Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Shepherdess doth protest: frightening blog post assures women that one-night stands are good for them

The article can be found on Good Days, the blog connected to indie clothing company Unruly Heir.

And here are the winning quotes:

"...sex really doesn’t always have to be about a meaningful and intimate connection; sometimes it’s about doing what feels good in the moment."

(It's only human bodies we're talking about here.  They don't have to be meaningful all the time!)

"'[the one-night stand] is absolutely pure. It is free of ulterior motives. There is no power game. The man is not ‘taking’ and the woman is not ‘giving.’ No one is trying to prove anything or get anything out of anyone.'"

(Clearly, the only constituent to ethical sex is that no one turns it into a "power game".) 

"A little sexual adventure doesn’t mean anything about you morally."

(Just the same way that your actions "don't mean anything" about your character.)

"One nighters are a good way for women who have a hard time separating the physical from the emotional to try to experience a purely sexual encounter – without ANY expectations."

(I hate those days when I have a hard time achieving disconnect between my body and my soul.)

The funny thing is that the whole article reads like a satire of today's hook-up culture.  The sad thing is that the author's not trying to be funny.

What took the cake for me was that, in list item #5, the woman says that a casual encounter can be great for "revenge sex" against someone who's cheated on you.  In item #6, she goes on to warn: "don't be a man's fallback girl, you know, the one he’s using to get over his ex or sleeping with until someone better comes along."  So...it's okay for women to use and objectify men, but not vice versa?  That's a double standard that makes total sense.

Perhaps what makes this kind of post truly frightening is the context in which it appears. This isn't Cosmo magazine. It isn't broadcasting graphic sex advice. Nor is it telling women to objectify themselves for the sake of pleasing men: somehow, it's telling women to objectify themselves for the sake of pleasing...themselves.  ('Go ahead and sacrifice your integrity - it's ok, because you'll feel good!')  This woman's writing for a blog whose presentation is chic, sleek, and sophisticated; people will assume that its content must be equally forward-thinking.  It's delivering lies in the most convincing of ways: with style.  And, in terms of rhetoric, this article is quite intelligently-written. Well-composed, yes; but not wise enough to encourage people to live well, wholly, and wholesomely.

Ironically, Refinery29 (where I found the article) hits the nail on the head - “One-Night Stands: Empowering or Soul Crushing?” Sadly, they take an ambivalent stance on what should be a merely rhetorical question. Whether such ignorance is feigned or sincere, they claim to really have no clue if it's good for a woman to sever her emotions from the rest of her being - as if any woman who took a sincere look into her heart wouldn't know the answer to that.

Now I'm incredibly tempted to create a new meme, for use in situations like this.  I'd call it, "badass shepherdess".

See this sheep prod?  It's going to attain a "meaningful and intimate connection" with some backside.


image source: wikipedia.org

Monday, July 30, 2012

Hold it right there, world.


Moomins:the Movie is a thing that is happening in 2014.  By French people.

My feelings?  Bubbling excitement, mainly.  At least at the actual concept of a Moomin movie.  

But what do you think about the poster and the other art that's been released?  A woman traipsing glamorously about in her undies?  Sweet little Snork Maiden surrounded by jaded-looking casino players smoking cigarettes?  Granted, this is based on Tove Jansson's comic strip Moomin (which I haven't read in its entirety) and could, for all I know, follow the strip's plot to a T.  

But even if that were the case...if filmmakers are going to devote a full-length production to the Moomins, I would by far prefer for it to capture the raw, whimsical, idyllic world depicted in the original books.  Not only are the novels 100%, absolutely child-friendly; they're simultaneously rich and smart enough to absorb even the shrewdest of adult minds.

Will this endeavor prove to be a success, or a let-down?  We'll see.  At any rate, 2014 will find me in theaters and fangirling hard.

(ok, world, you can go back to revolving now.)

(image credits: handleproductions.com)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

first look: sketches of Mortimer

As promised, here he is!  he's pictured with the crescent moon behind his head, and with a clock for a heart...

Still don't know how I feel about this depiction of his character. he looks somewhat different in my head... it's definitely up for revision.

Fingers crossed, I'll be posting the next chapter of my story within a day or two!  stay tuned! :)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Never Let Me Go was devastating, and wonderful

Some ponderings.


(This post is on the film, not the book – I haven't yet had the pleasure of reading any of Kazuo Ishiguro's work. That should be fixed. Also, spoilers throughout. You probably don't want to read this unless you're already familiar with the story's plot.)

