Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The letter "L"

It is International Music Day today.  Perhaps, as you read my post for the letter "L" as celebrated at Mrs. Nesbitt's ABC Wednesday meme, you could click on this video.  It is not  legitimately a video, since you have to fill in the images for yourself, but perhaps the liberty that gives your imagination to explore at its leisure will be a lovely change.  "In a Landscape" by John Cage is a tranquil piano piece played by Margaret Leng Tan.  I am listening to it as I write, and though some might interpret it as lachrymose, I find it to be full of light and latent energy.
An article posted by Bill's scientist-musician niece about the University of McMaster's LiveLab (live interactive virtual environment) also caught my attention.  Individual responses to music have been studied at length but this lab has the means to record up to 30 brain waves at once.  Learning how a large group of humans interact with each other while composing, performing and/or listening  to music could reveal some important information about human behaviour.  I had the fleeting thought as Bill and I listened to Pacific Baroque Orchestra the other evening, that if everyone had the opportunity to share music making with fellow beings from across the globe, war would be virtually eliminated.  A lofty supposition, perhaps, but the idea feels logical to me.

And, a (hopefully laconic) run down of our day yesterday.  There was a lively expression in the eyes of these characters, photographed through the window of Subeez, a restaurant at the corner of Smythe and Homer (Vancouver, BC) where we lock our bikes when we visit Harrison Galleries.  We have never eaten there, but checked out the menu yesterday and thought we should give it a try one day, 
if only to get a closer look at the art.  Admittedly, I've read a few lacklustre reviews, but we'll try most things once.  I'll let you know how it goes if we follow through on our thought. 
We rode our bikes  to Olympic Village after leaving Harrison's.  We were needing a bit of a lull after a latish bedtime following a great concert the previous evening.  We sat on a bench in the sun by False Creek's littoral (a new word for me meaning "of, like or pertaining to the shore of a body of water"), completing our crossword puzzle..
and admiring the blue skies and mix of city/nature landscape. 
 Though the skies were blue, the leaning grasses reflected quite a strong breeze.
 As we sat facing the community centre, I noticed reflections in the windows.  It occurred to me (yet again) that water, trees, mountains and the port cranes are landmarks that appear from just about every vantage point in Vancouver. 
 Black Jack isn't really into crosswords, so with the last word entered, we took her to the nearby field for some leisure time.   
 Her lustrous coat, 
 her lissome physique,  
 and the levity inspired by..
 her games with Bill brought much happiness, but her romp how to be cut to a lilliputian (minuscule) one when she..
 took a detour right after this shot to pick up a muffin (or cookie/cake?) in the grass.  I thought to punish her by ending playtime, and though Bill went along with my idea, he was leery as to the longterm benefits.  As he said, we are not going to change Black Jack's habits at this stage in her life, but on my goodness, I do wish I could succeed in teaching her to leave it!
 I have come to the end of my linguistic creativity right about now, so the rest of this post will be very short on commentary.  Just a few more sights before we got back on our bikes.
Playing in the dog run
 Looking at dogs playing in the dog run
 Lovely blooms in the garden
 Dark-eyed Junco (?)

 Lengthening neck
 California Lilac
 Lavish grasses
 Carol and Bill, laughing and limber




 A few more blooms in the evening light
 A lunar moment
 The bike lane
 Our liaising shadows
 Crows going home to roost at their Burnaby lodgings.
(Link gives you known roosting locations in North America)



 A "playtime" (and training) sequence witnessed that was full of LIFE.


Can't limit unicyclist photos
 That's it for today!  Thank you, as always, for stopping by.  Many thanks as well to the wonderful volunteers who continue to manage Mrs. Nesbitt's original meme, ABC Wednesday.  Lots more "L's" over there, if you are at liberty to spend the time visiting.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

An artsy day

It was a day full of art yesterday.  I'd like to share it with Our World Tuesday, with many thanks to the volunteers who keep the meme going so successfully. 

We stopped by Art Works Gallery after we left Harrison Galleries cafĂ© yesterday.  Such a friendly person at the desk, happy to answer questions and fine with photography.  There was a great deal of art to see.  We barely touched the surface and I wasn't able to find out all of the titles and artists but here are a few of the photographs I took.
"Sunrise with Madronas" by Vern Simpson (Oil on Canvas)
This is by Marie-Danielle Leblanc, though I wasn't able to find a title to the work.  It is mixed media on panel, and was part of an exhibition called "Cool" that will end on Oct.2nd.
This is by Sharon Quirke.  She was born in Vancouver, lived in Prince Rupert, studied and worked in Montreal and New York, and has been settled in West Vancouver since 1984.
Bill was showing admirable patience here.  While I roamed excitedly about the gallery with my camera, he must have been wondering if we would make it home in time to eat supper before going out to a symphony concert later in the evening.  (We did.)  Black Jack, as you can see, was engrossed in the art :)
Bill liked this one and it appealed to me as well.  It was in a spot far above our heads and I wasn't able to find the artist's name.
 "Pressure Ridges" by Jim Selkin (photograph on aluminum)
 There are some wonderful stained glass pieces in the gallery that I love, 
 I couldn't find the artist's name for this one.  It seems to be something like TREY.  Perhaps, someone here will recognize it.
 This one, at $500, was the only one Bill thought we might be able to afford :)  It is called "Walking with You" and is a mixed media and resin work by Linzy Arnott.  My photograph doesn't do it justice.  Linzy tells an intriguing story at her website of wanting to fly as a child and jumping off a barn.  She doesn't say whether she managed to complete that jump without injury. Her story triggered some thought about artists, because a former art teacher at the school where I taught told me almost exactly the same tale.  His brother convinced him that he should jump from their housetop, and gave him a bed sheet that he thought would act as a parachute to slow his descent.  He broke both legs but healed well and as gone on to a very successful career as an art teacher.   
I'm happy to tell you that the concert at The Orpheum was one that still leaves me feeling like the luckiest person in the world this morning.  Here are a few small sections.. 
 of the mural surrounding the central chandelier.
It was painted by Tony Heinsbergen and it always draws my eye,
as does the ornate decor.
 But the music, you ask?  Well, I have only one tiny glimpse of a bass player at intermission to show, but the musicians were, I thought, at the very top of their form.  
Inon Barnatan, the Israeli pianist, showed me elements of the Brahms Piano Concerto No.1 that I had never heard before.  His phrases had such momentum, it felt to me that the notes were still dripping from his fingers as threw them from the piano to the orchestra musicians and received them right back again.  That's the only way I can think to describe the excitement in his playing.  You can hear just a very short sample (just over a minute) in this video taken from their rehearsal.  Watch it to the very end, if you have time, and I think you will see what I mean.
There was more.  A contemporary work called A Thousand Natural Shocks (that link will take you to a video performance of it) by Kelly-Marie Murphy and a beautifully passionate performance of Also sprach Zarathustra had me applauding until my hands ached.  And Bill?  Well, as I said, I felt like the luckiest person in the world.
I took these last photos after the concert.  As usual, he made me laugh.
He stooped down for this last shot, trying to place the crest on his head like a hat.  I didn't quite manage to put that hat on straight :) but as with the music, the laughter continues in my mind this morning.  That was our world yesterday.  Thanks so much for giving me the chance to share it.  To glimpse moments in the lives of people all over the world, perhaps you will find some time to stop by Our World Tuesday for a visit.  Happy Tuesday to each one of you!