Simon’s Cat

October 20, 2009 at 12:01 am (Fun) (, , , )

Since I currently live with a cat, I find this clip and the artist’s other works incredibly hilarious.

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Week Two

September 10, 2009 at 2:02 pm (Art) (, , , , )

Life has been going well. I’m getting used to early mornings because it saves me money. I am more social and, as it turns out, have a much better ear than I thought I did. (Ear Training, Sight Singing class, that is.) I have a project on Karita Mattila, a Finnish soprano, to do. But for the sake of catharsis, I sat down in companionable silence with my landlady and we both made jewelry. PICTURES! I apologize for the awful quality. The lighting outside would have been even worse, though.

IMG_7485 I originally made this in England before I came back to the States for school. The magnet clasp, however, turned out to be fairly weak. It’s not necessarily a hefty necklace, but it certainly isn’t light, either, constructed of winter jasper and mother of pearl and God knows what else for the pendant. C. had a bunch of magnetic clasps so strong they require a warning for people with pacemakers. It did the trick, but I had to restring it while evading a cat who decided my supplies were his toys.

IMG_7484 I had winter jasper left as well as mother of pearl. It is the sister necklace to the other one; I’d prefer it found a home with a friend, so anyone reading this who thinks they might wear a fairly long rose/mauve/greenish tinted necklace with a brown pendant knows how to contact me. Made last night.

IMG_7483 Onyx and lava stone. It seemed like a good idea to my sleep-addled brain; I’m not sure I would wear it, but Lord knows people seem to wear much bigger costume jewelry these days.

IMG_7486 Blue lace agate with silver spacers, some leftover mother of pearl and GOD knows what the focus stones might be. Also done last night.

IMG_7487 The colors on this are so much nicer in person, I swear. The bad lighting and flash leaked all the gold tones out of it. This was also strung in England; gold jade with silver spacers.

IMG_7488I have a bunch of hematyte. Let me tell you, it is HARD to pair that up with anything else. It’s a black, extremely shiny stone that looks good with hardly anything. I paired it with some green jade beads I had. The green is a little brighter than can be seen here; I’m not sure I like the texture it has. I couldn’t add a focal point on this because there would have been too much going on. I figure it can be worn at Halloween or something.

IMG_7489 Blue-themed, again. I forgot what the stones were. I made this in England and made sure to close all the knots properly and glue everything off last night. So. Yeah.

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Shiny Time

June 29, 2009 at 12:33 pm (Art, Fun) (, , , , , )

So, in order to kill some time this week, my aunt and I stopped by Michael’s because they were having a huge-ass sale yesterday. My aunt’s been making a lot of jewelry lately, so I thought I might try my hand at it as well. I am not particularly good or talented at it, but the results are pleasing enough and now I actually have, you know, shit to wear and gifts to give. Onwards!

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Update! Adding these two that I made earlier today.

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Firebird

June 14, 2009 at 1:41 am (Music) (, , , , , )

I watched Fantasia 2000 on the treadmill tonight because I had not yet seen it. (Way late, I know.) My expectations were low, my younger sister had said she didn’t like it. Some pieces were better than others, but I enjoyed all of them immensely. Which brings me this next clip, set to Igor Stravinsky’s “Firebird Suite.” I think it is the most gorgeous piece of animation I have ever seen.

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At the OK Corel

June 13, 2009 at 9:36 pm (Art) (, , )

Oh ho ho ho. I am so incredibly punny. Shoot me.

I have been playing around with Corel Painter Essentials 4 lately, mostly in an attempt to really, truly get a hang of the Bamboo tablet my mother gave me. It’s definitely much nicer than working with a mouse or a trackpad as my laptop has, but most importantly, I can actually use it like a pen. I haven’t busied myself with art in a long time – I concentrated on music and writing, for most part. I will never be REALLY good, especially since my style is extremely cartoony, but I am definitely not unhappy with the result of a concentrated play session. I like the lack of smudging and the fact I am no longer shredding paper thanks to furiously trying to erase something stupid.

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SUCCESS!

