26 February 2010

Pay It Forward Project...

Some of my friends and readers will recall that I lost most of my instruments in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Along with the file box of over 300 pieces of my composed music, all of my handmade wood Recorders, and my handmade Cello were stolen while I was helping a family retrieve their items from a partially submerged car.

I still have not replaced all of my instruments. I probably will never be able to because of the expense, however, I have received several handmade recorders since then as gifts. I can never thank those people enough for their help. I still don't have a cello although I did buy a very cheap one which actually fell apart in the repair shop. I have since composed another 100+ pieces of music. So, life goes on...

As those people helped me I try to help others. There is a delightful lady in Brazil, Clara Borges, who plays Cello in several orchestras, plays piano, and Recorders. She also teaches music. Her cello is needing repairs that she can not afford to have done. Can you help her?

I have created a webpage at http://bit.ly/cuoxts just to help raise donations to help Clara. Any donation amount will be most appreciated. Please read the webpage for details. Please note the return policy if enough money is not raised.

All donations will also receive a pdf file of one of my compositions. The greater the donation the more pieces of music I send. I have pieces suitable for most orchestral instruments so be sure to tell me what you prefer.

24 February 2010

(Book) -- It Is A Colorful Day...

(Sneak preview...seeking publisher...excerpt...send links to friends...by Daniel J Hay.)

It is a colorful day today. The sky is super blue and the sun is blazing yellow. A few puffy white clouds are floating along. I like those colors.

The grass is greener than a frog. The tree bark is browner than a worm. The house is painted pink. And I like those colors too.

I wonder what color I should make my clothes today? Should they match? Should they clash? Stripes, or dots, or perhaps ziggity-zaggity every which way.

If I had a rainbow I could wear it on my shirt.

If I had a cloud I could paste it on my shoe.

Or maybe I could mow the yard and cover myself with grass.

Okay now, I'm looking in my closet. I think I can find just what I want to wear.

Ah, a shirt that is light brown with short sleeves. On the back it has a big blue ball with white and green. Oh its the world. The entire planet printed on my shirt. On the front a big red heart.

And shorts, hmmm, blue, or green, or black, or brown, or... there they are... Stripped shorts in red, white and blue with gold and silver stars all over. Yes, those will be cool.

Socks will be fun to choose. I think I'll wear a neon-green sock on my left foot. It even has an orange stripe around the top. For my right foot I shall wear a black sock with lots of white dots.

Then I will put on a red sneaker for my left foot and tie it with yellow shoe string. On my right foot a green sneaker with a purple shoe string.

Look at me. I am covered with colors. All I need now is a funny looking hat.

Can you fine one for me to wear?
(Ends with a picture of many hats jumbled in a closet.)

14 February 2010

Feeding Mind and Body...

In today's short blog I would like to introduce you to www.feedingmindandbody.com and their efforts to spread books to families. They are associated with author David Baldacci's literacy foundation - www.WishYouWellFoundation.org.

Why am I telling you about those organizations? Because I believe one of the strongest pillars in personal growth, in national development, and solutions to the world's problems begins with educated minds. Educated means minds that are aware, that seek, that enjoy, that learn, and that share. This comes from imaginations that are stretched and exposed to new ideas, that explore the history and the future, and from developing innate intelligence. This comes from reading.

And so, I hope you will assist by donating as you see fit. Give books and you give new ideas. Support reading and you expand minds.

My own effort to donate will be contributing one of my children's stories for Feeding Body and Mind to distribute in any manner and any quantity that grant or donation support will allow. My contribution is the entire title and rights. Could your contribution be the funds for them to produce and distribute to those eager minds they serve?

If you are an artist able to illustrate this title with one or more contributed illustrations it will speed the donation along. If you would like to help a family read instead of starring at a flickering screen then email me at danielhay@gmail.com to see a story draft for which you can create art.

13 February 2010

(Book) -- Enchanted Fire...

(Sneak preview...seeking publisher...excerpt...send links to friends...by Daniel J Hay.)

The Story of the Enchanted Fire...or...The Boy With a Measuring String...

Once upon a time... Oh bother! Its another one of those stories. You know the type. Those stories that just could not be real. Nothing in life could happen the way those stories say they do. Nope. Not at all.

