Friday, March 1, 2013

Challenge of Music

(Borrowed image of Perthshire, Scotland.  Please click on the photo to go to the source!)


Welcome to my little corner of the Challenge of Music :).  I love music, I have always loved music... it is very much a part of who I am.  So every time the lovely and wonderful Erin Prais-Hintz has her challenge up, I eagerly leap forward, yearning to play with music yet again.

My forte is vocal music, I have always sang, as long as I can remember lol.  So when Erin said this was an instrumental challenge... well, now that is more of a challenge for me.  When I was at the UO as an English major, one of my guilty pleasures was taking classes at the Music School when I could find one open to non-majors that sounded enjoyable.  My favorite by far was an exploration of Celtic music, we listened to an enormous variety, learning about how Celtic music evolved.  From early mouth music, to the bagpipes, fiddle, bodhran...  I've always been a sucker for anything Celtic (Scottish in particular) and was rapt throughout this class, our homework?  To listen to music... some of my favorite pieces were from the Hebrides, we listened to recordings of elders singing ancient songs that are now forgotten everywhere else but there.  We listened to (and got to play at) waulking songs, we were taught a few phrases in Gaelic by a local enthusiast group, they also were kind enough to teach us a few simple steps to show the difference between jigs and reels in dancing.  I think those are some of my favorite memories from school there :).  Their were a handful of pieces that really stuck with me, that touched my soul deeply... the song I would like to present to you today is one of those.  It is what is referred to as a "slow air" or a strathspey.

My tune is "Niel Gow's Lament on the Death of His Second Wife".  Niel Gow is one of Scotland's most famed fiddlers, he lived in the 18th century and was from Perthshire, Scotland.  He had two wives, both named Margaret ironically.  The first bore him eight children, five boys and three girls.  I couldn't find out much about his first wife, other than that she bore him many children and left him a widower.  However by all accounts I could find his second marriage was a very happy one and they were married for 37 years before she passed on.  Can you imagine?  I only hope that my husband and I have so many happy years together.  Niel Gow wrote this lament after her death and only outlived Margaret by two years.  You can listen to this song in my absolute favorite version by clicking HERE.  I was hoping for a YouTube version, but well... it was this particular version, performed by Alasdair Fraser on fiddle and Paul Machis on piano that captured my heart something like nine years ago.  There are versions on YouTube, but none by Alasdair and that gentleman plays in a way to touch the heart, promise.

Now, finally, for my piece inspired by this song:


What I love about this lament... is that there is more joy than sorrow.  You can feel his love, his yearning, his joy at having had such a woman in his life.  To me, it feels more Spring than Winter.  So my piece is full of soft Spring colors.  There is a wee Celtic knot bead to represent their love, an elephant bead from Pips for remembrance, a pale almost grey cathedral style czech crystal dangle for his sorrow, a soft sorrow, wistful not bitter...  as is the lavender Irish waxed linen thread.  But soft pinks, soft cream, silver circles, silver knots... for a love that was enduring and I like to think, still is.



I hope you have enjoyed my part in this challenge, thank you so much for stopping by!  And a special thanks to the amazing Erin for hosting and being such an inspiration to me always.


The List!  More amazing blogs and posts about music :)
Erin Prais-Hintz
Alenka Obid
Ali McCarthy
Alicia Marinache
Amy Severino
Amy Grass
Carolyn Lawson
Cece Cormier
Cynthia Riggs
Ema Kilroy
Emanda Johnson
Emma Todd
Erin Kenny
Evelyn Shelby
Evie and Beth McCord
Gerd Andersson
Holly Westfall
Jennifer Justman
Jenny Davies-Reazor
Jess Green
Judy Campbell
Karla Morgan
Kay Thomerson
Kristina Johansson
Lola Surwillo
Lynn White
Malin de Koning
Mallory Hoffman
Mary K McGraw
Melissa Meman
Melissa Trudinger
Michelle Escano
Michelle Bourbonniere
Michelle Heim
Michelle Mach
Molly Alexander
Molly Schaller
Monique Urquhart
Niky Sayers
Pam Farren
Rebecca Anderson
Sally Russick
Sharon Palac
Sharon Driscoll
Susan Kennedy
Tari Kahrs
Tracy Stillman
Veralynne Malone