May 5, 2009 at 10:53 pm (Art, Life, Music, School) (, , , )

I would not say it went perfectly, but overall, the concert was fabulous. I invited my cousin – who, as I found out, lives and works in D.C. and has done so for the last five years – to come out and listen. He seemed impressed. It turns out I had a nice little support group, but I feel it’s weird to receive compliments for the performance. I feel like I was only a tiny, tiny cog in the machine that made this happened and can’t accept praise for the entity as a whole.

I am a little sad we did not get to hear the piano concerto; it appears that, too, went well. Instead, I sat in the rehearsal hall with about fifty other people and chatted for a bit until we were allowed to wander to the Performing Arts Center. I am still trying to figure out which YouTube Channel this whole thing is on because they will apparently be put up at some point.

More importantly, it turns out we – my aunt and I – know the production manager, which means I may be able to get a DVD out of the whole business. My family will certainly be pleased with this news. There will be no pictures of tired Dani in choral garb, as I am now off to bed because I have voice lessons at eight o’clock tomorrow morning.

Good night!

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Lovely Ladies Part III

March 13, 2009 at 11:16 am (Art, Fun, Music) (, , , )

Here I’ll be featuring the more alternative artists, the ones that defy all categories in general. I’m glad I decided to do this because it does make me very aware of my strange, distinctive and somewhat biased taste in music. Maybe, sometime when I am done with my midterms, I will dedicate a few posts to some of my favorite bands featuring male vocalists.

Let’s start out with Neko Case; this lady is a brilliant, very underrated lady I would like to hear on the radio AT ALL. Her lyrics are brilliant, if a little obscure, and she draws a lot of influence from country though what she does is really folk at heart.

The Duhks, I believe, have since switched singers, but I prefer this voice to the new one. She has an interesting, husky quality without falling into obnoxious territory. She clearly knows her style and executes it well.

I’m not so sure of her personality, but fact is, Carla Bruni is an immensely talented lady. I have a strong bias against the French language (and people, but let’s not get into that or we’ll be here all night). I like her soft, whispery voice and what I’ve read of her songs. It’s been a while since France has produced decent chansóns.

Happy Rhodes has an INCREDIBLE range; I’ve often heard this song mistaken for a duet between Annie Lennox and Kate Bush, when, in truth, it is one single person singing. “When The Rain Came Down” is a beautiful song I can listen to for hours on loop.

This song apparently a bunch of controversy in the UK for its dark, dark humor. Amanda Palmer is better known for her participation in the band The Dresden Dolls, who, according to their own description, produce Brechtian punk cabaret. I can deal with that description.

I have to admit I don’t know terribly much about Imogen Heap save for the fact she produces all her own music and had a record contract that was cancelled and then reinstated after her fan support remained strong. She strikes me as an interesting woman I would like to know more about.

I’ve listened to Inkubus Sukkubus for years now and had for some reason never bothered to look up music videos for them. Maybe because my knowledge of their existence preceded YouTube. Heavy on the Wiccan lore, but still neat.

Whenever I am at home, I am serenaded with this song by my younger sister. Karen Zoid is from South Africa, was born in Belgium, I don’t know much more about her; but I figured she deserved to be in the list somewhere. I also think anyone who’s ever flown anywhere knows exactly what she sings of.

Last but not least is Mariha. I tried to find better clips of her, but most of them are not embeddable and I hate to make people click their way through the internet. If you really want to hear a higher quality version, you can find it here; her song Absolutely Entertaining was done for the German movie Barfuss and I highly recommend it.

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Lovely Ladies Part II

March 12, 2009 at 9:39 pm (Art, Fun, Music) (, , , )

In continuation of favorite female artists! This time it is pop music because, yes, I listen to that sometimes. Honest.

What would a list be without the inspirational Kate Bush? I came by my love for her on my own, as my older sister, who grew up in the 80s and 90s, was more of a Sting enthusiast. Her song-writing is amazing, if obscure, and that’s awesome, just like her unmistakable voice.

Ladies and gentlemen: ANNIE LENNOX. I sincerely envy her recognizable, soulful voice, not to mention her charisma. (May I add that I cover the jacket she wears in that video?)

