Wednesday, November 30, 2011

That's a Wrap

Thirty days hath September, April, June, and November
all the rest have thirty one
except February blah blah blah I don't remember the end of this poem.

And so, it's day thirty of the month of November, and National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) is drawing to an end.  I wondered at the beginning of the month if I'd be able to gut this out.  Certainly there are many people who write far more than I do: National NOVEL writing month (NaNoWriMo) also takes place during the month of November, and I know someone who actually completed the task!  Mad props to those folks, but for me, a sixty hour work weeks combined with a senior in high school is not a successful recipe for penning a novel.  In fact, I think it's the precise recipe for Mince Pie face.  My writing tends to start after 10pm, and usually after 11pm, and I'm not exaggerating when I tell you if November was also National Nodding Off At Your Desk Month (NaNodOffAtYoDeskMo) I'd win a shiny banner for that one as well.

But I'm glad I did several more laps at the Tuna News.  Part of me truly missed it.  Part of me felt guilty every time I fired up my web browser, because The Tuna News is my homepage, and I've been staring at last winter's socks for the past 11 months.  Part of me worried that with so much national and social conversation going on right now (a very polite way of saying everybody is talking and nobody is listening), I was offering nothing new or substantive, and was, in fact, only adding to the problem.  Part of me was (and is) plain old boring vanilla tired.  It happens.

Today took an interesting turn down the rabbit hole of YouTube.  You never know when these days are going to happen, but one interesting thing after another seemed to pop up.  I took it as a sign.  And when music starts and ends your day, it's a good sign indeed.

Verdi - Requiem
A colleague of mine shared this video first thing this morning. I don't necessarily think you should watch the entire thing, but if you want to check out a couple of amazing moments, the Lacrymosa (40:24) is a great place to start.  Soloists include a 36-year young Leontyne Price who sings with such control, beauty and sensitivity, I don't know if I should swoon or take notes.  Really, both are appropriate.  I love the very beautiful, formal and simplistic concert attire of the women, and I'm amazed that half the soloists and the conductor are performing this 90-minute work from memory.  For those who are familiar with this work, the tell-all moment comes right at the end (1:15:46) for the Soprano.  Will she or won't she (1:17:27)?  You know she will.  And it's glorious.

Eric Whitacre - Paradise Lost
Eric Whitacre, 20th Century composer, social media fan, and seemingly all-around nice guy, not to mention smart and encouraging to musicians of every age and skill is working on a somewhat unconventional Broadway Show that he hopes to open in London soon.  Why didn't I know about this before today?  I don't know, but I'm glad I know now.  For an even tastier treat,you MUST listen to this.  Posting it on Facebook this morning, he wrote:  "A little a cappella interlude I wrote for the concert version of Paradise Lost. Thinking of expanding it into a full piece..."

Elbow - Live from Manchester Cathedral
I stumbled across Elbow this spring, and this is easily the most excited I've been about contemporary popular music in a long time. Well-sung, well-written, lyrics that are smart and thought-provoking.  You could choose any part (or all of's that good) to listen to, but my first suggestion would be Lippy Kids (34:30) from their latest album Build a Rocket, Boys!  The lyrics are astounding on their own ("Lippy kids on the corner again.  Lippy kids on the corner begin settling like crows.  Though I never perfected the simian stroll, the cigarette senate was everything then.  Do they know those days are golden?  Build a rocket boys!" ) but when you hear it presented, it's not angry.  In fact, it's respectful of youth and encouraging at the same time.  A fine line to walk, I think.

My second suggestion would be One Day Like This (54:12) which is the most wonderfully unabashed love song you'd ever want to hear ('Cause holy cow I love your eyes! And only now I see the light, lying with you half-awake, stumbling over what to say, Well, anyway it's looking like a beautiful day.  So throw those curtains wide, one day like this a year would see me right.)

Bonjour, Girl!  - Disney's "Beauty and the Beast"
Oh, I love a good parody, and this one is fabulous. Please, please please warning -- language alert and definite Disney lampooning. If either of these are sacred cows, then you should move on.
As for me... IT'S MY FAVORITE!!

Faust - Metropolitan Opera
Directed by Des McAnuff
My buddy Des is EVERYWHERE these days. His musical "Jersey Boys" is still touring all over the United States.  He is the BCMOC (Big Canadian Man on Campus) at the Stratford Festival in Canada, writing all the original music for this past season's production of "Twelfth Night", he has a hit revival of "Jesus Christ Superstar" that will open on Broadway next March and now, because, maybe he's bored or something, he's directed AN OPERA AT THE MET.  Seriously.  All the clips are fun, and it's in a very different and usual setting from the original concept. 

So, there you have it.  If you asked me how my day went, these videos sum it up.  It was a very good day indeed.  Thanks November.  Bring it, December.  I think I'm on a roll.


Anonymous said...

Vicki - Thanks for taking the time once again - enjoyed each one.

- Rick

Orhan Safa said...

Thanks for a great read.