Strawberry Hill (2013Oct28)


Wrote another poem today:

 

Poem (?)

Argffth! Spttoo-o-o-o-o-o-o! Yaughck!

Augh, I can’t.. Hack-Hack-spurtle..I can’t Breath! cough

cough

cough

Where’re the others?

O my god (cough)

What happened?!

 

                 -by XD

And then my lovely Claire came home (with a whopper jr w/cheese–the bestest) and I played for her–It came out kinda romantic, so I named it after those Spanish-language soap-operas they call ‘Novelos’:

Improv - Novelo

Improv – Novelo

…As you can see, today’s graphics theme is ‘Strawberry Hill Gothic’, a old, brief fad in architecture. I couldn’t say what connection to the Beatles’ “Strawberry Fields” there is, if any–I always figured the Beatles did Strawberry Fields for the same reason the Kinks did “Ducks On The Wall”–because it was something their parents liked, and they hated.

All these pictures are examples–I guy named Walpole got rich from writing Halloween stories, and this was his dream house style–I read about in a post I shared earlier today (You can go on my Facebook page and find the one called simply ‘Halloween’) and I Googled images of the style…

so, here’s a few more:

Graphics Explosion


Okay, two new improvs and a look at some of the artwork contained in my video uploads:

GRAPHICS:

Back in the I-beginning, museum sites had no restrictions on downloading graphics of their paintings, sculpture, etc.

Back then, it took minutes for a hi-res graphic to download off a phone jack ISP, but I knew that someday the doors would all be locked–so I downloaded graphics like an obsession. Nowadays, security on graphic image files is pretty tight. It’s all ‘information’ now, and information is ‘owned’ now, too.  But I don’t commercialize my sites, so nobody looks too closely. Also, there are special programs like that of the Rejksmuseum in Netherlands, which allows a user to download graphics of their masterworks for non-commercial use. I still grab stuff off the Google-Image search, but I have to be more careful about snagging something off of those new ‘graphics by fee’ sites–one of them threatened me with legal action a few weeks ago!

Anyhow–here’s some of my latest ‘artwork’ in service to my YouTube channel uploads, and the original files I used for graphics backgrounds. You’ll notice that I over-lighten or over-darken these paintings to make my Text stand out and be legible.

20131019XD-Improv-GYup_01_Art-HorseLexington-1968-Good

20131019XD-Improv-GYup_02_200_Currier_&_Ives_Ready_For_The_Signal

20131019XD-Improv-GYup_03_No_Known_Restrictions_Horse_Racing,_Currier_&_Ives_Lithograph_1890

20131019XD-Improv-GYup_04_Trotting_Cracks_on_the_snow

20131019XD-Improv-GYup_05_english_hunt_fence

20131019XD-Improv-GYup_06_Hunter

20131019XD-Improv-GYup_(CreditsCARD)

20131019XD-Improv-GYup_(TitlesCARD)

20131019XD-Improv-HYup_(CreditsCARD)

20131019XD-Improv-HYup_(TitlesCARD)

20131022XD-FitzWllmVrgnlBk_XV_Robin(TitlesCARD)

20131022XD-FitzWllmVrgnlBk_XVIII_BarafostusDream(TitlesCARD)

20131022XD-FzwlmVrgnl_17thCenturyEnglishMusic_01

20131022XD-FzwlmVrgnl_17thCenturyEnglishMusic_02

20131022XD-FzwlmVrgnl_17thCenturyEnglishMusic_Barfastus_s_Dream_01

20131022XD-FzwlmVrgnl_17thCenturyEnglishMusic_Barfastus_s_Dream_02_Baschenis_Musical_Instruments

20131024XD-Improv-Factory(TitlesCARD)

20131024XD-Improv-PrototypeX(CreditsCARD)

20131024XD-Improv-PrototypeX(TitlesCARD)

20131026XD-Improv-AdAstra(CreditsCARD)

20131026XD-Improv-AdAstra(TitlesCARD)

20131026XD-Improv-Aspere(CreditsCARD)

20131026XD-Improv-Aspere(TitlesCARD)

20131026XD-Rijksmuseum_MyStud_Art-Nouveau_interieur_anoniem_1890-1910

20131026XD-Rijksmuseum_MyStud_Delftsche Slaolie-Jan_Toorop_1894

20131026XD-Rijksmuseum_MyStud_Het_stadhuis_op_de_Dam_in_Amsterdam-Gerrit_Adriaensz-Berckheyde_1672

20131026XD-Rijksmuseum_MyStud_Portret_van_een_vrouw_tussen_bloemen-Eva_Watson-Schütze_ca_1910

20131026XD-Rijksmuseum_MyStud_Seated Cupid-Etienne-Maurice_Falconet_1757

201320811XD-PreRaphWomen_GoldenTrio

20131026XD-Rijksmuseum_MyStud_Mantelpiece_w_relief_of_Paris_n_Oenone-Jan_Baptist_Xavery_1739

A Pretty Good Day…


I got two decent improvs out of today:

 

 

 

‘nocturnal’ 17th Century keyboard works


The Fitzwilliam Virginal Book was published in England in the 17th Century.

The virginal was a small clavier, so quiet it could only be heard in a small parlor in absolute silence. I guess it was of a piece with the way gentleladies were expected to behave in the old days. The music, which has much more life to it than I’ve been able to express herein, is nonetheless very sleep-friendly. One can only imagine what those people would have made of a heavy metal concert….

Robin, etc.

Robin, etc.

