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post #831 of 2159 Old 08-26-2018, 01:19 PM
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Fun music discussion. Thank you so much.

Sorry to change the subject, but has anyone heard from Louise? I imagine her baby is due about now. She's probably very busy, but I think about her often.
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post #832 of 2159 Old 08-26-2018, 05:33 PM
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I havenít @knightrider , but I think @SueC has. I forgot the baby should be due!!! Yay for babies!
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post #833 of 2159 Old 08-26-2018, 10:53 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by knightrider View Post
Fun music discussion. Thank you so much.

Sorry to change the subject, but has anyone heard from Louise? I imagine her baby is due about now. She's probably very busy, but I think about her often.
She's going well. Had a very cultural and hygge holiday and would you believe is painting rooms within a week of due date! You could always try pinging her a greeting!

And here's a booklet of 10 complimentary subject-changing vouchers for you!

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Originally Posted by frlsgirl View Post
As usual Iím several posts behind
Unless you enjoy something that evolves like War&Peace, in all honesty there is too much here for staying "up-to-date"!

Quote:
but wanted to comment on the sundried bedding: in Germany we used to hang bedding out the window every morning; it would help fluff up the down/feathers in the duvet and pillows. When it was time to go to bed, there was no trouble falling asleep surrounded by all that fluff.
And were you dreaming of Frau Holle?

Mmmm yes, proper down is so lovely and I've not seen any of that (just so-called "down" which actually includes flight feathers with big feather stalks that come through the liners and stab you ) since moving to Australia.

Quote:
I donít think people do that anymore as most folks have changed to synthetic material.
Yes, quite horrid.

Quote:
So I can only imagine how magical your sundried bedding must have felt! Glad the foot is progressing to proper bedding.
Nothing beats sun-dried. And thank you, I am too!
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post #834 of 2159 Old 08-27-2018, 02:39 AM Thread Starter
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Day 29 of bone mending; 13+ days to go. My "how well did it heal?" X-ray is in 11 days and I'm getting lots of calcium, antioxidants, Vitamins C, D and E as well as regular animal protein. With any luck, by that time weight-bearing will become not just bearable, but advisable. It will probably take a week or two to walk without limping again from there. I'm pretty good at basically rollerskating on my office chair perched on the knee of my dodgy leg and using the other for propulsion; it gets me around the house and I can do pretty much everything I like to do in the kitchen from that perch, but it's not nearly as much fun as this:



I swear that's going right back on the list when my foot can stand up to it. I am in serious need of some physically produced speed - whether that's running, cycling, rollerblading or horse-riding, you know, culminating in a nice gallop up a long sand hill. (Not a particular fan of motorised speed.)

The funny thing is that the astronaut boot is so similar to my rollerblading boots that I keep thinking of my favourite place to do this particular form of motion - namely, on the pictured share path between Middleton Beach and Emu Point in Albany. It's in the foredunes and much more fun than flat skating; it's got little and bigger uphill/downhills, especially nearer the far end, and some of the downhill speeds get quite hair-raising, hence the helmet (that and sharing with dog walkers).



Last night the horses weren't rugged at night, apart from Romeo - spring is on the way. This morning I actually got near the lot of them with my grooming kit and scrubbed away at my three at-liberty volunteers (Julian is still thinking about it but sooner or later he'll fall under the spell too ). Sunsmart is the biggest shagpile of the lot of them and his hair is coming out by the bucketful.

Right now I'm in the middle of baking; I've got hazelnut scrolls shaped and rising for a while, and rye/sunflower bread in the breadmaker. After this little interlude I have to turn into a pirate of the vacuuming kind, and then I hope to get in the garden a little before feedtime. The days are getting longer, so that's helping.

And a music post next...
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post #835 of 2159 Old 08-27-2018, 07:44 AM Thread Starter
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Well, there's another example of what was having a big impact on my brainwaves the other night. The whole experience of immersion listening to Disintegration over the past month and then starting on the live film the other night has actually had the result that I've got my violin back out after a long, long break due to house building...and have re-bonded with it.



I initially learnt on a Dolfin starting in 1998, because I sure as hell wasn't buying a Skylark - that's too much like a cat being strangled.