Nevertheless, we will go on with the story. However, just so you know... this story is real. Don't shake your head in doubt. Really, it is a real story. Truthfully it is a true story. Honestly. Honest.

You don't believe me? Phooey on you. Just go ask your librarian. Do it tomorrow or the next day, okay? (Uh, don't mention my name though.)

Anyway, once upon a time...ah let's just skip to the action...

“Grrrr...” (See, action already.) “Pokay, mokey, slokay, hokey,” growls the old man in a tall pointed hat. “Scrats, bats, colo, bolo,” he continues, “within this room you shall stay for eternity. Fire, spire, flame, smame, my treasures here you will guard.”

(Note: never rhyme the last words of spells or they explode on you.)

If we were actually with the spell caster we would see a sudden explosion of flame as a fireball bursts throughout the dark room. You would have seen his grizzled face sizzling in the heat as flame burst into existence.

“Aiieiee...” screeched the man as he stumbled backwards. He turned and ran up the tunnel he had laboriously carved into the mountain. When at last he reached cool night air any hidden viewer would have seen... well... a mess.

The wizard, for that is what he was, now wore a charred black hat. His face was scorching red. His beard and eyebrows were turned to ash and fell off even as he shook ash from his badly burned robes.

“Well, that is that,” he grumbled to himself. “My treasures are safe. Nobody can survive that guardian flame,” he laughed as he staggered away.

You know, of course, that many years went by. As the wizard traveled from place to place he would tell of his wonderful treasures and how he had protected them. He bragged about his eternal flame guardian. He said none could stand... (the rest is hidden in the book...)

01 February 2010

Tree of the Pyramids...

Some time back in history, during the dull, dry, text of bygone ages, there was a tree. Although this tree had never been exposed to humans and therefore didn't know an Egyptian from a Mayan, it was alive while pyramids were being built in more than one place of the world.

Something like 4,500 years ago stones were being quarried and heaved across the lands. They were carved and stacked, hauled, placed, and piled higher and higher, higher and deeper. The tree, just sunk it's toes deeper into the cool soil beneath the swamp. It was overlooked, nobody came around to cut it for firewood, nobody used it for construction of homes or palaces.

The tree, a common Swamp Oak, sometimes felt that it was all alone in the world. It was alone. It had outlived all the other nearby trees, and old trees just rot away. It didn't know that humans didn't want to build anything out of it. It just continued to grow and mind its own business.

Far away, pyramids were built and somehow the tree was destined to bear a carving that was even then being carved into walls of stone. It didn't feel the rumble of stone, nor hear the crash of carved stone striking the earth, but somehow a connection formed from far distant pyramids to the heartwood of this tree.

Years later, centuries later, thousands of years later, the pyramids are still in place. The swamp tree, long since having died, is discovered. It is not rotted away like it should have been. It hasn't turned to stone from petrification. The Swamp Oak is just very old wood and it is beautiful.

Parts of it made their way to an artist who carves Blockenflotes (Recorders) and slowly works of art were created. The art took the form of beautiful recorders from wood not normally chosen for such usage, but from wood that was over 4,500 years old. The wood from the heart of the Egyptian-ages Swamp Oak. As a sign of honor to its age the instruments are visual masterpieces as well as beautiful sounding playing pieces.

The carvings from the stone wall shared in these creations and were also carved into the new instruments. The link from far distant Egypt to the heart of the Swamp Oak was completed in limited editions only.

As a composer of new music for a very old family of instruments, and as a player of both modern and older version of those Recorders, I would like to obtain a set of the Egyptian Wood recorders. I would like to write new music for the old heart wood. I want to take those ancient wood instruments to young budding artists in our schools. I want to take the link from pyramids to a lonely old Swamp Oak to fertile minds of the modern world.

To do this I need to raise contributed funds of $4,500 to buy a set of instruments made from 4,500 year old wood. I am not tax exempt, but I would willingly form a non-profit if doing so will prove receipt of needed funds. I will make sure that all contributors are listed in the material honoring these fabulous instruments and the concert tours using them. If there are any proceeds from tours using these instruments those proceeds will be donated to other artistic programs as a way of paying forward on the heart of the old Swamp Oak.

If you can make any contribution please visit this link: http://eCa.sh/NPUw