March has begun!
And I am realizing that it’s been over a month since my last blog post.
Well… I stumbled into an opportunity to be interviewed by an old acquaintance who writes about the arts for a New England-based magazine.
And after I learned that my mini-profile was going to run in their March/April issue, I decided it was time to re-do my website — which had remained functional but increasingly antiquated in recent years.
So February was devoted to researching website design options, choosing a company, and learning how to use this company’s cornucopia of templates and design features.
After all sorts of challenges (which I may share in a future blog post as a case study in hiking up a new learning curve…) I am happy — and relieved — to report that my new site is now up and running at my old website address: willsings.com.
In the process of transferring information from my old site to this new one, I had the opportunity to reflect upon the past twenty years of my musical life — which has been a very sweet and slightly surprising experience.
I had forgotten, for example, exactly how much media coverage I had garnered in past years… and how often certain angels in our local media had written about various musical undertakings, concerts, recordings, collaborations, etc.
I also discovered how much I still like various recordings I helped to make in past years.
And this new website makes it relatively easy to create separate pages for all of them, which I can continue to update and improve as time allows.
Deep breath in.
And deep breath out.
Lots of opportunities to practice feeling grateful!
I recorded the musical selection at the top of this blog post with pianist Doug Hammer on his Schimmel grand piano a few years ago when I was putting together an hour-long program of songs created for Disney movies.
These three songs were written by the Sherman Brothers — Robert and Richard — for the magical movie Mary Poppins.
Recent weather — very cold with 30 mph winds! —reminded me of this medley.
As usual I have visited the wonderful photographic website Pixabay as well as a new one called Unsplash (when Pixabay was not functioning well) to find some images to grace this blog post and uplift my spirit.
So far the only sign of spring I have seen is ONE snowdrop which has managed to push up through the earth in our tiny front yard and bloom.
Inside the house, a pot of hyacinth bulbs I bought last winter from Trader Joe’s — and then left in the sun on the back porch all summer — has experienced a glorious re-birth.
They are very fragrant.
Another deep breath in.
And deep breath out.
Spring may indeed return to New England…
This three-song medley is one of many recordings that Doug and I have been finding in his sonic archives — and have been fixing and mixing every Friday afternoon via Zoom.
There is a tiny lyric bobble in this recording which we will re-record when I am vaccinated and Doug is ready to welcome human beings back into his studio.
Did you hear it?
My favorite song in this medley is the last one — “Let’s Go Fly A Kite.”
I was reminded when looking for images of kites that there are also raptors named kites.
So I am including a photo of this magnificent bird as well.
Even though I live in a suburb of Boston which does not have a lot of green space, I am delighted to see hawks flying overhead on a surprisingly regular basis as I walk around town.
I think this is partly because I do not use a smart phone — so I tend to be looking at what is actually going on around me more than many of my fellow humans — who often seem to be living in a parallel universe defined by their phone.
Last week I may have even seen a bald eagle fly around a cemetery where I like to walk which overlooks a neighboring town’s lake.
As many of my fellow bloggers often remind me, there are few things better than spending time outside in/with the natural world!
Yet another deep breath in.
And deep breath out.
I released a new recording at the beginning of March — “Plant A Radish” from the musical The Fantasticks by Harvey Schmidt (music) and Tom Jones (lyrics).
You can click here to listen to it on several digital music platforms if you are curious.
Now I am looking forward to seeing how many of the crocus bulbs I planted last fall have survived the hungry — and deserving — animals who amazingly manage to survive each winter living outdoors.
And I am waiting for another (warmer) windy day to call up my neighbors and go to a local playing field where we can enjoy a well-masked, kite-flying + pizza picnic.
Thank you to all the wonderful photographers at Pixabay and Unsplash whom I decided I needed to respect by taking the time to credit by name (and whose credits I wish I could figure how to center under their photos…)
Thank you to Doug Hammer for his sublime piano playing and archiving and engineering and mixing and mastering.
Thank you to the Sherman Brothers for writing so many great songs during the course of their impressive career.
Thank you to my friends in Toronto who gave me a slightly used but still very functional laptop computer several years ago — which has allowed me to blog, lead music classes via Zoom, create a new website, etc.
Thank you to planet earth for managing to support as much life as she does — even as we human beings continue to rip apart, poison, and contaminate ecosystems right, left and center with our wildly hubristic over-confidence and greed.
Thank you for — and to — the WordPress community.
The illness of a fellow blogger has reminded me in recent days of how oddly intimate — and deeply supportive — the WordPress community can be.
So thank YOU for reading and listening to another one of my blog posts.
“Let’s go fly a kite up to the highest height.
Let’s go fly a kite and send it soaring up through the atmosphere — up where the air is clear.
Oh, let’s go fly a kite!”