I just discovered the bass function on my Kozmik Keyboard 🎹 ✈️ 🗽

Here I am playing a new tune called ‘Reunion.’ I just discovered the bass function on my Kozmik Keyboard – super fun. I may have overdone it though, ‘cos the arpeggiator broke shortly after making this little video.  hmm…

Please enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

Costa Rica Chronicles🍃🌎🍌🚸

As I sit around here twiddling my thumbs still waiting to be over the whole concussion thing…I came across an interesting envelope in my desk. “Hols Costa Rica memories,” in my mother’s handwriting no less. Bless her dear heart! I wrote and played a lot while I was living up in that incredible location, on the Continental divide, Monteverde, C.R.

“I wasn’t sure if I should really mention anything…but a large ape has been coming to me out of the forest, almost nightly, and for some time now. What I like so much about him  is not having to deal with the whole Spanish thing. What is Spanish anyway? you put an ‘ito’ or an ‘a’ or an ‘o,’ or sometimes a ‘dad’ at the end of English word, and that’s Spanish,  pretty much. True there are occasional surprises, like the word “banano.” But think about it, of course a banana is male. Frank and I (he’s so wonderfully direct) often enjoy a kilo or two of bananos together, all in good fun. The locals here prefer them nice and ripe and even feed bananos to their horses.

Then there’s the pig farm down in the valley. I had to go down there to check it out. It’s actually more like a concentration camp. Barbed wire, large grey windowless buildings, dour looking men in gumboots and the cries of the damned, that’s what. I’m so glad I stopped eating bacon. I’ll occasionally get a good whiff of pig shit up here but I still tell  myself it’s paradise.”

here’s a video of a horse eating a banana

banano eating horse

Come to Spacious Music at the Atrium September 24!

Oh yessss…if you couldn’t make it to the June 25 Concert ~ now’s your chance…incredible new music from John Korsrud, Hugh Fraser, Bill Runge and moi! It’s a free concert in a public space…fabulous musicians…super music in the great spaciousness…

 

See you there!

 

Here’s a sneak peek at my co-write with Bill Runge, “Lagoon”, which will have its second performance on September 24.

Tofino Getaway ~ with new beach music 🐠🐚🌊

 

Dearest Friends,

I am writing to you from MacKenzie Beach in Tofino, on the wild west coast of Vancouver Island. It’s cooler here than Vancouver, almost fall! The mornings are foggy and mysterious, the afternoons clear, and every night we have a fire! The finest of fine sands cover my toes… like palest green fairy dust made of moss and seaweeds and ocean floor water magic…

Happily by the fire I sit. 
Soot on my hands. Sand on my toes. While Runge works and I play on paper.
I brought us pine cones flecked with sap and garden cuttings of rosemary, oregano, and eucalyptus to add to our evening fire. And how warming it is!
A glass of red wine, a fire, and thou!

hb

 

 

Progress Report and Invitation 😀

Dear Friends,

Seraphina (my flute) and I have been noticeably quieter this last year and a half as I continue to recover from my little accident. (I fell off my mother’s bed while clipping her toenails and went backwards into a chest of drawers! strange but true!) Although I’m not back to performing yet, I have been enjoying writing at the piano, very much. Bill asked me to collaborate with him on a piece for the jazz festival. It’s called “Lagoon,” and I’d love to share this new piece with you. I’ll be there in the back row probably, with my ear plugs and shades…but feeling very happy! Eventually we’ll get back to the Naturals recording we were working on. Can’t say exactly when. I certainly am learning a lot about the brain though, neuroplasticity and all that. Brains are cool 🙂

Hope to see you on next Sunday, June 25 at the Atrium at the Woodwards Building! Performance is at 5pm!

Be Well,
Holly

Birdsong🐦 & Blossoms🌸

A warbling we go! Here by Stanley Park I am surrounded by blossoms…all the shades and varieties of cherries, magnolias, and the early purple azaleas. This year, for some reason, I’m really getting the fragrance of the blossoms more than usual. Even if they are lying on the ground. But the best experience is standing under an old cherry tree with a great canopy of blossoms overhead and standing or sitting or simply *being* – and simply breathing it in – heaven on earth? And birdsong fills the air! I find myself running out to the balcony, zoom recorder in hand, trying to capture the fleeting notes.

There was a sudden bash against my window – alas a little bird had flown into it… putting my hands around it, I gave it a little qi treatment. I thought it was a goner, but amazingly twenty minutes later it flew away!

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According to the Stokes Guide to Birds, the orange crowned warbler is “very drab” and the Peterson Field Guide Series is equally unimpressed talking about its “lack of wing bars” and saying its song is a “weak colourless trill, dropping in energy at the end.” I wonder if we’re talking about the same bird! Bill and I have been talking about notating bird song and I’ll let you know how that goes! My ever resourceful scribe, Mike, has brought the following to my attention. Dear readers, how about you give these a try and let me know how they sound! oh…there’s a cow in there too 🙂

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I will leave you with one last thought on birds from one of my favourite musical works (can you guess which one?):

One day, Peter goes out into the clearing, leaving the garden gate open, and the duck that lives in the yard takes the opportunity to go swimming in a pond nearby. The duck starts arguing with a little bird.

