Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Life With Art

An art centered night tonight which is appreciated in this time of bizarre politicking and threatening missives. Has social media really become global diplomacy? I hope not, but know it to be true. Mine's bigger than yours used to be a joke. Not so much now. I am focused on what works. Diplomacy at every level. Kindness. Thinking. Thinking. As you know, I live in a house with a 90 year old man and a 52 year old Down's syndrome brother with Alzheimer's. So, basically, Congress.

All of our issues in this house are intensifying (see the play, first go-through at Suzanne Haskew Art Center in November.)

For the last couple of years I've chilled. Don't know how to describe this, except the rage fire is banked. We have government now that is dedicated to bringing back tall black hats and those stupid collars, along with the bows, which were never good fashion. Isn't it interested that we grew up in this country being told that those doofs in wigs came here to bring religious freedom?  And the massacre of the indigenous population that was already here was, well, necessary. And here we are. 200 years later. The same fucking lie.

I digress. We are in a timewarp. 238 years later we're at 438 years ago.

And then there's art. And photography. And nature. Children, joy, the days my brother still is in the world. The days my father, even a little, understands that there are other people in his world.

My appreciation. Gratitude changes the body, ameliorates pain, restructures atoms.

More profoundly, appreciating brings more of the same. 

Monday, April 17, 2017

Dollhouse Spring

Late spring in Michigan, both in the realm and dollhouse. The forsythia is blooming. The spring door wreath is up. (All the wreaths are from 4hala on etsy.) The roses bloom all year. I made the Climbing Joseph's Coat, and Fair Bianca because I had these in my yard at another house. Bearded iris and blooming hosta were made of masking tape and paint. There is an Easter basket on the bench.

A close-up of the basket, complete with eggs, chocolate bunny and marshmallow chick.

The spring set before installation. I made the White Rabbit, the egg dye cup and the baskets. The other pieces were to go in my garden shed which I haven't yet gotten around to building.

The bag of garden shed supplies. There is a receipt in here from 2004. The components included a printed set of seed packets, which I cut out, crushed seed beads [giggle] and glued together. I sold those a few years ago. As an emerging adult, I'm going to put this bag back where I found it. For now.

Spring cleanup fix-it. Noticed my garden hose was lost in the move. I'll make another. Some day.

Monday, April 10, 2017

RJ Spangler Trio with Larry Smith and George V. Johnson Jr.

You're really sorry if you missed this live jazz music appearance Sunday, 9 April at Salem-South Lyon District Library. RJ Spangler Trio. RJ percussion. Oliver Nevels, guitar. Gregory Cook on bass (5-string on Sunday.) Special guest music legend Larry Smith on alto sax. George V. Johnson Jr. brought the vocals and - wow - we are appreciative he did.

2 p.m. we got our feet tapping to Sundown, a Wes Montgomery composition. Wes Montgomery's a favorite in our house. From blues to bossa nova, we next heard L'estate (Summer) composed by Bruno Martino 1960, with "In Summer" lyrics by Jon Hendricks. Lost love and dreaming sunsets.

Stella (Stella by Starlight) featured in the 1944 movie The Uninvited. One of my top 5 favorite films starring Ray Milland, Ruth Hussey, Donald Crisp, Alan Napier and beautiful tragic Gail Russell.

RJ shared that Oliver Nevels is the group's filmographer. Talking with Oliver after the concert, he said most popular jazz standards came from film. We don't only enjoy the music mastery, the group is a fountain of music history and lore.

George V. Johnson shared with us the vocals for Summertime. For composer Lou Donaldson's 90th birthday party Johnson premiered his lyrics for Gravy Train. From NYC to South Lyon. Bam.

Charlie Parker's 1954 composition Little Suede Shoes was up next, with Mr. Johnson's 1977 lyrics.

St. Thomas, a Sonny Rollins composition with lyrics also by the amazing George V. Johnson Jr. If you have a reverbnation profile, you can come close to the experience of the live performance yesterday. You can listen to Sonny Rollins perform his composition. And for other film nerds, it's the song featured in the wedding scene in the 1989 movie Working Girl.

Find out more about RJ Spangler Trio, Larry Smith and George V. Johnson Jr.

Here you can read a scholarly paper about the blues influence in Wes Montgomery's music, and his use of call and response technique.

Check here for those who missed the October concert with these music masters. You do not want to miss the next performance! Sunday, 7 May at Salem-South Lyon District Library.

The live jazz music concert was made possible by a grant from the Jazz Foundation of America and the Metro Detroit Book & Author Society 2016 James Dance Performance Grant.