Archive for July, 2009

Dinner with a view

Monday, July 27th, 2009

[IMAGE] Haro Strait

[IMAGE] Haro Strait

…click to listen:

…about the music

Below, from slightly above.

One couldn’t find a more spectacular dinner location. Last night I stared across the fringe of the rocky shoreline to the Haro Strait that separates the island on which I type this, from the much larger one named Vancouver. Orca whales glided quietly behind the shoulders of my five dining companions, one of whom has the lucky title of being the property owner of this particular piece of paradise. A pair of bald eagles stood at the tide pools for hours and just like the rest of us, watched the sun disappear behind the mountains. Maybe the birds were as entranced as we were. Maybe they didn’t care as long as their favorite fish swished by. The moon and conversation rose as the sun and levels in the wine bottles lowered, and all evening long, I thought how fortunate I was to be surrounded by brilliant people in a brilliantly perfect setting. Ahhhhh.

Kelp yourself

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

[IMAGE] kelp

[IMAGE] low tide

…click to listen:

…about the music

Island music.

Unless one has followed this bloglet for a while, one might not understand why there is algae in the title. Thus, a reminder. It’s everywhere around me. Eat your sea vegetables!

Huge swaths of the stuff drape the shorelines, and at low tide it looks like the chaotic ladies’ dressing room at Filene’s Basement or Ross Dress for Less, the oddly greenish fabric strewn everywhere, left behind in a mad tidal retreat to the next big sale. This particular dressing cove looks straight out to Victoria, which I could see far more clearly than my little pocket Nikon could. My phone could see it clearly, too: on this side of the island the only cell signal you can hope to momentarily grab comes from Canada, as witnessed by the “roaming” indicator on my readout. Only in or extremely near the bustling metropolis of Friday Harbor (all four blocks of it!) can one hope to use their cell phone. But that’s okay, because I really didn’t feel the urge to call anyone. I was in deep conversation with the plants.

Waiting for high tide

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009

[IMAGE] tidepool

…click to listen:

…about the music

Swell and swirl.

I can stare endlessly into the water, imagining all the life that thrives where most above cannot see. Like the creatures who cling to these rocks, I’m waiting for my own version of high tide. Having just finished a solo piano work this week for one of my favorite pianists, I’m about to embark on a journey for ten instruments– a double quintet of strings and woodwinds that will premiere this fall in Chicago by this very hip ensemble. I’m nearly done with a sizable article that addresses writer’s block (it would be rather ironic if I were to the deadline on that one), I have a few pithy words to add to other blogs I like, and am never lacking in additional music projects, like finishing up my long-promised electroacoustic CD, Alextronica. Each of these projects and tasks is poised at the edge of the shore, waiting to set out to sea on an adventure. I’m always looking for the next tidal surge.

The key to hoppiness

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

[IMAGE] Froggie front

[IMAGE] Froggie side

…click to listen:

…about the music

Hot music for a temporarily warm amphibian.

I realize the mug shots of Kermit here make him look like the frog that ate Cleveland. He is, however, just over an inch long.

He is also quite lucky: I narrowly avoided stepping on him and turning him into froggie puree as he sunbathed on my deck today. After the requisite photo shoot, I extended my seemingly gargantuan hand, into which he and his big smile readily hopped. We cooed at each other, (ok, I’m anthropomorphizing: I cooed at him, and he was probably thinking, “get me the heck outta here”), then I brought his slightly sticky, very green rubbery self over to a nice, bug-laden salal patch and placed him on a leaf the exact same hue. I hope I did not separate him from a large family that is now worrying about where Grampa Bubba went, getting ready to place his photo on the side of bait cartons around the county.