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Archive for January 16th, 2007

Coming Out of Hibernation

Tuesday, January 16th, 2007

icelight.jpg You know, it’s rough when you get just well enough to remember all the stuff you can’t do right now but should have done a week ago. It’s crazy-making to say the least.

I feel MUCH better today but I’m as dazed as a toddler awakened during a deep sleep. The body moves but in slow motion, my temp is approximately normal (finally) yet the brain is still quite foggy.

I had a heck of a time just casting on 54 stitches for a simple scarf. I cast on once, counted twice, knit and it was wrong, counted again, thought it was right, was wrong again… tried to fix on the needles, finally ripped it out, cast on again, knit one row. That’s the whole story of my knitting thus far today.

I’m still so out of it that I did not realize I had missed the Mid-Michigan Knitters Guild meeting, until it was over. I LOVE this group, they are home. And I always contribute a door prize every month (usually a kit: yarn and a pattern). Well, every month I’m there, I guess. Sigh… if I had thought of it I would have asked someone near my home to pick up a kit on the way there. Pooh. It’s too late now.

Photo: view out my side door (April’s House again), with the full sun shining through the ice-coated branches. Light bulbs almost! So pretty. It was so bright today you could have imagined it was August if you did not look out the window (or hear the furnace running). Diana posted photos today… and if you click on hers, you get a full screen of sunny beauty. I say take the time and revel in this unique and fleeting beauty. 

Congratulations to Alda!

Tuesday, January 16th, 2007

Alda of the Iceland Weather Report has won an award. Timbo of Timboland has awarded her with his 2006 Swampy Award for Best Non-British Blog. You go, Grrrl!

I figure if I really like Alda’s work, and so does Timbo, we must have more in common than that. How convenient that I find a list of his favorite blogs just when I’m stuck on the couch.

Nothing like some good new blogs to distract my mind a bit. Yippee! Remember, it’s good to savor the small things, because big things are few and far between…

Small World

Tuesday, January 16th, 2007

I am meeting fascinating musicians from all over the world, via MySpace.com, of all places. Brian and I have a Myspace page for The Fabulous Heftones in addition to our normal (much larger/more informative) Fabulous Heftones website.

We, of course, are getting “friend requests” (what an odd concept), mostly from people we already know in the local music community and/or the ukulele circuit. Sometimes it’s family (particularly neices and nephews) and sometimes it’s someone who knows our work from afar. Very occasionally it is someone wanting romance or other excitement that does not interest us, and we do not accept those requests.

It’s pretty cool, really, depite all the fun The Media has been having bashing its weak spots. As we know, anything can be used for good or trouble… I’m finding myspace to be quite fine in my personal situation.

This week, I got a friend request from James, and I did not know who he was. Clearly he is a ukulele player, it’s easy to discern that from his myspace page. He is in London, UK. Wow. How cool is that? So I wrote back with an acceptance. He had also sent a very flattering note along with his request, saying we really were Fabulous, yadda yadda. He made me feel really good that he would know our work all the way from England, and take the time to write. So I wrote him back and chatted a bit.

I said that I love the Internet for making the world such a small place. He wrote back:

“Yes it is a tiny world 20” corner to corner, its all on my PC.”

Wow. Can’t put it better than that, really.

Thank you, James, for sharing your take on it all… and for consenting to let me quote you here. I can sit and dream about visiting London someday, instruments in hand. Unfortunately, they do not yet have international flights that travel via PC screens!

Knitted Graffiti

Tuesday, January 16th, 2007

I’m only a tiny bit behind the world… there is a January 11 post with photos of knitted graffiti (looks like it happened in a French-speaking country). I love it! Colorful, and it does not injure the item it is embellishing.

Check out Knitted Graffiti photos!

The Voice as a Musical Instrument

Tuesday, January 16th, 2007

Those who read here often have heard me wax poetic before about Seth Bernard and Daisy May. What a team they are. I love them both… and together, of course they strengthen each other in all the right ways.

But I can go on forever about Daisy May’s voice. It is a wonderful instrument. It’s strong, resonant, convincing, but never contrived. I could listen to her sing forever.

The other night when I could not sleep because I just plain hurt (being sick does that to you), I put their album on my portable player and listened on my headphones as I finally fell asleep. Thank goodness for adult lullabies.

Well, today I sat still at the computer and visited youtube.com. I found a few videos taken of this duo (and two friends backing them up) at the Creole Gallery in Lansing.

Often Daisy May will play guitar or fiddle, and she does an absolute bang-up job on either one. But for Shine On, she puts them down. She stands in front of that microphone with a voice as her only instrument. For much of the song, she closes her eyes. And she gives it everything she’s got. Which is to say a whole lot.

As a performer whose first instrument is voice, I am a bit jealous. I have done some acapella (no instruments) solo work before I met Brian, but only on lucky occasions. When we perform on stage, we’re a duo and we really do need both stringed instruments to make the sound filled out well (we don’t have backup musicians, we never have done that, even on recordings).

When I am really really lucky, I get to sing an introduction to a song without playing the bass at the same time. Brian really prefers the sound when I play the bass, and he does listen with a more detached ear than I do. I am self-centered and I want to siiiiiinnnnggg! I can sing so fully when I can close my eyes, as May does, and give it all I’ve got. It’s a luxury and our act generally does better when I don’t give in to that craving.

Yet, if all the stars align just right, we be playing at Altu’s and someone will request “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” This is a personal favorite. I remember singing it to my Gramma Illa in about 1980, when she was too sick to have a conversation with me anymore. I had to work hard not to cry at the end, but it was sort of the perfect goodbye song and I am very happy I chose it.

(You can always sing to someone, even if they can’t respond… and it does get through most of the time… and you later know you did the one thing you could do. Gramma would ask my mom later in more clear moments if I had been there to see her.)

When I sang it to Gramma Illa, of course I sang “Rainbow” solo and acapella. At Altu’s, Brian will play uke and I can close my eyes and go for it.

Some day we probably will work up the song for our official act. We will sing it more often, but I will be playing bass. At least I got the enjoyment while I could!

Now, do yourself a favor and go hear Daisy May sing Shine On, a video on Youtube.com. It’s really wonderful. I can never play it only once. It’s very hard to let this one end. Once upon a time, I could find the entire song on the Earthwork Music site but I do not see it there right now. I do see it on May’s myspace page, though! Go with the video if you have the connection for it. Wonderful.

Photo: I took this shot at Magdalena’s Teahouse on December 10, at a Seth and Daisy May concert that was totally packed. A good time was had by all!