Album Release

Thursday, September 23, 2010

First Day of Autumn

Today, according to the books, is the first day of autumn up here in the Northern Hemisphere. 
The seasons: they are inspirational to poets, musicians, and artists now and before. The air and environment changing around us changing us, whether we are mindful of it or not.
Arizona, Southern California, and West Texas- all places I’ve lived where there is about a week’s worth of Autumn and Spring with a short Winter and a lengthy stay of Summer. Autumn, though- a real autumn, is my favorite season. Spring- too sweet. Summer- too lazy. Winter- too drab. 
Autumn, to me, is melancholy and reflective, lively yet calming.
Interestingly enough, there are many harpists who have composed for this season: Grandjany, Tournier, Renie, Hasselmans, Andres, Thomas... Their work is all on my music stand at the moment. Along with some other pieces that weren’t written for the harp. 
I hesitated to blog about this in fear of someone stealing the idea, but decided: whatever. I’ll risk it. Even if someone did, this project would still be unique. So: the project is an Autumn-themed program of music that celebrates this season’s character. I would like to perform and record it throughout this year. It’s giving me an outlet in my own season of change and transition. Good times.
My plan is to blog about the different pieces I’m working on, perhaps post some Autumn poetry I’ve come across. Maybe a painting or two. 
With that, a poem by Aaron Brown (if anyone knows who this is, please tell me!)...
First Night of Autumn
The smoke-tainted wind
brushes graceful fingers
through skeletons of leaves, 
discussing the night in whispers
among hibernating trees
whose stately branches
bear night's jeweled canopy.
Stiff grasses laugh with delight
at the campfire's firefly sparks
dancing in splendid ritual
above enthusiastic flames
waving them onward from below
to journey upward toward
shimmering brethren above.
Fallen leaves fly forth to begin
their own midnight jaunts -
swirling within the fickle wind, 
they play music to wish by
with brass chimes hanging
outside the darkened houses
dreaming of summer departed. 

Sunday, September 19, 2010


It’s settling in that I’m settling in. 
I’ve gotten a relaxed routine down...  Wake up (without an alarm). Coffee. Walk Mr. Cash. Prepare a delicious lunch for Francois and I. Eat lunch. Siesta. Coffee. Practice until 7. Go for a run. Salad, cheese, and wine. Chillax. Bed.
Can’t complain. And practice has been great lately- no distractions. Not to mention that there is a new harp in the house! I’ve started the adoption process; I hope that in a few months, she’ll be mine to keep! She belonged first to a lady in Florida, then the lady’s daughter in Washington, and then to a friend of mine from California who moved to France. It’s been a few years since I’ve had my own pedal harp, and it’s been a few years since this harp has been played. We are having a good time together. The more I play, the more her voice opens up.
There’s something exciting about the idea of owning a harp that is older than I am. She was born in the 1960s- a Lyon and Healy Style 15. We are working on a project together (more later).

The weather has been great for afternoon runs. There is a road that winds its way down into Grasse and overlooks the sea. Pine trees. Smells. A few in particular- there is a lady’s garden that is SO fragrant that it’s like she spilled a perfume bottle around its perimeter. The first time I passed it, I thought it was a fluke. But it hits me every time, and I can’t tell exactly which flowers are the ones responsible. It’s got to be the combination of all of them together- delightful. Less delightful is the guy raising chickens and goats.
I’ve begun a new “diminished usage of chicken and beef” mission in the kitchen. Something I’ve noticed in France is that people eat a wide variety of meat- rabbit, fish, lamb, snails, duck, random birds. You name it. It’s foreign to me, the American, and I’ve decided to acquaint myself with cooking unfamiliar dishes. The plan is: one new meat a week. Figure it out. Find it. Serve it. Good times. Last week was lamb. 
Don’t forget the homemade bread. 
And the language. French is, for the first time, actually fun. My forehead doesn’t wrinkle when I search for the right words to use. I find myself talking to myself in French- weird. Sometimes I would freeze up around strangers when I had to speak to them (even a kind waitress). It’s lessening. This is a good thing.
Alright. Enough babbling. Passez une bonne journée!