20131022XD-FitzWllmVrgnlBk_XVIII_BarafostusDream(TitlesCARD)

You Are Everything And Everything Is You


Siren-UofVTc036

I feel like I must have done something wrong. It just came to me that I’ve hardly ever cared about anything but music. I used to draw and paint to pass the time—I was good at it and I liked being able to impress people—but in the end, it wasn’t something I had to do. Same with reading and writing—a fantastic way to spend time—and it always took me away from the most unbearable environments—in the same house with an arguing family, being a brat on a bus full of brats, being stuck on a long line, and others. So I draw, read, and write here and there—but there’s only one thing I have to do—listen to, and play, music.

Ulysses-sirens-Draper

From that perspective, I can visualize my whole life, my jobs, my social interactions, my buying habits—as one big structure whose purpose is the perpetual availability of music to listen to, and a piano to practice and play on, and a stack of songbooks to sing from. Don’t get me wrong—many of my hardest efforts were in service to my Claire and my Jessy and my Spence. But anything I do for myself is unfailingly music-related. Nothing else has that feeling of obsession that I just can’t shake.

SirensBoutibonne

Unfortunately, I was not blessed with any talent for music—in general, I’m pretty awkward—and at piano, I’m markedly so. Any slight ability I display now, at the age of fifty-seven, is due to daily practice since the age of fifteen. And whatever ability that may be, it is easily out-shined by any toddler with musical talent and a few weeks of lessons. Do I have a great knowledge of music? Yes, indeed. And do I have a familiarity with music history that goes beyond that of nearly everyone? I do. But I’ll never be a musician, in the normal sense—I must eternally satisfy myself with my own puny capacity, and my improvisations (in which I attempt to make strengths of my weaknesses).

pygmalionNgalatea

Thus, there is a Zen aspect to my music-making—I must see my music as one thing and ‘real’ music as another. Otherwise, I’d have to give up the piano. It makes for a unique situation—there aren’t many pianists who practice every day, but never perform in public, never collaborate with other musicians, and are still waiting, forty years later, to get ‘good at it’. But that it exactly my case.

odsirens

The one thing that remains invisible to everyone else is the satisfaction I feel when I’m playing improvisationally—every day, I imagine that today’s improv is tremendous. Most days, I have a camcorder running and when I see the playback or burn a CD to listen to it, I hear something that is not at all tremendous—in fact, it stubbornly sounds like me playing badly—it’s mystifying.

persephone

I’m lucky, I guess—when I was young, I was very bright—I got used to being sure of the right answer, even when everyone else thought differently—it is a very good attitude—I wish I could share it with people who didn’t do well in school, who became averse to non-conformity and repelled by new data. I always feel sorry for people who disqualify themselves from learning, reading, listening to classical music—someday they’ll run schools so that the slower kids will have as much respect for their own viewpoint as they do for the teacher’s—but I won’t hold my breath.

herculesL

So much of my life is a hot-house flower—it can only survive because the conditions are perfect for it. I don’t have to spend the majority of my time at an eight-hour job every day, because of Disability. I have a very fine baby grand in a living room that really only rates an upright. I have the advantage of having been mentored by Matt Glaser in junior high, and Gil Freeman in high school. I was raised to sing Christmas carols and Boy Scout campfire songs, and to sing along with the AM radio pop tunes of my day. As the cherry on top, listening to records of both Keith Jarrett and George Winston taught me, at an early age, that playing the piano can be as much a cathartic experience as a performance.

Godessette

When I was a teenager, in the heat of a summer day, I could put LPs on the record-player—Glenn Gould playing the Well-Tempered Clavier, Books I and II, by Bach—and it would have nearly the same effect as an air conditioner—the cool, geometrical perfection of Gould’s Bach affected me in a physical way. Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture would make my blood hot and ready for battle. Silly little pop tunes could make me feel like my heart was breaking (and I loved having my heart broken) or that I was ‘king of the world’.

A-Sirens-Berlin

My sincerest sympathy I reserve for the people that see music as one thing—as rap, or as Bob Dylan, or as Theophilus Monk. Even confining oneself to a single genre is, to me, a tragic waste of potential experiences. I like medieval music, Bulgarian folk choirs, baroque recorder music, the Beatles, the Beach Boys, Enya, Michael Hedges, Carol King, Randy Newman, Leroy Anderson, John Williams (the composer and the guitar player who made the name famous first). I like the Archies, the Partridge Family, the Monkees, Air Supply, Bread, Kris Kristofferson, Andrew Lloyd Weber, Barbra Streisand, Harry Nilsson, Artie Shaw, Glenn Miller, John Philip Sousa, the Roach Sisters, both Guthrie’s (Woody and Arlo), Judy Collins, Burt Bacharach, and just about every other ‘bad’ musician overlooked by ‘serious musicians’.

CombWBattle

I’ve seen every musical movie ever, I watched Bernstein’s TV programs on music appreciation when I was little, I listened to every Nonesuch record in the library, back when Nonesuch produced LPs from ‘Bulgarian Folk Music’ to the ‘Koto Music of Japan’. Music is so much a part of my life that if it was excised from my history, my biography would read: “I am born. I get married. I have a family. I die.”

fantasy-fairy-sirens

And that being the case, it seems rather unfair that I should be without even a hint of musical talent—but nobody expects life to be fair, and for good reason. I think it has been good for my character, such as it is—overcoming failure every day is character-building, if nothing else. My dreams of being a great musician would probably lack their zest if I had the slightest idea of what being one is really like. Isn’t that strange? On the plus side (and I say this all the time) it’s good to have a life-long pursuit that can never be completed. I know that Yitzhak Perlman could say the same thing—but being the world’s greatest living violinist, he doesn’t have to focus on that particular fact the way I do.

Boreas_s1