Jul. 24th, 2010 03:59 pm
spiralflames: (freedom)

all right, let's try again...i tried to look someone up and aced my firefox. bits and snippets:
this week i sent in for submission guildelines for _the art of healing_, an art/photo/textile exhibit at the penny george institute for healing. to see if they might be interested in my photos. also wrote to Spirit United to ask about using their facility for my art/craft/CD release party in the fall. my sister's MIL is donating a quilt. this is awesome. then i ALSO asked Spirit United if they'd be interested in having me as a guest speaker next year, speaking about my healing journey.

time to start giving back. it'll be interesting to see what comes of any of it.
tomorrow i have my first rehearsal with Shiny Young Soprano...cannot WAIT. yay!
and i am totally endorphin-stoned, for all the right reasons. ;-D
life is good. wishing you the same.
lake calhoun blessed sunset3, 7/24/10
spiralflames: (twisted)

think it's about time to start planning.

right now, i'm thinking, in no particular order:

wagner: _wesendonck_ lieder (soprano & piano)
faure: 8th nocturne (i am in love like a little girl)
beethoven: WALDSTEIN sonata (it's time)
poulenc: (for there must always be poulenc) trio for oboe, bassoon, piano

probably need one more thing..hmmmmm OHHHHH i know...a few faure' and schubert songs..with the oboe playing the voice part............

yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmeh. this will be next fall, my BIG-ass bash when i am 5 yrs cancer-free!


Sep. 2nd, 2009 12:01 am
spiralflames: (goddess)

the above photo got chosen "photo of the week" in the Flickr group "clouds and trees." i'm chuffed.
organizing fall sched. put notices out in buffalo..i could use a few more students out there.
there's definitely a touch of fall in the air, in the light (light gone by 7:30) and in the first touches of red in the trees. i'll miss my Golden Summer.
got a gig for january to perform the poulenc trio at one of the schubert club's "courtroom concerts" at the landmark center in st paul. i've been stalking this gig for ages- that'll really get me off my pianistic ass. woo!
i like being able to keep up with Studio's email on my own time rather than having people annoyed because they haven't gotten answers to time-sensitive Q's. i felt like i'd been given a major gift today when i didn't have to go into work this morning!
i think i shall set my sights on meeting someone new this year. not quite sure in what capacity- friend, amour, traveling're out there. c'mon over.
spiralflames: (integrity)

two lips3, originally uploaded by spiralflmz.

performances in the planning stages:
~short noontime/quasi-casual gig w/nancee c in the fall
~possibility of organizing faculty fund-raiser for Studio??
~perhaps family concert w/frank- babar again and the satie pieces that have stories and artwork?
~angel concert for a year from august-
1. wagner _wesendonck_ lieder w/shiny new soprano
2. beethoven _waldstein_
3. poulenc (of course) TRIO
4. poulenc SEXTET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
big dreams.


May. 4th, 2009 01:31 am
spiralflames: (Default)

more later :-D


Apr. 30th, 2009 10:00 pm
spiralflames: (Default)

open, originally uploaded by spiralflmz.

decided to post the notes i'm printing in tomorrow's program. (appropriate upper-case written in the actual document)
the "back story"

In 2005 i was diagnosed with stage IV ovarian cancer. I am now almost 4 years cancer-free. in 2007, they discovered stage II thyroid cancer. i am over 2 years cancer-free from that. think i'm grateful for every day and every hour i'm given? you bet.

It's difficult to write about even now. i wouldn't be here- literally- without the support of friends and relatives. i spent a total of 51 days at Fairview-Southdale hospital, at which time the doctors at MOHPA finally got me strong enough to undergo surgery. My surgeon, dr matthew boente, said mine was among the largest surgeries he'd accomplished. "you!" he said. "you're my poster child!" i was away from my house for a total of 6 months. after that, i went through 2 years of chemotherapy.

i was able to make it through because of support from dear friends who called, visited and sent prayers. dr laudon who sent the NY times literary supplement so i'd have "something civilized to read." betsy, who brought me all the harry potter books. ann, who told me i had a beautiful face. the other anne who brought a stuffed bear for me to hug. bob, who visited more than anyone except for my family. john, who finally hunted me down at my parents' because he'd had a feeling something was wrong. richard, who listened. my NP friend patti, who counseled me daily. 3 friends even sent money so i wouldn't lose my house while i was unable to work. verna, who taught some of my students. internet acquaintances, long-distant friends and relatives i hadn't seen in years who sent cards, notes and prayers. my mom, dad, and sisters lori and karen, bless their hearts, who stayed strong and steady and took care of things while the wonderful doctors at MOHPA figured out what to do with me. the staff at martin luther manor, where i stayed for 3 months after my surgery, recovering both emotionally and physically from the removal of a 24-pound tumor. and most of all, my sister-warrior patty, without whose steadfast faith and selfless courage i'd not be around to write this.

