Sunday, November 18, 2007

Photos from Man Paradise and Other Stuff

(photos in this post by Ann Northrup)

Greg's been having the time of his life in Wyoming this week. He gets to work when he wants to, run when he wants to, and his lunches get delivered to his cabin while he's working so he won't be disturbed. The Foundation employs a professional chef who makes some incredible meals. They treat him so well out there he might never come home!

He did ask the Foundation whether he could stay another week, but another composer is coming just after Greg leaves -- so there's no room for him. He has to come home. In the spirit of fairness, he's not allowed to apply for 2 1/2 years after he's done a residency there, but you can bet he'll have his application ready to go the minute those 2 1/2 years are up.

He also mentioned to me that the other artists he's met there are all folks who have been turned down multiple times by Yaddo and McDowell, so he no longer feels like he's the only one they've turned their noses up at repeatedly. That makes him feel better about being rejected.

He's promised me some photos of the outdoors today, if the wi-fi connection there cooperates. Here's one of the hills outside the Foundation:

Here are a couple of interior shots:

This one shows Greg playing the piano in his work cabin. There's one in the main building, too (a converted railroad depot that now contains the bedrooms for all of the artists and the communal space). It's a 7-foot Kawai, and he loves the heck out of it. He likes the piano in his cabin well enough, but he looooooves that Kawai.

The one photo I have of the living room is kind of dark and not really good enough to post, but there are quite a few pictures of the kitchen and dining area. I wish mine looked like this...

I promise some pictures of the Bighorn Mountains and the big sky when he sends them along.

Greg was feeling uncertain as to which of his works to concentrate on while he's out there. He had three pieces on his "to do" list: Ongiara, There and Back Again, and Les sept merveilles. He's finding in practice that he really only wants to concentrate on Les sept merveilles, and he was feeling a teeny bit bad about not wanting to make progress on the others. Les sept, or The Seven Wonders, is a piece for solo piano and very involved, so he's decided to take advantage of the time and the two pianos at his disposal to work on that one. He can pretty much work on the other two anywhere, since he already has the basic architecture of both pieces figured out, and all he has to do is write the music to fit the scheme. The Seven Wonders still needs to be constructed before it can be filled in. He describes it as "incredibly dense, denser than the usual Man harmony."

Here's a photo he took of The Seven Wonders on the piano in his cabin, facing out the window:

Quick musical aside: He says that The Waking will be premiered in NYC next June at the ACA concerts.

Meanwhile, Back at the Homestead...

It's been deadline time at work, so things have been just too wacky for me to get very much done anywhere else. I had grand visions of carting half the crap in the house to the Treasure Chest at the transfer station and cleaning the house so well that Greg wouldn't recognize the place. Neither thing has happened, though I'm making progress in reducing Mount Laundry and in replacing stuff that really needed to be replaced, including a dying lamp in the living room, a busted window blind in the bedroom, and my worn-out moccasins. I've also ordered the new storm door. I'd hoped to be able to just point at it and have it delivered, but our door frame is about 5" too short for the standard size. It has to be a special order... ka-ching!

I'm looking forward to finishing up the dog-show year next weekend. There weren't enough entries in Fitchburg to bother going down there (mainly because some genius decided to hold the Minuteman Club's 35th anniversary party that weekend, so no one from Massachusetts will be going to the show). I wish I'd known that before I paid the entry fees. There goes another $50+ that could have gone toward something worthwhile, like yarn.

While We're on That Subject...

Fran and I were able to get away from our respective packs long enough to attend an Open Knit Night up at Rosemary's in Cornish on Friday night. I've never minded knitting by myself, but it's nice to be able to get out and join a group every so often. The knitters up at Rosemary's are all congenial, and we had ourselves a fine time. I brought Jody's Jawoll socks to the party. Fran worked on a pair of mittens. There were a couple of people working on Cat Bordhi's Moebius cowl with help from Cheryl, the resident instructor, and a couple of other folks knitting the same sweater from Knitting Pure and Simple.

I was strong -- I didn't succumb to the lure of all those rooms of yarn singing "come hither." That's not only a good thing, but a necessary one. I've just had a good hard look at my own stash, and I could probably open my own store.

I just dragged the yarn stash out from the bedroom closet (where I hid it before Greg's cousins came to visit), and I was staggered yet again by the sheer amount of stuff I'd stuck in there. In the name of home improvement, I picked up three of the biggest translucent plastic tubs that Wally World has to offer and stuck most of the stash in those. My tastes have changed radically since I learned to knit a few years ago, and I'm no longer interested in most of the novelty yarns I've picked up. I'm still knitting scarves on request, but even Susannah (who loves scarves and novelty yarn) would admit that I've acquired too much of a good thing. Might be time to put some of this stuff up for adoption.

My current "Idiot Knitting" project is a little skinny scarf for Susannah in black Berroco Bling Bling. The name of the yarn really turns me off, but the yarn is pleasant enough to work with and knits up nicely. I've hit the gusset decrease on the first of the Jawoll socks, so I have to pay a little bit of attention there.


Flymaine said...

I am so glad the Mountain Man is having such an inspired time. I can't wait to see more photos!! I had to chuckle at the kitchen picture...wouldn't it be grand if our kitchens looked like that!! It is much easier to appreciate then to actually replicate at the homestead!!

Pirate said...

The country where Greg is looks just like the provincial park that is across the street from my house. I do realize, but sometimes forget, how lucky I am to have bought this house, particularly that we were able to do so before the prices more than doubled. We'd be living in Saskatchewan or Manitoba now.

As for not buying too much yarn. I have the same problem with books. I will be in a particular place in terms of interest, buy too many books, more than I have time to read, and then years later I have no interest in them because my interests have changed. So I try to be discerning and borrow more than I buy.

sue said...

What amazing pics... thanks for sharing them!!! I have always been told that there is land west of Vermont... guess that proves it, maybe someday I will go there and see for myself!!!!!

xena said...

Is there an Ironman in Wyoming? Nice! Do do they check into whether or not you're a real musician? I could pretend just to be there...