Ronda GBU

May. 1st, 2011 09:48 pm
cat_cetera: (Don't Panic)
Exceeded Expectations
- the town as a whole - beautiful views out over the landscape below the town, and pretty unique geography with the town sitting literally right on top of the gorge

Afraid of Heights?

- just when I thought I had seen everything Ronda had to offer (it is pretty small) we discovered a craft fair with local artisans showing their wares or offering demonstrations of how they made their products (like the geometric patterned tiles), where I got a CD by a local baroque/flamenco trio and an incense burner made of local tiles.

Good
- nice if rainy walk around the old town to see the gorge and the bridges from various angles
- great meals with fantastic views over the gorge and the landscape below

Bad
- rainy
- left my new water bottle behind on the bus

Ugly
- was not able to escape the hype of the royal wedding

Interesting
- the church of Santa Maria Mayor was not just ABC - it had some modern frescoes (painted in 1983) and a modern bronze choir screen along with the usual gold-encrusted baroque altarpieces; there was also an unusually high concentration of the life-sized Marys, many shown with a crescent moon (a symbol of many pagan goddesses like Isis, Artemis etc.)

The Cult of Mary

- the duelling museum at the Plaza de Toros had an exhibit showing a duel between two ladies over the love of a certain captain
- at dinner on the last night, I had a chair with my back to the gorge. As I was eating, I felt a thing like someone putting their hand on my shoulder - there was no-one there, but I looked around just in time to see a huge flock of crows wheeling around below us in the gorge.

Amusing
- one of the exhibits at the local trade fair was a sort of promotion of Andalucian/North African cross-cultural connections. There were a whole bunch of musical instruments, including a sort of drum with a stick in it that you played by wetting your hand and then rubbing it rapidly up and down the stick (hur hur). After I played that, I saw there was also a doumbek which the lady encouraged me to play. I sat down with it, listened to the music a bit, and started to drum along (no, not the Standard Avacal Rhythm) and the next thing I knew, the lady from the exhibit was playing some other drum, a little girl was playing the castanets, and we had attracted a crowd of picture-taking tourists, who will no doubt go home and show all their friends their pictures of local musicians from Ronda.
cat_cetera: (Default)
What I'm Listening To
- Boccherini's Quintetto In Do Maggiore la Musica Notturna Delle Strade Di Madrid Op. 30, No. 6 (G. 324): Il Rosario - Largo Assai - Allegro - Largo Come Prima - this recording is a Jordi Savall project, but I first heard this piece on the soundtrack to Master and Commander and so for me it's very evocative not only of that movie but also of my time in Victoria.
- KT Tunstall, Black Horse and the Cherry Tree
- my iPod on random, producing Tainted Love followed immediately by Rihanna's S.O.S.

What I'm Playing
- Francois Couperin, Les Folies Francaises, ou les Dominos, a set of theme and variations with each variation named after an aspect of love, such as "La Virginite" and "Les Coucous Benevoles". Am considering attaching the name of a Doctor Who character to each one: "La Coqueterie" - Jack Harkness; "La Jalousie Taciturne" - Ninth Doctor.
- Polyphonia - this week my favorite herd of cats managed a pretty good rendition of the Agincourt Carol, and didn't quite butcher Amor Potest - Ad Amorem, despite its use of hocket.
- Rock Band. Rage Against The Sewing Machine takes the stage again!!!

What I'm Reading/Watching
- Wading my way through the Metropolitan Museum of Art's online catalogue, which has led me to some new portraits from the late fifteenth century, a few "no image available", and many irrelevant yet very interesting other things.
- Oh Stargate SG1, how I love you.
- Far too many facebook updates letting me know every milestone other people reach in Farmville and clones. If anyone knows how to blanket turn off updates from new games that people start playing, PLEASE let me know.

What I'm Making
- New shift is done. Handsewn from start to finish, mostly using linen thread. Liked using the linen thread, but discovered it is not very well suited to backstitch. Attempted to do some basic blackwork around the neck edge based on the pattern seen in this portrait, but since the neckline was not cut on the straight grain I was not able to get a satisfactorily even and symmetrical pattern.
- Some time ago, the House was gifted a large quantity of brocade in an indescribable colour. To gaze on it directly is to invite madness, but if you squint just right, it looks like a sort of blasphemous imitation of the brocade worn by two different women in Ghirlandaio's Tornabuoni chapel. Lacking a sufficient colour name with which to refer to this fabric, we decided to call it "Dead Spaniard", which I knew to be a renaissance name for some colour. Apparently "Dead Spaniard" is actually a pale greyish tan. That is not this colour.
Cut out pieces for "Dead Spaniard" giornea, then sewed together long seams by machine in the interests of time. Currently staystitching edges by hand using running stitch. Had an interesting discussion with [livejournal.com profile] rectangularcat about whether colour could/would have been produced in period using natural dyes, and whether colour should have been produced at all in modern times (answer to all: probably not). Well, if it's too offensively bright, I'll just save it for some morning when everyone's hung over but me.
cat_cetera: (Default)
Episodes of Stargate watched: 12 (first three discs of Season 10) (also watched two further episodes this morning...)
Progress made: sewed together leg bands and doublet skirts, then got started couching braid onto epaulets and one doublet skirt. Couching is going somewhat easier than I expected and looks more effective with only one line of braid than I thought it would. Since the braid seems prone to unwinding quickly when cut, am using a technique suggested at Montengarde 12th Night this past year by (I forget who) - fasten off the braid on the old piece and start sewing it to the new piece before cutting it apart. Seems to be working.
Bonus activities: played several Mendelssohn Songs Without Words, a charming little country dance called "The Catherine" by John Barrett and published in Barenreiter Piano Album: Barock, Adel Erenyi ed., Barenreiter Kassel, Basel/London/New York/Prague, 2003, and the first two movements of the Mozart piano sonata in A+ the third movement of which is the famous "Rondo Alla Turca".
cat_cetera: (Default)
I have created [livejournal.com profile] false_parrot, a community for members, former members, friends, fans and supporters of Polyphonia. Since the main purpose of the community is to have a place where I can keep track of what we've worked on from week to week, I'm afraid the first post is a bit dry.

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May 2011

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