i am blessed to be alive.

i hope you enjoy the music tonight. i hope you find it in your hearts to contribute to the Minnesota Angel Foundation, which is the charitable arm of MOHPA, Minnesota Oncology-Hematology, PA. i hope you will hold the hand of someone you love and thank the universe for their good health, and that you yourself enjoy every day you have been given.

i know i intend to.
spiralflames: (Default)
tunes. tomorrow's the show. i've done all i can do- programs printed, clothes figured out, 2 last rehearsals done. at 7 PM there'll be music. at 9 PM there will be food and alcohol. yes!
the bottom picture shows my life. serious clouds, but with a strange big of sunlight lighting up the important parts.

wishing you the same.

flatter, originally uploaded by spiralflmz.

spiralflames: (Default)
tonight's sunset:

lake calhoun, mpls MN2, originally uploaded by spiralflmz.

today: day of rehearsal marathon. taught from 9A-1P.
1- 230: singer and horn player for schubert "auf dem strom" and poulenc "elegie"
230-4: narrator for babar the elephant
4-5: poulenc oboe sonata
5:6: poulenc flute sonata
it's going to come to pass. tomorrow, my singer and i play for the church's 9 AM service, to advertise the concert and to thank them for donating their facilities.
then a short _babar_ rehearsal, then type program, write a bio and address envelopes.
god, but i'm blessed to be healthy enough to be doing all of this.
and next friday 'twill be finished. and then on to the Next Thing! :-D
below: one of the stained glass windows in the church.

mtka MC stained glass window6, originally uploaded by spiralflmz.


Apr. 23rd, 2009 01:04 am
spiralflames: (Default)
tonight i met with lorelei, the oboist who's doing the poulenc oboe sonata with me. i've known her for ages, and we played the poulenc together years ago, and had lost touch until i called her about this recital. the first time through, it was creaky on both our parts..the second time, it was like we'd just spoken yesterday. i felt happy and full and right.

this is what's been missing- admidst all the things i've been doing to re-route my life after cancer, the one thing that hadn't been fully re-introduced..was music.

when i'm making music, especially with someone i'm truly complete.

wishing you the same.

rosebud/hope (E), originally uploaded by spiralflmz.


Apr. 21st, 2009 11:20 pm
spiralflames: (obscure)
this is your Lake:

this is your Lake on drugs:

amazing, isn't it? the first one taken at 4:45 PM. the second one taken at 7:15. the same day.

no wonder i'm occasionally moody...i'm just like minnesota weather!

actually, life is good. excellent rehearsals yesterday- horn, soprano and oboe rehearsals tomorrow, practice in between students.
spiralflames: (Default)
Concert in Celebration of Life

Nancy Thompson, piano
Nancee Soteroplos, soprano
Lorelei Giddings, oboe
Erica McNamara, flute
Jeff Ohlmann, horn
John Schneider, piano
Frank Williams, narrator

Music by Francis Poulenc and Franz Schubert

Friday, May 1 2009 @ 7:00 PM
Minnetonka Methodist Church
17611 Lake Street Extension
Minnetonka, Minnesota

Admission Free- Donations encouraged

This is a benefit for the Minnesota Angel Foundation ( ) which offers support to families and individuals touched by cancer.

lake calhoun, mpls mn, sunset7
spiralflames: (psychology)

*the first slight bit of green is appearing on trees. i think this is going to be, photographically, the Summer of Reflection.

*rehearsed _Babar_ today. i played, as the expression goes, like ass. my narrator, incredibly subtly, said, "is there something different about your piano this week?" uh huh..all the black keys slid off the edge...this week, i practiced everything BUT _babar_ and am feeling pretty good about the other ensemble pieces. tomorrow, serious ELEPHANT action. aaiiee!

*chose 12 photos to enlarge and print for new show at the Studio. everything seemed a bit wrong, when viewed objectively. double aaaiiieee.

*today all of my students performed in their contest/festival- i'll get their comments back soon. now they'll have 3 weeks to practice before their recitals. in the next 3 weeks, they will all accomplish more than they have accomplished in the previous 35 weeks. sigh.

*tomorrow- sleep, coffee. practice. rehearse.

*life is good.
PS here's tonight's Denali view.

spiralflames: (goddess)

scrubbies on alert (E), originally uploaded by spiralflmz.

back to alaska, above, for "my" black spruces.
today, rehearsed with Experienced Soprano. she brought her coach with her- i haven't seen him since undergrad days, and i didn't ask him if he remembered me. so we sang through our Schubert set. he mostly took notes to tell her later at her lesson. when we finished, we came down from the stage and chatted. "was there anything you needed to tell both of us?" i asked.