I watched this quietly, with headphones, on my own. Wow, what a film. It started out soft, slow, and understated, but I was a blubbering mess by the end. My first words, much to my roommate's mixed amusement and concern, were “auuuuuggghhhh! That was so teeerrrible!! And soo gooooood!” (as I honked my nose into a tissue). Carey Mulligan, especially, deserves recognition here for an astounding performance.

In the end, what makes Never Let Me Go quality science fiction is that it's far more than just a meditation on the injustice of a hypothetical society where human clones are raised and then killed for their vital organs. It seems to be saying something about all humanity, in general.

The story shows us that not only are Kathy, Ruth and Tommy truly human, but that, in a sense, they transcend the humanity of the people whose organs they were created to replace. They were not created with expectations of virtue. They were not created to be held accountable for the moral worth of their actions. How easy it would be, placed in that situation, for a person to become consumed by bitterness, despair, and hatred. They were created for the specific purpose of being used. They are victim to the ugliest kind of objectification imaginable. Society tells them that their only value lies in what their bodies can do. It has no place for their souls; it has no place for them as persons. What keeps them from letting everything go and sinking into moral depravity?

Near the beginning of the film, a teacher at Hailsham boarding school is moved to speak to her students frankly about the reality of their situation. (She is later fired for doing so.) “You have to know who you are, and what you are,” she says. “It's the only way to lead decent lives.”

Over the course of the film, our three protagonists do just that. They claim personhood for themselves, even though society will not grant it to them. But they also claim all the responsibility that comes along with personhood – the responsibility that this dystopian society has forgotten. They realize that being human comes with privileges and pleasures - such as the ability to foster dreams and fall in love – but that such privileges are meaningless unless accompanied by human decency. They know that where there is the ability to love, love becomes a responsibility.

And so they love: Tommy retains his sweet, considerate spirit. Ruth strives to right a serious wrong as she draws near to death; Kathy patiently forgives her. Kathy spends years of her life caring for declining donors, and, at the end of the film, having lost both her best friend and her lover, she accepts her own impending death-by-gradual-dissection with more grace and maturity than many people would accept a traffic jam, or a canceled TV program.

The great irony of the film lies in the fact that a scientifically advanced society, sick of disease and hungry for immortality, seeks perpetual health through the suffering and death of others. They want to achieve a kind of super-humanity, and yet they try to achieve it through a means so barbaric that it debases them.

And now consider this, a common theme that runs through all of Scripture and the writings of the saints, and has been resounded by a million other great minds throughout history besides: that suffering makes a person richer, wiser, stronger, more beautiful. Just as gold is refined through fire, the human person can only be brought to fullness and perfection through trial. In Never Let Me Go, supposedly sub-human clones accept the suffering that the “normal” humans of society have rejected. In doing so, they are the ones who become heroes; they truly become, in a sense, superhuman.

It is unclear what our characters (or even Ishiguro) might believe in regards to an afterlife. This tragic story could easily be redeemed by a reference to the heavenly home waiting for such tortured souls. But I think that this story is less about faith, and more about the choices that we make when faced with darkness and doubt. Will I give up, and live as though nothing matters? Or will I live beautifully, giving Beauty the benefit of the doubt?

Faced by the brevity of their lives, Kathy, Ruth and Tommy see the preciousness of time all the clearer. They strive to live well within the present moment – which, in the end, is all that any of us really have – and in doing so, they sanctify it.

image credit: filmofilia.com

Thursday, July 12, 2012

first look: sketches of Soleil

Shy, introspective and matter-of-fact, 18-year-old Soleil Simon is a princess of Roseland and little sister to Musetta and Percy.  She takes after her mother, the late Queen Viviana, with her wildly curly, red hair and a predisposition towards healing.  Soleil is fiery, in all things: whether in sorrow or joy; anger or love, she moves with burning passion.  Perpetually restless, she sleeps lightly every night - she finds so much beauty everywhere that she can't bear to close her eyes for long.  What will happen when she meets a man who is cold as the winter moon and still as the surface of a lake; a man who is everything she is not?  Keep reading Sunstroke to find out...

here, her hair is supposed to be emulating the sun’s rays.
I’m working on little drawings for Sunstroke banners that people can put on their blogs/pages etc. to help spread the word about my story.
now I just need to get some COLOR into this! girl’s a fiery redhead. oh, what I wouldn’t do for some prismacolors and a decent camera (it looks so much better in real life)…
next up: Mortimer as the moon.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Sunstroke, Chapter 7: Stories

In which Percy is filled with wonder,
Hamlin makes up for a scant breakfast,
and an unexpected guest arrives

Percy sat comfortably in the little drawing room, his sisters on either side. After leaving the library, Genevieve had directed them each to the respective chambers that had been prepared for them, where they were able to freshen up and change into clean clothing, with the help of the invisible servants. Percy was slowly adapting to seeing a pair of white gloves bob about in lieu of a an entire person. His new valet was a chatty, middle-aged man named Jean who went on and on about how the hens had been too flustered to lay that morning, and how the little golden fish in the pond kept leaping out of the water in excitement; the gardeners had to keep throwing them back in.

