Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Challenge of Music Reveal!

As you may guess from my screen name, music plays a huge role in my life.  My parents, my husband, and my children are all professional musicians.  I studied and performed, but was surrounded by enough real talent to know life as a performer wasn't my destiny.

But, boy howdy, do I have some memories that are indelibly connected with certain pieces of music.  So this challenge was right up my alley!

So get something to sip, put your feet up, and let me spin a little musical tale for you...

It was impossible to hone it down to one song, one piece, one work.  Rather than spinning myself into a never-ending sweat of regret and what ifs, worrying that a single choice would define me too narrowly, I decided to do a piece that was more a medley of songs or pieces that represent important parts of my life.  I'd like to introduce you to each player in the medley individually, along with a YouTube link to listen along as you wish:

This is Bohemian Rhapsody - the glitter of Freddie Mercury and Queen, dressed up in fuchsia and velvety green that are the exact colors of a rockin' pair of shoes I had that saw many nights at the disco.  This song always reminds me of  my years singing in a band, of college, of those glorious days of glitter rock.  Scaramouche!
This is Seven Bridges Road.  This song by the Eagles always touches me for a couple of reasons.  First, when you listen to it, be sure to turn your speakers way up to appreciate the rich harmonies and the terrific a capella singing.  Second, I'm from the South (as you may have read in other posts), so the whole image of stars in the southern sky evokes an immediate image for me, and inspired the choice of the deep blue seed beads and the firepolish with the sparkle.

This is Carmen.  She represents the opera in my life.  I've been in them, I've played for them, I've loved them. This bead has the bold ruffles and fiery flourish of the diva -- I look at it and can just see Carmen slinking across the stage, seducing everyone on stage and in the audience.


But when you get right down to it, the center of my musical life has been orchestral music.  There are certain works that are just the pure, sonic embodiment of glory, joy, of the sun breaking through the clouds and streaming down.  With this bead, I tried to capture the look of golden, warm light streaming from the dark background.  And though there are many, many works that fit this description, the most perfect example is the final movement of Mahler's Second Symphony, also known as the Resurrection Symphony.  (the whole symphony is over an hour long -- this video clip is the final four minutes.  Listen, and tell me you can't envision the heavens opening up)  I had the privilege of being in the audience for a performance of this work with Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic.  It was truly the most transcendent musical experience of my life.  I still get chills when I think of it, and it never fails to make me weep for joy, for the sheer emotional overload of it all.


Nearly every summer of my life has been spent at a music festival that my family has been involved with since I was two.  So many of my musical memories have a deep connection to this place, nestled in the mountains, surrounded by beautiful green pines and sparkling mountain streams, so this bead reflects the colors and sparkle of the environment.  Beethoven's Ninth Symphony has been the soundtrack to many milestones at this festival, most notably being the final work my father conducted before retiring.  It, too, is a long work in its entirety, so I've just found a video of the last few minutes of the final movement, which includes the "Ode to Joy."  If you can't stomach listening to the whole clip, start at the 11:30 mark, and then at 12:50, experience what it sounds like when 300 people produce a sound of pure and utter joy.  Then imagine being in the chorus or the orchestra.  I've been there.  And that's why this is here.

So when you put all the pieces together in this medley, this is what you get:


They're strung on one of my husband's used violin strings.  

But wait, there's more!!! (I know, I know, I know.  You have blogs to visit, beady beauty to drool over).  This next piece is what I initially wanted to do when I signed up for the challenge, but I didn't know if I could get the main component, a violin bridge.  The bridge is the little piece of wood that holds up the strings on a violin, viola, cello or bass, and although you can buy them ready made, professional musicians have them custom created and fitted to their instruments.  I was hoping my husband would have an old, broken one somewhere.  He didn't.  But he did find one that had been made for an instrument he no longer owns, so here is the result.


I'll be adding a necklace to this, and I will never, ever sell it.  It will be like keeping my husband close to my heart every time I wear it.  And just in case you're interested, here's a little bit of my sweetheart playing.

If you've made it this far, THANK YOU!!  You win the prize for endurance!  Now get a snack to build your energy back up, and visit the rest of the folks in the hop:

Bobbie Rafferty  You are here!
 

23 comments:

Elisabeth said...

Wow - was blown away by the use of the violin string and then saw your piece with the bridge - just stunning!

Saturday Sequins said...

Bobbie,

What a fantastic idea, creating a medley instead of picking just one song! I love it, and I love the way your beads go together. :)

I have a bit of a musical background, too. I studied classical opera as a teenager and early adult and found that while it was fun, I didn't really have the passion to make it my career. I still have my favorite songs, though. :)

Lori Anderson said...

