It Happened Quite by Chance

I am reposting this … today marks the birthday of the late Owain Phyfe, who this post is in memory of.

4/9/49 … the day the music was born … the music that was Owain: https://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/OwainPhyfeTheNewWorldRenaissan

7/7/1994 … the day that, for me … it happened quite by chance …

It was wonderful to hear from a dear friend a few days ago. Sasha Raykov is one of the most entertaining and elusive of the very talented musicians who performed with Owain Phyfe, a unique and charismatic singer of songs who died far too soon in September of last year. The music they made together was, for me, haunting long before it actually was.

Sasha sent me a mix of a concert he had done with Owain at the Bloomington Early Music Festival (Indiana – Sasha’s son, Alex, was studying music there) in May 2002 with the permission to share.

Owain Phyfe

Owain Phyfe

I invite you to treat yourself to some beautiful music.  To listen to the concert click below:

‘Once Upon A Timeless Journey’ Part I

‘Once Upon A Timeless Journey’ Part II

Review of the concert from the Bloomington Herold-Times:

Owain Phyfe … served as guide, as conductor, as driver, as magician, really as singer and guitarist and story teller. Phyfe’s “Once Upon A Timeless Journey” proved a delightful pleasure. With his inviting, craftily used light tenor, he negotiated his time capsule to show that folk traditions have remained constant, that the catchy melodies of close to 1,000 years ago – or 400 – are just as winning today, and that no matter what language they’re sung in – English or French or Welsh or Latin or German or Italian or Spanish or Hungarian or Russian or what have you – they translate musically and thematically so that they can be easily understood.

Sasha Raykov

Sasha Raykov

The tenor/story teller was not alone in his performance space. He had a partner, verbally silent but very much a presence, the provider of accompaniment, a bearded bear of a man named Sasha Raykov. And, it was Raykov who had the genius to make the bass viola da gamba an interesting instrument, far from the bland, personality-less sound-maker it more normally is. He bowed. He strummed. He made those strings dance and sing and laugh and cry. His was a virtuosic exhibition, at every moment completing partner Phyfe’s front-and-center showmanship. Their unusual program, part of the Bloomington Early Music Festival, cast a different light on music of Medieval and Renaissance times. But though the expressions were old, the messages were ageless. At one point, in joyous, bouncing manner, Phyfe sang: “Winter is coming with all its unpleasantness, but here in this valley, the flowers will still bloom and the birds sing.” He called it a 21st century message. It was nice to be reminded.” Read in full and see photos from the concert.

It is strange that only last week I came upon—buried in the bottom of a cabinet whose doors ‘spontaneously’ flew opened and scattered its contents across the floor—a poem I had written and some precious photographs of Owain, Sasha, and other special friends. When I received the email from Sasha, I thought how perfect to share all in one post.

Here is the poem I wrote many many years ago (I have fought off my compulsion to revise):

Diane at Renaissance Faire

Diane at Renaissance Faire

It happened quite by chance;
a flutist made the notes to dance,
and the birds to echo song after song
(they thought he was echoing theirs);
a little more of heaven came along,
her harp held close to her heart
as if caught by cupid’s dart,
music loved so constantly there;
then the fiddler with an easy air,
no matter how difficult to play
his soul’s strings must have their say.

One by one and altogether
they entertained the summer weather
(a gamba, lute, any dream joining in)
the hours passing like a sigh
with those, like me, who happened by;
a little sojourn in the past
for some, like me, had come at last.

(Nothing missing until something was)
Suddenly a voice as it was needed
in melodies of words so gladly heeded
by the hopes of mind and heart
because the two should never part;
on bended knee it found me there,
another stranger at the fair.

Cantiga at Sterling (NY) Renaissance Faire

Cantiga at Sterling (NY) Renaissance Faire

With Cantiga and The New World Band
the past and present went hand in hand
into a future that promised so much more
of the sweetness of song that had come before,
(the memory as much a vision)
of those instruments of old,
and ageless stories to be told
by all those writers of such choice
who needed a fresh voice
to keep their gentle, thoughtful spirits alive
so beauty and reason could survive.

Thus I was complete—
I found my music in the shaded heat;
and even as I had to go
I knew that I would always know
when life was at its best for me
(with the magic of its sound)
in early music to live and dream equally.

DM Denton July 1996

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

 ©Artwork, writing, and photography, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.

Truth Stranger Than Fiction

I would have disappeared but for the sound of your acquaintance
flower-question-mark-page-0-2that found me dressed in flowers and waiting for the wind in the trees.

 

 

I would not have imagined another encounter without the paradox of you, or found myself in a past that became my future in your absence.

 

My writing life might have been barren but for you. Even the waiting for you. And the letting go. Especially, the wanting to hold on.

 

Our story is now buried and visited by strangers. That is how it is told.

 

A House Near Luccoli Poster for blog etc

I “knew” Alessandro Stradella. I recognized his distinct voice, his swaying form, his infectious smile, and his wandering heart. I had witnessed the rise and fall of his talents, how his music had showered him with forgiveness if not fortune.

 

Before her was a gracious creature, especially his hands composing in mid-air and eyes shifting slowly in observation and expression. His hair was an admission of the recklessness that got him in trouble, the vagrancy of his genius making him too accessible. Without music’s influence he might not wander like a prince among his subjects, although who could think that was all there was to him?
~  From A House Near Luccoli

Happy Birthday

Alessandro Stradella

extraordinary Baroque Composer

born April 3, 1639

stradellwide

 

 

 

 

©Artwork, writing and photography unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.

