Category Archives: Music

In the Meme Time: Dream

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In the Meme Time: Dream

Dreams

Monday Morning Wisdom #127

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Monday Morning Wisdom #127

THIEVES

In the Meme Time: Life-Changing Music

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In the Meme Time: Life-Changing Music

Life-changing music

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#ALCGC2017 November Check-In

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#ALCGC2017 November Check-In

I love challenges! They encourage me to try new things. During October, two very good challenges, Inktober and OctPoWriMo, helped me with my goal of creating more poems and art.

I wrote several poems during October, and the best ones are posted here and here. One turned into a Christmas poem, so be sure to visit ARHtistic License on December 25 to read it.

For Inktober, I often defaulted to concurrent Zentangle challenges, and completed fourteen drawings in all. I posted some of them on ARHtistic License, and all of them on my Instagram page. Here are some of my favorites:

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On the book front, I still have no representation for the three picture books I’ve sent out to agents. I wish I were an illustrator; I think if agents could see what I’m visualizing, they’d love my books for sure. Sigh. I’ve started rewriting two of them to submit as short stories.

Starting November 15 I’m running through The God of Paradox with my Bible study group. I know the third lesson is too lengthy. I’m actually thinking of taking most of it out and writing a second Bible study guide out of it. Anyhow, after this dry run, I should be able to fine-tune it and start submitting it in early 2018.

I’m still rewriting The Unicornologist. It keeps getting shorter, but it needs to be meatier.

I’m still practicing the same last 11 pages of The Sweet Pipes Recorder Book, and I’m still up to p. 59 in Essential Elements for Guitar. My tone and facility are improving, even if it looks like I’m not getting anywhere. I’ve been pretty good about practicing on piano, recorder, and guitar, but I’ve missed a few days due to lack of energy.

I’ve hardly done any dancing this month. The last Tuesday in September, I landed funny on my right foot and heard it crunch. It hurt really bad. I danced on it an hour and a half two weeks later, but that was probably a bad idea. Until recently, it ached something fierce if I spent more than half an hour on my feet. I think I’ll be able to resume dancing next week.

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Now it’s your turn. How are you doing with your goals? Don’t be shy! If you’re keeping accountable on your blog, paste a link into the comments below. Or if you don’t have a blog, just tell us your successes and your challenges this past month. And remember to check in on December 1, 2017, to share your progress during November. I created the hashtag #ALCGC2017 for ARHtistic License Creative Goals Challenge for 2017. Feel free to use it to tweet about your goals and your progress.

 

The Harp Twins

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It’s difficult to find information about the duo known as The Harp Twins without hiring a private detective. For example, no online source reveals their birthday or their age. The most complete biography I found is the one that appears on their website.

Camille and Kennerly Kitt have acted in movies and commercials. They’re both third-degree black belts in tae kwon do.

Both graduated summa cum laude from the Conservatory of Music at Wheaton College with Bachelor of Music degrees in harp performance. Though classically trained, they are better known for their many YouTube covers of rock songs and soundtracks. They’ve also recorded four albums.

They play movie themes while wearing related costumes:

And they’ve also done video game themes:

No one knows how hard it is to go on tour with harps:

I can’t look away. Does that mean I’m addicted to Harp Twins videos?

Creative Juice #64

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Creative Juice #64

A dozen articles to spice up your creative life:

  1. Ursula LeGuin on the difference between cats and dogs, among other things.
  2. Taking Zentangle to the next level.
  3. Sorry to be punny. Food memes.
  4. Seeing this wall of mini-quilts is making my fingers itch. I want to make a couple dozen so I can have a wall like this one.
  5. Here’s a fun Halloween face-painting
  6. I want to go on a guitar retreat like this one!
  7. I was afraid this article was about manipulating people. It’s not.
  8. This is the best short story I’ve read in a long time.
  9. This new television series looks wonderful.
  10. A different kind of patchwork.
  11. Everything I know about Richard Feynman I learned on Big Bang Theory—until now.
  12. Check out these awesome mask kits.

My Introduction to Opera

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My Introduction to Opera

When I was in high school, the Metropolitan Opera in New York City hosted special matinees for high school students. My school organized annual field trips to these performances, but I was blissfully unaware of them until my senior year, when the featured opera was La Traviata by Giuseppe Verdi (I’ve posted about this before).

It was the perfect introduction to opera. The story is a classic, stolen borrowed from La Dame aux Camélias, a novel by Alexandre Dumas. In a nutshell, courtesan Violetta loves Alfredo, but his parents think she’s not good enough for him, so she breaks it off. At a party, he confronts her and accuses her of loving someone else, but he doesn’t learn the truth until Act III, when she dies of consumption (tuberculosis) in his arms.

 

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Painting of party scene in Act I of La Traviata, by Carl d’Unker, circa 1855.

 

Verdi’s music is heavenly. Here is the drinking song, Libiamo:

And Violetta’s first reaction to Alfredo’s declaration of love (the voice she hears in the background is Alfredo’s), Sempre Libera (Always Free):

 

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Maria Callas as Violetta in the Royal Opera House production of La Traviata, 1958. Photograph by Houston Rogers.

The version I saw was not quite so contemporary; instead, it was set in the late 1800s.

 

Soon after the field trip, I bought a record of the opera’s highlights, and wore it out through repeated playings. It remains one of my favorite operas.

When I transferred to Glassboro State College (now called Rowan University) in my junior year, I met a student who had been to that very same performance (also his first opera), and it convinced him he wanted to be a musician. Music has the power to change lives. At very least, it helps us to escape our world and our troubles for a while.

What was the first opera you ever saw? Did you think you’d be bored? Did the experience meet or exceed your expectations? Please share in the comments below.

 

 

Creative Juice #63

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Creative Juice #63

Sharing twelve artsy articles to juice up your creativity:

  1. Street art.
  2. A sculptor turns a fallen tree into a sculpture.
  3. Super Converse kicks!
  4. The truth about corsets.
  5. What happens when Helen Keller goes to a dance studio? No, I’m not making a tasteless joke. Martha Graham was a friend of Keller’s.
  6. This one might make you cry. It’s about the death of a mother. Skip it if you must.
  7. Amazing award-winning quilts.
  8. If you have the ability to snap a picture of your pet doing something silly, you may want to enter this contest next year. If not, you can still enjoy this year’s finalists.
  9. Pages from a Zentangle sketchbook.
  10. Shipping containers never looked so good.
  11. How a unicorn makes music. (Because I’m dedicated to bringing you all the unicorn stories I can.)
  12. Quirky ceramics and a podcast.

Guest Post: The Apprehension Engine

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Thanks to Donna at MyOBT for this guest post. I usually avoid horror movies, but I am so intrigued by this instrument, I may just go see The Witch. Or maybe I’ll just watch these videos again.

My OBT

apprehension Mark Korven

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Video of the Week #119: Good Use for Empty Bottles

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Video of the Week #119: Good Use for Empty Bottles