Sitka May 6, 2011

Yesterday Corinne drove us to Oregon City, about 2.5 hours east of here, so I could take my douçaine to  Gayle and Phil Neuman.  I’d never met them but had heard about them for years. They are both fascinating and delightful people.  It was such a pleasure to talk with them, see the many instruments they have made, and get some tips on reeds and douçaine playing.  Gayle made a new reed for me which makes playing my instrument much easier. I look forward to spending more time with them in the future.

It’s been raining almost all day here today. We took Tracy, the poet-in-residence, out to breakfast for her birthday today, to the famous Otis Cafe.  We forgot how  big their servings are, so we ended up bringing a lot of food home.

I’ve been working on Bach’s cello suite #5 pretty intensively today.  The acoustics in my studio are so resonant – it’s really a pleasure to play in there.

Last night we walked down to Knight Park at about 8 pm.  The gulls were nowhere to be seen, but there was a raccoon in the river, eating something it had caught.

Sitka residency May 4, 2011

Winds and Waves workshop was last weekend and was lots of fun.  We had a wonderful group of people and the weather was beautiful – sunny and cool on the weekend, rainy Monday morning which cleared by the afternoon.  Yesterday Frances and I got back to work on our projects.  I’ve recently started using Pete Rose’s Moondust for a finger etude. Frances had written a new piece for four recorders and piano which we did on the workshop faculty concert.  She has written a beautiful piece for me to play on my Breukink  slide flute.  And now a new piece for recorder and saxophone which looks fun and hard.

Yesterday we hiked up to the Cascade Head and saw several Western kingbirds, just at the place where you  emerge from the trees and see the ocean. They were hunting for insects on the uphill side.  It was beautiful to see them perch in the tree or bush and then take off. This morning we walked down to Knight’s Park and saw a seal zooming down to the ocean.  I’ve never seen a seal move so fast.

view from Cascade Head looking south

Frances at Knight Park

Winds and Waves faculty at concert with guest pianist Jane Boyden

Tish on her ukulele and Corinne on her double bass at Winds and Waves

Winds and Waves starts Saturday!

Rotem and Cléa have arrived.  Fun rehearsal today. Dinner with most of the other residents joining which was lots of fun and stimulating. Concert tomorrow night in Lincoln City will include a new piece by Frances written here!

Sitka posting #3 Tish

We’ve been so engrossed in our work and play here we haven’t had much time for blogging. But we know you’ll all understand and probably encourage us to keep it that way! Here’s a really significant bit of information for those of you who know me fairly well.  I get so involved with practicing, thinking, and trying new things out that even when I’m actually hungry I don’t want to leave my studio to get something to eat. Now you know what kind of an impact this residency has.

The Winds and Waves workshop starts Saturday.  Cléa and Rotem arrive Thursday and we start rehearsing.  Frances has written a wonderful new piece for us to play with Jane Boyden on the piano. I’ve been having a great time playing modern pieces for recorder and piano with Jane.  We’ll include one on the concert. Here’s a picture of a skunk cabbage – they are blooming all over the place. And a picture of the wonderful cards and notes we got from Tibia supporters.

Sitka posting Monday April 18 2011-Tish

Yesterday was a great day.  Well, they all are great days but yesterday we heard Jennifer Boyden read some of her poetry at the Lincoln City library. The poems we heard were amazing. It was like looking into someone’s head and seeing their visions articulated, in a pictorial way but with words.  Funny, maddening, moving. Afterwards we had some very stimulating conversation with Jennifer and her husband Ian who is a visual artist and a poet. The other residents here are also great to talk with.  It’s very refreshing to be with artists from  disciplines other than music, and to hear them talk about how they work and think about things. The sun came out finally yesterday and is warming up the place again today. Last night I went with three other residents for a full-moon hike up to Cascade Head.  The moon rose about the clouds and was glorious.  The hike down in the dark was hard but I made it, obviously.

I’ve been using Kees Boeke’s Three Exercises in the morning for finger and reading work. I really like them. Current modern pieces I’m working on – Lux Aeterna  by Markus Zahnhausen and Melodie by Louis Andriessen.  Both fascinating and completely absorbing.

Sitka posting #2

It’s been a good week so far.  Lots of social activities in this first week.  Orientation for new residents, salon for residents to present something representing their work, a tour of the surrounding forests with a Sitka board member/retired Forest Service scientist, potluck farewell for a resident who left Wednesday.  We’ve managed to get some good work in nevertheless, and walks. It’s been raining almost non-stop since Wednesday so we haven’t gone up the trail to the Cascade Head yet.  The forest tour was informative and provided a good hike.  The other residents are all very interesting and fun to talk with.

ground cover in the experimental forest

1,200 year old buried tree on Neskowin Beach

We’ve Arrived!

We arrived here at the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology yesterday, Monday. Weather – sunny cloudy mix, no rain!

Arrival at Morely House

Social calendar – full. We’ve met residents about to leave and residents newly arrived, staff, and friends. So far, we’ve mainly been setting up our work spaces, getting the house in order, buying groceries and so on. But we did begin a little work. I wrote my first “lightning composition a day” – 30 minutes, one page of music paper, no restrictions, no rules – and Tish practiced recorder in the beautiful acoustics (but cold air) of the Boyden Studio. We went for a great walk with Corinne yesterday, and look forward to many more walks and hikes.

Frances at the wheel

Our drive up was beautiful. Here are some photos from the drive and our arriva

The Salmon River going out to sea

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Countdown to Sitka residency!

We leave for Oregon in a little over a week.  We’ve started putting music and books into boxes.  We had hoped to go up 101 but the landslides from the recent rains have caused road blockages that may still be in effect when we come through.  So it may be I-5 for us, alas.

We are so grateful for the response to our fundraising letter! We send love and thanks for everyone’s help and good wishes.  We’d love to hear from you on this blog or on our Facebook page (do a search for Tibia Recorder Duo to find it) while we’re at Sitka.