So sweet on the sentiment of that last one. And I would so wear that first one!

Kristen said...

Bobbie you totally ROCK! Your inspiration and creativity are amazing! No don't you ever ever sell that piece!

Lola said...

I love the idea of a medley! SO BEAUTIFUL!

Holly said...

Oh, goodness, I love seeing this history of your own musical life! Those beads are stunning.

And the final piece? As amazing as your husband playing....wow.

Amy said...

Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, and wow! What a wonderfully brilliant idea to incorporate all your different music loves. The embroidered bridge piece is fantastic. And your sweetheart's music is divine ;)

Christine Altmiller said...

You had me at Freddie! So I stayed clear through your husband's playing. If anyone was meant to be in this hop, it was you! What a rich history and what fabulous beads you made to represent all the different musical styles you encompass. I was so glad to see you used your husband's violin string. Whenever my daughter breaks a string, she asks if I can use it. I have a few lying around but haven't done anything with them yet.
That bridge is unbelievable! Gorgeous!!!

Alice said...

I love your handmade beads, and that each tells a story. Thanks for such an inspiring post!

Cynthia said...

Wow! First, I loved the magical musical tour you took us on. And the old violin string!!! Then, the violin bridge is simply fantastic. Such an interesting object, made into pretty jewelry!
Great job!!!

Maneki said...

Love the idea of the beaded bead music medley. The beads are very pretty and have different personalities that still work well together in the necklace.

The violin bridge is fab too. It adds an interesting design element and add to that the sentiment of it. Great idea!

Jenny said...

That is a fantastic idea! A necklace medley. Your piece with the bridge is stunning. and makes me want to learn bead embroidery... Wonderful!

Kathleen Lange Klik said...

Wow-I love the beads you created! What an awesome statement piece with several meanings. The violin pendant you created is beautiful too. It would make a wonderful gift for a violinist!

beth hemmila of hint jewelry said...

Wow this is so cool! Many songs all strung together. Bohemian Rhapsody is my fav. Thanks for sharing your love of music and beads with me :) xoxo Beth

Sally Russick said...

Amazing creativity!! Such amazing work! Your husband plays beautifully, thank you for sharing. I can see how it inspired such a lovely pendant!

SoulsFireDesigns said...

I am just amazed!!! Your work is absolutely beautiful and incredible and so full of heart and memories! Wonderful!

Therese's Treasures said...

Bobbie, Your idea of making a beaded bead to represent different songs and linking the songs to pathways in your life was fantastic! Then you did a beaded pendant out of the violin bridge it is so pretty and meaningful. I listened to your husband play, I just closed my eyes and totally enjoyed his performance. You are so lucky to have people around you that are so talented in music.
Therese

EB Bead and Metal Works, LLC said...

Wow - both pieces are truly amazing! I love how you broke down each bead with an explanation! I love the final piece with your husbands bridge and I can't to see the finished piece. Stunning work!

TesoriTrovati said...

Miss Bobbie! What a delightful interlude this has been! I am blown away by the thought that went into this piece. I love the idea of a medley! Why didn't I think of that? The fact that you strung these far out beads on a violin string really is magical. Truly it is resonating with sound waves in color and movement. Beautiful. I watched the video of your husband playing. So passionate and deep that music. Thank you for sharing it with us. And that piece with the bridge? That is pure inspiration right there! Wow! Blown away! Thank you for joining me in the challenge and sharing your music personality with us!
Enjoy the day.
Erin

Pixiloo said...

Your beaded beads are gorgeous. I love Carmen .. it really evokes the feeling of the opera. Your last piece is just stunning. Wonderful work.

marsspyder said...

I really like each and every beaded bead, and the embroidered piece takes me back to my days playing the Horn, and my earliest days of beading when I wanted to bead around an entire horn...(I never got that far by the way :) ) Great work!

Pearl and Pebble said...

Oooohhh I love your beaded beads and your violin focal is so romantic. How wonderful your Sweet Baby plays-I hope he serenades you often!!!!

Karen Williams said...

Bobbie,

I'm right there with Christine! This was definitely the challenge for you! Your pieces are lovely and your writing brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for letting us share your passion and joy! Music is so very powerful, and your sharing your personal connections to songs I know and love made it even more so.

I'm blog surfing at a coffee shop, so I couldn't listen to the clips, but I could hear most of them playing in the background of my memory as I read your post. And I will definitely visit again when I'm home so that I can hear your husband play!