Friday, 1 March 2013

Challenge of Music - Bach's Prelude in G for solo 'cello

Welcome to Erin's annual Challenge of Music blog hop! I think I am right in saying I have taken part in every one of Erin's challenges, and I've loved them all. 

The Music Challenge is particularly apt for me as I am a sometime musician. I teach singing, cello and piano, and occasionally sing professionally, although due to a number of vocal health issues I've had over the past year or so, I don't do so much of that anymore. And whilst I've been mainly a singer of recent years, I grew up playing the cello (even have a postgrad diploma in it!) and the piano, so am a lover of instrumental music. (Side note: You generally can't call a piece of music a song unless it is sung.....pet peeve of mine, please humour me!!) I love orchestral music, chamber music but one of my best and first loves are solo 'cello works, in particular the solo 'cello suites by J.S. Bach


When I was married back in 2010, my dear and lovely friend Roz (a professional 'cellist) played the first movement of the first 'cello suite as we walked into the garden to be married. It was something I had known I'd wanted if I were to get married, for some time.....Often when people are married, they simply walk in to an instrumental extract. Not for me! Well, not the whole suite, but we had the whole of the first movement. You simply can't cut music as exquisite as Bach's short - it would be a crime! Like beginning a Shakespeare play and then cutting straight to the last page.....

When I first began thinking about Erin's challenge, I knew that I would like to use Bach as my starting point. To me, Bach is to music what Shakespeare is to the English language. If I only had to listen to one composer for the rest of my life, it would be Bach. Hopefully I won't ever find myself faced with that dilemma of course! 

I made a couple of pieces listening to and thinking about Bach's 'cello suites. I had one all planned out to reveal today....but alas and alack, the photos simple have NOT worked. Trust me! Rather than show you a pretty piece of jewellery in a very bad light, I thought I would share one of the others I made, and in fact the first one I came to. I feel bad as I've shared it before as it wasn't my planned reveal, but hopefully some of you will not have and it won't matter too much. Piece number 2 will follow at a later date, I promise!


I'm not one for sketching; I'm not one for trying to create a literal meaning from a piece of music. Bach's instrumental music is wonderful to me, because despite, or perhaps because of, being highly emotive on an individual level, it is pure music. It is aural architecture. It is the lines and forms and curves and swoops of life and nature and our surroundings. This necklace is not a literal transformation of the Prelude, but inspired by it. Thank you for the trigger, Erin!

Here are the other hoppers:

Erin Prais-HintzAlenka ObidAli McCarthyAlicia MarinacheAmy SeverinoAmy GrassCarolyn LawsonCece CormierCynthia Riggs Ema Kilroy (bowed out)
Emanda Johnson Emma ToddErin KennyEvelyn ShelbyEvie and Beth McCord Gerd AnderssonHolly Westfall Jennifer Justman Jenny Davies-Reazor Jess GreenJudy Campbell Karla MorganKay Thomerson (bowed out)
Kristina JohanssonLola SurwilloLynn White (bowed out)
Malin de KoningMallory HoffmanMary K McGrawMelissa Meman (bowed out)
Melissa Trudinger Michelle EscanoMichelle BourbonniereMichelle Heim (bowed out)
Michelle Mach Molly AlexanderMolly Schaller (bowed out)
Monique UrquhartNiky SayersPam FarrenRebecca Anderson Sally RussickSharon Palac (bowed out)
Sharon DriscollSusan KennedyTari KahrsTracy Stillman (bowed out)
Veralynne Malone



21 comments:

Maneki said...

Lovely interpretation of Bach's prelude! I think it complements the music very well. And the asymmetry in the necklace is so nice: I can never do asymmetry well and admire it in others. There's aslo a good dichtonomy between light and heavy, compact and airy, earthtones and aquatic tones.

