I'll be at it again for the next three weeks! Wahoo!
Here is a little diagram showing the general course as (currently) plotted:
The driving force behind this tour of the east is to catch up with old friends and hit as many art museums as humanly possible. I hope the NYC transportation strike will be settled soon!
Sometimes you just can't get away no matter how fast or nimbly you drive. This morning was a fantastic day to get up at six and open a kiln. Renewed praise and gratitude to the fellow that invented the gas powered space heater.
I hadn't spent a great deal of time throwing in the past, well, almost a year. But a chance cornering in a cul-de-sac by an old acquaintance triggered a chain effect that led to my participation in a kiln opening this morning. It was really awesome to see how stuff turned out and how the new glazes reacted with each other. Good times, may they always endure.
A few months ago I was asked to design the poster for this year's concert for the Bob Jones University Chorale. For me part of nailing down a relevant design was getting my hands on the sheet music and developing a mental picture for the overall personality of the performance. The focus of the concert was on modern choral composers. Dr. Cook took "New Voices in American Choral Music" as the title for the performance. The scope of the concert was very wide; from the beloved 'Magnum Mysterium' by Lauridsen to the world debut performance of Dan Forrest's award winning "Words from Paradise" (which beat Rutter for first place in a recent international composition contest).
The final poster design crystalized from what I had read in the music into a two dimensional version of what I expected to eventually hear. Wide sweeping phrases built on full, eight part chords in 2/2 time contrasted against what I pictured to be something like vocal pezzicato in 7/8. (I did manage to get hear some snippets at a chorale conference that the BJ Chorale sang for in Anderson before the polished concert)
Finally getting to hear the performance from the third row of War Memorial was amazing! In the end I felt more satisfied with the design after the concert than I had before I had heard the music. The entire choir was very focused and controlled. One of my favorites is "A Basque Lullaby" by Forrest.
I really can't tell you how extraordinary the recording is. I've been listening to straight it since I got my copy. I've heard through some chorale friends that a choir director at the school where Forrest is persuing his doctorate liked the recording more than his own choir's sound with the "Words from Paradise" collection. It's simply a great recording of a very talented group of singers performing award winning compositions directed by an extremely brilliant choral conductor. And I love it! Copies are made at the univerity's book store. Email me if you would like to hear some sample clips (I'm having trouble uploading them).
I spent this Thanksgiving in Memphis again. Ah, the glorious city! Here are the pics:
"Ok, Gus's chicken is pretty much the most rad place you could ever eat. It was voted within the top ten restaurants in the nation by some very famous and trustworthy magazine a while ago. A big glowing yellow sign warmly ushers you through the lead paint-laden threshold of a brick shoebox on the edge of the waterfront district. While your eyes adjust to the smokey dimness of the atmosphere you smell thousands of spices mingling with the dust of old cigarettes and leather-soled shoes. You finally make out tables and chairs and grease stained concrete floors that appear to be as old as time. The furniture of the place represent decades of careless flea market finds and dead hotel buy-outs. Nothing matches. Old wood porch chairs sit next to vinyl lined aluminum seats that still retain their distinctive "Hilton" embossing. Perhaps this diversity is a silent testament to the unifying power of a good meal in good company? Your waiter's copious sideburns and prison tattoos let you know that you're in good hands, whatever the parole officer might tell you. He dutifully takes your order and returns with drinks and a red plastic serving tray lined with wax paper and a layer of chicken pieces, a cup of cole slaw and a cup of beans as well as white bread to soften the spicy flavors for the faint of heart. The chicken is incredible, self-served delicately on a grease resistant paper plate and plastic fork (but the fork is no great participant in the meal). While you dine you try to make out the street graffiti on the tablecloth. Then you add your own name and thoughts to the great conversation. You leave full, with a new appreciation for low-cost dining, and a deep gratitude for the frequently refilled cup of sweat tea as only Memphis citizens can concoct."
They have these all over the green-tiled walls.
The custom is to leave your signature on the table. Dine-in graffiti is welcomed and encouraged.
Michelle and Dailey
And the other Craftons
The Peabody Place Mall is one of the greater urban renewal projects that has been open to the public for a few years. It is a couple blocks riverside of the famouse Peabody Hotel. The city's plan to revitalize the community effectivly blends the architectural and musical heritage of the city with new technology and more advanced city planning than what was available when the city was founded.
This green granite sculpture is one of several in a collection housed in the mall. I love cities that incorporate art into their public places.
It's so big!
Adam and Casey came along to ferret out something new. We didn't end up purchasing anything, though.
The new FedEx Forum opened last year. It is on cusp of the wave of renewal that is rushing through the city. On the land side there are new shops and inexpensive houseing. On the river side lie crumbled brick boxes of dust that are waiting for removal. It's not unusual to see well dressed movie goers and street bums mingle at the steps to the Forum.
Beale Street is one of the more famous attractions in Memphis. The length of the street is encrusted with neon lights lureing passers-by into their shops and clubs. When you walk down the street you can hear a live band in almost every building.
The Peabody hotel is probably most famous for teh ducks that live on its roof. They waddle over to the elevator every morning at 11:00 am and ride it down to the lobby where they swim in the fountain. When most guests are taking their afternoon tea the ducks ride back up to the roof to settle down for the night until their performance the following day.
Grandma Crafton is one of the most interesting women I know. She is as sharp as a tack and unusually quick witted! Here she's telling Dailey and myself about family stories. The way she met her husbandd is pretty cool. It amazes me how simple things seemed back in the day, or maybe age clears a lot of things up. "How did I know? I just found someone I liked and married him!"