Sunday, February 27, 2011
Wouldn't it be great if everyone had music teachers like this! In fact I had one in kindergarten at UNIS. We sang Beatles songs and Simon & Garfunkle...it was awesome!
I heard this choir from Staten Island New York's PS22 on the Academy Awards, and thought it was one of the highlights of the program, that is besides Colin Firth winning best actor for the King's Speech! Just watching their complete and total exuberance and freedom of expression is beautiful to behold.
Saturday, February 19, 2011
Jacob, my son, raved about this group, and after he bought the CD, made us listen to it, and am I glad he did! The music is captivating, and their simple sound, and acoustic performances speak to me in a way that more finished and sophisticated music does not. It's raw and heartfelt. It's a sound I have come to love. One I have also found in the music of The Decemberists and the Avett Brothers. I might not agree with some of the lyrics, but I always agree with the tunes themselves and the purity of the sound. Enjoy!
My son, Jacob, made a CD for me for my recent birthday. This song immediately captured my attention. And then the Grammy Awards came up and I was able to watch them perform live. I am now a fan of their sound. It's as though the past and the present are wrapped up in their music. I can't quite explain it, but I love it.
The CD cover caught my eye at the Starbucks I frequent, when I went for my morning Chai. I was tempted to buy it without ever having heard the music. Every time I went there, I would pick it up and take a look at it. I finally decided to listen to them on ITunes. Two songs stood out immediately for me; January Hymn & June Hymn. I have since bought the CD and become a fan. I hope you enjoy it, as much as I have.
Friday, February 18, 2011
"Leaving work today, I was greeted with the sight of snowflakes dancing their way down to the ground. The snowstorm that we had been hearing about all day had finally announced it's arrival. There is a stillness to this Alberta afternoon. A quiet silence cocooning the traffic and the world around me. Music drifts it's way out of my CD player, mellow tunes reflecting the scene outside, the gentle beginnings of the approaching storm. As I weave my way through the traffic, heading for home, my mind wanders aimlessly from one captured thought to another, quietly meandering. It's a peaceful moment. A deep breath in my day.
The heater continues to fan warmth around me, the warm breeze in sharp contrast to the cool whiteness outside my window. The snowflakes gather together, holding fast to one another, creating layers that cover everything with cool white frosting. The rhythmic swish of the windshield wipers back and forth becomes a steady back drop to the music of the afternoon.
Cars around me dot the landscape with color and movement, a silent movie in play.
I drive down my street to the warm welcome of my house, smoke drifting from the rooftop. The garage door closes behind me, and as I make my way to my front door, the brisk cool air caresses my face, and for a brief moment I revel in this snowy Alberta afternoon, and marvel at the beauty found in the large snowflakes, mini clouds falling slowly around me, and onto me, fringing my hair and face with their presence.
I know that it won't be long before I tire of the winter days, and begin to bemoan winter's presence, but for this brief period in time, I savor it. A beautiful Alberta winter afternoon."
I wrote this a few weeks back, and as I predicted, I now look out at the snowy whiteness with despair. I search the online airfares, my own make believe world, where money is no issue, and traveling to a warm destination, is just a matter of opening up my wallet and handing over my credit card information. But reality always intrudes on my fantasies, and I leave the websites with a feeling of loss. Winter has lost it's enthrallment for me, and I look to the months ahead with frustration and impatience, knowing that our Alberta winters never pay short visits. Sitting in my heated home, I feel the chill grip me, and wonder when I will ever feel warm again, and then I read this piece and remember that moment with clarity, the residual joy of the moment breaking into my winter doldrums. It reminds me to savor each moment as a gift, no matter what its wrapping, because each moment, each breath, is a gift. It's a refrain I know I will have to repeat to myself over and over again, but it will be worth the retelling. It's a reminder to view nature's paintings in a richer way, and to enjoy them and experience them fully, for we are a part of this great big canvas, and the different scenes that play out upon it.
So my advice to all of you suffering from winter blues, is to find a moment to savor in it, capture the joy of it, and remember that it's a gift. And so in every Alberta winter day that I have, I will try to have my moments to hold onto, to tide me through and to remember joy.