Monday, August 06, 2007

I don’t do particularly well with intense heat and humidity. Fortunately, both heat and humidity broke in the early hours of Sunday morning..

On Saturday we had some outdoor chores to do that we deferred to cooler times: building a rain deflector over the doors to the garage area of the barn where my furniture is stored until we can move it into the new house, and various bits of yard work. Instead Fritz finished the last Harry Potter book and I worked on the symposium on Mozart I’m giving in Greenfield, MA in October. I also began working on the Inman opera in earnest.

My first task will be to put together a scale model of the stage and part of the auditorium. A, the production’s director is up in Lebanon, NH working as assistant director for Opera North’s production of Puccini’s Turandot so he won’t be able to see the space until after he’s had to do most of his preliminary thinking. This is our third collaboration and we’ve always worked successfully from a model of the venue, and I’m not about to change a working process that has a proven track record.

Once the model is done, I’ll start working on the lights. The primary quality of the story that has to be conveyed is Inman’s isolation and on stage that places the burden on lighting first and foremost.

Sometime in the next two weeks, I’ll take all my drawings and the model up to Lebanon and meet with A. He already sent a couple of sketches of floor plans that he could work with but he was assuming a stage far narrower and deeper than the one at MassArt. I think he’ll be pretty happy with the sight lines when I adapt his prime areas to the stage we actually have to deal with.


Lewis of Spirit of St. Lewis has become a good blog friend of Fritz’s and mine. Lewis works out of the Portland, Oregon airport but hadn’t particularly noticed a pair of driftwood horse sculptures near the entrance. Fritz first saw them when he flew to Portland for a teaching gig a couple of years ago and he wrote to Lewis about them, which led to the discovery of some information and this picture of the airport sculptures:

The sculptor is Deborah Butterfield and I found this on a site about contemporary American artists:

Deborah Butterfield: Horses features twelve evocative sculptures of horses in bronze, steel, and mixed media by the internationally acclaimed Montana sculptor. On view at the Norton Museum of Art from September 17 through December 11, 2005, most of the pieces are from Deborah Butterfield's personal collection and have rarely been seen by the public. An enormously popular and significant American sculptor, Deborah Butterfield first gained wide notice at the 1979 Whitney Biennial. Horses have been the single, sustained focus of Butterfield's work for over 30 years. Her early work, fragile creations of mud, sticks, straw, and found metal, evoke horses either standing or resting on the ground. Since the mid-1980s she has been creating medium and full-size horses from driftwood branches, casting the finished sculpture in bronze. The intricate casting process involving twenty people takes two to three months for a large horse. A true lover of horses, Butterfield is an accomplished dressage rider. She owns twelve horses and rides daily when at home in Montana.

Bitterfield doesn’t have her own site but googling her will get a lot of information on her life and output as well as some striking photos.


As of Friday afternoon, the building site looked like this:

As you can see, all the crushed rock back fill behind the house is in place, rising to six inches below the top of the concrete. That top edge will eventually sit five feet above the poured slab floor with a row of clerestory windows on it that will bring light and air to the back of the house. The floor of the excavation has been smoothed and the house’s drains are in place. Work began this morning on the heating pipes and reinforcement grid that will be imbedded in the slab, but heavy rain and thunder beginning around 2:30 this afternoon will almost certainly have put a stop to that.

By the way, the photo was taken using the camera in my new laptop. For some reason, it flips the images so that any picture I take is reversed. Does anyone have an explanation of why this happens?

You boys sure do know how to make a girl blush. I'm embarassed....well, not really. Just pretending. I'm on my way out the door to go drive by those horses right now. I don't do well in the humidity and heat either. Too much of a girl.
it must be fascinating to consider all the things that go into a production of an opera - or a house.

I can't help you on the picture matter; I guess it is gremlins or other evil fairies.
Does the camera normally face you and you have to flip it over to look forward?
some of us southern gals don't do heat and humidity either that's why we move up here to "yankee land"


actually this So Gal is in New Mexico preparing for her first Santa Fe experience - DAPHNE and TEA ! whee!

so exciting to see the building taking shape!
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