30 Jun 2011, 9:02am
General Music Ottawa

Go for Baroque

When you use your body unevenly, some parts get overused, overcompensating, and some parts under-used, Muscles can get bunched up and the tendons become criss-crossed velcro — a massage can mechanically rearrange things. Music can be a sort of massage of the heart/mind to reset the balance. Not just soothing the soul of the beastie inside but evening things out in there.

Last Thursday we heard the Music at Noon concerts at First Baptist off of Elgin. For $5, Thursday in June, you can hear people moonlight their musical expertise.

Last time it was Kevin James on Baroque Violin and James Calkin on a Harpsichord. This was a harpsichord made for him in 1989 in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. It was recently retuned by a specialist in Montreal. Having never seen the instrument before, it looked surprisingly like a piano with wooden keys but sounded more gentle. The strings are plucked with wood instead of struck. It is a far more pleasant sound than a piano or more pleasant to my ears than a harp.

The baroque violin is a different instrument than one often used now with a heavier-ended bow and played across the strings going down only, not back and forth.

They played Sonata quinta by G.B Fontana (c. 1571-c.1631), Sonata quarta by J.H. Schmelzer (c. 1620-1680), Sonata in G (BWV 1019) by J.S. Bach (1685-1750) and Sonata seconda by Dario Castello (c. 1590-c. 1630). The first I very much enjoyed but the last one was my favorite. There was such a range in it and it sounded so much more lively and fresh than anything I’d heard in music in some time. Both according to the notes were in “stile nuovo” where composers where playing with polyphonic rules, exploring dissonance and improvisations.

Giovanni Battista Fontana was a violin virtuoso and Dario Castello has almost no biographical information recorded for time but although his music which went into reprints and collections showed a primary love for the violin but he worked as a leader of a wind ensemble in Venice. A related field. Some things never change.

What was striking was how direct music could communicate. People centuries later could play the same instruments, not know the first language of the composers, if that could be said to be Italian rather than music itself, and communicate directly. How much more would we stumble to try to directly hear the word from the 1600s? The poetry seems more obscured than the sound. Perhaps the music too would have resonated more fiercely with that time than now. I don’t know but what a marvelous town that we can just dip into a bit of history so it lives.

Today the music at noon concerts at the First Baptist Church on Elgin near the NAC will be Karen Holms & Damian Rivers-Moore on Organ & French Horn. There is also a Tuesday series starting Sept 18th at St. Luke’s with a trumpeter and violinist.

[A variation of this was cross-posted at Local Tourist Ottawa]

Quote: “A song will outlive all sermons in the memory.” ~ Henry Giles

22 Jun 2011, 8:54pm

A light goes

The The pictured sunset of yesterday was as remarkable as this one’s today’s wasn’t.

We are creatures of our time and the time of others.

Quote: “I invented nothing new. I simply assembled the discoveries of other men behind whom were centuries of work. Had I worked fifty or ten or even five years before, I would have failed.” ~ Henry Ford in Everything is a Remix 3: The Elements of Creativity

19 Jun 2011, 9:47am
Glad Game Gnomes

Glad Game: Parisian Dreaming

By the time I realized this was Sunday and a no-computer day I was an hour in. So maybe, after this, I practice moderation. Or hit myself with punitive sticks. Or pelt myself with memory sticks. Something.

I’m up, but I’m not exactly at ’em. (Why are some nights so hard to wake from?)

Glad Game: I woke up. Not game-over-dead, yet again. Whee.

I have a photo-of-the-day already in mind and a plan B so I can just be technician not ideas person to myself today and only work out the glitches that arise.

one is never enough
I like how yesterday’s turned out. It’s such a tricky thing to do photos for this medium. You have to consider it large, and the scale it’ll likely be seen at, and what it looks like made into an automatic tiny square thumbnail.

Chilled cantaloupe. Somehow it’s better than sorbet every time.

We’ve missed most of the Aboriginal Arts Festival already. But there’s still a grand entry at noon today we could take it. I love a drumming circle. It’s good to have options.

We usually take in the Fringe Fest, often go to the Franco-Ontarian fest, and sometimes Little Italy’s Italian Week events but I’m fine with not doing any of it this year. Festivals are only special if they contrast against a boring normal life and my normal is pretty vivid.

The reading on Thursday was warm and fun.

We saw Midnight in Paris. What an utterly enjoyable movie. It does kindle the desire to get back to Paris. We’ve spent, all together in 3 trips, close to 2 months there. Renting an apartment…wandering the streets…it sounds grand. (Maybe even doable.)

I have a chapbook almost ready to send to an English poetry publisher in France. That would be fun if its accepted. A continental tour based on a dozen poems. Heh. I crack myself up.

I have a more open schedule this week which is good for all I plan to cram in it, including making a poem sheet for the small press fair on Saturday.

I’m on Click Here CHUO on Wednesday at 5pm to talk about the small press fair.

According to Bywords, Brandon Wint gives poetry workshops every Sunday from 1:00-2:30 pm at Umi Cafe. That would be good to take in.

I found the dashboard on this WordPress to have a way to reply to individual comments instead of add mine at the end. Who knew that was there? Except something is toggled so no one can see comments over 2 weeks old? Where’s the button for that? [Found it. Now it’s open for a month]

Quote: “Everyone do your little bit of good where you are; its those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” ~ Rev. Desmond Tutu [via Carmi]

14 Jun 2011, 6:10pm

New Cocoa in Town?

It seems too far back to pick up where I left off so how about I start around here?

maison chaloin
We’ve been redirecting walks to dip past Maison Chaloin, a chocolatier, tea room and truffle store coming to Dalhousie near Gigues — the paper is off the windows and its got chairs in wrappers but not much equipment there yet.

I want to know what day. Maybe we can all camp out on opening day to give them the rock star treatment off the top. Ottawa so badly needs a good chocolatier. There’s some but not like the ones I found in other cities. (fingers crossed). It gets good feedback at Urban Spoon as a 4th generation chocolatier with a 3-year-old store in Gatineau. Ah, what to do? Is reconnoissance in order?

Looking back on my to-do list for the last half of May at this end of first half of June I see I got most things done. Naturally some of the high urgency which weren’t high priority aren’t done — and the world didn’t end yet again.

Maybe I should make a practice of every 2 weeks coralling all the things I want to get done so its all centralized. The next few tasks are obvious.

And here it is, almost sunset again.

Quote: “Good humor isn’t a trait of character, it is an art which requires practice.” ~ David Seabury,

7 Jun 2011, 10:55pm

Still around

Ah and fruit flies like a banana.

I’m not using computers as much, relative for me. Two days a week I’ve been self-imposing a moratorium. Besides that, my internet connection and I are in a flakiness competition. Which is fine. I’ve been having bouts of feeling insular and private anyway. It’s good to pull back and regroup now and then.

But Quite Contrary’s garden grows fine, who’s asking?

presentation cover
I still mean to write up notes from this. Fascinating talk. (And from a couple writers festival talk but how months do go on.)

I’ve been around more at Looking on the Bri Side, pesbo, picture i. [and Eaten Up is daily — how could I forget that one?] This will auto-post sometime.

Keep yourself being well,

Quote: “Miracles come in moments. Be ready and willing.” ~ Wayne Dyer at QuotationsBook

  • RSS Humanyms

  • Archives