Breathe Out, Breathe In

“Breath” 1. the air inhaled and exhaled in respiration; 2. life; vitality 3. time to breathe; pause or respite Adapted from dictionary.reference.com

Spring break from school began today, and true to form, winter came roaring back just in time to celebrate the moment. No matter. The coming week will be filled with recording my compositions, especially the vocal tracks, as I finally prepare to release my solo album of compositions “House of Sound.” I hope to unveil the first completed song next week; for now, I am celebrating the completion of a four part song cycle – “The Four Elements.”

I have mentioned this work before when I blogged about my struggle with Fire and Light. This week marked the completion of the last piece “Breath.” This was another difficult piece to embrace, to find my way through. In The Four Elements, each of the elements – earth, air, water, fire – has been translated to a particular instance of that element. Earth became “Clay”, water became “Rain”, and fire became “Light”. Although I knew that I wanted air to become “Breath” I could not find the in, the twist, the kernel of meaning that would allow the song to realize itself.

After eight pages of researched notes, I was drowning in information but had found no inspiration. Finally, I stood back and asked myself Continue reading

October Reprise

“. . . the report of my death was an exaggeration.”  Mark Twain

It is late October and copious rainfall, mild temperatures, and a few sunny days have conspired to keep the garden green, glowing, and full of flowers.  I expected the garden to be withered with frost by now, an eerily beautiful place of spent flowers, blackened leaves, and winter weeds.  I had planned for it, in fact, complete with a melancholy video to document the season’s end. But when I went to record the demise of the garden with my cameras, I couldn’t find enough source material to make my point.  Still attached to this idea, my expectations got in the way of my observations and I felt frustrated and stuck.  Expecting an end, I found a reprise instead.

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A musical reprise is a repetition of an earlier theme or song with some changes that reflect the development of the narrative line.  The October garden certainly is in the middle of its reprise.  The end of the season is near; perhaps in days, a hard frost will claim its due.  But for the moment, the garden is repeating its performance of roses, zinnias, salvias, and ageratum amongst the autumn theme of goldenrod, asters, and grasses.  Plants are tall, blooms are colorful and fresh, and everything is swaying in the gusts of wind that leap up from nowhere, showering the beds with a flurry of colorful leaves.  A final flourish that has challenged my expectations and reminded me to pay attention to, and appreciate, the unanticipated beauty that is before me.

All text and images of “October Reprise” ©2011 Lynn Emberg Purse, All Rights Reserved