Archive for March, 2009

Friday piano cat blogging

Friday, March 27th, 2009

[IMAGE] piano cats

…click to listen:

…about the music

Giving thanks.

Well, it’s the return of the Friday cat blogging tradition here in the island studio battleground, and Smudge and Moses have done their best to camouflage with the black and white surroundings as they are attacked by incoming notes of all decibels. Poor things. It’s also the return of the blogger herself, who has been ensconced so thoroughly in the studio this past week that she neglected her blogerati duties for a few more days than usual. Well, at least on this blog. I did enjoy participating in a good conversation about the digital age’s challenges to copyright protection, on Molly Sheridan’s Mind the Gap. And, I’ve been really busy with score sales, performances, a track being released on a CD label in Australia, another fun commission for a large chamber ensemble, and recording and producing three more pop tunes. A taste of one accompanies the photo, since I’m thankful for having so much fur and music flying around all the time.

I’ll be flying around once more myself next week, stopping in Seattle for a day to guest visit and rehearse this piece with a group at Cornish College of the Arts, and then heading to Minneapolis to attend this performance of one of my favorite pieces, and then speaking at this workshop. If anyone reading this will be in the twin cities April 3-5, it would be great to meet you. And, to sit still for a moment! The cats have the right idea.


Sunday, March 15th, 2009

[IMAGE] spit

[IMAGE] archipelago

…click to listen:

…about the music

Vista of dreams.

I must look like an avid tourist each time I fly the puddle jumper to and from Friday Harbor. And I don’t mind one bit. The camera which is always in my satchel, a petite 8 megapixel Nikon, is held snugly in my hand on every flight, eager to capture… anything. Above are two “anythings” that I like: a sandy spit emerging mysteriously from the sea, variably sized with the tides, tailing off of a small atoll over which I have flown many times and have never managed to identify. And, one of many overviews of this amazing archipelago; islands like pebbles scattered randomly from a child’s fist.

I am a tourist through life, observing as much as possible, visually, sonically, emotionally. I miss plenty. Just ask my husband. But what I capture, I hold on to and appreciate. And share, whenever possible. This blog gives me the selfish opportunity to share all three at once with strangers scattered like those pebbly islands around the world. If anyone had told us thirty years ago that we’d all have the ability to connect like this, 24/7, with the click of a “go to” or “send” button, well, it might have been hard for us to grasp the concept. But here we are.

If anyone had told me thirty years ago what my life would look and feel like today, I think I might have had a tough time grasping that concept, too. I would not have guessed that the die-hard city rat who grew up in Manhattan in the gritty 70’s would have morphed into a country mouse living in the seaside woods on a bridge-less island few have even heard of. Juggling an existence composing and recording chamber music, indie pop tunes, concert wind band pieces, jazz, electroacoustic, and anything else that pops into my feeble brain, plus flying around the country yapping on a lot of panels about the business of how all this gets out into the world so that my peers can also do it more easily, plus writing articles, plus serving on boards and committees for groovy music, science, and education projects, plus making sure I get my backside into my kayak and my toes onto the sand as often as possible, plus playing with the cats and any other somewhat taller denizen who wander into and around the house… well… here I am.

I just ordered a very tiny video camera that will keep my Nikon company in my purse. Maybe they’ll mate and I’ll find a little MP3 player in there one day. My hope is that I’ll be able to share an occasional moving picture with you, to further express the three dimensional reality that surrounds me. Stay tuned!

Unabashedly reminded

Monday, March 9th, 2009

[IMAGE] San Juan Islands at dusk

…click to listen:

…about the music

Unabashedly beautiful.

I write this from my midtown Manhattan outpost in a lovely little boutique hotel, to tend my blog, as well as to tend my psyche. I adore this city and it was my home from 0 to 21.5 years. I return often these days for various work-related activities, framed by visits with friends and my mother, who like so many New Yorkers tethered to a great piece of real estate, still lives in the same apartment in which I grew up. There’s something really adorable about getting a big hug from the doorman, Tony, who has known me since I was six and instantly recognizes me from 41 years ago the moment I step out of the taxicab. I fight the urge to ask him for a piece of candy.

It ain’t news to anyone that New York is a very noisy place. But the unending onslaught of construction, honking, sirens, jack-hammering, and rumbling subways underneath the ground on which this hotel stands, starkly reminds me that I am no longer inured to this noise in any way. Each hair in my ears is on full alert and on edge with every blasting horn, and I have not experienced a single moment of atmospheric silence since arriving last week. It’s exhausting.

I think back to growing up here, and of how I seemingly heard next to nothing of this racket. Or, more to the point, I heard it but it did not register. I was deaf to the noise; my subconscious automatically tuned it out. My thoughts were rarely interrupted by incessant city sounds and I probably even found some tribal reassurance in them, as my senses were swathed 24/7 in the utterances of civilization. I was not alone, even if I was alone.

I enjoy being alone. The utter silence around my home on the far other edge of this continent swaddles my psyche in a different way, allowing my own thoughts and sounds to appear within my head. The photo above, taken from a ferry at dusk a couple of weeks ago, contrasts the noise that accompanies me as I type this. And for further contrast, I’ve chosen a clip of some very active chamber music that makes a joyous noise, to me at least. An unabashed reminder that my life encompasses the full spectrum of frequencies with some frequency. A dichotomy to which I am not inured in the least.

Rainbohhhhh, Rainbohhhhh!

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

[IMAGE] Rainbow

[IMAGE] Rainbow2

…click to listen:

…about the music

There’s truth in rainbows.

A double rainbow deserves a double blog title. Welcome to my backdrop on a ferry ride at sunset last week, coming from Anacortes back to Friday Harbor. I’ve never before seen both ends of a rainbow at once, and I wish that I had the ability to show you the entire expanse of arc and magic, lifting and sinking from the sea like a colorful slinky toy. I hope this brightens your Monday.

My corporeal being will be off the island for a few days, surrounded by concrete and steel and some wonderful professional interactions. But my spirit remains here and intends to create some blog posts to remind her of why she always looks forward to returning to interact with this. Stay tuned for a few more favorite pix from my most recent adventures!