As I said in my previous post
chronicling the gorgeous sounds of Paris, seeing Notre Dame changed my life. I saw it for the first time late at night, shortly after Brian and I arrived in France. It took my breath away and I cried. Cried! (The tears may have been facilitated by my extreme sleep deprivation, hunger, and the discovery that the promised air conditioning unit in our hotel room was "temporarily" out of order. But, it was at least partly the breathtaking beauty of this structure.)
By an amazing stroke of luck (fate!), we were also able to attend an 8am mass held in the choir loft. We were one of maybe a dozen patrons and were able to walk all through the building, including right up to the altar, in complete silence. Essentially, we had the place to ourselves. I may have already shared this story. It left me forever changed.
Today's sonic snack: my recording of the bells of Notre Dame striking two in the afternoon. I recorded this on our last day in Paris, shortly before we departed for Spain. We sat on the benches facing the front of the cathedral, stuffed full of crepes, and waited for the bells to chime so I could document their beauty. Enjoy.
THE SUNDAY SOUND: February 16, The Bells of Notre Dame
.Wanna hear the best Disney soundtrack of all time? Check out The Bells of Notre Dame. Best. Disney. Ever.
I made an audio documentary called Sealed
a few years back as part of my Master of Arts degree. It chronicled the divorce of my parents and the effect it had on me and my siblings. It was the most cathartic creative project of my life so far.
The original was a little over 22 minutes, cut from roughly a dozen hours of recorded material. I am now applying for my MFA and have to select work for my creative portfolio submission. Since I can submit no more than 15 minutes, I was determined to get Sealed down to 10 minutes or less to keep room for other work. Editor friends, you know shaving a full 12 minutes off a finished piece is a FEAT.
BUT I DID IT.
Running time: 9:55. Listen below!
The MFA is a terminal degree in my field (in other words, the credential I need to seek tenure-track professorships). My MA degree shaves 24 credits off the program, so if I get accepted... I will be able to graduate in five semesters. BAM.
THE SUNDAY SOUND: January 26, Sealed
, the condensed cut.Original cut and my research on the effects of divorce on children available here.
While Brian and I were visiting our families in El Paso, we took a day trip to Carlsbad Caverns
. We spent roughly six hours exploring the cave, hiking down through the natural entrance. There was NOT ONE SOUL on the trail besides us; could not be more ideal. We stopped about halfway down and recorded the cave's breathing (yes, it actually breathes; there are only two natural entrances, no oxygen is pumped in, and the cave descends roughly 1,000 feet). We captured the faint sound of water droplets that, over millions of years, create the breathtaking structures you see below.
THE SUNDAY SOUND: January 19, From the Depths of Carlsbad Caverns.
Listen in pitch blackness while looking through the photos above; it will be just like you're there!
Today is the 29th birthday of my smart, talented, striking friend, Mariya
. Her darling husband Zach organized a sushi night in her honor, and here we are at Cafe Sushi
, just outside Harvard Square. Mariya is one of my favorite people and I am so happy she was born!
Always sentimental, I fondly recalled my own husband-organized 29th birthday celebration in June. BINGO at Saint Joseph's
and Mexican food at El Potro
in Union Square (he knows me so well).
And you know what? I realized with horror that I never shared my recording of the very special birthday tune sung to me at El Potro. That was six months ago! So, in honor of Mariya and 29th birthdays old and new, I now present a special Mexican birthday brought to you by Mariachi Estampa de America (you NEED to see their website). And, of course, the recording includes evidence of my undying enthusiasm.
1. I am OBSESSED with mariachis. I wanted mariachis at my wedding, but didn't have the cash flow.
2. I really want an authentic mariachi outfit. I would rock the hell out of that thing!
3. My friend Lisa (who has known me for over a year) thought I was half Mexican. IT WAS MY PROUDEST MOMENT.
THE SUNDAY SOUND: January 5, A Mariachi Serenade.
To really capture the moment, listen while looking at these photos: 29th Birthday Weekend.
I told you I would never sleep again. The first images went up at 3am. Now here's another one. At 10am. But how could I resist coloring a Dia de Los Muertos Wonder Woman?
Merry Christmas, one and all. Brian
and I have had the perfect holiday break so far, consisting mostly of good food and a good couch. Perhaps our most significant accomplishment? Watching the entire Harry Potter film collection from beginning to end. Odd to witness Harry, Ron and Hermione experience all awkward stages of puberty within a week.
Another holiday accomplishment? Co-creating a digital Christmas card for each member of our family. Brian handled the shooting and video editing, so the bulk of the credit goes to him. However, it started as my brainchild, so I retain at least a small percentage of the creative rights.
Today's sonic snack is the tune we performed to accompany the Christmas images Brian captured around our home
. I set up a mic stand in the living room and we DID. IT. UP. We should make an album.
THE SUNDAY SOUND: December 29, Family Christmas Card. I somehow forget the words to Jingle Bells. Classic.
's Christmas gift came early this year--Dinosaur Jr.
tickets. They were playing two nights in a row at The Sinclair
, a small venue in Harvard Square. The Sunday night show afforded us a great place on the mezzanine balcony, right above the sound engineer. Direct, straight-ahead view. No one in front of us. Truly magical.
To the delight of live audiences everywhere, Dinosaur Jr. plays at epic sound levels (note what's behind J Mascis in this photo). A measly little iPhone couldn't dream of capturing the magic for you, so you'll need to use your imagination to supplement your listening experience of Dinosaur Jr. covering The Cure's Just Like Heaven.
THE SUNDAY SOUND: December 22, Dinosaur Jr.
Check out the studio versions of Just Like Heaven: The Cure and Dinosaur Jr.
And what is this?! A SUNDAY SOUND BONUS! I have to share a clip from the opening act, Brooklyn-based Call of the Wild
(Kemado Records).... a special treat for those of you who are enchanted by punk metal guitar solos and drumming so intense your insides quake.
ALSO. THE DRUMMER IS THE MOST BADASS FEMALE I HAVE EVER WITNESSED. Seriously, her guns were blowing my mind. I could not believe the sexy hard core drummer was, wait a second... what?... a GIRL?!?! Men want her and women want to be her (and want her!). Allison Busch, ladies and gentlemen.
THE SUNDAY SOUND (BONUS!): December 22, Call of the Wild.
My co-worker John-Albert invited me to the annual Messiah sing-along at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul
in Boston. It was conveniently scheduled right around lunchtime on Wednesday.
I am only vaguely familiar with Handel's Messiah, so I mostly observed. HOWEVER, once we got to the Hallelujah chorus, I sang out like I was in high school again (a.k.a. the last time I sang the Hallelujah chorus).
Gotta say, I remember being much better at it.
THE SUNDAY SOUND: December 15, The Hallelujah Chorus.
As far as performances of the Hallelujah chorus go, you could do better.
I wish we didn’t have to be nude to be noticed ... But given the game as it exists, women make decisions. For instance, the Miss America contest is in all of its states ... the single greatest source of scholarship money for women in the United States. If a contest based only on appearance was the single greatest source of scholarship money for men, we would be saying, "This is why China wins." You know? It’s ridiculous. But that’s the way the culture is. I think that we need to change the culture, not blame the people that are playing the only game that exists.
Gloria Steinem, at the Women's Media Awards