Rhythm of Life

So yesterday I managed to vacuum the entire house without having to get out the screwdriver, so that is good.  What I don’t understand is how I can suck up a pink hedgehog sock in under a second but it takes me 17 tries to suck up the stray leaves that Maggie drags into the house?

My knee seems to be OK and I plan on testing it out on a run tomorrow, wish me luck.

Before I get into what is really on my mind today I must post some pictures that just need to be posted.

IMG_1434I totally forgot to tell you about the best part of my weekend last weekend.  Rich and I got up on Saturday morning around 6:00 am to go on our usual walk and came downstairs to find that Sarah and Bella got up at 5:30 walked to 7-11 and got the stuff to make us breakfast.  We were SOOOO surprised.  Apple Cinnamon Pancakes and chocolate covered strawberries.

Yeah I have some pretty cool kids.

Yesterday these two pictures were posted to Facebook and it was one of those in-between moments that really warmed my heart.


My friend and colleague Jesse and I were the faculty sponsors for the Tech Club and this is our booth at the Club Fair.  I remember that day so vividly and was so excited to be a part of this endeavor.  I really learned so much!!


This is our final picture of the year for the yearbook.  I also remember this day vividly because I had to climb upon this set piece and not fall.  Which for me is harder than you might think, or maybe you know me all to well and it doesn’t surprise you in the slightest.  I love these guys and thank them for teaching me so much about lighting, and gaffing, and fixing, and flashing, and all things tech-y.  We’re Tech-y and we know it.

Finally, Bells and I have been burning the midnight oil lately.  Rich has had to work two overnight ops the last two nights which means he heads to work about 10:00 pm.  Bella has had to speed through this Health class and well, you know that I haven’t been able to sleep with all the crazy that has been running around in my head.  I snapped this picture last night and I can’t imagine a better studying partner.

IMG_1444Bella lit the candle because Rich ate eggs before he went to work and the smell really wigged her out so instead of just the sulfur smell we had sulfur and espresso candle smell…much better.  We usually don’t have such a romantic setting.

OK…speaking of crazy running around in my head I have been thinking a lot about how I want to convince these kids that ALL music is worthy and that all current music stems from somewhere.  Now that connection might be more like 100 degrees of separation but it is all connected.

I value all music, I really do.  If you look at my iTunes you will see the gamut of genres.  I guess I picked the right profession.

Two of my most favorite a cappella (no instruments) groups are Pentatonix (founded in 2011) and The King Singers (founded in 1968).  They are by FAR my favorite with third place being so far back you might not be able to see them.  I got to attend a conference session with the leader of The King Singers and learned a lot about a cappella singing from that session, and shared an airplane ride with some of the Pentatonix members and got to talk with a few of them briefly.  Really great kids.

I want to sing the French chanson “Il est bel et bon” with my advanced group this year.  It was written in the 16th century and is so much fun to sing.  It is rhythmic and the subject matter is about women gossiping about their husbands.  The trouble is it is a 16th century French chanson.  So I was trying to think of a way that I could relate this 500 year old song to some kids who probably haven’t sung anything older than 50 years…ever.  On my walk this morning the song “Aha!” covered by Pentatonix came on, and it hit me.  Both of these songs had the same rhythmic complexity,  both are very challenging to sing, and both are a cappella.

One of the reasons I love Pentatonix so much is they were all choir kids in high school.  In fact the low Bass went to college to study choral music.  They all tout that singing and studying good choral music is the reason they are so good today.

It seems like I have found my connection.

So I am going to try it out on you all today.  Again here are two a cappella songs that really focus on rhythms.  Both of these groups don’t use anything but their mouths and voices to make these sounds.

I urge you to take 5 minutes out of your day for some good vocal music. Put some headphones on (or crank it up), close your eyes, and just listen to how complex the vocal lines are and how all of the lines fit together to make the song.  The French piece is very short you might want to listen to it twice.

The Pentatonix bass has this uncanny ability to use overtone singing to be able to sing two notes at once.

I’ll save the explanation of overtone singing for my blog post about the quadratic equation, but here is an example of him doing this.

Here is the Pentatonix song “Aha!”  It is a cover of an Imogene Heep song. Just like The King Singers the highest voice is a male, and just like The King Singers the ability to sing these very rhythmic lines are amazing.  Don’t forget to close your eyes!!

Think my new choral kids will buy it?

Did you?

More Later


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