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!

 

Happy Valentino Day ❤️🐫🌹

Dear readers,
A little poem came to me this morning.

With a stretch and a yawn
the new day dawns
towards a hazy tawny light

A blanket of soft cloud above
tucks us in and makes us right

And so we fall asleep again,
for one more lovely dream…

Of Rudolph Valentino,
chocolate kisses and cream

Of red red roses and cooing doves
and another day, another way and another chance to love!

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And friends if Valentine’s Day isn’t all that you want… or for any reason, I’d like to offer you my “Soothie” recipe. What is a Soothie? It is a deliciously soothing night time drink:

• Warm 4 cups of your favourite milk on the stove. (Any kind of milk will do – my favourite is vanilla soy.)

• Add in a tablespoon of vanilla and two tablespoons of Horlicks malted milk (it’s a Brit thing – but also works well without)

• Pour and share! (Or drink it all yourself while writing poetry and listening to relaxing music)

Mexico Travelogue 🇲🇽

There we were all packed together like sardines in a Sun Wing flight to Manzanillo Mexico. What a relief to feel the warm, dry air as we emerged from the plane! Never fly Sun West 😉

Los Hadas (“the cherubs”) was where they filmed the movie, “10” with Dudley Moore and Julie Andrews. I don’t think there’s a straight line in the entire place! All the doorways are arched and there are towers and interesting curlicues and spires. We watched angel fish and zebra fish nibbling under the dock and at the beach baby yellow fin tuna were attracted to our toes and there was one puffer fish that was like a friendly little dog just following us around. The birds! The bees! The geckos! The iguanas! Zander saw one swimming across the hotel pool. It was wonderful to be amongst such happy people, to speak Spanish badly, and not to do any dishes! Please enjoy these photos and glimpses of our experiences there!

 

 

Ringing in the Season

Greetings fine and Christmasy folk! The view is great today – lots of blue sky and puffy clouds over Cypress and incoming hummingbird clouds leading us to our main topic today which is “humming“!

It’s nice to hear the care aids at Ma’s new care home in Lynn Valley humming and singing as you go down the hall. Ma is adjusting well and it has only been a couple of days.

hummingbird2016And next on the theme of humming, I would like you all to meet Calliope my pet humming bird and her husband André (André is tending to the next while Calliope here is noshing on nectar!)

Now a poem:

humming georgia

driving home from the church gig
i come upon the melting moon…
crème brulée – with a spoonful
already eaten…
just for a moment – a pine tree silhouette carves
the moon’s surface and i realize
i’ve never actually seen this sight before,
though i’ve heard the lyric and sung it many times.

but tonight, our love comes home to me, “sweet and clear like moonlight through the pines”

home yes, almost home.

from Looking for Hymn collection by Holly Burke

And lastly, I have a little gift for those of you dear readers with a smart phone: a ringtone of Serengeti

So I am sending out warm Christmas wishes to all of you and hoping that you have a good one and looking forward to new adventures in 2017!

Soggy Days are Here Again

Against all odds a calendula flower I sprouted from seed has managed to bloom in November. This event coincided with some new piano music coming to me, I’m happy to say. Hey, I really think I’m getting better now! I can play the piano q u i e t l y now – perfect fifths… low down… are so soulfully! (sol-fa-ly?) satisfying!! There might not be a sun in the sky these days, but I do have a small sun shining on my balcony.

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And the juncos are really digging the peanut butter suet I put out for them. And here’s a little treat for you, dear friends, if you have time. Last November we started working on a new album. Here is a glimpse of the work that we yearn to complete after my recovery:

Haciendas in the sun and the Power of Quiet

Thoughts of sunny haciendas and social media-ocrity sweep through my mind…

Hey aspirational! Hey blookup! Hey all you dog gone great followers and fans! Let’s Face-book it:

Oh yes, this is a truly virtual blog now! I talked to Mike.Brown and he creates the post. These are my words coming through him! Thanks, Mike. (You’re welcome! 😜 )

When I’m out with my love dove, Bill, we frequently have to contend with the horrors of corporate background music. Last night we endured two hours of repellant looped robotic music that only drinking could improve. Oh I guess that’s the point, isn’t it?

Hey, come on… We’re human beings… We want to feel! To be touched… To imagine! It’s sinister how corporate decides which satellite (sat-elite?) channel will hold sway over the diners and the rest of us can just lump it. While it’s true I’m extra sensitive and still recovering from my head bonking last December, I think I’ve always been sensitive. Silence – you know, the space between the notes – can be powerful. Then, I want to put in a video clip of oh no nonononononononono leave it it’s wonderful. We will find this on YouTube…

Can’t wait to play with my Naturals again! And also check out Randall’s splash cymbal on “We are Golden”! My camera did something cool and unusual.

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The late Canadian composer Harry Freedman said it best:

Are you an informed listener? Do you take the trouble to protect your ears and your musical appetite? Do you cancel your order and leave a restaurant if the manager does not turn down the Muzak?