When I ran into real limitations on that, mainly to do with sound quality after getting to a reasonable level of proficiency, I'd just met Brett and he loudly cheered me on to buy an intermediate Eastman with a lovely tone (and it smells nice ), without any plastic components, and strung with Dominant strings. It's pointless playing an instrument whose sound you don't love. And the sound of this one I really do love.

https://www.eastmanstrings.com/andreas_eastman_vl305

For a while there was a bit of trouble tuning the Eastman; the wooden pegs were really slippery and often unwound while the instrument was in its case, and I find it really tedious to have to re-tune a violin from scratch on wooden pegs that are going to keep slipping anyway. So eventually I sent it in for a service, so to speak, and although I drew blanks from the people who looked at it, whatever the reason, when I tuned it up yesterday it not only stayed in tune for the whole rediscovery session, but was still basically in tune this morning - I only had to touch the fine adjustments. Hooray.

People occasionally ask why you bother playing an instrument if you have no intentions of performing in public, or ambitions to be some kind of musical wunderkind (or should that be wunderfossil?). Do any of you sing in the shower just because it's lovely? Do you love the sounds reflecting back at you off the tiles that you can pitch back to? Does it make you happy? Well, the same reasons apply for my violin.

I love music, and apart from being great fun to play once you get past the scratchy stage, it also really made me appreciate music even more as a listener. As well, it does amazing things to your brain connections to have to find notes and put them together. It's a great sort of science experiment too, working out sound for yourself from first principles, and there is one more thing for me - I find it a very accessible form of meditation.

I've never been able to just sit and focus on my breath, it mostly drives me crazy and makes me want to go out and run intervals. This was particularly the case up until about age 40, soon after which I discovered that my brain had a typical complex PTSD pattern (wiring from growing up from the time I was born in a family that was an all-out war zone), which explained all that raw restless energy and the propensity for waking up in the middle of the night drenched in sweat with my heart rate sky high as if injected with adrenaline that I'd had all my life, for no apparent reason. It seems to me that brains like that need a doing form of meditation, like horse riding or abseiling or music.

And from the time I learnt where those notes were in first position, I was practicing like a person possessed on weekends, sometimes totally forgetting to have morning tea. I had to cut my fingernails ultra short because otherwise you don't hit the fingerboard vertically, and because they grow so quickly in me, I had to keep filing them down every couple of days!

Right now, I've got those short fingernails again - if you ever want to forensically determine if someone regularly plays violin, look for telltale shorter nails on the fingers of the left hand (because the player can't be bothered keeping both sides short between trimming) and for calluses on the apices of the fingertips on the left hand. I'm currently building those up again and am at the sort of pre-blister stage - metal strings are pretty rough on your skin, even if they do have a synthetic cat-gut imitating core. When you start again, your playing time is limited by having to back off before you actually blister; in a week or two your skin thickens up.

I've got all my old sheet music out again, and with great amusement am reading all my little comments written on the pages and dated. It's like an archaeological dig right back into my late 20s!

The great thing is that while I have to go right back to Suzuki Volume 1 when starting again after a long break from this instrument, I don't have to go back to the first half of that book. I'm never, ever playing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star again; I'd rather play scales, and that's saying something!

On my couple of re-starts on violin, I've always gone straight to Perpetual Motion and taken it from there. It's the first thing that's not twee in Suzuki Volume 1; it just plays with the beauty of very simple melodies that you just vary and repeat variations of. It's actually really meditative, and as mentioned, I like the echoey variations best where you're not long-bowing a note, but doing short return strokes that break up the note. And from the beginning, I started playing that staccato in preference to as written, until my violin teacher at the time (not Jude) said, "Could you sometimes play it like it's written? That's a skill too, you know!"

On that page I saw today some notes I'd written, of things I was playing with at the time, in addition to the set practice pieces...because as you learn your basic way around an instrument, you start to think of all sorts of melodies you just might be able to do a bit of.

