Friday, April 27, 2018

30 Day Song Challenge | Day 27: Song You Wish You Could Play

TrĂ€umerei (“Reverie”) by Robert Schumann. One of my favorite piano pieces! I tried to learn it many moons ago…but piano music is hard for me to read. And my hands are tiny. So I’ll just leave it to the professionals and enjoy listening….

Thursday, April 26, 2018

30 Day Song Challenge | Day 26: Song You Can Play on an Instrument

Having a music major for a mother (and a father who had latent-but-never-developed musical talent), I couldn’t very well escape having some musical talent myself. Which meant playing or singing with the family and/or various groups through the years.

My dad taught me the basics of how to play the soprano recorder when I was nine, and now I play all but the tenor and bass (tiny hands :-P). One of my favorite songs to play on the alto recorder is “Masters in This Hall,”* as I have a liking for Medieval/Renaissance music, and it’s one of the few pieces I can play by memory.

Several years ago, the community chorale we were in performed this song for our Christmas concert, at which time I learned it told the story of Jesus’ birth, making it one of my favorite lesser-known Christmas carols. 😊

* Note: This is not the arrangement we sang with the chorale, but it was the best I could find.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

30 Day Song Challenge | Day 25: Song that Makes You Laugh

To be honest, very little makes me actually LOL...but several things can at least elicit a smile or a chuckle, and “The Llama Song” is one of them. Many moons ago now, one of my cyber-friends and fellow message-board members (writing under the screenname of Crazed Celt) posted the link to this crazy video, and I was hooked. I think she also said their family had this as their answering machine message....

Ahh, fun times....

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

30 Day Song Challenge | Day 24: Song You Want Played at Your Funeral

While “Amazing Grace” and “It Is Well With My Soul” seem to be pretty standard for funerals/memorial services, and I’d definitely want the former at occurred to me that I’d want to leave my grieving loved ones with a message of hope, and give them some food for thought.

Through Heaven’s Eyes” has always been one of my favorite songs (if not THE favorite) from Dreamworks’ Prince of Egypt. Not only is the accompaniment fun and mysterious and stirring all at once, but the message of the song—that no one is insignificant or useless in the grand scheme of life, and that God uses different people in different ways—is incredibly uplifting. I want people who come to my funeral to remember that our time on Earth is temporary, so we should make the most of it while we can...and also to encourage them that anyone can be useful to God, if they’ll allow Him to work through them.

Which reminds me that I have a novel or twelve to finish before then.... ;-)

Monday, April 23, 2018

30 Day Song Challenge | Day 23: Song You Want Played at Your Wedding

Frankly, at this point in my life, the chances of my ever getting married are slim to none. If I ever had any admirers, I’ve long since driven them away with my weirdness and immaturity. And I’m still weird and immature.

Lass, a truly Godly man—your anam chara*—would cherish your quirks. He wouldna’ be put off by your flaws, an’ he’d inspire ye to act more maturely.

Well, he’d have to be really special, that’s for sure.

Anyhow, on the off-chance God did bring the right fellow into my life, and he decided he could survive spending the rest of his with my crazy self…well, I’ve been feeling that “I See The Light” from Disney’s Rapunzel would be appropriate to play at our wedding. Cant’ say exactly why, but it just seems like it. *Shrug*

Along with “Eielweiss” from Disney’s The Sound of Music. Perfect for waltzing to! 😊

* Anam chara (ANN-um KAH-rah) = Irish Gaelic for “soul-mate”

Sunday, April 22, 2018

30 Day Song Challenge | Day 22: Song You Listen to When You’re Sad

Life is rough, especially for those of us with more sensitive, emotionally-driven personalities. When I find myself overwhelmed by this confusing, complicated, just-plain-skronky* mess known as Life, the soothing, intricate melodies of “Sicut Cervus” calm me down.

I learned this beautiful Latin song during my time with the local community chorale, and it's been an incredible blessing.

* Skronky = Difficult, uncooperative, a hassle.
~Tom’s Dictionary of Whacked-out Terms and Old Family Sayings

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

30 Day Song Challenge | Day 18: Song You Wish You Heard Often on the Radio

I’m skipping over the “Hear Often on the Radio” challenge because, as I write this, I don’t listen to the radio much anymore due to a static-y reception. Probably by the time this post publishes, we’ll have settled into our new home in town, where the reception (and the Internet! Whoohoo!) will be better. But it’s been so long since I tuned in regularly that I’ve forgotten which songs the local classical station played often.

