Thursday, February 28, 2008

Musical moments and creativity

Warning! Awooga! Awooga! Heavily Heavily YouTube embedded. But I linked as much as I could to make it easier for those with slower connections.

This has been making the blog rounds since the Academy Awards. So I dug up a YouTube link. It is good.

I began thinking about music. I haven't been sewing much since I've got the - ICK flu - and have been curled up in bed with the iPod (I love my iPod!). Music is as much apart of my creative process as drawing, sewing, and painting are. Not making it, I leave that to the other talented members of my family, but listening to it. If given an ultimatum to pick between sight and hearing, I'd be truly hard pressed, because one is as important as the other to me. I can't imagine a world where I couldn't see and create in a visual language and I can't imagine a world where I wouldn't be able to hear music. I believe in something rather airy fairy called a lyric thread (dumb name, but...); that there are pieces of music where you can find a thread within and follow it. It will lead you to creativity, peace, enlightenment, healing - anything. I think it is different for every person. What works for me may not work for you.

Here is some of the music that releases my creative spirit. All the links lead to free or legal stuff (well insofar as YouTube is legal :)) And many of the sites play samples and ::cough:: download the mp3 into your internet cache... what you do with it is entirely up to you though! I have mundane, weird and ecclectic musical tastes - I can be listening to POP and then just as easily switch over to gregorian chant. I've only listed the the pieces that are time honoured for me - those that I can listen to over and over and over again without getting sick and tired of them (and I have..listened.. often for years, some going on decades!). Go explore and if you have any suggestions of something you'd think I might like - leave a comment!
  • First off, I'm a soundtrack junkie - serious Hollywood stuff. It's an addiction that I'm admiting to publicly for the first time. I love Ennio Morricone (Mission), Harry Gregson-William (Kingdom of Heaven, Narnia), Klaus Badelt (Pirates - the original), Jean-Yves Thibaudet (Pride & Prejudice), Howard Shore (Lord of the Rings), Zbigniew Preisner (Secret Garden).

  • Everything by Loreena Mckennitt . A debut video on YouTube can be found here.

  • Eclipse by Adi Sappir from a few years back but available free at

  • 25 Years by Blackmore's Night also downloadable at

  • Hothouse Flowers website. No music - but YUM for Liam's O'Maonlai voice which makes me cry - everytime. I first heard him on the Rankin Family's Grey Dusk of Eve. Portobello Road is the song that causes the sniffles! Not on their site, but they have others.

  • Angelicus by Delerium featuring Isabel Baryakdarian. Download on their site apparently. But you can also listen on Facebook.

  • 10,000 Miles by Mark Isham from Fly Away Home (it's really really hard to find!)

  • Walking in the Air by Aled Jones - seriously an oldie, but lovely.

  • Sacred Treasures (especially the Russian Choral) I, II, III, IV, V, VI - Downloadable mp3s to get you addicted as well.

  • Soundtrack to Water by A.R. Rahman - Piya Ho - I love this movie but I love the song more.

  • Anything and everything choral by Gabriel Faure

  • Alegria by Cirque du Soleil

Scandalize My Name by Jessye Norman and Kathleen Battle

  • I've Got the whole world in my hands by Jessye Norman and Kathleen Battle - (the whole CD of Spirituals in Concert is GRAND!)
  • A Christmas Celebration by Kathleen Battle (I wish she didn't have such a b*tch reputation - because her voice is a gift from God, and it's hard to listen to her knowing the rotten things she's done)
  • Shall we Dance sountrack by Gabriel Yared et al. I dance to it in my head!
  • Mostly everything old by George Winston for when I'm stressed
  • James Taylor - River is linked here . The man has more websites then you can shake a stick at here and here too.
  • Allison Crowe (tons of free mp3s!) and Sarah McLachlan both do River well too, and I like their music as well.
  • Indigo Girls - I'm transported back to my mid-20's, bumming through Europe!

Mercedes Sosa - Gracias a la Vida

She is utterly marvelous! I will forever kick myself for not shelling out the plane ticket money to go and see her in concert when I had the chance.