Erin Shore (an Irish tune)
Tom's Diner (Suzanne Vega)


Instrumental reprise:


Riff from Every Day Should Be A Holiday (The Dandy Warhols)
2nd violin part from Fiddles on Fire (because it sounds better than the 1st violin part, it's a sort of melodic and rhythmic counterpoint)

Teardrop (Massive Attack)


Tubular Bells (Mike Oldfield)
Also playing with Cure's Lullaby
The Three Sunrises (U2)
How Soon Is Now (The Smiths)
Cashen Bay Strand (Cactus World News)
Tomorrow Wendy (Andrew Prieboy)

...which I just have to throw in, it's spine-tingling...


Great Song Of Indifference (Bob Geldof)
Shake Off The Ghost (Simple Minds)
Cursuum Perficio (Enya)
The Sun In The Stream (Enya)


Raggle Taggle Gypsy (Waterboys)
Fisherman's Blues (Waterboys)
Violin bits from You Made Me The Thief Of Your Heart (Sinead O'Connor)

Speaking of, if you've never heard that one before, this is one of the most hair-raising and haunting songs I know, and it's actually not that well known because it came from a movie soundtrack... it's a grown child singing to their dead parent.


Wow, that's quite a playlist - music really does something to me... there is just so much great stuff if you dig a little.

I think this will have to be continued another time.

Best wishes to everyone!
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Last edited by SueC; 08-27-2018 at 07:55 AM.
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post #836 of 2159 Old 08-27-2018, 11:57 PM Thread Starter
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The animals all know that their monkey is temporarily indisposed. I've just been out to feed Romeo and to let the other horses into the common for the day, and they are so solicitous around me, like they are around their own kind when one of them is injured. They're ready to engage in banter, and to dispense affection, and all of them sniff at me with this "How is she?" concern. It's all very sweet.

Even the dog has changed her whole daily routine this past month. She seems to think that nursemaiding her indisposed monkey takes priority over supervising and shepherding the farm stock, and spends a great deal of time in the house with me. If I'm in bed, she brings me party balloons and says, "Let's play!" That dog. I am making dumbbell shapes for her at the moment with two semi-inflated balloons knotted together, and she picks this up and races around the house with it, comes back to me, throws it in the air, throws it at me so I'll bounce it back to her... like a doggy version of volleyball, except with lots of colour and altitude.

Last night I was having a bath, and this time I couldn't tempt Brett into it, he was on the Dr Who Forum! Also he argued that he was clean enough already. There was great truth in this; he'd merely had a day at the office and is the most non-stinky person I've ever met - he virtually never reeks from his armpits, even after a day's mountain climbing in summer, and doesn't ever use antiperspirant deodorant. If I try that, and go about my normal activities, I smell within half a day. There is this hypothesis that antibiotics in childhood can alter your normal gut and skin flora towards the less than ideal; and I was forever on antibiotics at kindergarten age due to (non-calorie-deficit) failure to thrive related infections. Brett wasn't on antibiotics very much at all. Not that one swallow makes a summer or anything, but without any question, it's the microflora on and in you that breaks things down that can be more or less smelly depending on the products they make, but also of course on the substrates you feed them.

Anyway, bathtime is fun now that my foot doesn't hurt as long as I don't bash it into something. I'm quite enjoying splashing about, and because there's tiles and glass all around my splash zone, I can splash to my heart's content, and this really intrigues the dog. The whole concept of my taking a bath intrigues her. She's constantly in any sort of water outdoors and was very surprised to find, after I broke my foot and stopped showering, that I share her hobby, albeit not outdoors. So she'll stand at the edge of the bath with her nose poking over and wagging her tail, and I know she'd like to join me, but hey, I bathe to get clean, and not to get dirtier than I started out! I let her drink some of the water - I bathe in plain sun-warmed water from the solar heater on the roof - and when she gets all hyper-excited and barky, I say, "Where's your ballooooooooon?" and she rushes off to find it, and comes back throwing it into the air, into the bath, and racing around so much that she slides all over the place and all the floor mats ruck up.

And Brett will call from the office, "Sue, are you egging the dog on again? And should she really be in the bathroom?" And I say, "But you wouldn't join me today and she's keeping me company!" and play the broken foot card.


Dog Entertainment I Ė Red Moon Sanctuary, Redmond, Western Australia
by Brett and Sue Coulstock, on Flickr
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Last edited by SueC; 08-28-2018 at 12:05 AM.
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post #837 of 2159 Old 08-28-2018, 03:23 AM Thread Starter
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More violin thoughts.


