Monday, May 2, 2016

Walt Disney Concert Hall - Day and Night

Every musical phrase has a purpose.
It's like talking.
If you talk with a particular purpose,
people listen to you,
but if you just recite,
it's not as meaningful.
~ Itzhak Perlman

Walt Disney Concert Hall
designed by Frank Gehry 
Opened October 23rd, 2003

We all have things on our bucket list. One thing on my list was to see Itzhak Perlman live! When I found out he was coming to Disney Hall, I immediately went online and called my friend Shea who also has a huge passion for music. 

His concert dates with the full orchestra were a bit out of our budget, but on a Tuesday night, he'd be playing with pianist Emmanuel Ax for considerably less and it wouldn't break the bank. I think it was in early fall that we got our seats for January and before we knew it, the time had arrived.

Mozart: Sonata in C major, K. 296
Fauré: Sonata No. 1 in A major, Op. 13
R. Stauss: Sonata in E-flat major, Op. 18

Honestly, I didn't know what these pieces were ahead of time, but I didn't care. I just figured it would be great! I mean, Perlman, right?

Here's the Mozart Sonata with Perlman but this recording was with Daniel Barenboim not Ax. 

I can tell you that it was certainly worth the wait! I'm sure it was great to see him with the full orchestra but I was glad we saw just the two perform on stage together. There was something wonderfully intimate about it and they called out additional works from the stage. So many I lost track. They were beautiful, so I wish I could remember what they were!

With the two of them, you were also able see more of Mr. Perlman's personality, which was funny and passionate, and made me think of Yo-Yo Ma who I am also kind of obsessed with.

Perhaps our task in this shaky, 
fast changing, bewildering world
in which we live
is to make music,
at first with all that we have,
and then, 
when that is no longer possible,
to make music with what we have left.
~ Itzhak Perlman

No pics during the show, but here's Miss Shea and me, during the intermission.

Next door ... the new Broad Museum!

So, that was back in January. Then a couple of weeks ago Shea called.

There is a program for families and kids at the Disney Hall on certain Saturday mornings. It's called Toyota Symphonies for Youth where the orchestra plays, they teach about a particular instrument and have programs before the performance,  like an "instrument petting zoo." Very cute. Anyway, Shea's daughter had a soccer tournament and couldn't make it so she asked me if I wanted to go over there with her.

What a great way to start off a beautiful Saturday!

That particular Saturday was called "Spirit of the Cello." It was really fantastic! This cellist started speaking to the audience about a rehearsal many years ago, where the "spirit of his cello" started to speak to him.

This 'spirit' came out, in the form of an actor with a thick Italian accent ... who was hilarious! "I am the Spirit of the Celllllloooo!"

Anyway, great concept and there was playing of the cello and orchestra, intermittently, along with explanations about the importance of rehearsing and playing along with the orchestra, as well as talking about different composers who wrote for the cello.

Shhhhh .... I snuck a shot of the orchestra before it started ... great seats, huh?

They played Handel, Haydn and Mendelssohn ...

Never miss an opportunity to teach;
when you teach others, 
you teach yourself.
~Itzhak Perlman

After the concert we grabbed salads at the cafeteria and walked around to the little public garden, at the Disney Hall to have lunch.

This is the "Rose for Lilly" fountain, designed by Frank Gehry for Lillian Disney. Her bequest is what began the Walt Disney Concert Hall project. Apparently, she loved Delftware so it's a mosaic of thousands of pieces of shattered Delft vases and tiles. It's beautiful and I think works so well with the architecture of the building.

The most important thing to do 
is really listen.
~Itzhak Perlman

Below, if you walk between the two structures there is a little amphitheater ...

One must always practice slowly.
If you learn something slowly,
you forget it slowly.
~Itzhak Perlman

I couldn't find a cello piece at the Disney Hall for you, but here's a Mischa Maisky cello Concerto by Haydn in some fabulous place. Probably Europe ... 

There are people who are uncanny,
who are finished products at a young age.
I wasn't, thank God.
~Itzhak Perlman

Hope y'all are doing great!
Many Blessings and much light!

And Happy Birthday Evelyn!!!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

San Francisco Over New Years ... and Mission Dolores (San Francisco de Asis)

Be the weirdo who dares to enjoy.
~Elizabeth Gilbert 

Over the extra long holiday weekend, in Sausalito, I headed over the Golden Gate Bridge and into the city a couple of times ... Still listening to Elizabeth Gilbert's "Big Magic." 

One trip over the bridge was for an amazing seafood meal at Tadich Grill ... YUM!!! The place was hopping. If you go when people are getting off work (it's in the financial district) it's packed and you may have to wait a bit. You have to swoop in and grab a stool, as soon as someone gets up, but it's definitely worth the wait!

