between two drops of water, the breath between the note and the silence, the sound of thought.
. . . To write is to note down the music of the world.

~ Helene Cixous