06 July 2006

Adventures in Adversity: Part II

We should come home from adventures, and perils, and discoveries every day with new experience and character
~ Henry David Thoreau

I did not think that my recent adverse adventures in Old Towne in June could be topped. However, the Fourth of July turned out to be a day for adventures, perils and discoveries that make my adventures on June 10 look tame. Beth and the Boy were in town for the Fourth of July weekend and after a long Monday afternoon visiting wineries in and around Middleburg, and evening spent enjoying the rehearsal of A Capitol Fourth on the west lawn of the Capitol, we lounged around Tuesday morning and just enjoyed the fine art of being.

As you know, Sullivan, Ann and I worked on the Tempest and other music for most of the afternoon. In between composing, I would periodically visit the kitchen and check on the fried chicken and potatoes I was making for our simple Fourth of July dinner.

I was actually disappointed when five o’clock rolled around and I had to get ready for the party we were all going to. It was one of the those typical DC area Catholic parties where you don’t necessarily know either the hosts or the guests but you get invited by at least one person that you do know. The big draw for this particular party was that there was going to be live music (and you know me, baby: it’s all about the music!) and then everyone was going to head to Key Bridge to watch the fireworks.

I had the bright idea that we would take a bus that stopped near our neighborhood to get to the party since parking would be non-existent. This is what we did and it was a great party and I actually did know almost everyone there (big shocker there!). After a glorious fireworks show, we went back to the house for about an hour and half of great live music played by four talented gentlemen: the Rickster (my favorite drummer), Dave (bass guitar), Tim (the host - guitar/vocals) and Brian (guitar/vocals). I know Rick and Dave, had only met Tim once and didn’t know Brian. Brian blew everyone there away ~ some great covers from each decade (60s to the 90s).

After the last song, Sullivan, Jeanette, Di, Beth and the Boy and me headed down to the metro to catch the bus back to my house. One piece of advice, never have a melancholic/phlegmatic plan out transportation. At least not this one. Music, cooking and entertaining – I’m the Queen. Anything else – fuhgitabouit! My previous adventure with transportation should have been a warning.

There was no bus back to the house. Metro was running on the weekend schedule. Joy and rapture. No problem. Trains were still running. We would take the train to the closest station and catch a bus from there.

We got out of the station and after about 10 minutes realized that the bus I thought would be there was not running any longer either. We approached a couple of Metro personnel ~ one of which was the station manager who said he didn’t know anything. Wonderful. This should have been the first clue that things could only go from bad to worse. We should have called a cab right then. But we decided to trust the other Metro guy.

We walked across the street to wait for another bus, which did show up. I asked the driver if he went to the two cross streets near us. He said yes, so we all climbed aboard. This was at 12:40 am. After dropping us off at the end of the line and saying that he was not going to the cross streets we needed, he went off duty. Welcome to DC and government run transportation. And yes, Sullivan, I concede that DC Metro should run more like the NYC subway system – at least in terms of running times.

Two cabs, $34 and over an hour later, we crawled out of two cabs and said bleary-eyed goodbyes to Jeanette, Sullivan and the Boy. Of course it would be the two melancholic-phlegmatic night owls that were the only ones who had to get up early for work the next day.

Definitely a Fourth of July to remember.

Happy Birthday, America! :-)

Oremus pro invicem,

Tempest Update

Music is a means of rapid transportation.
~ John Cage

Tuesday morning I didn’t feel like doing anything much except composing and playing the piano. Sullivan was heading over so we could work on the Tempest project and our friend Ann, whom we had also roped in help us compose. We had previously composed 4 songs and sent them along to Dorothy and the choral director: Full Fathom Five, Caliban’s Song, Three Men of Sin and Storm Music.*

The day before, Beth had pretended to play a one-fingered concerto ~ three notes of which triggered something in the Muse. I asked her play them again and then came up with bones of a song, the melody of which I could not remember the very next day! (One would think I would have learned by now to write everything down! Argh!)

Anyway, while waiting for Sullivan to arrive, I tried to remember the melody of the new song. It was very frustrating, but I finally had to let it go and re-write it. By the time I had resigned myself to re-writing it, Sullivan had come in and we then spent a good hour on this new composition, which for lack of a better descriptive title, we’re calling The Wall.* It’s a song that asks whether one is open to love. Everyone, including yours truly was surprised at how hopeful and relatively major it sounded. :-)

Ann had not made it in yet, so Sullivan left to go to the store. While he was gone, she arrived and we promptly wrote two more songs for the Tempest: The Marriage Blessing* and Ariel’s Song (Where the Bee Buzzes).* Both those pieces had been giving all three of us conniptions. Dorothy wanted the marriage piece written in a southern gospel style and Ariel’s Song written in a Broadway show tune style (think June is Bustin’ Out All Over). None of us had ever written anything in either style.

The Muse was working over time however, and we were able to compose both (although Broadway turned into Big Band). We sang them both over and over to make sure we liked them and once Sullivan came back, we recorded both of them. Ann then played a song she had written a couple of years ago, which we all thought would be perfect as the underscoring for Prospero’s Banishment* and we were done for the day.

7 songs down and about 4 to go! Woo hoo!

Oremus pro invicem,

*© 2006 Silver Scroll Productions. All Rights Reserved.

01 July 2006

Dappled Poetry

An author who speaks about his own books is almost as bad as a mother who talks about her own children.
~ Benjamin Disraeli

That being said, I am pleased as punch to announce that Dappled Things has once again deemed some of my poetry fit for the public eye. I was also pleasantly surprised to see that the poem they published, “Meditation” was also quoted in their email announcement of the latest issue, which is filled with the talent of many young writers.

Oremus pro invicem,