Happy Spring!

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Antonio Vivaldi
Antonio Vivaldi

Spring is sprung, even though the weather is still a bit uncooperative. To celebrate the new season, here is a creative interpretation of Vivaldi’s “Spring” violin concerto. The ensemble is called Red Priest, named after Antonio Vivaldi himself, who was nicknamed “The Red Priest” because of his flaming red hair (and he was also a priest.) I’m sure you’ve heard Vivaldi’s Four Seasons before, but probably not like this.

Originally written for string ensemble, Vivaldi intentionally wrote the parts to sound like birds, streams, and rainstorms. He based the concertos on a series of sonnets, which are believed to be written by Vivaldi himself. Below is the section that describes the movement played in the video above, translated from the Italian:

Springtime is upon us.
The birds celebrate her return with festive song,
and murmuring streams are softly caressed by the breezes.
Thunderstorms, those heralds of Spring, roar, casting their dark mantle over heaven,
Then they die away to silence, and the birds take up their charming songs once more

You can hear all of these things in Vivaldi’s music, especially in this lively and inventive performance by Red Priest ensemble, consisting of violin, recorder, cello and harpsichord. (The next time your child doesn’t want to practice the recorder, show them what the amazing Piers Adams can do with the instrument!)

Hope you enjoy this stormy, sunny, chilly, unpredictable spring!

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Welcome Spring

First sign of spring
First sign of spring

To celebrate the first week of spring, here is a drawing I did recently for the Creative Juices blog, for our “What The Doodle”. The word to illustrate for that week was “welcomed” and what could be more welcome than the flowers in spring?

Spring is one of the most visually stimulating seasons (at least in cooler climates) because it changes so quickly, often from one day to the next. The grass turns from dull gray to green, the trees form buds, then flowers, then leaves. Tulips and daffodils bloom, along with forsythia, azalea and fruit trees. Birds become more active and plentiful. Everywhere you go, nature is coming back to life, if you know where to look.

But make sure you look fast, because if you blink, you’ll miss it.