Thursday, March 26, 2015

If you know the Gounod

I'm currently working on set painting for Tacoma Opera's production of Roméo et Juliette. Progress has been a bit choppy--largely because people keep getting sick--but it's coming along! Theater load-in is next weekend.

There's a Tchaikovsky Romeo and Juliet that's pretty well known, but that's a ballet. Anne Marie asked me who the composer of this one was, and I said, "I don't remember--not someone I'm familiar with. I think it starts with a G. Or maybe a C." She looked it up on her phone and said, "Oh, Charles Gounod! I know him."

Later I was checking out the Wikipedia article and realized that I know him too.  Or at least one of his works.   He wrote the Ave Maria that's superimposed over Bach's Prelude No. 1.  The Barra MacNeils have an especially lovely version on their second Christmas album.  It's the first song on Kate's bedtime playlist, and we've been hearing it every night for years. 

Years ago I ran across this video of Bobby McFerrin and was absolutely enchanted.  I had to go look it up again after I made the connection.

I can't help but think what a transcendent experience it must have been to be in that audience. I've always loved the bit at a concert where the performer will stop singing and let the audience carry the song for a while. It creates a brief feeling of connection that always gets me a bit emotional. (I remember being at a concert in Bannerman Park in St. John's Newfoundland, sitting on the grass in the twilight, softly singing "Sonny's Dream" along with all the other concert-goers, and getting positively teary-eyed. And I don't even like that song.)

Bobby McFerrin does some amazing stuff.  This video is fabulous as well. Both entertaining and astonishing.

My mind is blown.

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Training Chopsticks

I got these for Kate a while back, and I've been wanting to get a picture. (They're cute! And pink!) At this point I'm not sure if they'll really help her learn how to use regular chopsticks, but we shall see.

She wanted to get some pho. That's my girl!