I would be a major ass if I didn’t include some of my favorite German artists. Judith Holofernes (yes, it is a stage name) of Wir Sind Helden is the lyricist; a lot of her songs hit home on very mundane matters. She is a brilliant woman with razor wit and an infectious smile.

More from Germany: Silbermond have done what hasn’t happened in a long time, which is actually make German music popular IN Germany. For a long time all you heard on the radio was music imported by big record companies from the US. With Silbermond came a veritable revolution of German popular music.

It’s Cyndi Lauper. Do I REALLY have to say anything?

I’m not going to lie. I have a bit of a girlcrush on Andrea Corr; she’s always seemed like a great person with a fantastic voice. She also sang for the Warner Bros. movie “Quest For Camelot,” which includes one of the best roles ever written for a female cartoon character.

K.D. Lang’s rendition of “Hallelujah” is probably my favorite, period. I enjoy the rest of her music as well.

What the hell would this list be without Kylie? She deserves a lot of kudos for what she’s accomplished, including beating the shit out of breast cancer.

I’m almost a little reluctant to put Duffy in this category because I’m not quite sure where she falls into, but I do have to settle for pop because she is very well-known at this time.

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Lovely Ladies Part I

March 11, 2009 at 6:45 pm (Art, Music) (, , , )

Whenever I open my iTunes, I am almost ashamed of the fact I seem to have more male artists in my music library. I wonder if this is some form of unconscious discrimination on my behalf – or if it stems from my intense criticism of my own performance in the vocal department. I have high standards for women in music, from an artistic and training perspective. So I think a post with some of my favorite female artists or female-fronted bands was in order. Part I will consist of the harder, more Gothic stuff and we’ll continue on from there.

Formerly the face of the (now totally rotten and awful) band Nightwish, Tarja Turunen is the reason I decided to pursue voice in the first place. I taught myself at least some minor technique by merely mimicking her style. Whatever problems her personality may have, it does NOT detract from her talent.

I have been a fan of Lacuna Coil and, more importantly, Cristina Scabbia for a long time. I am usually a part of the “Do NOT even THINK about touching Depeche Mode” fanbase, but this cover is actually fantastic and showcases her lovely voice.

Simone Simones is only two years older than yours truly. Much like myself, she was also inspired to take voice lessons after growing up listening to Nightwish. That makes me unreasonably happy and smily.

Kerli is a fairly new discovery; I enjoy that she is a very different sort of manufactured persona. She hails from Estonia, which probably makes a huge difference in terms of how much control she has over her music, her image and what can be demanded of her.

This dame goes by the stage name Emilie Autumn; she has a super interesting biography. She attended Indiana University Bloomington’s school of music at fourteen and was kicked out soon after for not fitting in with the school’s somewhat more conservative image. She is also one of modern day’s violin protegés with a special love for Bach. In fact, she was so good she and her teacher developed an entirely new technique.

Liv Kristine is one of the nicest, most gracious people I have ever met. There’s a sort of interesting story to it – my chemistry teacher back in Germany mentioned once or twice that he knew a lady who was in a fairly famous band and at some point, I wheedled out of him that it was Leaves’ Eyes. (Cue Dani’s jaw hitting her desk.) A few weeks later, he called me up to the podium after class and handed me an autograph because he’d seen Liv at a party recently and told him that some of his students were fans. A half year later, I went to a concert for her solo tour with my younger sister and we decided to leave after her performance because the band they were on the road with sucked. Outside, we ran into the band and her and it was FAN-FUCKING-TASTIC. She is so, so nice.

Krypteria are probably the only Western band fronted by a Korean person. Ji-In Cho is ridiculously pretty, a good lyricist and apparently a real powerhouse live. I missed their concerts when they were in the area. SIGH.

Within Temptation! This was one of my start-out bands for the genre. Their new album didn’t impress me as much as it should have, but I can cope.

More to come at some point soon!

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Trees

February 25, 2009 at 11:34 pm (Art) ()

I like trees. I spent most of my time at the Neighborhood Association Meeting scribbling a tree onto a notepad.

Metamorphosis

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