Saturday, December 18, 2010
This one's for you DDOORN! Surely you've seen the Paul Winter Consort live, Don...and at St. John's? I had the joy of seeing them perform at Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, a splendid Gothic structure. I was also on a whale-watching vessel off the coast of Maui, where Paul played with the whales!
For three decades, Paul Winter's Solstice Celebration has joined The Nutcracker and Radio City Christmas as one of New York's favorite holiday traditions. The concerts -- which are broadcast each year on 250 National Public Radio station -- have grown to become a holiday tradition in the Northeast.
Since ancient times, people have felt a calling to come together during the cold and dark December nights around Winter Solstice. In the tradition of these gatherings, the Winter Solstice Celebration is a chance to welcome the return of the sun and the birth of the new year.
The 2010 concerts at St. John's the Divine in NYC (the world's largest Gothic Cathedral) run Dec. 16-18. If you're curious about them: www.solsticeconcert.com The footage of this video is from the 2009 Solstice celebration. The actual winter solstice is happening this year on December 21, accompanied by a full moon and a total lunar eclipse.
THE 5th DAY OF CHRISTMAS:
Friday, December 17, 2010
Christmas in San Sebastian (northern Spain)
I just couldn't resist sharing this video -- there's just a little music...and a LOT of joy. It is an up-close-and personal glimpse of Cristina Pato, one of the artists on YoYo Ma's holiday album, Songs of Joy and Peace, who plays Panxolina, a Galician Carol. Cristina plays a type of bagpipe called the *gaita,* a national instrument from her native Galicia, Spain. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galician_gaita
THE 4th DAY OF CHRISTMAS
And NOW...here it is, Panxolina, start-to-finish!
Thursday, December 16, 2010
This Christmas/WinterSolstice, how about a zero calorie feast? And what better gift could you possibly receive than YOURSELF!
"Reflections in the Entry Mirror" from the Scenes from Daily Life Series by gifted mixed media artist Marcia Joffe-Bouska who says, "My artwork is my interface with the world around me. It is how I attempt to understand the unfathomable and seek meaning in the most mundane of experience. Put succinctly, my art is my way of making sense out of life."
LOVE AFTER LOVE
The time will come
When, with elation,
You will greet yourself arriving
At your own door, in your mirror,
And each smile at the other's welcome,
And say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was yourself.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
To itself, to the stranger who has loved you
All your life, whom you ignored
For another who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
The photographs, the desperate notes,
Peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.
-- Derek Walcott
Derek Alton Walcott, (born January 23, 1930) is a Caribbean poet, playwright, writer and visual artist. Born in Castries, Saint Lucia, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1992.
His work, which developed independently of the schools of magic realism emerging in both South America and Europe at around the time of his birth, is intensely related to the symbolism of myth and its relationship to culture. He is best known for his epic poem Omeros, an allusive, loose reworking of Homeric story and tradition into a journey within the Caribbean and beyond to Africa, New England, the American West, Canada, and London (with frequent reference to the Greek Islands).
Walcott founded the Trinidad Theatre Workshop in 1959, which has produced his plays (and others) since that time, and remains active with its Board of Directors. He also founded Boston Playwrights' Theatre at Boston University in 1981 with the hope of creating a home for new plays in Boston, Massachusetts. Walcott retired from teaching poetry and drama in the Creative Writing Department at Boston University in 2007. In fall 2009, he will commence a three year distinguished scholar in residence position at University of Alberta. He continues to give readings and lectures throughout the world. He divides his time between his home in the Caribbean and New York City.
Thursday, December 16, 2010
From classic to jazzy with a most favorite artist, female jazz pianist-vocalist Diana Krall, a native of British Columbia and married to musician Elvin Bishop. She and her hawt trio are doing "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas," the title cut from her Christmas collection (she's a big hit in Europe, thus the added Portuguese translation).
A girlfriend gave me one of her CD's many years ago, thus beginning the love affair. Acquiring her DVD, Live in Paris, which is absolutely mesmerizing, made me a life-long convert to her elegant creativity.
THE 3rd DAY OF CHRISTMAS:
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
In sharp contrast to soul singer Stevie Wonder yesterday, today I'm offering Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Michael George and the Choirs of Coventry and Lichfield Cathedrals doing a favorite Christmas song, In the Bleak Mid-Winter. Gustav Holst wrote the music for the poem by Christina Rossetti.
I saw New Zealand Maori Dame Kiri perform in the San Francisco Opera many moons ago, and have been a big-time fan ever since. Though I hadn't previously heard Michael George, I enjoyed him immensely as well (he ain't hard to look at, either!)
In lieu of experiencing the event live at the Coventry Cathedral, here is a virtual tour of the 900+ years old cathedral in Canterbury, Britain:
THE 2nd DAY OF CHRISTMAS:
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