Friday 30 March 2012

Elspeth Gardner

Not entirely sure how this is going to work, but the idea is that background scenery eg station buildings; water-towers; adjacent churches; trees; distant hills - possibly, even clouds in the sky; will be drawn in bold outline onto individual terracotta tiles. Sometimes, a building will stretch across two or more tiles and their associated grouting.

Here are the "tiles" painted onto 2 cardboard sheets.

Here is an artist's impression (so to speak) of a tree and a small station drawn onto the tiles.

Obviously. I'll have to carry out a few trials as to the colour of these line drawings; the thickness of the lines etc etc.

And here are some photos of tile work that we have hanging in our house by the brilliant Scottish ceramicist, Elspeth Gardner.

Obviously, her approach to delineating the buildings is completely different from what I'm considering.

Die Schöne Müllerin:

Attending a live performance of Schubert's "The Miller's Song".

I've never liked "lieder" which an internet dictionary defines as follows:  any of various musical settings for solo voice and piano of a romantic or lyrical poem, for which composers such as Schubert, Schumann, and Wolf are famous.

Lieder has always sounded to my ear: silly; snobbish; precious; melodically simplistic and "samey".

However, a recent introduction to the brilliant Danish (deceased) tenor Aksel Schiotz (see earlier blogs) has begun to convert me.

If nothing else it will be interesting to see a live performance.

Here is an extract from the List about today's concert.

"It's an old story: boy meets girl, girl meets hunter, girl goes off with hunter, boy throws himself in the river. Franz Schubert's Die schöne Müllerin was not the first song cycle ever composed but it's the first great one, beginning in happiness and proceeding via longing, jealousy and madness to end in tragedy. Tenor Ben Johnson and pianist James Baillieu perform it here in a concert which will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3."

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