"what could be better than watching two honkin' beautiful women making music?" he said.

woo! it's been awhile since i've been called not only beautiful, but HONKIN' beautiful!! by a total stranger.

later, we made arrangements to play during the church service the sunday before the concert (this is the church where the concert will be held.) she'll do 2 schubert songs, i'll play a brahms intermezzo.

life is good.
spiralflames: (solitude)
have a few somber b/w pics..every once in awhile it's the line, not the color, and b/w seems more expressive.

first open water, originally uploaded by spiralflmz.

today i:
-got up early and made phonecalls
-picked up verna
-drove us over to the church our recital's going to be in
-met w/soprano and horn player, rehearsed
-hauled verna back home
-went to bank
-went to parents' to help dad w/his house taxes
total milage: 156

wasn't so much the events as much as all the driving, mid-day, through serious freeway construction. my monday students are off for spring break, so today was my "vacation."

vocal things are going well. the horn things sound fabulous, and the church's acoustic made the fermatas between the measures in the poulenc totally understandable- there's so much time it takes for a horn and piano's sounds to quit reverberating, and that's how long you wait. this made NO sense practicing in an office. music was made for resonant spaces.

the church is set up for Powerpoint presentations. i decided i'm going to put my photos into powerpoint and change slides on every piece during the program, and have a few illustrations from Babar the Elephant during that piece's performance.

this is going to be a cool event.

spiralflames: (scenery)

have to photos from tuesday's drive to buffalo. the Lake's finally starting to thaw- there was a thick fog coming from it. the second shot is right before sunset, a bit of fog, a bit of cloud, and the lake ice looking almost black.

today's good possibilities- the Studio's still running. it'll be interesting to see what happens w/ friday's paycheck. everyone was teaching today- all i can say is, there BETTER be money on friday, and some kind of notice as to when the missing paycheck from 2 weeks ago will be re-paid.

(edit: just got the mail- last week's paycheck was in it. yay! hope springeth)

one of the teachers is moving to germany, and i might inherit some of his students. he also put a note on the teacher's bulletin board for someone to take 6 of his private students- 6 blocks from my house. what a godsend that'd be if any of that came through. this school year has been financially scary.

tonight's choir rehearsal was especially good- the Braying Alto was missing, and i was able to sit next to a Tonal Alto. we're doing the 7 Last Words of Christ for good friday. the choir's really improved in the past year- singing better and stronger, especially with the addition of a handful of new male singers. it's possible to do 8 parts. w00t!

did some work on poulenc _babar the elephant_ today. i start rehearsal w/frank, who's doing the narration. that'll motivate me to get kicking. it's a wonderful piece.

i realized lately that i adore nature like never before because when i was fighting cancer, i missed three COMPLETE SEASONS. i was in my house for spring, in the hospital for summer, and in the nursing home recovering for fall. i refused to let my parents bring winter clothes when i left there to finally come home and resume my life- i didn't want to admit i had missed that much time. i came home on december 12, wearing a summer dress and sandals. now? every minute of every season is dear to me. i don't want to miss a single leaf if i can help it. is good.

PS after reporting the 2 russian bot accounts, a few days later, both the accounts had been suspended by LJ. evidently they don't hurt you UNLESS you unwittingly friend them back. be careful- and report them if they appear in your journal. if you friend them back, they're a keylogger virus, and life becomes difficult for you.

buffalo lake fog1, originally uploaded by spiralflmz.

spiralflames: (spiral_staircase)

glacier and coming rain4 AK, originally uploaded by spiralflmz.

*white-out blizzard today. amazing. took a major slip-on-the-ice. fortunately, fell on my arse, which is well-padded. a few sore muscles (shoulders) and some odd digging around in the snow looking for my keys, but nothing serious.

*bloods drawn today, oncologist visit on tues. when i came back to the waiting room, i noticed an older woman, sitting by herself, who was smiling. i felt drawn to sit down next to her, and i said "i just wanted to tell you what a beautiful smile you have."

*tomorrow, a wireless router will be purchased. for the last few days, i've had to plug my laptop into the cable proper, which means i've had to sit on my bed. after tomorrow? wireless freedom. that will make porch and yard internetting possible! once the blizzard stops, of course...

*rehearsal of schubert _auf dem strom_ yesterday w/soprano and horn. it's so interesting getting accustomed to new musicians- it really is like getting comfortable with a new lover..everyone so tentative, so polite..and then bit by bit, becoming looser, less self-conscious, happier leading and following. fascinating process.