However, one I would like to hear on a regular basis is “Dance of the Birds” from Rimsky-Korsakov’s “The Snow Maiden.”

Incidentally, this piece inspired the following scene from my WIP Ice and Snow:

YokĂșl* cocked his head as the sound of rapidly-jingling bells met his ears. Bells… and music. Then a chorus of beautiful female voices took up a rollicking chant, and that, blended with the music, brought to mind a sleigh-ride amid falling snowflakes. Curious, he followed the sounds up the mountain, concealing himself behind a snow-capped boulder near a level place on the sheer, craggy face. Peeking over the top of the boulder, YokĂșl spotted a group of the loveliest maidens he had ever seen—all of them dressed in glittering white, like the sun on a field of frozen snow—dancing in a ring not twenty feet from his hiding-place. All of them had the same pale skin and white hair—both tinged with blue—as YokĂșl himself, and as they twirled and skipped and flung their arms wide in the steps of their dance, wisps of snow swirled about them like confetti.
These must be Snow-faeries, YokĂșl mused.
The maidens sang the song he had heard, sometimes breaking into a call-and-echo in their lively chant. But he could discover no musicians anywhere, and so he deemed that, either they were hidden, or the music had been magicked up specially for this dance.
Suddenly, another voice—strong and noble, yet at once soft and ethereal—floated through the air, joining those of the maidens. Then the owner of the voice appeared from the mouth of a cave in the mountainside, clad in a long robe or coat of powder-snow, resembling the ermine- or rabbit-fur some Human women liked to wrap themselves in. This lady, however, was no Daughter of Eve, for she possessed the same glacial complexion as the Snow-faeries. Her shining white hair was pulled back from her face in a smooth roll on each side, twisted into an elegant bun at the nape of her neck, with little tendrils at her temples and across her forehead. She wore a dainty tiara, shining like silver ice, set with a stone as blue as the ice in the coldest parts of the world, glittering like a diamond in the light.
The lady continued to sing even as two Snow-faeries approached and removed her heavy coat. She lifted her arms and danced into the open circle of maidens, the crystal, blue and silver beads on her flowing white gown sparkling as she moved. The maidens joined hands and danced in a ring about her and repeated their song, this time with the lady singing a sprightly descant. As they danced, more snowflakes whirled around them, which the lady caused to shoot upward and fall gently down to earth again with the motions of her hands.
YokĂșl crept slowly higher on the boulder, his fascinated gaze fixed on the lovely maiden with the crown. He recalled hearing rumors in the village about the reclusive Snow Queen, who was said to live high on a mountain. Some even said that many young men had gone in search of her, never to return. A few old gaffers declared that the Snow Queen had a heart as cold as ice, and that anyone who so much as looked upon her was doomed to die—how, exactly, no one knew for certain. One fellow said she simply froze intruders into solid statues of ice. Another declared that she used her magic to throw them off the mountain. Others said she had an army of imps who did the throwing for her.
But as YokĂșl watched her and her handmaidens dance, saw their smiling faces and how gracefully they moved, he found it hard to believe this lady could really be capable of such cruelty. But then, Adam’s Race were always apt to tell tall tales about things they don’t understand, he mused.
The dance ceased, and the Snow Queen and her handmaidens raised their arms as one person, sending a fountain of snow shooting up to the sky. Smooth gray clouds had formed overhead during the dance (which YokĂșl had failed to notice until this moment), and they absorbed all the snow and drifted off, no doubt to deposit their load elsewhere.
A chunk of the snow covering the boulder suddenly gave way under YokĂșl’s hand, and he tumbled forward. The boulder happened to be on a slope, so down rolled YokĂșl, head-over-heels, his clothes gathering snow along the way, straight for the circle of Snow-faeries. He passed right between two of the Snow Queen’s handmaidens—giving them quite a start—and crashed into the heels of Snow Queen herself before she had time to do more than look behind her. The snow he had accumulated burst off in a minor explosion, most of it coating the hem of her gown. YokĂșl lay flat on his back, staring up into the upside-down face of the Snow Queen, who peered at him with a sort of cold curiosity.
YokĂșl flashed her a sheepish half-smile. “I don’t believe we’ve been properly introduced,” he quipped.

* YokĂșl = Derived from Jokul Frosti, the Icelandic name for Jack Frost.