Skip this unless you are really interested in obscure musical ruminations. I've written this to get things clear in my own head. Warning: There is not one single equine referred to in this post!

I'm going to pick up from this from the last music post:

On my couple of re-starts on violin, I've always gone straight to Perpetual Motion and taken it from there. It's the first thing that's not twee in Suzuki Volume 1; it just plays with the beauty of very simple melodies that you just vary and repeat variations of. It's actually really meditative, and as mentioned, I like the echoey variations best where you're not long-bowing a note, but doing short return strokes that break up the note. And from the beginning, I started playing that staccato in preference to as written, until my violin teacher at the time (not Jude) said, "Could you sometimes play it like it's written? That's a skill too, you know!"

I'm a first-position, non-vibrato player, and have never really enjoyed vibrato anyway to listen to, especially on the high notes, where it makes the fingers down the blackboard experience worse for me. That's not to say there isn't good vibrato, especially on the cello. And that's not to say that one day, perhaps in my 70s, I might decide to learn third position and vibrato after all, but for now I am content.

And how could I not be, when I really enjoy the tone that can be produced very plainly... and when there is double stopping! Now there's a bit of magic. On a violin you can play on two strings simultaneously; the bow is pretty happy to sit on two strings at the same time. To triple stop, you need a bit more dexterity than me, and perhaps a flatter bridge.

If you think playing an open string on a violin can make a loooooovely tone (as long as it's not the E-string ), then when you start to double stop you're in for a real treat. There's something so mesmeric and beautiful about two strings half an octave apart "singing" together. It's like putting together melody and harmony in choir, just wow!

I can now see why it is that watching a particular concert film woke up sleeping parts of my brain this week and got me thinking violin again. It's really because there is a lot of similarity between the textures being created in that concert, even though it's a different musical style, and the kinds of things that I really enjoyed as a violin learner.


We've had this one before a couple of pages back, and because you can see people actually putting it together in this one, I decided to repeat it instead of put in the studio version with the official clip that has people in a snowy landscape with incongruous palm trees that induce cognitive dissonance.
Plus I think the live version actually does it better. Big compliment to be able to say that...

I'd like to draw particular attention to the instrumental interplay here at the beginning of the song. What you've got here is a simplicity and beauty to the melodies, with enough space in the mix to hear them; and complementarity, and progression, and call-and-response, and lovely variation around basic themes, and everything just hanging together so well like an organic whole. It's not one person or instrument standing out from everyone else; there's an equality to this, with everyone contributing things of similar value, and there is a synergy to the way this works out. It reminds me very much of choir practice. And it's very, very, very beautiful.

Those melodies could be coming off bell towers, and the tone of everything is just so lovely. It's like a conversation without words, but in a language that says so much more than words.

As I said, I lack much of the musical vocabulary and training, I'm simply observing and trying to think it through. Here are two ideas I find interesting, from Wikipedia:

In music, imitation is the repetition of a melody in a polyphonic texture shortly after its first appearance in a different voice. The melody may vary through transposition, inversion, or otherwise, but retain its original character. The intervals and rhythms of an imitation may be exact or modified; imitation occurs at varying distances relative to the first occurrence, and phrases may begin with voices in imitation before they freely go their own ways.
Imitation helps provide unity to a composition and is used in forms such as the fugue and canon.

The hyperlinks are live and the rest of that article is here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imitation_(music)

...and...

In music, counterpoint is the relationship between voices that are harmonically interdependent (polyphony) yet independent in rhythm and contour.[1] It has been most commonly identified in the European classical tradition, strongly developing during the Renaissance and in much of the common practice period, especially in the Baroque. The term originates from the Latin punctus contra punctum meaning "point against point".

from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Counterpoint
Warning: The rest of this linked page is pretty mind-blowing and requires a lot of digestion. Now I know why people study music as a three-year degree!

Anyway, those two ideas relate to what I've been trying to articulate, and what I've been feeling and noticing.

Because I kind of stopped listening to the radio from about 1988 onwards, I missed Disintegration and the things that followed it. If I'd heard the above song on Especially For Headphones two years before that, I would have been blown away even back then. I managed not to miss Lullaby and that actually did blow me away, but I didn't have money for CDs at that point as an impoverished university student.

