29 March 2010

Spirit of Amraah...

It wasn't her given name but Amraah used a chosen name. She was a unique individual of an indeterminate age. She was older than my 51 of the time, and yet not so old she couldn't take care of herself on her travels through life.

She drove a van that she called Bear, and I think she told me he was Red Bear. She lived in her van and had been living in a vehicle for 15 years or more. She traveled where she wanted and kept limited contact with the world by laptop. Amraah was on a spiritual trip and felt infused with the spirituality of life.

In the middle of a forest, on a seldom used road, she stopped to help me where my truck was stranded. Three other people from the area had driven right by me. Amraah, on the otherhand, was not from the area and was just out looking and searching and had chosen this road for a reason she could not explain. Yet, she stopped to help a man she didn't know, and who with long ratty looking hair, beard, old beat-up truck, and two dogs, probably didn't look to savory.

After trying to jump start the battery in the truck she offered to drive to town, 38 miles away, so that I could get a new battery. During the drive she didn't drown me with her spirituality but there was an aura about her that told me she was different than anybody I had known before.

Before we parted ways I told her I wanted to name one of my music compositions after her. I told her that it wouldn't necessarily be about her but that I liked naming music for people. In this case the music turned out to be about her and to explore some sense of her spirit.

She gave me her business card so that I could tell her about it. And then I lost it for ten months. Today I found it and sent her a copy of the music "Spirit of Amraah" so that she will know I kept my word. I wrote the music that very night after returning to the woods and my truck. It is a different piece and the computer generated recording does not do it full justice because the repeats are taken at different tempos, but I hope she will like it.

As of the date of this posting it is also in the side bar for anybody to listen too, although at some point that mp3 player podcast will be changed to another piece of my music. For now, I hope the spirit reaches Amraah, and that it entices you as well.

14 March 2010

On The Road...

March 14th -- Unlike most blogs that make multiple entries per day, or one per day, my blog is less precisely timed. You might say that it is calendorically challenged. (I could have used "calendric" but "calendorically" seems to fit better.) This particular entry may be updated over the next several days or weeks as I progress across country from California where I can nearly touch Oregon, to Memphis, Tennessee which Google Maps tells me is a "1 day, 17 hr." drive. I hope to have the cameras ready to go during the trip, several of my Recorders, music scoring paper, and the laptop. I just may stop at any moment whether there is a railroad crossing or not.

--- There are a number of photographic projects I've deferred working on until I returned to a more populous area. I hope to finish planning them out so that when I've completed moving into my Memphis house I can get started on them again. Of course the music writing and practising, and the child lit. is like a faucet with no turn off valve. I've spent a year now in camping mode, more secluded then ever before, perhaps even lonelier than ever. I'm not sure if that stimulates or retards my music and writing. I guess time will ... In the mean time, you may want to bookmark this blog and watch it for periodic updates during the travel.

March 24h -- Well that didn't work too well. My long slow drive across country turned into a race in front of snow storms and heavy rains. I am now in my home in Memphis and just this evening got the internet up and running with the new satellite dish on the roof.  The trip itself was a challenge. I got run off the road in New Mexico by a big dark green semi. If you see any, look for tan paint on the driver's bumper and let me know. I ended up in the median bouncing across rocks with my overloaded truck. Blew two tires and had to replace all four. I had no other damage and the rest of the trip was uneventful other than stormy weather.

--- Upon arrival I moved right in and began some of the repairs that still needed to be done. Papers are signed and the house is mine now (as long as I make the payments). I've meet some of my neighbors and shared some hardcore yard work with Barry across the street. He suffered gout and I had swollen joints from unloading. But we got the edging all done for both yards, and helped their landlady (also mine) move stuff. Benefits us all, so we did well.

--- Also had 750 emails to handle and only half were spam that the filters missed. I have several photography projects pending for which I had advertised via Craigslist. I had a slew of messages regarding them so those projects may be on the way soon. The studio space is not quite what I expected but I hope to make use of it so I don't have to rent a studio. It will work well for the recording of my music I plan, and the video recordings for YouTube.

--- My employee in the Phillipines has continued working while I was on the road so other projects are moving forward as well. All in all I guess the month turned out better than it started.

--- Just as I was preparing to move, and finishing helping my friends move a friend of theirs, a dear friend proposed. I am sorry to say that I have had to turn down the offer simple. As some of the stress evaporates from the move process, and the projects get under control again, perhaps I will be able to consider her offer with the illumination that considers the welfare of both of us and not just my own selfish reasons. I have, for ten years, been a single person, but I truly enjoyed being part of a family. Life will wait on me and we shall see what happens.

Final -- Since this did not turn into a daily journal of my 2500 mile trip this is the last entry for this blog title. My dogs are snoozing on the floor in comfort. They have had all week to stretch out in any corner, on all the furniture, and even convinced me to put a step-up to the very tall bed for them to get up there to sleep as well. They have checked out the woods, the yard, the neighbors' yards and have decided that this is home. At least, as long as the food dish and water dish are filled and they can give me directions to make their life pleasant, then they are happy with where we are at. For those of you whom have read this, you will see that it is different from my standard blog posts, but it was a major change in an old life that is springing forward with a new spark. If you enjoyed this I hope you will still read my other blog entries. If you didn't like this one, then you most certainly need to read the others because they are different.

07 March 2010

Lady Grey...

My favorite Internet haunts are overflowing with inane comments on what is happening at the Oscars. Like most programs on television, I figure if I wanted to know what was happening I'd turn on a television. The fact that I don't own one anymore is a moot point, I could easily buy one or just visit somebody who already has it on (or never turned off).

Instead of growing irritated at the flow of messages that I can't filter out without turning off the people I normally enjoy reading, I'm sitting here drinking a huge mug of Lady Grey tea and listening to the "Taking Tea With Lady Grey" trio that I wrote a short time ago. I am both writing at projects and composing another piece of music in snippets at a time.

As Lady Grey comes to a close I click on replay, click on the tab for the score, contemplate a few notes, click on the blog screen and enter a few letters, then back to the score, the blog, the score, the blog, and eventually to a moment of pause and bliss. Those moments are when I sip tea and consider the mood that the music just provided.

Listening to one piece of music while writing another one is a challenge. The first challenge is to make sure I don't mimic the aural sounds with the new written sounds. I don't want a clone of Lady Grey. I found her to be both tasty as tea, and delicious as music but do not need to create a copy of her. She is there for my enjoyment as desired.

Just a moment, click, click, click, click, the process had to be started over. When I tire of the same music I'll simple click on the mp3 player and have it randomly play through all of my music. Music from solo to an eighteen voice brass ensemble. Trumpets, trombones, timpani, to piano, strings, woodwinds and brasswinds. And because I play Recorder many of the pieces are computer-voiced as Recorder.

It makes for a pleasant time without the repetitive voice and commercials on television. It lets me do what I want to do while I plan for a move across country to a house with space for my studio. And it lets me still enjoy the onslaught of Internet activity - I just bypass the parts I don't wish to view.

So all is fine in the world when taking your tea with Lady Grey...