Music is breath


Music has always been the one constant in my life. It has been the soundtrack to my joys, my fears, comforted me in every emotion, and spoken my words when I could not. I am always seeking out new music and am so overjoyed when I find something new. Playing for Change isn’t new to me, I have been following them since they started on their Songs Around the World journey and what they bring together never ceases to amaze me.

Most people don’t know this about me, but I grew up with my mother’s love of Africa. (photo: My mother with us at Animal Kingdom dancing to live African music two days before she had surgery.) African culture, art, pattern. I think it is why I am so drawn to black and white, high contrast art, pattern, and texture. It is where my love of elephants comes from as well.

It may also have influenced that I have the heart and hands of a drummer. Though not what I would consider well, I played doumbek, djembe, and other hand drums for years. I cannot imagine my life without music, sound, rhythm, beat, percussion, the sounds of feet dancing in dirt, the sounds of nature’s heartbeat on the wind. Music of all varieties speaks to me and influences my creative force daily.

Africa has been speaking to me lately. Elephant keeps popping up as well as tribal patterns. (photo: a lovely gift from a watercolor artist I met recently, check her out here) It keeps me focused on my own personal strength and power as an individual, reminds me of my connection to the Sacred Feminine, and that with that power comes a duty to be compassionate. Compassion has also come up in that I recently reworked my logo. Moon Rabbit is compassion in Japanese culture.

A while ago, in response to some very disturbing discussions in the news about hunting elephants, I created this paper doll in protest. You can download a copy and print it out (I use 110# cardstock) for personal use! Feel free to share it*, just make sure to link to this blog post and not the PDF. Enjoy!

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*All downloads are protected under copyright and are not to be duplicated in whole or in part without written permission from Renmeleon aka Ana Maria Selvaggio. If you share it, please link to my  and not to the PDF. Thank you!

If you are a teacher and would like a custom doll for your classroom, please contact me. I’d love to make something for you!

Setting the Tone

I’m working on Stalemate again. Val and I have been meeting with two close friends for a critique group every couple of weeks and we have been breaking it down, chapter by chapter. It has taken on a life of its own and I am very grateful for the feedback. It has also been a small thrill as a writer to see them interested and on the edge of their seats ever so slightly meeting after meeting.

One of the most emotional scenes in the book just came to life for me. I found the scene’s soundtrack and it transformed everything, as music often does. To say Ludovico Einaudi was one of my muses would not be an understatement…

I put the headset on my husband’s ears and asked him to read the scene. Part way through he put his hand over his mouth, moved, eyes tearing.

This is what I wanted. This is how I wanted the reader to feel. I’m happy.

Joy on Track

My family and I first found Rising Appalachia during our first First Friday Art Walk and I was hooked. The energy and vision of their music is invigorating, but it’s their soul and their joy that really makes it beautiful. I found this and had to share.

I’m also a sucker for trains (and am long overdue for a train ride) and jam sessions.

PS – I also took this video while we were there. I had a longer one on my GoPro, but it seems to have eaten it. If I can recover it I’ll post it.

My life has a soundtrack

I cannot live without music. I am very eclectic in my taste in tunes, just as in every other category, so I will listen to just about any kind of music depending on my mood. I keep a notebook of the songs I like, and any time I write there is music playing. In fact, if you look through any of my writing, you will often find songs titles jotted in analog margins or notated digitally.

CONNECTED

Over the years, I have progressed from LPs to 45s to cassettes to CDs and,  more recently, to internet radio.

When Pandora first emerged I geeked out. The idea of being able to create my own radio stations and share my music, even with the occasional ad, was fabulous. There were a few copycats showed up not long after that, but it wasn’t till my husband started using Grooveshark that I took notice.

Grooveshark has had its fair share of issues, but has still provided us with hours of listening for free. Unlike Pandora, though, it doesn’t suggest new music based on what our likes and dislikes are.  That is something that has introduced us to some incredible music we would never have found otherwise, like Beats Antique.

PLAYLISTS

Anything listed below that has an actual song title next to it is on my current playlist. I may like some, all or none of the artist other than the ones listed, but I’ll leave that up to you to investigate.

Soundtrack: The Secret Life of Arrietty – Arrietty’s Song, Our House Below, Spiller, Sho’s Waltz, An Uneasy Feeling, The Wild Waltz
Soundtrack: Ghost n the Shell: Standalone Project – Lithium Flower, Run Rabbit Junk, Inner Universe
Soundtrack: Record of Lodoss Wars – Niji

World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria
the MYST series (Myst, Riven, Exile)

Newsboys – I Am Second, Shine
Rob Dugan – Clubbed to Death (Matrix)
RJD2
Linkin Park – Burn It Down
Depeche Mode – Lie to Me
Ellie Goulding – Lights, Human
Hilary Grist – Right for You, City of Green and Blue
Onra – Last Tango in Saigon
Alex Clare – Too Close
Katy Perry – Wide Awake, Firework
Willow Smith – I Am Me
Prodigy – Firestarter, Breathe (my web design music)
Beats Antique
Rammstein – Feuer Frei!, Du Hast

…and too many to list from a list that is constantly growing.