32 comments:

  1. Beautiful interpretation! I love how you found the beauty and love in his lament. Interesting to learn about, too.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ohhh, I love celtic music also. You can really get lost in it! I love the song you chose, and I can see his joy..awesome piece, it really captures the mood. Great job!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! I am so happy that you were able to see the joy <3

      Delete
  3. What a pretty musical selection you chose! I love it and the pretty bracelet - I can totally see where your inspiration came from!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! I am so happy that you are able to see the inspiration :)

      Delete
  4. An interesting lesson in the music and thank you for doing that for us. The bracelet is beautiful - not everyone can see the joy and love that's contained in a lament. Great job.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! It is the only lament that I have ever been able to listen to on repeat without feeling sad LOL

      Delete
  5. That's a beautiful and tender piece of music! Love it!

    Your bracelet is beautiful, makes me think of spring as it's so gentle with colours that remind me of the early spring flowers. Great interpretation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! It may be my favorite instrumental piece ever :)

      Delete
  6. The bracelet is sweet, and gentle -the music is soothing and lilting. I think its a good fit. What a beautiful piece of music. I am a fan of all Celtic music it seems I inherited that in my blood!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! Celtic music definitely is in my blood :) I am so happy you enjoyed this piece!

      Delete
  7. Such a sweet bracelet to complement a very sweet story. I am a big fan of Celtic music, and this one is going on my play list. The colors you chose seem to 'sing' together. Beautiful job!

    :) Molly

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Molly! I am so happy to be able to give you a new piece for your playlist <3

      Delete
  8. WOW!!! I love the colors!!! WOW!!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I think ONE word in your description especially points to this Celtic lament, and many others I have enjoyed: wistful. It means pensive, regretful, full of longing. Your lovely bracelet really captures that emotion, common to all humanity, but somehow best evoked in the fiddle and in that part of the world. A wonderful pairing, Jennifer!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Monique! I am so happy that I was able to capture that for you! It is such an evocative word and I agree, the fiddle and music from that part of the world truly do seem to capture that wistfulness particularly well <3

      Delete
  10. what a lovely interpretation of the music. I too love Celtic music and have visited Scotland many times.. You piece captures the the landscape and the ethos of the
    Scots.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, it means so much to me that you feel I have captured it. Coming from someone who has actually been there, just makes me so happy!!

      Delete
  11. What a great story! I liked hearing the inspiration behind your piece and how you carefully chose each element for your pretty springtime design.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Jennifer, good for you. I wasn't confident I could do this. I am so inspired by so many types of music. Great job.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Cherrie <3 I listen to many types of music too, but when Erin said instrumental I just knew this was the piece for me :)

      Delete
  13. Love all your little bits of symbolism in this delicate little bracelet. I love celtic music too, and this is a lovely interpretation :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Jess!! It was a labor of love for sure :)

      Delete
  14. Celtic music is so much more complex than most appreciate. I really love the misty heathers and calming greens of your piece!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, most people don't realize how complex the music is, I think more people would enjoy it if they gave it a chance! Thank you so very much!!

      Delete
  15. I am learning so much through this challenge. So happy that you joined me again, Miss Jennifer! This music is so soulful. I love that it is not a dirge but rather a celebration of his wife and their love. I can feel that in the piece. Thank you for introducing me to this music and sharing your art with the world! Enjoy the day. Erin

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Erin! This is my favorite challenge by far and I love every minute of it!

      Delete
  16. The music is indeed wistful, and the bracelet is a beautiful interpretation of the lament. I love the softness of it.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you so much for taking the time to comment, it means so much to me!