April 28, 2014

Zig Zag Gig Bag

On Friday night, I attended a free concert from the Do-Ing Music series at the library. The performers for the evening were to be the Zig Zag Quartet. I had seen a poster for the event during a previous library visit that explained that the program would zig zag through musical styles from different parts of the globe at varying time periods, hence the group's name. The World Music genre is a huge interest to me, so I marked this one down on my calendar right away. 

Friday's show included pieces of music from Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Argentina, England, and the US and wound through styles such as Samba, Blues, Calypso, Tango, as well as a few pieces by some modern composers. The group had an excellent blend of piano, guitar, bass, and percussion. I was particularly fascinated by the percussion, which featured instruments like Cajon and Bodhran. I have grown very fond of the sounds of hand drums and to hear them played so well was a big treat. It was an excellent performance overall; the only drawback being that the library closed before the group could finish their entire set list. 

One other thing that I did this past week was to stop at the Mills Pond House Gallery to see their Annual Photography Exhibition. There were many processes of photography represented, some of which were new to me. Included among these were: Kallitype, Gold-Toned Argyrotype, Wet Plate Collodian, and Photo Intaglio. There were many beautiful images and I found it all very inspiring. 

"Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us,
we have confidence before God and receive from him
anything we ask, because we obey his commands
and do what pleases him."

~1 John 3:21-22


April 21, 2014

Hoyt Farm Park

Upon pulling my car into the parking lot of Hoyt Farm Park, the first thing that I noticed was the rolling green fields dotted with people sitting on lawn chairs and blankets; mixed among these, the occasional tossing of a football or Frisbee. On a distant hill, the American flag fluttered in the breeze, its pole flanked by a pair of old cannons with wooden-spoked wheels. On the far side of the field, I could make out two lively playgrounds and several rows of picnic tables and barbeque grills. It was an ideal setting for a sunny Spring Saturday. I've also heard that live bands play in the picnic area during the summertime and it is a very active scene.

I would soon find out that Hoyt Farm Park has much more to offer than just grassy fields. As I stepped on to the path that leads from the open area into the woods, the first thing that I encountered was the one-room school house. It looked lovely with its red paint glowing in the afternoon sun. Soon after, I came across a Native American Wigwam and a Hummingbird Garden with a babbling waterfall. Just beyond this stretched a grazing area and a series of pens for farm animals: cows, chickens, rabbits, goats, and turkeys. This part of the park also contains a Nature Center and a Museum, both of which were not yet open for the 2014 season.

At the very rear of the park waits the mouth of a nature trail that meanders through a Pine Barrens Ecosystem. As I trod the path, I was surrounded by Scrub Oaks and Pine Trees. I would eventually stumble across an apple orchard and a hidden pond replete with wild fowl and lounging turtles. 

I found Hoyt Farm to be as peaceful and charming a place as I could ever hope to visit. I would spend the rest of the afternoon in the picnic area, content to watch the children racing by on their scooters. At this point, I would also like to say that I hope you had a most beautiful Easter Sunday! Cheers!

"For God so loved the world,
that he gave his only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in him should not perish,
but have everlasting life."

~John 3:16


April 15, 2014

"Providence" on iTunes

Just wanted to let everyone know that my second EP is now available through iTunes. This one is called "Providence" and consists of six classic poems done in radio drama style with original music.

  • "The Arrow and the Song" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  • "Kubla Khan" by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  • "She Walks In Beauty" by Lord Byron
  • "Stopping By Woods On a Snowy Evening" by Robert Frost
  • "Ozymandias" by Percy Bysshe Shelley
  • "O Captain, My Captain" by Walt Whitman

Working on this recording was a labor of love and I'm quite happy with the way it has turned out. I hope you will enjoy it too. I've already begun the writing process for the third EP and I have the basic conceptual ideas in mind for three more. These should keep me busy for quite a while. Wishing you a Springtime of inspiration and joy!

"The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold
of my life of whom shall I be afraid?"

~Psalm 27:1


April 7, 2014

Pear-Scented Weekend

With both days being sunny and fairly warm, this past weekend was a great one to get out of the house and do some fun things. I started off Saturday morning with a trip through the car wash to rinse all of the winter salts from the fenders. It's a nice feeling to be cruising around town in a sparkling, newly-vacuumed vehicle. I hung a pear-scented air freshener from my rear view; the crisp fragrance really matched my mood nicely. From the car wash, I only had to cross the street to go to the Bowling Alley. I rolled only one game which yielded a pair of strikes and a handful of spares. It tallied up to a score of 165. Not too bad for me. I had a good time and will probably go again sometime soon.

After lunch, I took a drive over to Crab Meadow Beach for the year's first walk on the shore. It's was windy by the water, but the day was so sunny and bright that I didn't mind at all. No one else was around and my only company was the seagulls resting on a nearby sand bar. It was a beautiful scene and the sound of the waves caressing the beach was soothing. On Sunday, I would go to church in the morning and then spend the rest of the day in the yard doing a little clean up. Overall, a very delightful weekend. For the rest of the week now, every time I get into my car and smell the pears, it will be a little reminder that life is good.

There's one other thing that happened last week on April Fool's Day that definitely deserves mentioning here. Imagine my surprise when I walked into work and found every person in the building wearing a fake handlebar mustache. Ha! As jokes go, that one was definitely a classic!

"But if we walk in the light,
as he is in the light,
we have fellowship one with another,
and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son
cleanseth us from all sin."

~1 John 1:7


April 1, 2014

It's April, No Foolin'!

Well, after the tail end of March blanketed the ground here in NY with an unexpected batch of snow, I'm happy to be flipping the calendar page to some hopefully more Spring-like days. I'm so glad that baseball is in action again for the 2014 season. That for me always signals the beginning of warm days and outdoor activities. I'm looking forward to getting back out into my garden soon to start the clean up. I can't wait to see those first plants popping through the soil. This has been a long winter. 

Let's see, I haven't really been doing much lately that has been all that noteworthy. Last weekend, I went to the library to see a presentation by some performers from the Shinnecock Nation's Cultural Center and Museum. They demonstrated the use of some of their traditional tools, talked about their history, and concluded with some tribal dancing with lots of audience participation. I always enjoy this kind of thing. Cheers!

"Dear friends,
since God so loved us,
we also ought to love one another."

~1 John 4:11