Sunday, June 28, 2009

Summer light

One of my most enjoyable recent harp gigs was the Stone Academy Bicentennial in Zanesville. The group there was so appreciative and the acoustics were perfect. My photo of the performance space was less than stellar.

So I'll also include a picture from a May wedding held in a remote and obscure area of Delaware that had me severely testing the extent of my vehicle's gas tank emptiness.

Also less than stellar are this year's administrative gig dilemmas. Let's just say I exuberantly appreciate being paid the correct amount, on time.

I love summer -- light lingers until 9:30 at night, and if it weren't for the mosquitoes, I'd linger longer with the fireflies. Light this late conjures of memories of sitting on the shores of Saint-Malo, France (and one my favorite places, Mont Saint-Michel) at 10:30 pm, watching the sun go down.

But I'm not in France, I'm in Ohio, still working on the house. Er, outside the house. Whatever, it all needs work.

I know damn well this isn't done right. No gravel, sand (except for between pavers), or edging were used for this square-paver extension of the front sidewalk, despite my knowing exactly how much and what kind of materials are necessary to ensure it doesn't heave with the ground as the seasons change. The clayish soil on which they rest -- under all that topsoil -- might save it from this demise. Ha. A gigantic crack in the original sidewalk demands the whole thing be replaced. But for now when the road and the... um, property next door aren't too loud, this makes a nice space for students / parents to wait during lessons, or for me to eat a colorful meal, especially after the plants I added today (not pictured) fill in. Oh yeah, and it uses up some of the bunk from the hell hole that is my back / side yard.

The other and more logical spot to eat a fresh meal has become irritating. This tree will probably have to go this year. I am not attached to it -- in fact, I've grown to hate it. There are dead spots and I've spotted bagworms. Any movement by wind or bird or other creature triggers a downpour of brown needles.

I picked these cherries from a tree in my (overgrown) yard! However, most of them already had a small white occupant holing up inside. Those that didn't were tossed in with a few organic peaches to make a fantastic compote.

My current fast from media delayed my hearing of the passing of Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett. Is there any graceful way to die when the entire world knows who you are?

I can't remember what to do with summer, except be outside as much as possible, running or walking or biking. Yeah, on that bike. I'd like to add more *fun* before the season slips away.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Flotation Walls CD Release

It's been fifty days and nineteen performances -- including wedding ceremonies, wedding and award receptions, church services, cafe events, and more -- since my last post. Hmm.

Not included in that nineteen were the rehearsals for the Flotation Walls CD Release show at Skully's in early June. What a blast this was! One of three rehearsal videos is below -- the others are here and here:

For the CD release show, at least fifteen performers packed on one stage and plowed through intricate tunes on violins, cello, viola, flute, keyboard, accordion, trumpet, tuba, french horn, trombone, harp, drums, electric and acoustic guitar and bass, and vocals.

Thanks to Jess Miller, you can view more pictures of the show here. Thanks also to Brainbow and The Receiver for their sets before us that night.

This recording is seven years in the making, and the band of four members is now on tour. You can purchase the CD "NATURE" here, and listen to tracks on the Flotation Walls MySpace page. Harp appears on the opening track "Sperm & Egg" as well as "I've Seen Death and His Tremendous Pink Eyes."

Harp appeared in every tune at the show, and was the featured accompaniment for "Timmy Twofingers" (see rehearsal video above). My notes for this tune are below, the basic chords of which were handwritten by Carlos himself! This is exactly what I am looking at in this video. For all tunes, the band graciously left the doors wide open for me to create and insert my own parts.

The place that night was packed, perfect for this high-energy band that draws out a consistent and inspiring level of audience interaction. I'm ecstatic for their success and so grateful to have been a part of this experience -- it very much informs and shapes the next steps for my own work.