Laura Bruno Lilly

The road ends, but the journey continues...

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Catching Up part one

Interspersed amongst my wrist issues, I managed to type out & post a few blog articles and maintain a certain level of creative lifestyle activity over the past 2+ months.

Wrist issues? you may ask, curious as to what that has to do with anything.

As an (he)artist, one needs to be vigilant in maintaining and caring for one’s tools of the trade. A good example of this would be my changing out Gracie’s & the Prisloe’s strings a while back. In the human realm, as a working musician, this care includes parts of my body. Specifically, my arms, wrists, hands and fingers.

Without getting too bogged down with procedural details, I’ll say that my search for a hand therapist quickly came up short since the ones I called, and I called quite a few, offer their services only to patients on referral from hand surgeons (at least here where I live). So, I made an appointment with the one out of only two local hand surgeons most of those hand therapists worked with, hoping for a diagnosis and then referral to a hand therapist for stretches, exercises and tips on how to baby and strengthen my hands/wrists.

Turns out, it’s a catch 22.

The surgeon, I learned after said appointment, only refers his patients to a therapist after he performs surgery on their hands. There is no middle ground (at least where I live). No intermediary non-invasive steps from the ‘problem’ to what may or may not be a needed surgery as an ‘only solution’. (FYI: I am not giving up on finding some medical professional to guide me in ways other than immediate surgery to aid in my long term hand/wrist issues).

During those 6 weeks waiting for the appointment, I did what I could to cope with the pain, hoping what I did intuitively (and also with a little help from Dr. Google) would do no harm. This included, but was not limited to, gentle stretches, use of craft gloves (yay for being a quilter!), soft arm socks as a form of gentle support and greatly reducing time at the keyboard.

In addition, I cancelled all upcoming rehearsals until after the doctor’s appointment. Say what? Rehearsals? Yep. I’d just begun a regular weekly rehearsal routine with a new musician friend (Banjo Guy).


The Canola Field by Guy Bergeron, composer & guitarist (banjo player & slide guitarist unknown)

Here is a piece I found by Guy Bergeron that beguiled us both – bringing this classically trained guitarist (me) and that bluegrass banjo player (him) together on common ground. It has become our mutually approved ‘set piece’ where we are meeting each other half-way stylistically and eager to explore a myriad of other collaborative musical possibilities. In three short sessions, we got the piece 75% down, with other music in the queue at various levels of development. Just sayin’… 😎


Banjo Guy and I met three times until the day of the fourth scheduled rehearsal. At that point, I reluctantly canceled due to fears of doing damage to my still painful wrists if I’d plowed ahead regardless of my body’s rebellious attitude. 😒

When we talked that day, he suggested two things to enrich my time off the practice stool:

  1. Go to Art Fields
  2. Haul out the Hammered Dulcimer, set it up and play

I did the first, that very day!

Please click here for an outstanding interview with Jamale W. Wright, an amazing regular-guy artist of exceptional talent – who uses fiber as a main element in his pieces.

And the second I did a few days later.

On the plus side, during those 6 weeks waiting for the appointment, I didn’t do a lick of heavy cleaning around the house. You know, scrubbing bathrooms, kitchen sinks and such. Not that I’m complaining on that front! (FYI: Hubby does his share of the housework, and lovingly took on my share in the interim).

So what exactly did I do to maintain & enable a “certain level of creative lifestyle activity” (besides the two items mentioned above)?

Stayed tuned for part two, where I’ll elaborate on my Hammered Dulcimer set up and related et all.

May 24th, 2022

…I have been silent here on my website blog…fielding the events of our society’s everyday harsh realities while trying to sort through the maze of staying current without sinking too deep into the pit of despair*...knowing that so many are suffering, hurting…again…

Just 2 days after my last post – Remembering the Children (of the 2017 Manchester Arena bombing in the UK)– there was yet another mass shooting here in the USA focused on children. In school. Defenseless, easy targets here in the land of the free, home of the brave.

I thought about re-posting the photo-quote I’d made, but really – recycled sentiments? For such tender times?

Instead, here is my mini-commentary. While my feelings and thoughts run deep, they aren’t put out there for ‘show’ or ‘grandstanding’. I’m more of a one-on-one communicator when it comes to deeper complex issues. However, I realized I could not move forward without saying something here.

Following the ‘logic’ offered in defense of easy access to firearms/weapons of all sorts as ‘doing things literally as the founding fathers intended’ I posit: where in the world does it say in the second amendment that Assault Weapons/Weapons of War are the ‘arms’ meant for an American’s right to bear?

Possession of an AR-15 is a far cry from Daniel Boone’s hunting for squirrels or raccoons with his trusty shotgun.

Where has the intent to protect ourselves from threatening outsiders become a right to attack, traumatize and kill school children busy learning, socializing, working and playing within their classrooms?

What right does any American have to take away a child’s childhood and future?

Mass shooting attacks outside the context of war or third world regimes are considered uniquely American.

Part of our national character.

A far cry from the founding fathers’ intent, indeed.

* reference: from a scene in The Princess Bride, a lighthearted movie beloved across all generations.

One breezy afternoon in April

One breezy afternoon in April – in the days before it gets too hot and humid…

…hubby and I trekked to the new soccer fields/trails on the outskirts of town to play in the great spacey outdoors

we each took turns taking sneaky photos of each other

…then packed it all up and called it a day!

Wishing us all times like these to refresh our souls and replenish our spirits.

Peace Post: PurplePoem

PurplePoem
Laura Bruno Lilly c2022

I am the power of purple.

Majesty clothed in peace.