About your pet peeve: I actually squirm every time I write song when referring to a piece of instrumental music or any music where singing isn't a central part, but still do it because I don't know what else to write that isn't as long as "piece of music". Tune doesn't sound good as it makes me think of single notes or tuning into something. Track feels too confined to albums and records and not very useful for, say, a part of a suite. In swedish I say låt. Short, easy, inclusive word.

Amy said...

Love, love, love this necklace! What a perfect phrase for life - but it's also apropos for this challenge! The flowers just made my heart happy - the music selection is gorgeous.

Monique said...

I have been looking forward to reading about your musical choice, Rebecca. This is a wonderful selection! I think your beautiful design, with its cording weaving in and out of the various elements, is gently reminiscent of the pacing of Bach's prelude, which has deservedly stood the test of time. I will certainly return to enjoy your remaining piece when it has been "suitably" photographed!

Kathleen Lange Klik said...

Absolutely gorgeous design. I love the variety of elements and how beautifully they tie in together.

steufel said...

Oh, Bach - Pure genius. I love Air, though sometimes it makes me sad. And "Jesus meine Freude" is so beauitful. So is your necklace.

koko said...

I love the necklace and the music you've chosen. When music is as lovely as this, words may be few indeed.

Lottie said...

What a wonderful write up - truly inspiring - I could feel your passion. The necklace you created is amazing. Very sophisticated and I can imagine you wearing it played (even if you haven't). It would just look so beautiful and not detract from your performance. My goodness you have been gifted with so many wonderful talents!

Would loved to have seen your wedding photo!

Designed by Vera said...

How beautiful, the necklace and the music. And they mimic each other perfectly. Great Job!

Michelle Mach said...

The necklace is absolutely beautiful! I loved hearing the story of how you played Bach at your wedding.

Sharon Driscoll said...

The cello has to be my hands down favorite instrument. Maybe it's because I find it so calming and mello - yet it makes me want to danse rather than sleep. The necklace is beautiful and I love the use of the cord and the knotting...it's romantic and soft but contemporary.

rosebud101 said...

Beautiful!!!!

A Polymer Penchant said...

beautiful music, beautiful design, can't wait to see the next too!

EB Bead and Metal Works, LLC said...

Gorgeous necklace - love all the different elements!

EmandaJ said...

I think I could go to a desert island with just Yo-Yo Ma's Bach recordings! I love your beautiful necklace and the story you told.

Molly Alexander said...

Rebecca, I'm a big fan of your jewelry, and have always loved the graceful and unique way your jewelry is designed. Bach is one of my favorite classical composers as well, and I could listen to his music all day long. Your necklace perfectly illustrates the highs and lows in the sound and feel of this music. Also, the sentiment on the pendant is from one of my favorite worship songs. Beautiful work!

:) Molly

Jennifer said...

What lovely contrast in your necklace, and a true sense of structure, interwoven elements...It lovely!
I love hearing you speak about Bach - I know very little about Classical and it was poetic and passionate. THank you for sharing!

Cassi Renee said...

A lovely necklace, and thank you for including the video. I am not musical, but I grew up listening to my dad play the piano. Cello is my second favorite instrument.

scotknit said...

Beautiful music, beautiful necklace, beautiful post.

kmorgan said...

What a great piece depicting the music! Love the variety of media & how you incorporated them together.

TesoriTrovati said...

I am very happy that you are participating in the Challenge with me Miss Rebecca! This music is so very uplifting. I love that it was the music you walked into meet your partner for the journey that you were about to take together. So much meaning! I mention this to Tari that Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble were in little old Stevens Point WI for the final stop on their North American tour last fall. It was incredible. He is an immensely talented artist but also so generous with his talents and time and also the spotlight. It was a raucous party of music that night! I was in the last row of this sold out show and it was just as powerful as being in the front row! Thank you for sharing this music, and your beautiful necklace. I just love that one! Your style is so recognizable and I love Swoondimples work so much! Anything with words has me swooning! ;-) Enjoy the day. Erin

Cece Cormier said...

Perfect.

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