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August 2018
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October 2018

September 2018

Music for the living and dying and wishing....

  Before i die large

At the Chestnut Hill Fall Arts Festival, people took up pieces of colored chalk and wrote anonymously on a large community chalk board, revealing their personal hopes and plans and dreams for the future, completing the sentence, “Before I die, I want to…” The Philomusica Chorale mounted this community “bucket list” and director Gayle Wieand will weave them into an original, classic-style choral composition to be premiered May 18 and May 19 at Chestnut Hill Presbyterian Church. Wieand was moved by some of the posts such as someone who wanted to provide energy to the world and serious about it enough to enter a NASA competition. Others held personal appeal for Wieand such as “…have a cottage on the water.” “And I have a desire to get all the people who put skydiving on the list together to skydive!” Watch video of people writing on chalk board what's on their bucket list for new choral piece

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Dying and such with a musical focus was also the subject of another group presenting at the festival.

Theshhold singers

The Threshold Choir sings soothing acapela non-religious songs for the dying at several hospices in the Philadelphia area. And it performs for people dealing with other situations such as addiction or the premature birth of a child. The songs emphasize loving-kindness, peace and freedom from suffering. The Choir began in San Francisco and now has chapters around the world. “It’s people who want to sing and give their voice at times of change” Member Patty Rogers. The choir will not sing to people who do not want to be sung to. In order of appearance speaking in the accompanying video, were Jim Knight, Kris Olson, and Rogers .

SEE MORE PHOTOS OF THE CHESTNUT HILL FALL FOR THE ARTS FESTIVAL HERE

 

 


City workers grind down tree stump

Stump grinder
A severe storm earlier in the summer uprooted a large maple tree on our street and it fell on the roofs of our neighbors’ houses. Some weeks after the tree was cut down and removed, a city work crew and contractor Scott’s Tree Service arrived to grind down the stump. City worker Ed Jardell described how the stump is ground down in sweeping back and forth passes of the grinder’s large rotary blade. The machine takes off more or less two inches at a time depending on the species and hardness of the tree and whether there is any sponginess or rot. Watch video of workers grinding down tree stump and interview of worker describing process.

Improvising for fun or revenge and profit

 
Cu amber improv teacher erika
Erika May McNichol, founder and instructor, Ambler Improv, improvises a short scene after being introduced to your correspondent’s wife (Andrea) and given the prompt “You know each other.” They improvise a scene about Andrea helping Erika pick out a dress but not being completely forthright about the color Erika picked. Pike Fest community festival in Spring House, Pa Watch video of improv teacher improvising.
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Cu george revenge on telemarketer
 
George has so had it with telemarketers that he turns the table on them when the ring. They solicit all sorts of things, George says, sometimes pharmaceuticals. George recreated a particular bit he does with them after they ask, "Is this George?" "No, you're calling Ginger. This is a hotline. For one on one girl, press one, for guy 'n guy press two, for three-way, press three. Ten dollars a minute." Watch video of George trolling phone telemarketers with counteroffer of phone sex.

Exiled Romanian bronze sculptor mounts outdoor show at Woodmere

Farcas bronze
 
Viorel Farcas, a sculptor in bronze in the expressionistic, figurative tradition and whose works are in the collections of notable European institutions left Romania in 1985 as a political refugee. Under the Romanian dictatorship his works were destroyed for being "politically incorrect" as his wife Mihaela euphemistically put it when she showed me around her husband's outdoor sculptures at the Woodmere Art Museum. I had videoed Farcas and Museum Director of Exhibits Rick Ortwein installing the pieces the day before and coming back to take some still shots, she had approached me without introducing herself at first, asking what I thought of the work. Farcas has made his home in Philadelphia since arriving in the U.S. and has produced 100s of monumental pieces but has not had a showing at a major area art institution and neither has sought out the limelight. In his sculptures, long arms and limbs are often attenuated, frequently disjointed and reassembled with disturbing yet graceful, artful effect. Museum Director Bill Valerio is excited to mount this show of Farcas' work, officially opening on September 22. For more information see https://woodmereartmuseum.org/experience/exhibitions/expressionism-in-bronze-the-sculpture-of-viorel-farcas
 
Farcas arm