“Why, we've all been in a flurry! This is the first time we've celebrated, properly, since Prince Luc left us. We're beside ourselves with joy. And just wait till you see the dinner the cooks've got ready for ya,” the valet chortled. Percy could only smile, dazed.

His bedroom, like his sisters', was spacious and finely furnished, but simple; as was their new attire. A suit of royal blue brocade had been laid out for Percy. Once he was downstairs, his sisters had appeared in lovely frocks made of pure, fine cotton: burgundy for Musetta, and a spring green for Soleil.

Now they all sat across from the cat-people and Mortimer. It was a balmy afternoon – a gentle breeze from outside played against Percy's skin. The branches swaying beyond the window cast dappled shadows upon Genevieve's snow-white face. She took one more sip of tea before setting down cup and saucer and clearing her throat emphatically.

“Shall we begin?” She asked. Percy nodded, smiling. It was strange, so strange, how it seemed as though he'd seen her fold her hands just so a thousand times; as though he knew so well the way that Mortimer was leaning his elbows back upon the sofa.

Something new.

Percy jumped and glanced over his shoulder. “Who was that?”

“Who was what?” Genevieve asked innocuously. Percy turned back around, frowning. He was sure that he hadn't imagined the voice. He was also sure that it was the same voice that had woken him up in the carriage that morning. He stared at the three wide-eyed faces across from him. They stared back, but then Mortimer looked away and bit his lips, eyes crinkling. Confused, Percy settled back onto the sofa. He concluded that no good would come of pushing things.

But I want to know.

Genevieve reached over the wooden table to grasp an orange from a large porcelain bowl. She considered it for a moment, as it lay in her palm. Then she looked up at Percy.

“What if I told you that this -” she closed her fingers around the piece of fruit, paused for a moment; then opened them again to reveal an empty hand - “was sleight of hand; but that this -” she recovered the orange from behind her back and tossed it up into the air. As it reached the height of its ascent, it vanished. Percy and his sisters gasped.

“- was real?”

“Real,” Percy repeated softly, grinning. He felt like a little boy at the circus.

“The thing is, while the two situations are different in essence – in one, the orange is merely hidden; in the other, it truly disappears – the two acts appear to be identical. It would take a very discerning eye to determine which was a display of authentic magic, and which was counterfeit.”

Percy nodded. This made sense.

Genevieve peered at him, her eyes bright. “We've all seen so much of the counterfeit,” she said lowly, carefully. “And we've grown so sick of being deceived; and then disillusioned by the things that we trust, that we've trained ourselves to be cynics. We assume that every wonderful thing we encounter must not be real, simply in order to protect ourselves. In the process, we lose the truth. We forget the Magic.”

Percy heard the doors behind him open with a faint creak. He looked over, but nothing was there but the door standing ajar. The creaking ensued – but it was different, high and soft, as of little wheels. Around the far-left corner of Percy's sofa came a diminutive wooden cart, pulled by four white mice in a harness. In the cart lay the orange that Genevieve had handled. The little animals scurried up to her, and the two in front ran nose-first into her shoe. She gave a light fillip of laughter. “Thank you, my dears,” she murmured, running her finger lightly down each of their backs. At this display of affection, one of the mice flopped over, wriggling its stomach around invitingly. “Now, Alphonse,” Genevieve said sternly, shaking a finger. The mouse sprung back onto its feet, thrusting its little black nose high into the air. “Thank you, Sir,” she smiled, and lifted the orange from the cart. “Now go back!” she encouraged, pointing to the door. With some maneuvering, the four mice turned themselves around and creaked back out of the room. The door closed itself behind them.

“Oh!” Musetta sighed, clasping her hands.

“We don't eat them,” Hamlin said solemnly, his eyes filled with concern. A silence followed.

