Three Lutes and a Violin

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

Three lutes huddled against the emptiness of a corner, stepsisters born separately of rosewood, maple, and ebony, sharing an inheritance of long necks, heads back, full bodies with rosettes like intricately set jewels on their breasts. Theirs was harmonious rivalry, recalling a master’s touch and understanding. On the settee a leather case contained a violin resembling a dead man on the red velvet of his coffin, not mourned but celebrated by nymphs dancing through vines on the frieze high around the room.

from A House Near Luccoli©, a novel imagining an intimacy with the 17th Century Italian Composer, Alessandro Stradella

Release Date: September 1, 2012
All Things That Matter Press
Contact me for availability







©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.

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Announcing Release Date for My Novel, A House Near Luccoli

September 1, 2012!

It will be published by All Things That Matter Press, available in paperback and as an eBook. If you would like to receive notification of how to obtain a copy, please click here: http://www.dmdenton-author-artist.com/contact.html.

Alternatively, email me @ astradellasojourn@earthlink.net to let me know you are interested.

This historical fiction takes place in Genoa, Italy, 1681 -1682. For more information regarding its story and background, please visit the novel’s page on my website: http://www.dmdenton-author-artist.com/a-house-near-luccoli-a-novel-of-musical-intimacy–intrigue.html

Below are links to a couple of excerpts, and here is the blurb from the back cover:

A House Near Luccoli, focuses on chance encounters, beautiful music, and the paradox of genius through an imagined intimacy with one of the most legendary and undervalued figures of Italian Baroque music.

Over three years since the charismatic composer, violinist, and singer Alessandro Stradella sought refuge in the palaces and twisted alleys of Genoa, royally welcomed despite the alleged scandals and even crimes that forced him to flee from Rome, Venice, and Turin, his professional and personal life have begun to unravel again. He is offered, by the very man he is rumored to have wronged, a respectable if slightly shabby apartment and yet another chance to redeem his character and career. He moves in to the curiosity and consternation of his caretakers, also tenants, three women whose reputations are of concern only to themselves.

Donatella, still unmarried in her mid-thirties, is plainly irrelevant. Yet, like the city she lives in, there are hidden longings in her, propriety the rule, not cure, for what ails her. She cares more for her bedridden grandmother and cats than overbearing aunt, keeping house and tending to a small terraced garden, painting flowers and waxing poetic in her journal. At first, she is in awe of and certain she will have little to do with Stradella. Slowly, his ego, playfulness, need of a copyist and camouflage involve her in an inspired and insidious world, exciting and heartbreaking as she is enlarged by his magnanimity and reduced by his missteps, forging a friendship that challenges how far she will go.

Excerpts:
First Chapter
Random

Cover Artwork©
by DM Denton

I appreciate your time and interest. Blessings to all!


©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.

Nature Insight: Blessed is the Rain

Rain is grace; rain is the sky descending to the earth; without rain, there would be no life.
John Updike

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

So the rain never left us, just hesitated to refresh us, while hoping to remind us

that nothing grows with sun alone; thirst is one moment closer to hunger, and heat can wear out its welcome

for those who look for the willowherb to rise in sight of water, and the lily pad to float and blossom further out of its depths.





©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.

A House Near Luccoli: Getting Closer to Publication

My novel, A House Near Luccoli, soon to be published by All Things That Matter Press, focuses on chance encounters, beautiful music, and the paradox of genius through an imagined intimacy with one of the most legendary and undervalued figures of Italian Baroque Music.

In 2002, while driving to work, I was fortunate to be near enough to the Canadian border to listen to CBC Radio 2, specifically a program called In the Shadows. The show highlighted the lives and works of artists—mainly musical—who for a variety of reasons had been largely ignored or forgotten.

Cover Artwork by DM Denton
Copyright 2012

One morning a 17th Century Italian composer, whom I and obviously many others had never heard of, was featured. His music was stunning: fluid and melodic, with clear expressive vocals and distinct instrumentations. His story was replete with romance and intrigue, triumphs and tragedy, like an opera drawing on the divinity and failings of gods and men.

By the time I pulled into the parking lot at work, I knew why I was listening. 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. I spent the rest of that morning and many hours more in pursuit of him, my writer’s urge “to do something with him” easier stirred than accomplished. He was so little on the pages of Google searches and music histories; a desire to create something significant out of my interest in him was soon frustrated and abandoned.

It wasn’t until 2005 that I returned to Stradella as the novel subject I was looking for. The timing must have been right, for “suddenly” resources, although still not in abundance, were easier to find. As I read my costly used copy of Alessandro Stradella, the Man and his Music by musicologist Carolyn Gianturco, I found an opportunity for imagining my way into his story, focusing on his last fateful days in Genoa–not to change history but quietly humanize it, not merely to appreciate a great musician but personalize him, to reveal the ordinary in the extraordinary and the significance of the insignificant. Equipped with specifics and speculation, a growing CD library of his music, and a fictional female protagonist stepping out of my own hopes and disappointments, I was ready to begin.

Stradella (1639 – 1682) was cultivated but also something of a vagabond. His life seemed to be a struggle between the discipline of his work and the restlessness of his behavior. Throughout his career, Stradella’s output was versatile and copious, including operas, oratorios, serenatas, madrigals, and incidental music. He worked royally and nobly for the theater and the church, for grand and domestic occasions, celebrating life and love, using allegory and heart and humor, challenging singers and instrumentalists and the inventiveness of himself. Whether acting on a patron’s whim or his own impulse, uncertainty and risk were inevitable for Stradella. It was his nature to embrace them, indulging in possibilities, captivating men and women known and unknown, seducing posterity with his reputation for making messes but also masterpieces.

Please click here to read a short excerpt from A House Near Luccoli.

Visit my website to read more about the novel, and contact me if you would like to be notified of its release date.

Also, I would appreciate a few more LIKES on my Facebook Author Page.

This is an exciting time for me (my first published novel) and I sincerely thank you, dear friends, for letting me share it with you!

©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.

Repost: Drought

A repost from last August – with the preparation of my novel for publication (almost there!) I haven’t had time to write for my blog. An even worse drought is affecting my area and much of the US this year, so I thought this poem was appropriate. Hope to be posting something new very soon! Thanks for your patience.

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

Waiting
for the rain
there is
a pain
of thirst
in the eyes
and sighs
of the beholders.

Looking
on the dryness
there is
a deafness
to cries
for a break
and stake
in the weather.

Sleeping
through the storm
there is
a swarm
of being
for the birds
and words
of an awakening.    

©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.