The bird says, “what kind of bird are you if you can’t fly?”

To which the duck replies, “what kind of bird are you if you can’t swim?”

Click here to have a listen!

 

Bloggity Blog

I think I’m getting better! I spent 12 hours yesterday on the set of “Wonder”, a film with Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson, among others. I had the great pleasure of chatting with Owen and meeting his radiant mother. This was the highlight of my triumphant return (lol) to “union film background” 😉 I made a new friend. A 79 year old woman named Elizabeth who was recovering from a stroke and was out for a day of work. She was a spritely spirit who could only speak a few words. We had wonderful conversations savouring these words. The word of the day was “beauuuutiful”. I noticed her difficulty with pronouncing “crazy” – her crazy came out as “crouuzy”. My inner ESL teacher came out and I was able to help her with her pronunciation so she could enjoy saying “crazy”. We put those two words together so that we could go around saying “crazy beauuuutiful.” It really was tremendous fun. I wanted to stay in touch with her but she was wrapped before me and vanished!

This is an interesting mixture of seasons… Isn’t it?

White morning glories popping out of tangled vines with red blackberries tumbling over a blue spruce. 

I am here
in my spot

thanking the sun for warming my back
a humming bird drops by to check up on me.

Damsel flies – a low hovering wasp
and dried grasses all around me
you can feel the fall this summer.

The young girl who borrowed her father’s oil paints and walked out into a field to become a painter one summer day is all grown up now and still enthralled by nature. I didn’t become a painter but I did become an artist!

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Here’s dad doing two things he loved – sailing and singing.

And here’s my tune, Seraphina, named after my flute. Let’s all enjoy this last part of summer! 🌞

Art in the Garden, Dino DiNicolo and the Rare Gangetic Dolphin

I am so fortunate to live on Stanley Park in the spring when the trees leaf they seem to rise up and surround my balcony like a canopy filled with bird song. Zephyrs of wind move through the trees and I can sometimes hear the little children at the Pooh Corner Daycare playing capriciously and singing “Jingle Bells” at the top of their lungs!

What could be more inspiring than playing with Dino DiNicolo in a beautiful garden surrounded by trees, flowers, and art? Dino and I have done this tour for years, sometimes in the rain, which has its own special atmosphere, but we expect nothing but sunny skies. The flowers are getting ready for their great performance! Art in the Garden is a tour of 16 gardens in West Vancouver and North Vancouver with a very reasonable charge of one dollar for each garden, each one unique featuring a visual artist, a musical duo, and of course the beautiful plants and flowers that have been nurtured all year.

Dino and I are scheduled to perform:

Saturday May 28th, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Garden #14: 2820 Marine Drive, West Vancouver

Sunday May 29th, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Garden #12: 5570 Woodpecker Place.

Come and smell the roses… and everything else!
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And let’s not forget..

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The rare, and uniquely beautiful, Ganges River Dolphin. (Just look at that smile!)

It’s Cherry Blossom Time!

You’re invited to a delightful intimate performance I am involved with. This will be the world premiere of Haiku Mime, a whimsical physical interpretation of haiku poetry submitted from around the world. Weaving text read by yours truly around the expressive movements of Yayoi HiranoI simply love the quick interplay we are able to discover as we illuminate these modern haiku poems together. Please join us and be a part of the blossoming of this novel cultural collaboration.

March 24th, 2016; 12:30pm-1:00pm at the courtyard above Burrard Skytrain Station.
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April 8-9 Sakura Festival

Hugh Fraser, Stunt Driving and the Power of Flowers

What richness flows out of Hugh Fraser! While it’s true stunt driving and split second timing were involved in picking Hugh up and actually getting to Café Ça Va, peace and majesty prevailed, once we were there.

I was thrilled to find an exquisite bouquet of flowers waiting for me, and a tender note, from Lois Keane Flowers…needless to say this inspired the music-making! Perhaps the highlight of the evening was playing Hugh’s heartbreakingly beautiful composition ‘Fairytales’.  As well, Hugh graced me with a copy of his newest Hugh Fraser Quintet release “Concerto”. Beautiful! I’ll quote Hugh from his liner notes, as he thanks his band members Ross Taggart, Campbell Ryga, Dave Robbins and Ken Lister, “I cannot say enough about the artistry, virtuosity, and personal dedication Cam, Ross, Dave and Ken bring to the Quintet.  They are all leaders, composers, performers and educators of the highest level, and have dropped everything to follow me to the most exotic and extreme opportunities I have created to share our collective joy of playing – from the first to last note of every performance, total dedication to the music and the peace and love it brings make any other challenges drop away.”

Hugh Fraser

Thanks Hugh, hugh-fraser2 Imagefor a quietly tremendous night.