Tadich is believed to be the 3rd oldest continuously run restaurant in the U.S.!  (The only two older restaurants are Union Oyster House in Boston (1826) and Antoine's in New Orleans (1840).

Julia and I both ordered the seafood Cioppino which is apparently their specialty and let me tell you it was chocked full of seafood goodness ... Prawns, bay shrimp, scallops, crabmeat, mussels, and white fish simmered in a tomato based sauce that is out of this world. And the garlic bread was great for sopping up any last morsel. O.K., I'm getting so hungry as I type this!

Julia and I after sampling ...

By the time we left it had definitely died down in there ...

See the sign? It says established 1849! Very old for California!

On New Years Day, I headed back in again, but on my own. I was a bit nervous to drive into the city on my by myself (I know I live in L.A. but it's still an unfamiliar city!) but with Siri's help in directing me, I made it to Amanda's place for her her open house!

She lives in a great old building and I wish I'd taken photos of her her yummy brunch treats but I was too busy eating them!

You can tell by the light I stuck around for awhile!

As I mentioned in the previous post, Amanda is an old family friend. She and her family lived 3 doors over growing up, and it was fun to see her brother Steve there too, who was my childhood friend, honorary brother, and fellow mischief maker! (For instance, the time we walked across the railroad tracks, to the pet store, and bought ourselves pet mice without telling our parents!)

The oldest of friends!

Love these old buildings!!

If you're alive,
you're a creative person.
~Elizabeth Gilbert
Big Magic

City Hall ...

Keep you eyes open.
Listen, follow you curiosity.
Ideas are constantly try to get our attention.
Let them know you're available.
~Elizabeth Gilbert
Big Magic

And, the day I left, I also drove through the city on my way out. I couldn't help but stop and take more architecture pics! 

You have extraordinary treasures hidden within you. 
Bringing forth those treasures takes work and faith 
and focus and courage and hours of devotion. 
We simply do not have time anymore to think so small.
~Elizabeth Gilbert

I also wanted to stop at the  Mission San Francisco de Asis. How could I resist? I mean, Saint Francis after all! Anyway, the mission is obviously the city's namesake, as I think most of the California Missions are.

I thought, if I could actually find a parking space nearby, then it was meant to be that I'd stop at the Mission.

As you can see ...

There's my little red car in the foreground, and there is the Mission right across the street. It was the only spot and the best parking karma ever! Clearly Francis wanted me to be there! 

Next to the old Mission you can see the larger Mission Dolores Basilica ...

Mision San Francisco de Asìs
Founded 1776

Also known as Mission Dolores, for the nearby creek named Arroyo de los Dolores, or "Creek of Sorrows." It was the 6th of the California Missions.

"It is the oldest intact building in the City of San Francisco and the only intact Mission Chapel in the chain of 21 established under the direction of Father Serra." 

I love the painted patterns on the ceiling! And, of course, I'm a huge fan of the old California Spanish architecture.

There is a breezeway between the mission and the basilica ...

There were standing placards in the walkway, with the history of the mission, as well as old etchings. This one, below, I found the most interesting. The caption says "Bullfight at Mission 1842."

It was only a day or two after the New Year and as you can see, the pretty Christmas decorations were still up, in the Basilica. A choir started singing so I tried to be extra low key with my camera!

I liked the stained glass windows that represented the various California Missions ... Below, San Rafael Arcangel and San Francisco de Solano.

You do not need a permission slip from the principal's office 
to live a creative life.
~Elizabeth Gilbert

Big Magic

I grew up in Ventura, so I had to get a shot of the San Buena Ventura window ...

And of course, if you have explored my blog much, then you know I enjoy photographing a cemetery!

You have to participate relentlessly 
in the manifestation of your own blessings.
~Elizabeth Gilbert

"The Cemetery and Gardens of Mission Dolores are located adjacent to the Old Mission. The beautiful gardens have been restored and planted with traditional native trees, shrubs, flowers, and plants from the 1791 period."


"Mission Dolores is the final resting place of some 5,000 Ohlone, Miwok, and other First Californians who built Mission Dolores and were its earliest members and founders."

I also made it to the Mission San Raphael Arcangel, while I was in the Bay Area, which I will probably post down the road a bit. Enough Mission for now! Lots of other things to get to! 

I finished my Book on tape of Elizabeth Gilbert's Big Magic, before heading back down South. It was a creative pep talk that I needed. Speaking of which, I am finally working on a new series of works and priming wood panels for oil paintings!

If you want to visit the Mission website, click here.
The website for Tadich Grill is here.

Big April Blessings! 

What is creativity?
Creativity is a crushing chore and a glorious mystery. 
The work wants to be made,
and it wants to be made through you.
~Elizabeth Gilbert

Big Magic