Monday, June 4, 2012

Various & Sundry Monday: Vol. 29

How incredible it is that in this fragile existence we should hate and destroy one another. There are possibilities enough for all who will abandon mastery over others to pursue mastery over nature. There is world enough for all to seek their happiness in their own way. –Lyndon B. Johnson

Batiks, Baby!
One of my goals for this year is to start collecting a nice stash of batiks, and I think I'm well on my way now. I ordered these from Connecting Threads. They have a great selection that is very reasonably priced. I wanted batiks that look like they've been watercolored, but they have some amazing prints too and the best part is they sell fat quarters at linear yardage prices. They had a sale on a few of their batikss when I ordered my FQ's, so I practically stole a couple of these pieces.

The Last of the Peonies
Peonies definitely have the "less is more" thing down. At the very most, they started blooming in my yard 3 weeks ago, and they're all pretty much done. I missed showing you a few the later blooming ones and I very nearly missed showing you Bartzella. There was only one bedraggled bloom left when I finally made it out to take pictures. I tried to knock an ant off, and also got the petal it was sitting on. Bart is supposed to be yellow. He looks very pink in this photo, but he bloomed more coral and less pink than it looks here, with a hint of yellow in there. I suspect the color has to do with the acidity content {or lack thereof} in the soil. In any case, Bartzella made a beautiful showing this year and I'm looking forward to tinkering around to see if I can get the flower color to the yellow it is supposed to be.

Monday Music Spot: Rockebel's Cannon

Avilable for purchase from The Piano Guys or in iTunes.

Story behind the song:
Ask any cellist. They'll tell you about what's it's like to play the cello part of Pachebel's Canon in D. It's the same 8 notes over and over and over again. The good news is, it's easy to memorize. The bad news is you don't know when to stop. There's a rumor floating around that says Pachelbel either died while writing it, never finishing the cello part, or that he dated a cellist and it did NOT go well :raspberry:. This arrangement is dedicated to all the cellists that have fallen asleep while playing this song...or at least wanted to fall asleep. Steven Sharp Nelson actually began writing this arrangment while bored at a wedding :biggrin:>.

Ahem ... all the bitter cello-malice aside, Pachelbel's Canon in D (written in the 1600's) has stood the test of time — celebrated as the most recognizable piece of classical music. We like to call it the "one-hit wonder of the 1600's" :biggrin:. It really is an amazingly-catchy piece of music. It demonstrates the musical form of the "canon," when a melody is played and then repeated in a round by other voices (watch how the melodies are passed from one cello to the next — right to left).

ALL THE SOUNDS YOU HEAR WERE CREATED BY THE CELLO — bowing, plucking, strumming, and beating the cello any way possible.

This arrangement was actually written before ThePianoGuys posted our first video, "Michael Meets Mozart" — but we hesitated filming it because of how involved the idea was. We've never used "extras" before! And the thought of staging a wedding, directing extras, and cloning Steve 4 times all in one video-shoot made us justifiably anxious. So we put it off. And put it off. And then put if off some more. One day Al van der Beek was skimming through our thousands of messages on Facebook and happened to see one with the title "wedding" in the subject line. A woman had emailed us about an opportunity to film at a big magazine-spread wedding photo shoot. It was perfect — they would have the location, flowers, actors, and even a cake. Everything we'd need. To make a long story short, we excitedly scheduled our video shoot for the same day as their photo shoot, but a few days prior to the day it fell apart. After much discussion we determined to move forward on faith that we could still work it out. Paul Anderson marshaled all sorts of connections and called on whomever he could and by nothing short of a miracle in a matter of days the wedding was all planned — complete with a beautiful location, stunning decor, sharp tuxedos, fancy flowers, a photogenic bride and groom, 60 energetic guests, and an iced cake!

The piece at the beginning that is just ending is Steven Sharp Nelson's 4-cello arrangement of "Thanks Be To Thee" (att. to Handel). Available for purchase (track 7 on the album "Tender Mercies") from The Piano Guys. Sheet music also available for purchase.

Thanks to our many "cameos" we're reluctantly-proud to admit that this is the first video where you can SEE ALL FIVE PIANO GUYS! Everyone appeared as themselves, except for Jon who got a little carried away with his characters :biggrin:.

A HUGE thank you goes out to our vendors that made this wedding look so amazing. Please visit their sites and use them if you're planning a wedding!

Bell Tower
Forever More Events

Another huge thank you goes out to all our extras — family and friends that sacrificed an afternoon to make our little wedding look the part! You were all fantastic!

And another thank you goes to Robin Saville of Bride Access who helped Steven Sharp Nelson conceptualize this video.

Canon in D written by Johann Pachelbel (1600's)
Arrangement written and produced by Al van der Beek & Steven Sharp Nelson
Recorded, mixed, and mastered by Al van der Beek at TPG Studios
Video produced by Paul Anderson & Tel Stewart
Steven Sharp Nelson, cellists
Paul Anderson, himself
Al van der Beek, himself
Tel Stewart, himself
Jon Schmidt, minister and hip old lady
Shalley Sorenson, bride
Zach Sorenson, groom
Nicole Alfano, Wedding Coordinator


Paulette said...

You scored some beautiful batiks, E.! Thanks for sharing the much anticipated Bartzella bloom too. Glad you caught it before the last one faded. I am really enjoying the peonies in people's yards in the neighborhood. They are all at peak now, but I know their time is short. My neighbor's beautiful pink peony bush is wedged between two overgrown spruce trees, and I'm not sure how much of it they actually can see of it from their backyard. But it's all I can do to not pick a few blossoms when I walk past it to work. Peonies are really best enjoyed where they bloom, though, so it's just another reason to slow down and enjoy the season (stop and smell the roses).

I don't know exactly when it happened, maybe on the 20th or so hearing of Pachelbel's Canon in D at a wedding, but that song seems to set my teeth on edge. Probably because it is the song that never ends (or varies much). But I clicked the video anyway, because the Piano Guys always mix it up, and they didn't disappoint. I'll try to keep that in mind the next time I have to suffer...I mean sit through it at a wedding. ;)

Becky said...

I love Batik's also and try to keep a healthy amount on hand :) I especially like the quote you posted today. Really a great one.

Shay said...

Loving those fabrics E!

And say it isn't so - the beautiful peonies are all finished? Where am I going to get my flower fix now if I dont have your gorgeous pictures to look forward to!

QuiltNut Creations said...

Great batiks. I've used them in a four of my latest projects; can't seem to get enough of them.

I love your peonies. Sadly again, one of mine has not bloomed :(