Saturday, August 20, 2011
The big project for me is building and painting the set pieces and props for the fall production by our opera company, Intermezzo. The work is Rocket's Red Blare, a political satire in the guise of a children's storybook. It was written twenty five or so years ago by James Yannatos, for three decades the conductor of the Harvard Radcliffe Orchestra. There was a staged student production shortly after the score was completed, but Intermezzo will be giving the first professional staged performances at Radcliffe's historic Agassiz Theater on the 23rd and 24th of September.
I have a personal art project that is approaching completion. There is a swale behind the house, a twelve foot or so wide bed of gravel about six feet deep that allows all the water that drains from the roofs at the back of the house and all the water that drains down from the hillside to percolate down and be carried by big pipe drains under the house to prevent any flooding. The question was, what to do with this space.
A good friend of ours, a nurseryman and landscape designer suggested something like a Japanese Zen Garden, not with raked sand but with recycled Landscape Glass nuggets as water. He proposed a stream flowing the length of the swale with "islands" in it that could be planted with bulbs or miniature plants. I loved the idea and developed it further based on the Japanese Inland Sea. The glass nuggets, which will be blue in a mix of shades, will arrive in about five weeks. When an inch or so layer of the glass is in place, sparkling in the sunlight, the effect should be very beautiful. Here are three preview shots:
An antique, hand-colored photograph of the original "Husband and Wife Rocks of Futami."
Pictures of the completed project will be posted in late September.