Friday, April 29, 2011

Long time, no post

No, nothing's wrong.  I have been moving pretty fast but not sitting down long enough to post here.  I have completed several pieces, been to a remarkable opera and concert and watched it rain and snow and rain and snow.  More than two weeks condensed into one,

I went to see Capriccio, the most recent HD Live from the Met broadcast.  I love the music of Richard Strauss and Renee Fleming can probably do wrong but I seriously doubt it.  It was ravishing, particularly the last twenty minutes when her character, Madeleine, is to decide between two suitors, a poet and a composer, and finally decides that she cannot choose.  Put that simply, it seems overly simple, but in reality the scene is very, very moving and had me close to tears.  Of course the music had a lot to do with that, perhaps everything to do with it.  I loved it.  I won't see another this season and that is all right because it was just the right way to end.

That evening the Utah Symphony and the Utah Symphony chorus performed A Child of Our Time.  Keith Lockart, our conductor emeritus whose term ended with that concert, was the conductor.  He does very well with large, choral pieces and this was one I had never heard before.  It was written by Michael Tippet, a passionate British pacifist.  It was inspired by a young Polish Jew who went into the German embassy in Paris (Nov. 7, 1938) and shot a German official in the name of the persecuted Jews.  Kristallnacht followed that event by two days and was blamed on the young man.  The text of the music is somber and is a heart-felt cry about the tragedy that was the second world war.  Incorporated into the music are African American spirituals which it seemed to me were there to emphasize that even if we were born after the events leading up to the second world war and had no part in the holocaust, we are in fact culpable because similar persecution has been aimed at African Americans in our own country and time.  It was very affecting.  The soloists were excellent.

....and there was no bagpipe to intrude into the mood created by this important piece of music.

I have finished work to show you plus a glimpse of what is coming up next.
I have added gold leaf to the surface of this piece which you saw while it was still on the loom.

The piece from the brightly colored warp is finished and looks like this:

The colors are not as brilliant as the first piece from this warp but are more interesting to my eye.  The brilliant colors show up now and then and I like that, too.

The last piece from this warp took longer than the first two together because I wove the bottom so that it is very irregular.  The warp hasn't been cut and frayed, but is all woven so that there are selvedges everywhere.  I couldn't fit all of it in one shot so I am posting two, side by side:
The fringes seem intent on curling up.  When it is framed, they will be brushed very gently to straighten them out.  It can be done but left to their own devices, they like to curl up.

The warp for the next couple of pieces has been measured out with all its color changes, beamed and is now being threaded.  As I was sitting down this evening to thread I looked at the colors of the warp in the light of the lamp clamped to my loom and was struck by how beautiful it is:
These are simply 100% cotton sewing thread and not all that shiny but all of the little threads together take on an nacreous quality.  As I looked at them, they seemed to have come from the interior of an abalone shell.  I could just dive in and stay there.

I am an anglophile and because of that I set my alarm for 3:15 AM this morning so that I could get up and watch the wedding of Prince William to his Kate.  It was flawless, elegant and beautiful and very British.  One of my favorite choral composers, John Rutter, composed a piece for the occasion that was sung by the choir of men and boys.  The stately hymn, Jerusalem, was also part of the service and never fails to bring tears to my eyes partly because of its stately beauty and partly because it was sung at the funeral of a Welshman whom I loved.  What a day this has been!

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