I talk a little more in this one. Weber’s Concertino is a major staple of the clarinet repertoire. When it’s done right, it’s so much fun to listen to/watch. Even practicing this is a lot of fun. It’ll be nice when this piece sounds better.
Kay Ryan’s imagery has always made me think. I’ve enjoyed her poetry, and she knows how to describe the human experience. And then her poems become a part of the human experience. She’s definitely made my life more robust.
Saturday morning we were discussing which drive we should go on to look at autumn leaves. In the past, we’ve driven the Alpine Loop. There have always been a lot of people. Lots of cars squeezing by each other on the mountain roads. But Saturday we decided to drive the Nebo Loop. Here’s a prelude video to a bunch of photos we took:
The morning was gorgeous. The best light shone through the trees; cast a perfect silhouette of the mountains. We’re so glad we went.
I just finished a book of poems by Joy Harjo, called An American Sunrise. She adds commentary to her poem “Story Wheel”: “Until the passage of the Indian Religious Freedom Act of 1978, . . . to write or create as a Native person was essentially illegal.”
Sometimes I work on passages of various clarinet pieces.
I’m thinking of starting a video series that includes my playing clarinet and talking about poems. This is the pilot, haha. Unfocused, yes. But two things I love.
I forgot to post yesterday, June 25. It was on my mind to do it. You bet I’m gonna backdate this. (June 25, 2021, 10pm)
We went on a hike to Stewart Falls. It’s an out-and-back hike, totaling four miles. There are some moderately steep parts and some rocky areas, but mostly the trail gently rolls, and it’s shaded with a few sunny parts. I mean, you still have to watch not to trip on roots and tumble down the mountain. All in all, it’s a really pleasant hike with some amazing vistas. One of my favorites.
It’s a little bit steep but relatively short descent past the plungepool, and that’s where we usually go on this hike before turning around.
My brother came along with us, and I think he really liked it, too.
Z especially loves being near the waterfall, and she calls this area, “Good Dinosaur water.”
Have you seen Disney Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur? You should.
Today’s the 50th day in a row that I’ve blogged. Not that a lot of those posts actually said anything important. But it seems significant to form a thought and write it down. Real action. Sort of. Whether those thoughts develop into something more substantial is a different story, but looking back at the past 50 days, all those posts had potential to become more. It’s encouraging to see the potential in things.
I can’t decide whether the past 50 days passed slowly or quickly.
The next 50 days are summer days.
Should be interesting enough.
Ten minutes left in the day. Cutting it close.
Here’s another clarinet video. Still in the mood for cheesy love songs. I’m a real sucker for those.
We visited Nana again last night, June 1 being the second anniversary of her passing. In addition to the many bouquets of flowers left at her gravesite, we launched some balloons in her honor.
It’s a lovely idea, really: the releasing, the floating. The beauty of the symbolism.
And the evening was perfect: the coolness, the breeze, the perfect sky.
Reilly’s sister picked up the balloons. She chose colors that match Carla’s favorite rose from the front flowerbed. Reilly’s dad; his sister, her son; his two brothers, his sister-in-law; a close family friend; me, Z, and he. Each of us held two balloons.
Z counted us down, and then we let our balloons go. They drifted away together. Upward, joining the heavens, becoming sky.
Carla loves gardening and working on her yard. If you’ve seen her yard you know the love and great care she puts in the beauty she creates. I’m no gardener, but for the past couple of weeks I’ve been out in our yard, pulling weeds, planting flowers, meditating, crying: devoting that time to her. Yesterday morning I was pulling weeds, Z was running around in the yard, while Reilly was working on the obituary. It occurred to me that not only is this yard work–this beautifying a space–a good way to remember Carla, it’s a quiet way to feel a certain communion WITH her. It is sacred.
For the past couple of days we’ve been working hard trying to rebeautify our yard. I really love remembering Carla this way. It crossed my mind today while pulling weeds when we first found out she was sick, I wanted to ask her about all her gardening secrets. Which I didn’t do. And I didn’t think it was appropriate as her time here shortened.
I took some video footage of some of the greenery in our yard and put it to music. A modest tribute.
Not a whole lot to write for this post, but I’m putting this up as a document to refer to as I improve my staccato at various speeds. I mean, this was fun (and sorta funny), but I’ll keep working on technique in addition to musicality.
Did I do it right? Maybe I should be showing more skin? I mean, the shirt is supposed to highlight the irony of the thirst trap this isn’t. But I don’t know if people got that. I barely have over 100 followers, and I lie low not using a ton of hashtags or mentions. So I wonder if the four people who are active saw this post and got it. Probably, they’re pretty smart.
On Twitter and Instagram I also posted these:
Right? More irony, maybe? Because I’m not really trying?
But the following May Day photo was fun, because I got it on the first take. Maybe because I’ve taken jumping selfies before, and I know just when to jump before the snap. Also the angle makes a huge difference. Setting the phone on the ground at a slight angle up seems best for showing the biggest air.
Here’s one of me under the apple tree, with the neighbor’s farm and the mountains in the background. I think we may never move, because the view stuns me every time:
And, finally, to close out May Day, here’s my fair-skinned husband weeding our flower beds. He’s such a great guy, and I’m lucky to celebrate May Day with him. One of dogs keeps watch. The blooms on that tree are ridiculous. Wow.
I have included watching this video into my daughter’s morning routine:
We listen to the whole thing. Z may wander during this piece, but she makes sure she watches the part where the main character falls out of the subway train. It seems she also likes to watch them stand up after falling down. Which is pretty dang cool.
The other day I scrolled through comments to this video and came across this opinion.
To be honest, I knee-jerked when I first read this. Like, I was sort of offended? But I didn’t need to be. I didn’t spend a lot of time trying to understand this person’s perspective. I get it: Hilary Hahn is mesmerizing to watch. But without really knowing this commenter, maybe I’ll try unpacking what they said here.
Disclaimer: This is not a defense of Hilary Hahn, as she does not need defending. This is a rebuttal of an opinion of a YouTube commenter. That is all.
I’m a fan of Hilary Hahn. Oh, me too! She’s so talented. She has great energy as a performer. A beautiful personality, and very gracious to her fans. I mean, here Commenter is setting up for the but of their comment. I can feel it.
I appreciate her sincerety [sic] and commitment to her music. I agree! She’s very sincere! She’s very committed to her music. Both are not always simultaneously present in famous musicians or public figures in general. The way she presents her 100 Days of Practice demonstrates both of these qualities in spades: she offers valuable music and life wisdom, and in the 100 days themselves she shows her dedication to her craft. Plus she provides videos of her practicing, so we get to see her every day during this time. This would be an easy thing to feel entitled to. Even as her adoring fans we are not entitled to see Hilary Hahn every day.
That said… “but…”
I would rather… Commenter is stating a preference, which they are absolutely entitled to. People like what they like. Just like I’m stating my preferences right here. Which happen to mostly disagree with Commenter.
I would rather watch her play the music than watch animations. Commenter seems to be dismissing the work of the animator here (as a preference, but still). Hilary Hahn has made an effort to work with Karim Dabbèche in his interpretation of this Prokofiev work. This is a collaboration of interpretations. A different expression of Hilary’s “sincerity and commitment to her music.” And why not promote other artists? Dabbèche is clearly talented, and this video is legitimately cool, and Hilary testifies that it captures the spirit and weirdness and charm of Paris. This work also overflows with real representation of diverse backgrounds and cultures, which is really what we need. It’s refreshing, frankly. That she has played an active part in bringing this video to reality says a lot about her generosity and breadth of creativity as a human being. And she wanted to share it with us. I’m so grateful she did.