  • Mon Amour is the song Mercedes Sosa adored and sung with Nilda Fernandez in Argentina. The choreography is performed by Julio Bocca.

Other sites with tons of links and free downloads are:

Native Village - Music and Dance Library - The more I live north, the more I'm drawn to traditional music.
Not sure if this will work - but it's a video of Mathew Nuqingaq at the Great Northern Arts Festival last summer. Another voice that makes me cry....
Gregorian Chant on the Net
Classic Cat - Free classical music on the web
More gregorian chant
Early Music - Jon Sayles (100's of hours of listening and mp3s)
Hear the choirs sing - Free and clips of 100s of choirs
Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music aka The Vatican

And now you have an inkling of why I happen to have 37 days worth of music on my iPod (and that doesn't include podcasts)! Enjoy!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Cheerful incompetence!

Warning: Ton of photos in this entry!

So I haven't had much to blog about lately - well, that's not quite true except that other schtuff has occupied much of my sewing time and blogging time and so I haven't had the inclination is probably more of an accurate statement (albeit a grammatical nightmare!).

Last weekend I did sew though. I am sew not a quilter! I took a paper piecing course (can we say ICK!) and have decided that those lovely productive women who create heriloom treats and other eye candy out of cotton have nothing to worry about in the way of ME! No way No how Not even close! Look close below and you'll see a few glaring boo boos that no quilter in their right mind would allow to remain unpicked. The instructor even offerred to unpick them for me herself... I just couldn't be bothered. I am so not a paper piecer. This took a day and a half! I am sew not a quilter! The last photo is what it might look like IF I ever sew it together. At the moment I'm kinda leaning towards random applique and then draw squiggly lines all over it.

The second project was Ricky Tim's convergence quilt (these were true 1/4 inch seams quilters - Ricky had to be found someplace!). I've decided that I hate the fabric - but I'll do something with it eventually - embellish the heck out of it I think. I like the idea behind it. The demo quilt was very cool - all pebbles and seashell themes. The book also is great and has some truly lovely pieces in it. However, I'm going to have to take baby steps towards curves. Did I mention I am sew not a quilter? The instructors' also did a mini trunk show of their own and various stuff they have created through their guild - Did I mention I am sew not a quilter? Lovely stuff, truly. Hey, did I mention that I am sew not a quilter?

I've been trying to finish off pieces rather than start anything new (and I will sew contradict myself later in this post) - which given my lack of inclination (or ability) to sew lately is proving problematic. One of my lil ole Inuvialuit ladies is nearly done - I just need to bind it (my inclination is to use bought binding - they type you buy at EvilMart - Hey, did I mention I am sew not a quilter?) I've re-secured the stitching down on the second lil ole one as well. No photos yet.

We had a fundraiser at work which resulted in a ton of rose petals. We have now boiled the lot of them to within an inch of their lives in the thin hope of making rose petal beads. The bright pink pot below is at the early stages (about 3 hours in). Lovely colour no? Our test beads stayed quite rosey in colour too - but are definately grainy in consistency. I have to say, when they say it takes three days of simmering to get the consistency of clay - well IT TAKES THREE DAYS OF SIMMERING TO GET THE CONSISTENCY OF CLAY!!!! Later beads are nearly black! Progressively displayed in the photos below; from flower (well lots more). Mulched in the blender to pot and simmered (never boil). Three days later for clay and then finally beads (sorry for the blurr). These probably need another day of drying before they are really hard. Lots of work and gives a whole new meaning to praying the rosary!

Oh, and finally, some scribbles on fabric with Shiva. Not sure if this will work or not... but the smell of the paintsticks is way nicer then the smell of the rose petals!

More at a later date..... Have a great week everyone!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Just freeze!

A little YouTube to watch while I do chores and stuff.. I love the idea behind this, that so many people collaborated together... The group is called ImprovEverywhere. Click the video to take you to YouTube to see others... I recommend the synchronized swimming, Best Buy and No Pants! More information can be found here.