Genevieve cleared her throat again. “As I was saying – there is, and always has been, a struggle between belief and disbelief in this world. A struggle, a battle, lies at the heart of things. And understandably so, for it takes the faith of a child, to believe in the Magic. It takes a heart that is as tender as it is stout. It is no easy task, even once one has woken up.” She paused, her lowered eyes slanting sweetly. She placed the orange back on the table. All was quiet, but for the mingling of birdsong with a ticking clock.

She leaned forward and extended her hands over the table, frowning as if in concentration. Percy realized that the sunlight that had filled the room was beginning to dim by grades. He watched, fascinated, as a small army of flickering flames arose from the table, perched upon dripping stumps of wax. The candlelight danced eerily across the three figures on the other side of the table. The little white cat wrinkled her nose, clicking her tongue in disgust.

“It was a stupid idea,” she mumbled, dropping her hands into her lap.

“No,” Percy breathed, looking at her. “It's lovely.”

She peeked up at him, a smile teasing her lips. She resumed her position, her hands hovering over the little sea of candles.

Mortimer shifted on the sofa. “May I?” he asked, looking at Genevieve. She nodded, not moving her eyes from the table. Mortimer raised his own hands, palms together, and then parted them, as if pushing open curtains. Percy watched as the spread of candles expanded, and began to break apart. Smaller clumps started to form, and soon enough, Percy was looking at a map of the world. He spied Windward in the west, Belvor below it; all the other little countries of their continent molding into their proper shapes. Mortimer pointed a finger at the Roseland-shaped clump, and a red flame appeared above it, larger and more vibrant than the little candle-flames.

“That's exactly what I was aiming for. Thanks, Mort,” Genevieve murmured. Then she looked back up at Percy and his sisters. “There was a time when everyone, the entire human race, lived with the Magic. Though some were opposed to it almost from the very beginning, there were few who denied its existence entirely. The real world was the world of fairy-tales. It was as common then to see a golden carriage transported by winged footmen, as it is today to see an ordinary carriage pulled by horses.” As she spoke, she seemed to become more comfortable with her words, and they began to flow out of her easily as if this were a story she'd shared a hundred times.

“It was like that for the longest time, we are told,” she said. “But then, nearly two hundred years ago, the darkness began. It robbed hearts of their wonder and put weariness in its place,” she said softly, her eyes on the table again. Percy looked, and saw that the candles were starting to go out. It was only a few here and there, at first; but then dozens were extinguished in quick succession, until only a few flames remained flickering in each country. Genevieve didn't lift a finger throughout this; she only kept her eyes sadly fixed upon the candles. Percy noticed that Roseland was the darkest of all the countries on the map, although the red flame still hovered above it.

“Soon, the minority who had ceased to believe in the Magic became the vast majority. They fell asleep to it. They became blind to it. It was as if all the most beautiful things in the world had become invisible to them. It became so that all of the fantastic creatures had to be concealed by a barrier of invisibility, to protect them from exploitation and abuse. People were beginning to treat them like freaks of nature, like mere spectacles.”

Percy glanced the table. The candles were starting to melt away into nothingness; soon, they had disappeared completely. He noticed Hamlin staring at the wood with big, unblinking eyes. After a few moments, something new began to rise out of the table: a little porcelain dish bearing a strawberry pastry. Hamlin squinted, and the filling brightened into what looked like peach. He smiled, and surreptitiously stuck his finger into the middle where the filling was.

“Once hidden, the creatures were safe, but they hadn't been made to live in such isolation from the rest of the world. Most of the creatures soon died of broken hearts – all of the faerie and mer-people, followed not long after by the rest. Those that survived the onset of the Slumber – a couple of dragons and some gnomes deep within the mountains – were so few that their races went extinct within some twenty years. And this is when the Guild was formed. It was very small, back then.” Genevieve looked up at Percy. “Your mother's family, the d'Aulnoys, were always a part of it. Every generation, straight through the Slumber. They were always faithful.”

Percy tried to take this all in. His mind kept creeping back to the naming of fantastical creatures. “But – fairies?” He asked. “And dragons? They were real?” He felt a little dizzy.

Genevieve nodded excitedly. “And so many others, too; too many to name! And now – I'm sure you have figured it out by now, haven't you?”

“Figured out what?” Percy felt somewhat slow.

Genevieve smiled, her eyes turning into thin blue slivers. “This: that every fairy-tale your mother every told you is real.”

Percy blinked at her.

“They're all real,” he repeated, dubiously.


“You mean they actually happened?”

