Monday, October 25, 2010

Rocktober with THEM covering Dylan

I drove home to my parents house this past weekend in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.  It was a beautiful drive as the colors of the leaves on the trees seemed to intensify and quadruple as I drove south from the late fall color and barer trees around my hilltown home.  As I pulled off the crowded New Jersey highway onto a beautiful country road in Clinton, NJ, I tuned in to one of my favorite radio stations of all time, Princeton's student run college station, 103.3 wprb.  The young woman was playing an eclectic assortment of Indian raga sounding song from the 60's with a psychedelic electric guitar solo, followed by a discordant and synchopated Indonesian song sung by male and female voices, then the song that really captured my attention and fit my mood and the scenery perfectly.

Here's a little history before I continue on about that moment.  Since high school I always had a thing for listening to Bob Dylan in the fall.  My best friend and I would call October "Rocktober" and put Dylan and Neil Young on heavy rotation as we took long drives around the Pennsylvania countryside.  The feel of the music, the sound and the lyrics pulled at our melancholy, pensive, soul searching heart strings.  Hearing Bob Dylan songs in the fall still does this to me.

Back in my car last Thursday, the sound of a sparse, rhythmic electric bass with a 1960's tamborine shaking slowly filled my car's speakers and pulled me into some hypnotic trance.  Then a twirling, spinning sounding keyboard/organ/electric guitar came in adding a lovely layer of sound.  "What song is this!" I thought.

"You must leave now take what you need you think will last..." sang a male voice.  It was, It's All Over Now Baby Blue, but a version I had never heard before.  I listened for a few seconds... "Ah, that's Van Morrison!"  Wow, what a great rendition of this song!  Van Morrison breathed a whole new life into it and sang the song with such feeling.  Turns out this song was recorded in 1966 by a Belfast band called Them featuring Van Morrison.  Driving over the hills and valleys of New Jersey horse country on that late afternoon/early twilight in a full moon rising moment with this song filling my car and head with it's sound, I was in autumn heaven.  Here's the song for you to enjoy: 

Monday, October 18, 2010

My Friend, Razvan Mitulescu, and His Creations...

Here's a great picture my friend, Razvan, holding one of his sculptures which is made out of wood coffee stirrers.  He is a wonderful person, artist, and friend.  His perceptions, insights and taste are always interesting for me to hear about and see in his work, in our conversations and correspondence.  I really, really love his creations because they seem to come from a world of dreams.  His images and sculptures are akin to those that were made seventy or so odd years ago by the dada-ists and surrealists in France, Germany, New York and elsewhere.  I like his world of fantastic beauty and danger, a world where the mythical and mechanical, the spirited and human-made mingle and sometimes collide.  His drawings on paper spill over with images that speak the language of the visual and dreamlike unconscious.  Some images I read like words on a page and others are what they are and seep into my mind in an intuitive, pleasing and wordless way.  Themes and images repeat themselves in his work: key holes, fish, eyes, mechanical gears, wheels and sensuous organic shapes both abstract and in human, animal and plantlike forms.  Each drawing tells a story with the symbolic language that Razvan is speaking.  I like to create stories about his pieces in my mind.  What do you see in yours?

Razvan came to North America from Romania where my husband, Josh, met him while in the Peace Corps in the late 90's.  I was lucky to have visited and gotten to know Razvan and his wife, Eleana, in Bucharest, Romania while they were still living there 6 or 7 years ago when Josh and I spent a month in Hungary and Romania.  Our friends are the loveliest people and hosts, eager to show us around, make us comfortable, cook us delicious Romanian delicacies and share with us their cultural heritage.  Razvan and Eleana are creative souls who openly talk about their interests, thoughts and feelings and I really love this about them.

Razvan lives with Eleana and son, Dari in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  He's made his home there with his family for the past three years.  He carves out a living for himself and his family as a mechanical designer.  I admire that despite living a full and busy life, spending time with his family and earning a living as a designer,  he still manages to make time for himself, his drawings, sculpture and music.  There is a lot more art, music, and inspirations to check out on his website and blog:  Ochiade  and Ochiade: Blog

Please scroll down to see some examples of his artwork.  The following are some of my favorite drawings of his.  Enjoy!

"Horizontal Spring"


"Late Night Fish-o-Jazz"


"The Legend"

"The Poem Who Stole the Horse"

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

There's no place like home... Cummington! Part 4

Here are some pictures taken during a beautiful weekend spent here in the hills.  Cummington, MA is an amazing town for many reasons and I'm happy to call it home.  The autumn beauty found across the hills and valleys is breathtaking and one of the reasons this place is so special.  Enjoy!

Friday, October 8, 2010

So much to say...where to begin?

As you may (or may not) have noticed, I have not posted anything on my blog for a very long time.  It's really not for a lack of interesting news, thoughts and tidbits to share.  Life has been full and good. 

At this point, I'm not sure what I want to share, start with ... ?   How about I blurt it all out here then in future posts slowly develop thoughts, stories and examples complete with pictures, songs, poetry, stories, evidence?   Well, I'll just list a few highlights of the past few weeks here...
Hopefully, then, I will feel jumpstarted into continuing to share my thoughts and creations on this here blog.

1. My paintings are hanging in Keene, NH at the Colonial Theater gallery space.  I will be up there hosting an open studio during Keene's world famous Pumpkin Festival.  Friday, 10/15/10.  Yeah, my paintings are pretty nifty but you really don't want to miss the 30,000 or so jack-o-lanterns lining Main St. that night! 

2.  After going to into the recording studio with Appalachian Still, a local bluegrassy, oldtimey, rootsy band, to record one of their original songs back in August, I joined them onstage at their CD release party at the Iron Horse a few weeks ago.  The whole experience was great.  Check out the CD, Feelin' Alive on CD Baby.  I sing "Nothing Left to Say", # 14 on the album.

3.  Singing Jackson (yes that Johnny and June Carter Cash ditty) last Saturday a bunch of times with my friend, Mike Jennings and other guys from The Mike Hooker Experience and (one time that night with) The Bum Steers at a fundraiser in honor of Fred Knittle from The Young at Heart Chorus was FUN! 

4.  Went to a party later last Sat. night where members of these bands, Haunt and Ware River Club, played.  I loved their sound so I'll leave you with a song from Haunt.  Enjoy!