Saturday, January 20, 2007

I'd planned on posting the drawings for the new house today but the scanner at work produced images of such massive size - and in a text file format rather than jpeg or bitmap - that my computer at home couldn't handle them. I have no idea of the size of each file (one for each drawing) but they were obviously huge and the computer went nuts, running along at high speed uncontrollably, and then some strange things began to happen spontaneously. I'd have 1/20th of a drawing on the screen and then icons from the desktop would start to bleed through. Everything slowed down to a crawl and I figured a virus had somehow come through with one or more of the files. I deleted everything fast and powered down for a while. When I logged back in, fortunately the machine worked perfectly.

SO, I guess I'll take some digital pictures of the drawings and upload them. They'll probably not have quite as much sharpness of detail as the scanned images, but I know the computer will deal with them without having a spasm.

I'm working on my current house this morning and am about to go out and do some yard work. It's very cold but a brilliant day and the sun's out so it shouldn't be too unpleasant. I have to take down the deteriorated cedar picket fence I put around the little playhouse I built for my daughters and their friends when they were kids. The cedar pickets and posts will work well for the Sweat Lodge fire at Fritz's. The house itself is in pretty decent shape and the realtor thought it charming and something a potential buyer might like.

Speaking of the Sweat Lodge, I'm going up this afternoon because we're having the boys in for a Sweat tonight. From the replies I've gotten we should have a nice crowd. We'll be celebrating especially the new job of one of our friends which will allow him to stay in the area rather than having to relocate away from his boyfriend. They're a super couple and it was killing us to think they might have to be separated geographically.

One of the things I had hinted pretty heavily to my daughters that I would just love to have for Christmas was Sting's new CD of songs by Elizabethan composer John Dowland. But I didn't get itso I ordered it from ASAP. I've loved Sting and his voice since the earliest days of The Police. As the years have gone by, he's branched out and tried any number of things, generally with great success.

One of the nicest stories concerns his starring in "The Threepenny Opera" by Kurt Weill and Bertoldt Brecht in New York some years ago. The production's well-known and influential director was known for being a difficult, to be polite, personality. Sting was the Actor's Equity representative in the cast as well as its star. In a note session after one of the late rehearsals, a well-known Broadway singer/actress in the cast asked a question or made an observation and the director shot back "Judy, stop being such a cunt." Sting immediately protested and said if there was't an immediate apology and promise of no more such insults, he'd leave the production then and there. There was an apology and a promise.

The CD is titled "Songs from the Labyrinth." Dowland wrote very intimate and personal songs, many of them dealing with love in its many aspects, particularly frustrated love or unfulfilled longing. Sting accompanies himself on an archlute, also called a theorbo, and is joined on some numbers by lutenist Edin Karamazov. Here and there between the songs, Sting reads excerpts from letters by Dowland to family or noble patrons to give a context to some of the subject matter. At the height of his career, Dowland felt compelled by the Catholic/Protestant conflict in England to relocate to Germany where he was very well received.

The songs are usually sung by classically trained concert singers. I've always loved the slightly foggy, sexy sound of Sting's voice. And I think the guy's incredibly hot. He knows his way around the kind of erotic longing that's a subtext or even THE text of many of these songs and has a sure sense of the style without ever becoming mannered or any less than his warm earthy self. He also plays the long-necked archlute beautifully. The CD is on the Deutche Grammophone label and has gotten very good reviews from the classical music press, including a rave from Opera News.

thank you for the tip on Sting.
He had Jungian training, and many of his songs have Jungian themes to them. I look forward to his new album.
There was a James Taylor tribute concert on PBS a month or two ago, and Sting did a very unexpected and beautiful version of "You Can Close Your Eyes." Sometimes I find him a bit mannered and precious (he was playing an instrument I didn't even recognize. Maybe it was an archlute!), but he's very talented, no question (and yes, very very sexy).
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