Wednesday, October 22, 2014

October 16


Walking.  Maples.  At this time of year, it's very easy to understand why so many people plant maples!

Evening.  Another concert!  I think this is the first time I've ever been to two concerts in the same seven-day period!

This was Edgar Meyer and Chris Thile, playing (mostly) bass and mandolin, respectively.  These are two of the musicians who played with Yo-Yo Ma on the Goat Rodeo Sessions (and other recordings).

This is the Michigan Theater.  I have been here many times.  When I was in junior high, they had 50-cent movie tickets for girls on Wednesdays (Ladies' Day).  My best friend and I came here (after buying candy bars at the drug store -- way cheaper than in the theater!) to see movies.

I don't remember noticing the decor, which, I'm sure, has been heavily restored in the intervening years.

This is projected on the curtains -- isn't that a good idea?  Such an easy (and cheap) way to have a BIG sign......  UMS = "university musical society"

Edgar plays bass, primarily, but also piano.  Chris plays mandolin, and also guitar.  You can see the piano and the guitar.  I suspect the bass and the mandolin are more precious, hence are with the musicians.............

Looking more closely at the ceiling......

I don't know what this is made of, but it looks like an awful lot of work!  At least, on the ceiling, it won't accumulate dust the way it would if there were more horizontal surfaces....

We were told not to take pics during the performance.  No audio recordings, I can see, but no pics?  Why?

Ah well.

I enjoyed much of the music.  Both of the piano pieces appealed to me.  I liked the Bach piece.

Both of these musicians are clearly virtuosos.  Any time they play super fast, it seems to me that the music must be extremely difficult to play, and there were several pieces that were very very fast.

I heard the bass make an astounding array of noises.  More variety than I knew it could make (plucked or bowed).

While I found some of the pieces beautiful, this was a concert where I felt ... misplaced.

There was a lot of what seemed to me to be very avant guarde music played.  As with the "modern art" section in art museums, where I often am left cold by what I see, I found the "difficult" (my word...) pieces in this concert outside what I am able to appreciate.  My lack of education and understanding prevents me from appreciating what made each piece special and/or unique, I guess. 

They described having gotten away from melody in their first recording, and getting back to more melody in their more recent recording.  Alas, I am uninformed (and shallow) enough to prefer melody to dissonance and ... lack of melody.

It was clear that many people in the audience were extremely appreciative of the work I found ... well, let's go back to "difficult."

I know that people on the cutting edge of their art form often get bored with "the usual and customary ways of doing things," and I know that's what brings us innovations like Impressionism.  On the other hand, I have a small voice in the back of my head, in the face of bleeding-edge work, whispering the question "Is the emperor naked?"

As with visual art which is extremely time-consuming to make (11,000 pieces in one quilt, or teeny-weeny, perfectly-even hand-stitches), I'm pretty sure that pure difficulty doesn't make something be Art. 

And.  I'm clear that my own bias is for peace and beauty in art, rather than angst of whatever sort (shallow again; no surprise, right?).

I'm glad I went to the concert, and glad I got to hear the lovely bits, and I wish that so much of art of all kinds wasn't ... difficult.  I want to be soothed and comforted, not challenged.......

It seems to me that reality is challenging enough.

I want to spend my discretionary time on antidotes to the "difficult" bits of reality, rather than on immersion in difficulty.


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

October 15


Maples, through the front window.

On the way to yoga.  Redbud.  (This is the same redbud that has the very shiny purple-red young leaves.)


Dahlias in the yoga studio.


Monday, October 20, 2014

edited leaves


Here's that disappointingly blurry shot of water drops on the back of a leaf, and color on the fronts of lots of other leaves.

Here's that same image, with Photoshop Elements' "colored pencil" filter. 

I really like some parts of the "colored pencil" version........

"Dark strokes" filter.  Love what it does to the stems.....

"Palette knife."

"Poster edges."

This time I tried something I've never done.  I used the "under painting" filter, made a copy of that, used "colored pencil" on the copy, and then tried all of the blending modes.

Here are the two I liked best -- this is "overlay"....

And this is "difference" -- my favorite of all of the images in this post.


October 14


Me and Harriet (and Burt), out for an autumn stroll.

Every year my mind is blown, that this carpet covers the ordinary ground........

It was raining when we were out.  The camera does all my focusing, and it very often has trouble with wet things.

Raggedy mushrooms.



Ivy embracing a fence post.


Maple.  Unfocused, alas, but the color is just as I remember it.

Love the leaves on top of the the leaf stains on the pavement.

The water droplets are almost sharp....

Fall trees against darkening sky.


Sunday, October 19, 2014

October 13


Moseying, on a wet day.  Maple.



I bet this is a Siberian elm.