We seek oasis, safe and warm,
A beacon shining in the dark.
We need a fire to light our spark!
We long for shelter from the storm.
When troubles come, they come in swarms
And prey on thinking that’s confined.
We’ve lost our way, because we’re blind
To greater good and higher plan.
Yet guided by an unseen hand,
We reach oasis in our mind!
You would have thought I’d pulled a plow,
Just seeing my perspiring brow!
That’s not it, but I’ll take a bow!
Oh Strong and Able, where art thou?
I got it done, but here on vow:
Hang no more curtains! Ever! Wow!
The holidays are coming, whether we like them or not, whether we celebrate them or not, and no matter how different our celebrations may be this year than in years past! They are coming nonetheless, and it would be more positive to embrace them than to dread them, or wish they were different!
TO that end, I offer “The More We Get Together,” a Viennese melody composed by Marx Augustin in 1679. Its German title is “Oh du lieber Augustin.” In the United States, the tune is a children’s song, but it’s fun, and as strange as it may seem, also timely. We still need to get together with our loved ones, reach out and make new friends and contacts, etc. Even if our physical gatherings are limited, there are so many ways we can still get together for the holidays and all year long! As the song says, “The more we get together, the happier we’ll be!” I believe this to be true.
Today you’re listening to zither, Oriole (soprano) Recorder, and viola. That’s right, viola. You know, the middle voice of the string section in an orchestra… The instrument with its own individual clef for musical scores… The true alto, tuned a fifth below the violin and an octave above the cello… And the instrument that is the butt of nearly every joke in the orchestra… What? You mean you didn’t know any of that? Then you clearly don’t play viola! 🙂
Well, neither do I, at least not in the traditional sense. I hold the viola upright on my lap, more like a baby cello, and sometimes with a strap for support. Because of neck, shoulder, and back pain, I can’t hold it in shoulder playing position. I even removed the chin rest.
I also have more than normal trouble with the bow, especially in this position. So, I ditched the traditional long bow for a tiny–literally 4 inches long at most–bow meant to be used on acoustic guitar. It works. But it’s so short. This means that right now I can only play short notes, until I can purchase a different bow that’s easier on my right hand and arm. In addition, I’m playing with a rubber practice mute installed, to save my husband and neighbors from the full volume. So, no, I’m not traditional in this case. But dog gone it, I still want to play, and play I do!
I don’t have access to a multi-track device or software, so I recorded the zither, viola, and recorder separately, then mixed them. This takes a lot of time and is frustrating, but for now it will have to do.
One more thing… I know that at least one of my blog followers has perfect pitch. You know who you are. 🙂 Please accept my apology. I’ve had the viola less than a week, and I’m still working on intonation. A viola, like violin, cello, some banjos, etc, has no frets. So, you must learn, by a combination of sound and feel, where the musical intervals are on each string. Of course, there was a sticker on the fingerboard showing pretty colored lines for each note! But not being able to see made this a hindrance rather than a help, and I removed that as well. Correct intonation/pitch is the bane of every violinist’s, violist’s, and cellist’s beginning days. I’m not a total beginner, but it’s been years since I picked up a violin or viola. My intonation will improve, and thanks for bearing with me in the meantime!
The splashing of pink rain boots announced her impending arrival. Even though it was their wedding day, only she was happy.
Everyone else was acting like the day–gloomy, dark, and dreary. Sure, the weather was miserable, but did all the guests have to be miserable, too?
Finally, with her arrival, the guests came to life! She had exchanged her pink rain boots for even pinker slippers, and as she danced into the sanctuary, the guests applauded. Some even laughed!
How could they not? I mean, here was the lovely, accomplished, prim and proper wedding harpist, not only in pink slippers, but dancing down the aisle, harp strapped securely to her chest, playing with abandon, heralding the bride’s all-important entrance!
Only the bride was unhappy now. Why, oh why, did she have to follow the harpist? Everyone was paying attention to the wrong woman coming down the aisle!