“The grand pause . . . a brief, silent pause, during which time is not counted.” (courtesy of Music Terms at artoplum.com)
In music, this symbol, a fermata over a rest, indicates the “grand pause” – a break in the forward motion of music. The beginning of this semester has created an unexpected backlog of work, so I am inserting a “grand pause” in my blog for a brief pause. Once I have “caught my breath” in that quiet time, I will return with some new music and images to share.
In the hiatus, I offer links to a few favorite posts from when I first began this blog, a reprise of past reflections on music and gardening.
Anatomy of a Thunderstorm is a first person experience of recording the sound of a thunderstorm. This is close to my heart, as I continue working on a piece, August in Penn’s Woods, in which recordings of the sounds of nature lie at the core of the music. An edited soundtrack of the thunderstorm recorded that day is included in this post, a recording that will become part of the new piece in progress. May rain come to all who need it.
Reprise ~ in music . . . the repetition or reiteration of the opening material later in a composition (Wikipedia)
“. . . 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.
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.