Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

All Shall Be Well

My friend Julia Bloom, who is also one of my favorite singers and songwriters, released a new song yesterday. It was an honor to be able to collaborate with her by contributing my photography for the video. The lyrics are from Julian of Norwich’s Revelations of Divine Love, and the melody and harmonies are simply beautiful.


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While I don’t call myself an artist, I have the inability to leave an art supply shop empty-handed. There’s just something about new supplies that makes me giddy. It brings me back to the days of my childhood, when a new box of Crayolas meant endless possibilities. I have quite the collection of supplies, which have mostly gone unused. I have good intentions, for sure. I mean to use them someday. This month, I hope to carve out some time for creativity, time to actually use the supplies that I have acquired over the years.

In addition, I also hope to seek out opportunities to experience art in a community setting, whether it’s music, film or theater. There’s a community orchestra concert this upcoming Sunday. (2 pm at St. John Lutheran Church, for those in the area.) I was invited to view and discuss The Life of Pi with some friends the following weekend. Two of my favorite musicians named Josh (Ritter and Garrels) will be performing in Minneapolis, within the same week. I most likely won’t be able to attend both, but I can dream for now. This piece by Lanier Ivester has renewed my interest in opera. I have since found out that the Minnesota Opera is performing Turandot at the Ordway this month. Oh, and the local theater also has a show this month. There is a calligraphy class offered through community ed this month, and I’m tempted to take it, especially after seeing this. (Among my supplies is a set of calligraphy pens and ink…)

I won’t be able to do all of the above, but it’s nice to have options, and that’s only this month! I may or may not post the results of all of my creative endeavors and adventures on the blog, but I hope to at least post some updates.

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I spent the evening worshipping with my church family. It was wonderful to come together outside of our regular Sunday morning service to praise God.

While we were inside, Winter Storm Triton was wreaking havoc outside. As I stepped outside with my parents, I said, “It’s still winter.” (Just stating the obvious, I guess. ;)) I was about to say that I heard O Come, O Come Emmanuel on MPR while driving to church, but before I could speak, I slipped and slid down the cement steps on my back.

The first thing out of my Mom’s mouth, after making sure I was OK, was, “Dad just blogged about this today!” Indeed, he wrote about falling down (or flying over) those very steps! Like father, like daughter…?

I stopped on the slippery drive home to take some photos downtown:

March 10th: Winter Storm Triton

March 10th: Winter Storm Triton in action

Here’s one of the songs we sang tonight. It’s actually a hymn from the late 1800s, although I’m sure it didn’t quite sound like this back then:

In Tenderness
(The original hymn was written by W. Spencer Walton, this arrangement by Citizens)

In tenderness he sought me
Weary and sick with sin
And on his shoulders brought me
Back to his fold again

While angels in his presence sang
Until the courts of heaven rang

Oh, the love that sought me!
Oh, the blood that bought me!
Oh, the grace that brought me to the fold of God
Grace that brought me to the fold of God

He died for me while I was sinning
Needy and poor and blind
He whispered to assure me,
“I’ve found thee, thou art mine”

I’d never heard a sweeter voice
It made my aching heart rejoice

Upon his grace I’ll daily ponder
And sing anew his praise
With all adoring wonder
His blessings I retrace

It seems as if eternal days
Are far too short to sing his praise!

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Kenny and Kristen, circa Christmas 1982

Kenny and Kristen, Christmas 1982

Don’t leave it up to the robots!

Because I’m a fan of classical music, creativity, and my cousin Ken, here’s a reminder about this awesome Kickstarter project:

Ken is extremely talented and his music deserves the chance to be heard.

We both played violin in our high school symphony orchestra – Ken was concertmaster and I was somewhere in the front-to-middle of the second violin section. I might have grown up in his shadow, but I was always proud to call him my cousin. I set my violin aside after college, but he never stopped playing or composing.

If you’re also a fan of classical music, creativity, or my cousin Ken, consider joining him in his quest to share his music with the world.

“Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent.” – Victor Hugo

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A History in CDs

Pictured below is just a sampling of my CD collection from high school and early college:


Yes, I was a high school student of the 90s. And a regular attender of church youth group.

I came across these CD cases in my ongoing effort to sort through boxes of stuff that I’ve collected over the years. I had to take a photo before getting rid of them, for posterity, of course. 😉 And for the memories that they evoke.

Tonight I also came across a handful of letters from my freshman year of college, a ticket stub for a Polish salt mine and a mysterious microcassette, among other things. (Most of which are destined for the garbage or recycling bin.)

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I woke up earlier than I might have on a Monday off so I could get pricked with a needle. Once I can prove that I’m tuberculosis-free, I’ll be able to start volunteering at a local nursing home. It’s something I’ve been meaning to do for, oh, about six years… It only took a sermon or two* to encourage me to finally act on it! I’m looking forward to getting to know four or five different residents who most likely don’t have regular visitors.

Afterwards, I picked up coffee at one of the locally owned shops downtown. Their featured artist is a good friend of mine, so it was fun to see her work displayed throughout the space! One of the prints for sale is a piece I commissioned her to create when I moved into Cheery Hill. (I have the original!)

Then, on a whim, I drove to a nearby town to peruse the book section of their antique shop. I came away with a few treasures, including an early edition of one of my favorite childhood books, The Good Master by Kate Seredy. My friend Kim introduced me to it when we were in fourth grade and we took turns checking it out from the school library. That is, until it appeared in the Scholastic book order form. I’m looking forward to reading it again, after all these years.

I spent the afternoon with my cousin Heidi and sweet Baby Archer, who is now more than two weeks old. Tomorrow is his due date!

Speaking of cousins, my cousin Ken launched a Kickstarter project last week. He’s an amazingly talented musician and composer and he’s hoping to be able to record some of his chamber compositions. Check out his page!

I spent last Friday evening playing Puerto Rico with friends. I think this was the first time I’ve played (and finished) a game with five players/teams. It took three hours! I can’t say enough about this game – it’s so much fun. Throughout the game, there’s no clear winner; you actually don’t know who won until the game is done and the victory points are totaled. I was surprised on two different occasions how close I was to winning. I was even more surprised on Friday to find out that, despite feeling far behind for most of the game, I won! (My strategy: Hospice House + Construction Hut + Factory + 4 quarries + a large tobacco crop with some corn and indigo for diversity. I already know this exact strategy won’t work for the next game…)

This is the outro to Jenny & Tyler’s latest album, Open Your Doors. I love it!

*The sermons, in particular, were Stirred Up / The Time is Now and Should I Not Be Concerned? / A Divine Interruption.

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In Feast or Fallow

I love this hymn by Sandra McCracken:

Verse 1:
When the fields are dry, and the winter is long
Blessed are the meek, the hungry, the poor
When my soul is downcast, and my voice has no song
For mercy, for comfort, I wait on the Lord

In the harvest feast or the fallow ground,
My certain hope is in Jesus found
My lot, my cup, my portion sure
Whatever comes, we shall endure
Whatever comes, we shall endure

Verse 2:
On a cross of wood, His blood was outpoured
He Rose from the ground, like a bird to the sky
Bringing peace to our violence, and crushing death’s door
Our Maker incarnate, our God who provides.

Come, o come, Emmanuel
Come, o come, Emmanuel

Verse 3:
When the earth beneath me crumbles and quakes
Not a sparrow falls, nor a hair from my head
Without His hand to guide me, my shield and my strength
In joy or in sorrow, in life or in death

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