And so, with just the mid-1980s exposure to serious radio, I somehow completely missed the fact that The Cure were a very very serious band, as is so easy to do if all you're hearing is Love Cats and Friday I'm In Love, which don't hint at the depths of these people, although Love Cats did show an acute talent for humour and absurdity.

I was mostly away on a (non-twee) classical and (non-twee) folk excursion from my mid-20s to my mid-30s, when I met Brett. He never went away from all sorts of music, and was very keen to fill me in on what I had missed, with the aid of a huge and eclectic CD collection and an enormous iTunes library. (Plus all those interesting podcasts with which my brain was kept fed and thinking...)

So I was working outdoors with Brett's iPod, making compost or something, back in 2012, when I came across Bloodflowers, and listened all the way through, and then just put it on repeat. At the end of the day, Brett was saying, "So what was it today?" And I said, "Bloodflowers. It's incredible!" And Mr Husband Cultural Curator said matter-of-factly, "Oh yes, it is! It's a wonderful album. And have you heard..." ...and so began my journey back into contemporary (alternative) music, not just realising that The Cure weren't just Love Cats and Let's Go To Bed, but getting all the things that I'd missed because I was so turned off by grunge in the 1990s.

Brett says, "Well, the 80s was worse!" and I say, "No, it wasn't! Yes, mainstream 80s music was melting plastic and disgusting, like that imitation sliced plastic cheese. But grunge, that was 1) unoriginal - wall of sound had already been done by The Doors etc, and 2) mildewed, just like those unhygienic grunge artists themselves who looked like they never bathed for the whole decade!"

But he is right that very good alternative music was also there in the 1990s, if you knew where to look. And his Cure story is that he went to see the film The Crow and was blown away by the song Burn, and that's when he started buying CDs from these guys. The guitars coming in at around 2:50 are extraordinary... as is the complex percussion...


The Cure, Haruki Murakami (a Japanese novelist), Neil Gaiman, noir movies, so much else... just so much was culturally added to my life through marrying this particular person. And those were just fringe benefits!

SueC is time travelling.

Last edited by SueC; 08-28-2018 at 03:43 AM.
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post #838 of 2159 Old 08-28-2018, 11:17 AM
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Hi @SueC
I'd like to submit my application to be the next member of The Rainbow Foot Club!



Yesterday I was (attempting to) leading Fizz through a gate in our field that we almost never use, and Isabel was extremely nosy about what was going on and what magic might happen when that gate opened. I was shooing her away and not really paying attention to Fizz, and Fizz got flustered with Izzy circling like a shark and her human gesticulating wildly, and hopped right on top of me. Totally my fault, but my poor right foot took the brunt of my distraction.

It's already feeling better so I'm sure there was no serious damage, but I just had to laugh at the string of "follow-on" injuries people on HF seem to be getting by reading posts about other's misadventures!
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post #839 of 2159 Old 08-28-2018, 11:36 AM
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Oh no @egrogan ! We need to stop following suit!!!! I am sorry.
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Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you? - Balaamís Donkey
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post #840 of 2159 Old 08-28-2018, 08:00 PM Thread Starter
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@egrogan , what is it with us people??? This photograph gets you instant honorary admission to The Rainbow Foot Club. The motto should be: Shock value, novelty and sympathy at a price.

Feet are pretty painful things to hurt! Hope you get better really soon. Might have to wear very comfortable shoes for a while...

These things just happen sometimes to us crazy people who decide we really need to be friends with 500kg animals with hard hooves... because while erring can often be avoided, you can't be perfectly unerring...

I highly recommend a nice relaxing bath just floating your poor foot in the lovely soothing water.


PS: I've allegedly got two weeks before I can try to walk, everything going well. At the moment my foot looks like something you see with a toe-tag on it in those forensics show post-mortem rooms! Its toes sometimes turn greyish-purple and look sort of corpse-like...


PPS: @knightrider , Louise is feeling fine although near explosion point, and up to all her usual shenanigans. She's having a little girl!

SueC is time travelling.

Last edited by SueC; 08-28-2018 at 08:08 PM.
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