Thursday, February 14, 2013

Stitching and singing

My children have once again foiled me.  This time they out did themselves and destroyed my camera completely, so there will not be step by step pictures of the hood.  There was some whispering from my husband about getting me a new one for Valentine's Day, so I'm crossing my fingers that I'll be back to taking crummy pictures soon.  In the mean time I've been working on the hood.  It is back to being in one piece, so hooray!  I did, in fact, cut off my shell and put Aurora's wreath over the top of it.  Since my wreath is whitework, the three wreaths in a row are not very noticeable, so hooray again.  After I got the band completed, I did a bit of trimming and reshaping and then basted it back into place. The original version had a layer of green trim and then a blue braid I made on top of it outlining the embroidered band, but with the blue wool shell and green linen lining, the hood felt really heavy and looked rather clunky. So I ditched that idea.  Instead, I decided to bind the hood and mantle both in the green bias.  I finished stitching the bias on today and got started putting the braid around the edges of the white linen embroidered band. It's a simple double interlooped braid in blue silk and charcoal grey wool yarns. The color is pretty close to the blue wool of the hood, but I think it is adding a nice texture.  Not to mention securing the embroidery pieces to the garment. I should finish sewing the trim in place tomorrow.  Then I just have buttonholes and stitching the buttons on.

When I haven't been stitching, I've been reading John Walter Hill's Roman Monody, Cantata, and Opera from the Circles around Cardinal Montalto.  No, I still haven't picked a song to sing in May.  I am learning loads more about the context of the various musical movements and some of the influences and politics.  Not that any of that is necessary in order to sing a madrigal, but it's interesting.  I did pick up a selection of madrigals arranged for single voice and guitar standing in for lute.  I'm super duper rusty with no range to speak of right now, but the arrangements seem to be in reasonable keys for me.  I've been fiddling around with them a bit, trying to decide which ones I like. Then I second guess myself and try to decide if I really want to sing in Italian.  I had a class on Italian pronunciation for singers in college when I (very briefly) decided I wanted to major in Opera/Vocal Performance (you may begin giggling now.) That's been close to 20 years and I don't remember much of anything and my voice seems to belong to a different human being entirely than the one I was using at that point in time.  Doing something by John Dowland is pretty tempting since it is in English.  I don't know.  Something simple like Fuggiro tanto Amore by Luca Marenzio might be fun.  This is the only video I could easily find of it, so have a listen just to get the idea of it and see what you think.

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