Within the folds
                             my robe holds

Sprigs of springtime blossoms
                                                      harbingers of hope.

photo by LA

Peace Post: A Poem Shared

– A coincidental gift received during National Poetry Month –
As natural as breathing, sharing works of (he)art is part of my everyday.

A few days after my last post was pubbed, a longtime friend noticed the ‘tree painting’ on the shelf beside Gracie. This prompted her to share a reading by Amanda Palmer of the following poem by Mary Oliver. She’s been listening to every day.

I get it. Poetry is a life line.

WHEN I AM AMONG THE TREES
by Mary Oliver

When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.
I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.
Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”
The light flows from their branches.
And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say,
“and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine.”

Devotions: The Selected Poetry of Mary Oliver

If preferred: click here for direct link to Amanda’s reading on Soundcloud

Mama (Gracie) Needs a New Pair of (Set of) Shoes (Strings)

Like a baby being born into an expectant family – the world revolves around that anticipated event while simultaneously continuing to turn daily on its axis.

Such is the life of a working musician – the ins and outs of projects going public and in various stages of completion with the on-going daily-ness of keeping up one’s chops, learning new repertoire, caring for one’s instruments, exploring the wide world of sound adventures while simultaneously creating a fresh crop of compositions/recordings and forging relationships with possible new performance partners. 

So yeah, Gracie Needed A New Set of Strings…In Spades.
She was neglected in that way. But truly in no other.


I recently unearthed a song sketch I recorded on my new-at-the-time ZOOM H4n handheld recorder after my literal Swimming with Swans* experience.

It definitely sounded way better than I remembered. Usually it goes the other way around – remembering something way better than it actually was.

Ah yes, after all these years – I hit the jackpot. Hidden in plain sight, I unwittingly discovered the namesake piece for the entire Swimming with Swans: The Music project!

All that to say, Gracie and I have been deeply ensconced in the nuances of deciphering what was recorded and translating it back under my fingers to play upon her lovely neck. Teasing to attention several other12-string pieces queued up for the next recording session (yet to be determined).

Now, if I keep the original recorded intro with those birds chirping in the background…tack it onto the future studio recording when the time comes…
😎


*This poignant experience occurred during the
**Indiana sojourn part of our between homes time (from 3/2010 – 10/2010).

Go Look! I’m Featured on L.Marie’s Blog!

Long before my Swimming with Swans: The Music – Goat Suite (Saga) was released, L.Marie asked if I would like to be a featured guest on her blog once the Big Day arrived.

Of course I said, “Yes”.

This woman, herself an accomplished author, has a reputation with us creatives as being actively supportive of her fellow (he)artists – both in word and deed. Going the extra mile with surprise encouragements in the snail mail to conducting interviews on her blog, L.Marie unabashedly helps enable & promote others’ newly released works.

Amethyst

She’s a Gem.

Please go here for that interview and while you’re there, maybe have a look around her blog. Enjoy!

It’s Release Day!

Swimming with Swans: The Music – Goat Suite (Saga)
is officially released today, 3/11/2022

Mama Goat
Hey Everybody! Take a listen to Laura’s Goat Suite (Saga). It’s all about me & my kids, back in the day.
Love,
Mama Goat

Brief background of this piece:

Smack dab in the middle of our three-year journey between homes experience, my husband & I lived on the compound in the desert outside Las Cruces, NM, by invitation of family members grieving the loss of a young child. We shared life with various ‘rescues’ of both the animal and human sort. Inspired by our family of rescue goats, their antics and their care for us as we cared for them and initially based upon musical intervals of their bleats, my GS(S) stands as an ‘homage’ to Mama Goat and her kids. In addition, it gives voice to the fact that those of us who have experienced or are currently in a period of displacement in a living situation or even state of mind, are not defined by that but live day-by-day, create works of beauty regardless, and share it with all who will listen.
[Dedicated to Justice Marie Norwood (1/30/2008-8/26/2010)- a child filled with light & delight, never to be forgotten.]

Hop over to my Bandcamp page for details on how to order digital tracks and/or physical cds.

Official Release Date & In the Meantime

Shortly after my previous post

…I set an official Release Date: 3/11/2022. I notified my digital distributor* for them to do what they do while I continued doing what I needed to do In the Meantime.

In the Meantime, I finished my Bandcamp storefront with a Pre-Order option for both digital and physical formats along with a free listen to the first movement of my Swimming with Swans: The Music – Goat Suite (Saga).



Pretty nifty, eh? Not just the music (!), but the fact that I can actually embed my Bandcamp music player here in a post on my WP site. Along with that you’ll notice I added a cool button that allows you to ‘Follow’ me there if you so desire.

Now about that Release Date. Yep. It’s still 3/11/2022 for all intents and purposes. However, my distribution service notified me that their side of things will be delayed…so they dropped the ball on the whole ‘release date’ thing as it applies to their delivery to on-line streaming & selling sites.

Oh well.

Because this is my music, my unveiling, my personal pinnacle of an announcement, I still claim 3/11/2022 as my release date. Sooooo…Friday is the party! My distro service may be late to that party, but eventually they will get my music out there where their services promised it to be distributed. I’ll let you know when I get updates on all of that.

In the Meantime, stay tuned here and on my Bandcamp site!


*cdbaby is the (paid for) distro service I’m using for them to send my Swimming with Swans: The Music – Goat Suite (Saga) to streaming & selling companies such as Spotify, Pandora, YouTube, etc. So my music is basically available free for the listening once they deliver the files to those platforms (and others) as well as being available for purchase on platforms such as iTunes, Amazon, etc. According to the latest update from cdbaby, there’s a delay on their end of things for a formal release on the 3/11/2022 date. All that means is that those sites won’t have it available for streaming/etc until whenever cdbaby gets their side of things cleared up. Nothing I can do about all of that – but darn!

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