*no unscheduled family melt-downs this week...*knocks on wood*

have a few on the way over the worthington glacier, and, secondly, a feather from a christmas wreath. both miracles.

white feather6, originally uploaded by spiralflmz.

spiralflames: (goddess)
have a photo of alaskan fireweed, complete w/"bokeh" and rain droplets. this is one of the photos i hadn't put on flickr b/c i didn't think it was 'interesting' enough..idjut. i should have just uploaded all of them and gotten judgmental later...

fireweed22, originally uploaded by spiralflmz.

here's what i've come up with for a tentative concert order.

POULENC: Sonata for Flute and Piano

SCHUBERT: _Auf dem Strom_ (horn, soprano, piano)

POULENC: _Babar the Elephant_ (narrator and piano)


POULENC: _Elegie_ for horn and piano

POULENC: Sonata for Oboe and Piano

SCHUBERT: Six songs (soprano and piano)

POULENC: Sonata for Piano, 4-hands (piano duet)

P flute sonata- light, pretty.
S auf dem strom- also not as dramatic
babar- longest piece on program, good end to half

P-elegie- stark, odd, surprising
P-oboe sonata- beautiful but sad and profound at end
S- 6 songs of various emotional character- dramatic and most meaningful
P- 4-hand sonata- flashy "encore" fun at the end so ppl don't shoot themselves

puts horn player in each half and singer in each half so both get a break

i think this works.

as soon as this concert is over, i'm going to start working on a totally new solo recital, absolutely new rep, things i've never worked on, started, coached on, or had lessons with. all that old rep is tainted with failure-- too whacked by PF and by my own trying to resurrect it over years. need to choose things i love, but things nobody else owns- things not played by my friends, butchered by PF students, listened to with slavish adoration for years on recordings. need to make my own fucking mark on the world.
spiralflames: (photography)

mtka, mn winter, originally uploaded by spiralflmz.

have two late-winter minnesota photos..a dried flower of some kind that made it through the winter weather was probably a half-inch in diameter. the second, a lovely weathered structure i passed on the way to teaching on tuesday.

i'm starting to schedule regular rehearsals for the May 1 concert. this week i met jeff, the horn player, who blew me away when i heard him practicing the concert etude on "carnival of venice"-- for the cornet- but playing its triplet 32nd notes..on the french horn?? wowie kazowie. so i enlisted him to play the poulenc elegie (he'd never heard it before) and schubert's _auf dem strom_ for soprano, horn and piano.

we went through the poulenc once- note perfect. did half of it again. better. "you OK with that?" "yep" "YOU OK with that?" "yep". 2 minnesotan musicians meet. all righty then. we then ran the schubert- again, note perfect on his part. unbelievable, actually. next week we'll get it with Experienced Singer, which should be interesting, since she tends to be a bit behind the beat.

then today, Experienced Singer came to my house. our tunes: schubert.
1)an die musik
2)lachen und weinen
3)nacht und traume
4)(some little cute thing, i forget its name)
6)gretchen am spinnrade

today she was calmer and more consistent- she has an astounding legato and an amaaaaaaaaaaaazing pianissimo. i sort of didn't realize it, but she's going to end up being the dramatic highlight of this concert, surrounded by all this lovely poulenc.

next week i meet erica, the flutist, for the poulenc flute sonata. then i'll get with my oboist for the poulenc oboe, and finally, my narrator for _babar the elephant._


i feel like a pianist again. scratch that-- i'm ALWAYS a pianist. i feel like a PERFORMER again.

wright county mn abandoned1, originally uploaded by spiralflmz.

spiralflames: (Default)

enjoy, originally uploaded by spiralflmz.

can't help posting a disgustingly optimistic photo this eve. deal with it :-D

first, i met Shiny New Soprano tonight. *!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!* she's FANTASTIC! *!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!* she's young- just finished grad school at northwestern, newly moved here. she's the one who commented on my musical-motive dress, which inspired us to get to chatting. she came over to my house tonight and we sang through some things. THIS IS A GUTSY SOPRANO WHO CAN DO _COME SCOGLIO_ BUT HAS THE BOTTOM NOTES TO DO MAHLER AND COPLAND! hello, where have YOU been all my life? i sent her home with mahler ruckert lieder, wagner wesendonck lieder, and copland emily dickinson. i'm going to get on the phone next week and see if i can scare up a concert venue for us for this year.

now for the TRULY spooky coincidence/serendipity/synchronicity? her dad's a doctor. an oncologist. WHO IS NEWLY APPOINTED TO THE ONCOLOGISTS' PRACTICE who saved my venerable bacon, AND he already KNEW about my May 1 concert because he'd already gotten the notice.

amazing. every damn day, amazing.

AND i went SWIMMING tonight, first time in EIGHT WEEKS since my minor surgery in mid-Sept is finally healed. OMH how i have missed that! there's no time when i feel as truly slicksleeksealgraceful as when i'm in the water.

thank you, THANK you for my life.


spiralflames: (Default)

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