“That is exactly what I mean, my prince. And they didn't just happen in the minds of a nation, or in hearts throughout history – they happened here, now – or at least, a place that was once 'here', and a time that was once 'now' – it was real as this -” she rubbed her hands together - “as this -” she struck the arm of her sofa - “as real as the hair on your head, as real as the blood flowing through you!” She was bouncing upon the cushions, her entire face was upturned and illuminated by laughter. And they were all laughing.

“It was real, and for a purpose. It was real, as we are real. And we can fall asleep, we can forget for as long as we like; but it will still be real when we wake up. The Magic lives within us, but only because it first lives outside of us.”

Percy shook his head. “But – well, surely, the stories have been embellished over the years?”

Genevieve tilted her head back, clapping her hands delightedly. “Quite the contrary. Indeed, the facts have had to be dulled considerably in order to fit upon blank pages and human tongues.”

Percy sat back against the sofa, grinning. He looked from the three beaming faces across from him to his sisters. Soleil was putting her arms around his neck and kissing him. Musetta leaned over. “I knew it, all along,” she was saying, shaking her head confidingly.

“Tell us more,” Percy said. “Tell us everything.”

Genevieve held out her hands. “Well, I've said enough,” she laughed. “Hamlin!” She gave her brother a playful shove. Percy's heart warmed at the sight: the big cat-man was nearly twice her size.

“Oh, alright,” Hamlin rumbled, his ears turning red. He wiped a blob of peach filling from his whiskers. “What's next?”

“Amelia,” Mortimer replied, without missing a beat. His eyes were absent, staring into space beneath a creased brow. Percy tensed up at the name. He had managed to forget it, somehow, listening to Genevieve speak.

“The woman who killed my mother,” he said. He couldn't keep the loathing from his voice.
“She's not a woman,” Hamlin said ominously, shaking his head. “She doesn't make for pleasant conversation, so I'll speak briefly. She was once the most beautiful of any creature. And she was one of the first. She was even more lovely than the goldenwings. But – she didn't want to serve the King, when he assigned her to -” Hamlin stopped, a shocked look on his face. “Gen,” he said, turning to his sister, “we haven't told them about the King yet!”

“Oh!” Genevieve squeaked, clapping a little white hand over her mouth.

“Oh,” Mortimer said quietly, as if he didn't understand how such a thing could have happened.

Then all three simultaneously burst into laughter.

“Well, I at least mentioned him, this morning,” Mortimer chuckled, drawing his hands over his face.

“See, it isn't easy to find the right words,” Genevieve said, smiling at Percy. “And the three of you have probably heard plenty for today. So for now, I will tell you only what is essential, for it would be possible to talk about him for forever.” Her gaze shifted to look out the window.

“He has many names. Your mother called him the Great Enchanter in her diary, and, indeed, that is just who he is: for he is the one from whom all the Magic comes. He is the one who was, before all else. He is why the animals dance here. He is why your mother was able to heal. He is why your parents fell in love. He is why your lungs receive the air around you. He is why Princess Soleil's hair curls, and why Princess Musetta's lips are so red.

“And he is here,” she finished. “He is here, with us, now. He has not yet summoned us to take you to meet him. But he will summon you at the right time.”

Percy didn't understand. “But – what is he? What is he king of?”

“He is King of everything,” Genevieve said simply. Percy could tell, by the way that she closed her lips, that that was all she had to say. Could it really be as simple as that?

“Well, I have a question,” Musetta interjected. Percy was actually surprised at how quiet and attentive she'd been throughout the whole conversation. “If all of the fantastical creatures died out centuries ago, then where did the winged horses and winged footmen come from?”

“The 'winged footmen' are, in fact, goldenwings,” Genevieve replied pertly. “And they are not of this world, though they often enter into it. Our pegasi, on the other hand, are...something else. They're new creations. The first step in restoring the world back to the way it was. The King is working on something, you see. I believe he is planning a revolution, though I don't know when it might be set to begin – he seems to be waiting for something to happen.”

Percy heard a noise out in the hall. It sounded, for lack of better description, like the clipping of a horse's hooves.

“Each time someone remembers the Magic,” Genevieve continued, “he responds by bringing back some piece of the old world. When Hamlin and I woke up, he gave us the two pegasi to keep and to tend.”

There was a pause. Then Musetta spoke - “Well, what about us? I mean, we're awake now.”

There was a knock at the door. Genevieve rose quickly to her feet with a little gasp.

“Come in,” she called, her voice quavering.

The face that poked itself around the door was red, rough, bearded – and dazed. It blinked about at the room's equally speechless inhabitants. Then he shuffled forward, pulling the rest of his body into the room.