Cracked Pot – Repost

Thought this one was appropriate to repost with yet another blast of snow forecasted for Western New York tonight and tomorrow; and, also, as I sink further into the sweet lunacy that seems to be unavoidable as I finish a second novel.  Apologies for my absence from your blogs – hopefully, soon I will have more free time and mind-energy! Thank you for your patience.

Copyright 2013 by DM Denton

English Robin Copyright by DM Denton

Looking for a little relief.

The pot is cracked from the cold,
the lavender scented like summer;
spring bulbs show impatience
while knowing they must wait.





img002©Artwork, writing and photography unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.

Journeying to Ireland

Previously, I’ve shared how I went there a woman and came back a child with my eyes full of the clouds coming over the mountains.

Going through letters from England, now to myself, I found some further thoughts on my three journeys to Ireland that took me halfway home but all the way to where I needed to be.

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

♣ A spring Sunday in Dublin, Christ’s little brides happy to celebrate with a meal at McDonalds
♣ From coast to coast, covered in cowslips and folksongs
♣ Not a limerick heard, not even in its place where we stayed to hear a harp’s angel
♣ Bumping along in coaches with windows steamed and destinations , like the weather, constantly changing
♣ The mystery of alpine flowers on the Burren’s stony paradise
♣ Orchids not for picking
♣ Layers of streets, a lunch of mussels and beer, and buying old postcards in Galway
♣ Thoughts swept away by the cliffs of Moher
♣ Secluded coves with sandy beaches
♣ The mile long dream of Dingle, being Ryan’s daughter, tea with Peggy and tales of Gregory Peck
♣ Shrine at Slea head, the edge of the world
♣ A ring in Kerry that never broke its promise
♣ Starlings descending on Killarney
♣ Muckross magic in mossy woods, botanical gardens, mist shrouded mountains and mirror-clear lakes
♣ Rhododendrons and fuchsias wilder than anywhere else would allow
♣ The meeting of the waters and differing reasons for being there
♣ Miles and miles of freedom on a bicycle
♣ Airy woods of oak and ash and silver birch, feathery fern, lichen dripping and moss imagining a smaller world
♣ Fields of gorse and heather blending yellow and purple
♣ Sunshine and rain breezing in and out, taking turns to create the artist’s view
♣ Water, water everywhere, all around and in-between
♣ Sudden cascades and corners of serenity
♣ Train station benches turned for looking the other way
♣ A cottage for a week, stray cats at the door, peat burning slowly and sweetly, wild mushrooms and blackberries for breakfast, lunch and dinner

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

♣ A thousand welcomes from new friends who would never be old
♣ Not a day or night without a smile and a song
♣ So much more to remember than forget

And so I return, again and again.

And as a bonus, from St. Patrick’s ‘Breastplate’ Prayer:

I bind unto myself today

The virtues of the starlit heaven,
The glorious sun’s life-giving ray,
The whiteness of the moon at even,
The flashing of the lightning free,
The whirling wind’s tempestuous shocks,
The stable earth, the deep salt sea,
Around the old eternal rocks.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Diane on Dingle Beach 1983

Diane on Dingle Beach 1983

©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.

Repost: An Artist Revealed

To continue the celebration of my mom’s birthday, and, also, to anticipate spring on this day of two-inch per hour falling snow, fierce winds and plummeting temperatures in Western New York …
By my mom, June ©

By my mom, June ©

The secrets of your heart
are stacked against the wall,
canvases for your art
of hiding what you missed.
No mistaking your style,
a freedom out of hand
that kept you all the while
believing as you wished.
A world that long was yours
before it was revealed—
imagination soars
with courage its master.
 Flowers filling a place
left bereft of your own,
a portrait in a vase
found by me, your daughter.
Landscapes take you afar,
cats and soup bring you home
to settle for who you are:
the author of this poem.

~ DM Denton

By my mom, June ©

By my mom, June ©

donatellasmallest©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.

June in March

My mom, June, is 85 today!

We are celebrating with another blessed day together and dinner of shrimp cocktails, homemade ricotta-gnocchi and carrot cake! Mom prefers to stay home, surrounded by views of our lingering winter and the ever-pleasurable antics and unconditional love of our five kitty-boys.

Many of you know that she is a talented artist, as I have shared her paintings here before.

And, so, that is how I celebrate her 85th birthday with those of you who have wandered this way.

 

Once upon a time

I planned to be an artist

or celebrity.

A song I thought to write one day

and all the world with homage pay.

I longed to write a noble book,

but what I did–

was learn to cook.

For life with simple tasks is filled,

and I have done not what

I willed!

Written by my mom, June, in her journal, 1985

Her poem speaks to the sacrifices I know she has made, but does not do justice to the fullness, intelligence, creativity and importance of her life.

You can discover a little more about my mom through two short stories I’ve written based on her childhood memories.  She is a wealth of fascinating memories, which I’m sure will continue to inspire me, especially as I know how much it means to her when they do.  The Snow White Gift and The Library Next Door are available in Kindle editions  Remember you don’t need a Kindle device to read them – there’s an app for that!

Click here for information about The Snow White Gift and The Library Next Door.

“It take a long time to become young” -Pablo Picasso

Happy Birthday, Mom!

You are certainly 85 years young!

Illustrative Return

I noticed the geese flying because their wings were silent,

Copyright by DM Denton 2012

Copyright by DM Denton 2012

their thoughts out loud,

direction unchanged,

destination in question,

frozen over with winter

their signposts

for spring:

necessity,

expectation,

instinct,

inevitability.

Or was belief all they needed?

Copyright 2013 by DM Denton

Copyright 2013 by DM Denton

donatellasmallest©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.