Thursday, September 18, 2014

I'm blogging at The Popculturedivas today



Join me at The Popculturedivas for Time for Word on the Street.

Friday, September 12, 2014

5 on Friday -- Set 240



Spinning Friday tunes since 2010...

For anyone who wants to join in, simply choose five pieces of music and post them for other bloggers to enjoy. Then check out the set posted by the other 5 on Friday blogger -- you can sign in over at Golch Central's Rambling Stuff.

Just wrapping up a glorious two weeks of vacation from my day job. Had a short trip down to Yarmouth at the beginning of my time off to celebrate my mom's best friend's 80th birthday.


That's my mom, Paulette, above with my brother-in-law Newt, my sister Michelle, me and my husband Brad.

And here's the birthday boy -- Bill -- in light blue at right, with Jim, also a longtime family friend.


A great time was had by all (although we managed to refrain from getting written up in the papers.)

For the most part, I've been having a staycation and getting lots of rest, although Brad and I have been going on lots of adventures (you can check out our A For Adventure Challenge HERE.)

One thing I've been indulging in -- non-stop -- is watching ballet on You Tube. Sending out gratitude to all the people who secretly videotape live performances and then post them on You Tube (not allowed by any stretch of the imagination, as all live performances are copyrighted by the show's producers.) It used to be my job to stop people from doing just that when I worked as an usher at the performing arts theatre in Toronto. That was before the arrival of cellphone cameras.

I shouldn't be grateful to all of these people taping the footage -- but I am! I can't fly around the world at the moment to see all of these performances, so spending hours watching ballet on You Tube is the next best thing.

So, since I'm most definitely in a ballet state of mind, here are five lighthearted pieces from ballet scores that, unless you're a massive ballet freak like me, you likely haven't heard. They aren't the main musical themes, so you would need to hear the full ballet score in order to discover these. They've always been favorites of mine. 


1 - Reconnaissance from Carnaval --  composed by Robert Schumann -- performed by Manon Hutton-DeWys

Well, almost all of these have been favorites of mine for years. This one is a brand new discovery after watching the Harlequin and Columbine pas de deux (dance for two) from Carnaval during this vacation. 







2 - Diamond Fairy Variation (or solo dance) from Sleeping Beauty -- composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky







3 - Morning Serenade from Romeo and Juliet -- composed by Sergei Prokofiev







4 - Andante from the Peasant Pas de Deux, Act I of Giselle -- composed by Adolphe Adam






5 - Neopolitan Dance from Act III of Swan Lake -- composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky



Friday, September 5, 2014

5 on Friday -- Set 239



Spinning Friday tunes since 2010...

For anyone who wants to join in, simply choose five pieces of music and post them for other bloggers to enjoy. Then check out the set posted by the other 5 on Friday blogger -- you can sign in over at Golch Central's Rambling Stuff.

Now that September has arrived, it's time for my monthly feature for 5 on Friday -- The Hit Makers.

Once a month I'm going to feature the songs that launched careers. I'll be looking at different musical styles and the groups or singers from those styles who I love the best.

Here are five of my favorite bossa nova artists and the songs that brought them to the masses.

1Chega de Saudade (Enough Longing) -- Joao Gilberto -- original recording 1959 (I believe this version was recorded in the 60s)






2Desafinado (Out of Tune) -- Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd -- 1962







3 - The Girl From Ipanema -- Astrud Gilberto, Joao Gilberto and Stan Getz, from a composition by Antonio Carlos Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes -- 1962







4 - Agua de Beber (Water to Drink) -- Antonio Carlos Jobim -- 1963






5 - Mas Que Nada (But That is Nothing) -- Sergio Mendes and Brasil 66 -- 1966



Friday, August 29, 2014

5 on Friday -- Set 238



Spinning Friday tunes since 2010...

For anyone who wants to join in, simply choose five pieces of music and post them for other bloggers to enjoy. Then check out the set posted by the other 5 on Friday blogger -- you can sign in over at Golch Central's Rambling Stuff.

A more welcome Friday there never was, as the Friday before vacation begins. That's what this Friday is for me!


1 - No Particular Place to Go -- Chuck Berry







2 - Holiday Road -- Lindsey Buckingham






3 - Ramblin Man -- The Allman Brothers 







4 - Magic Carpet Ride -- Steppenwolf









5 - Fly Away -- Lenny Kravitz 



Friday, August 22, 2014

5 on Friday -- Set 237



Spinning Friday tunes since 2010...

For anyone who wants to join in, simply choose five pieces of music and post them for other bloggers to enjoy. Then check out the set posted by the other 5 on Friday blogger -- you can sign in over at Golch Central's Rambling Stuff.

At last -- at lo-o-o-ng last -- the television adaptation of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander premieres on Showcase this weekend.

Sunday at 10:00 pm Toronto time, 11:00 pm here on the east coast, to be exact.

I have only been waiting 22 years to see Jamie Fraser and Claire Randall come to life.

To set the mood for this At Last! At Long Last! weekend, here are five Scottish tunes to tide you over until the series begins.


1 - The Water is Wide -- Orla Fallon

A psalm version of this tune was sung during my wedding ceremony. Just love it. 







2 - Skye Boat Song -- Rowena Taheny (Celtic Dreams) 






3 - Ye Jacobites by Name -- Moonrakers 







4 - Eightsome Reel -- Scottish Fiddle Orchestra

It's not hard to tell what gives Cape Bretoners their characteristic lust for life! Cape Breton is the northeastern part of my home province, Nova Scotia -- or New Scotland. Cape Breton is actually an island that is connected to the mainland by a causeway. Anyone actually from Cape Breton calls himself or herself an Islander, and refers to the rest of us as mainland dwellers.

The spirit of the Scottish highlands is alive and well on the Island, including a vibrant Gaelic-speaking revival, as well as Celtic-based music that embraces its roots as though they were only yesterday.

My grandfather's family came from Cape Breton, and my mom grew up in Sydney until she was a teenager and the family moved to Michigan for work in the 1950s. Though our family is French Acadian, the mixing of cultures on the Island meant that my grandmother played the cording piano for fiddle players. Cording piano means the keyboard turns into a sort of rhythmn accompaniment for the melodies played by the fiddle players.







5 - Medley of Jigs -- Buddy MacMaster 

Here in Nova Scotia, the master of fiddler players -- Buddy MacMaster -- has been a revered teacher of several generations of fiddlers, including his famous niece, Natalie MacMaster.

He just passed away Wednesday night at age 89, so in honour of his remarkable legacy, here is a clip of a concert performance he gave at age 80. The music begins at the 1:49 mark.



Thursday, August 21, 2014

I'm blogging at The Popculturedivas today



Join me at The Popculturedivas for The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is Totally Making My Summer.

Friday, August 15, 2014

5 on Friday -- Set 236



Spinning Friday tunes since 2010...

For anyone who wants to join in, simply choose five pieces of music and post them for other bloggers to enjoy. Then check out the set posted by the other 5 on Friday blogger -- you can sign in over at Golch Central's Rambling Stuff.

Brad and I went to see Guardians of the Galaxy last week, which we both loved and which has an awesome soundtrack.




Here are five of my favorite music tracks from the film.


1 - Fooled Around and Fell in Love -- Elvin Bishop 







2 - Come and Get Your Love -- Redbone 






3 - Moonage Daydream -- David Bowie 







4 - Ain't No Mountain High Enough -- Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell 







5 - Hooked on a Feeling -- Blue Swede