“Pardon me, my Lords and Ladies,” the centaur said, folding his hands politely before him. His face broke into a beaming smile. “I have no idea of where I am or what is now occurring, but The King sent me to greet you.”

Copyright © 2012 by Olivia Meldrum

The Night Circus, Lisa Hannigan, and other lovely things

Hello friends,

as I write this, I'm sitting up in my bedroom, the rain pattering softly on the grass and roofs outside. The window fan is pulling in the cool, sweet rain-air, and it's delicious.

I recently finished one of the most imaginative, decadent, magical pieces of fiction I've read in quite some time. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern is a feast for the mind, as well as the senses. The story draws the reader into Les Cirque de Reves, where dazzling sights abound, mystery waits behind every corner, and the scent of smoke and caramel always fills the air. The circus travels from city to city, vanishing and appearing as if by magic, and, once settled, it opens only at nightfall. Celia and Marco, the apprentices of two master illusionists, have been sent to the circus and instructed to engage in a covert battle of magical skill, the rules of which even they are unsure. When the two young magicians fall in love, will it bring disaster upon them – and upon the entire circus?

As much as I loved this novel (it was definitely one of the best pieces of contemporary fantasy I've read in a while), I did have a couple of issues with it. (mild spoiler alert, I suppose...) For one, some parts of the story remained awfully vague. We never really find out anything about how the magicians use magic, especially Celia's character. She just does magic...by using her brain? That's what it seems. At the beginning of the story, it's implied that she was simply born with this ability, but it's never explained beyond that. We finish the book without any understanding of what magic actually is, or how it works, within the universe of The Night Circus. Maybe Morgenstern was going for vague and mysterious in this regard, but I felt as though it left the story lacking.

The other thing that left me dissatisfied was, unfortunately, the central love story. I guess that when I first read the book synopsis, I was envisioning two young people falling in love for the first time, complete with all the wonder, awkwardness, adorableness, giddiness, oh-my-goodness-so-this-is-life euphoria, etc., all against the backdrop of magic and circuses (quick – someone write that book!! it will be awesome!!). Instead, we've got a relationship that hinges heavily upon the characters' physical attraction to one another (which is fine, but is never the center of a believable romance), and a LOT of angsty dialogue (mainly regarding the predicament of simultaneously being in love and being opponents). Speaking of which, for all the life of me, I couldn't figure out why these two characters were supposedly “in love”, to begin with. It wasn't apparent at all to me, aside from their brooding, passionate declarations, and other characters' assertions that they were “OBVIOUSLY in love”. I mean, I don't know. When you read a fairytale, and it tells you that the prince loved the princess, you don't question it; you just accept it. Maybe that's the kind of approach that Morgenstern wanted us to take here? The good news: a secondary romance between two of our other protagonists – which is very understated, but absolutely perfect – saves the day.

In other news, check out this trailer for a new movie from the directors of Little Miss Sunshine:

this looks as cute as can be - I'm definitely going to try to go see this one in theaters!  the only thing that makes me feel iffy about the premise is the whole free will issue - if he can control her through his writing, then is she really her own person, and can she really love him?  hopefully, that's something that the film will address - if so, this could turn out to be quite excellent!


I'll leave you with a few samplings of the gorgeous work of Lisa Hannigan, an Irish singer-songwriter whom I've recently rediscovered.  I absolutely adore her raw-but-gentle; whimsical-yet-mature style.  she's absolutely enchanting:

pace e bene! :)

(image credit: goodreads.com)

in which Ian Bostridge lies on the floor and sings Schubert angstily in period-appropriate attire

I can't decide if this is awesome, or just a tad silly.  or both.  probably both.  at any rate, Bostridge's voice is always a good thing.

Franz Schubert, Winterreise, no. 6 - "Wasserflut"

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Sibyl of the Rhine wants to sing to you

A friend and I found an awesome album of St. Hildegard von Bingen's compositions at a Half Price Books the other day.  Being the sacred music majors that we are, we were spazzing out while listening to it in the car on the way home.  Holy smokes, Papa Benny, October '12 can't come soon enough for me!!  Not only was this woman a Benedictine nun, philosopher, prophetess, scientist, and healer; she was a musical genius.

Seriously though: when movie soundtracks these days want to sound mystical and mysterious and awesome, they sound like Hildegard.

Now take a moment from whatever you're doing to close your eyes and just listen:

St. Hildegard, pray for us sacred musicians, and for us all!