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Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Last night I was listening to Richie Havens, one of my favorite voices, and his cover of All Along the Watchtower came on. I knew that it originated with Bob Dylan– and then Hendrix owned it– but I truly didn’t know how many versions of it there are.

If you believe the Battlestar Galactica mythology, this song trickled through the ether 150,000 years before Dylan and saved the human race. If you watched the series finale of the reboot, you understand why that pervasive melody turned out to be key to the human and Cylon existence. According to what we know in the here and now, Dylan released it in 1967, and The Nashville Teens were close behind.

Curious about its chronology, I found this list of many different versions. Most of us know the Dylan, Hendrix, Dave Matthews, U2, Neil Young, Springsteen, and Eddie Vedder versions. But there are so many more! The BSG version was the first to use an electric sitar, harmonium, and an astoundingly loud party horn called a zurna. When Seattle-based artist Aaron English released his version, it had similar flavors– and it sounds amazing.

Is it best stripped down or embellished?

Is it best on a guitar? Or is it best with a sitar?

How is it most extraordinary? Is it best with Bryan Ferry?

Have you heard it in a casino? Did it rock hardest with Frank Marino?

Which artist performed this the snazziest? Was Humam Ammari’s version, overall, the jazziest?

Is it best with a string quartet? Which genre of music hasn’t attempted this yet?

The song is timeless and always relevant. There is endless debate over the meaning of the lyrics. They’re deep, profound, disturbing, incomplete. Is it about the music industry? Business? A conversation between Jesus and the tempter?

Ultimately, it’s Dylan. You’re not supposed to understand completely. Or you do, deep down in your soul, but you can’t quite articulate why.

But you and I, we’ve been through that
And this is not our fate
So let us stop talkin’ falsely now
The hour’s getting late

Dylan

©2020 H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com. All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com.

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Israel-based band Miqedem has released Psalm 23 – Quarantine Version. Turning on closed captioning (CC) will display the lyrics. I’ve had the privilege of hearing Miqedem live, and their wide-ranging talents and technical skill are the real deal. Their members come from several different countries and they play instruments from many countries.

Please enjoy this message of hope. Many are praying Psalm 91 over our families and nations right now, and some good old Psalm 23 just adds to the attitude of gratitude and belief in divine intervention– miracles. As Adrian Rogers said, prayer can do anything God can do, and God can do anything.

As we head towards Passover and Resurrection Day in this month of Nisan– the month of miracles– let’s expect awe-inspiring, natural law-busting, depression and sickness-disrupting, cry of victory-inducing, earth-shaking, unprecedented favor no matter what our circumstances.

Pray as if everything depended upon God and work as if everything depended upon man.

Francis Cardinal Spellman

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As I said in yesterday’s post, being bored is impossible when you enjoy history and genealogy! You always have places to go, photos to take, research to complete, and stacks of paperwork to sort through. So hearing people say they’re bored during this time of social distancing sounds rather alien; some of us are finding more to do than ever.

After finally catching up on email in the wee hours of the morning, I realized just how many online learning opportunities there are right now. In particular, many museums and historical collections are putting the word out about the resources they have online. Here are just some of the many free gateways to personal enrichment available.

The Smithsonian Institution, Ten Museums You Can Virtually Visit. This article includes links to The Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Korea, The Anne Frank House, The Vatican Museums, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, The London National Gallery, NASA Research Centers, The National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City, San Francisco’s De Young Museum, and The Louvre.

The National Nordic Museum here in Seattle has digitized Nordic American oral histories and an online collections portal that could keep you busy for days. I still miss the old building and the old name, but their relocation and relabeling has renewed their outreach power.

Our beloved local HistoryLink is an online encyclopedia of Washington State History. They have thousands of essays, fun slide shows, a roster of Washingtonians who gave their lives in service for our country, resources for schools, and how-tos for self-guided walking tours. Their weekly newsletter is a great way to get to know the area.

HistoryLink featured Washington State University’s Early Washington Maps collection this week (go Cougs!). From that page you can find your way down other rabbit holes, such as the amazing WSU Manuscripts, Archives & Special Collections page, the United States Geological Survey Topos Index, and the University of Washington Digital Collections site.

D’Adamo Personalized Nutrition mentioned that Travel + Leisure posted Stuck at Home? These 12 Famous Museums Offer Virtual Tours You Can Take on Your Couch. This article lists links to the British Museum in London, the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Korea, the Pergamon Museum in Berlin, the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, the The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, the MASP in São Paulo, and the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City.

You can get lost in the British Library Medieval Manuscripts Blog. It’s not just the language but the art that draws you in. The Digital Collections of Trinity College Library in Dublin are also a gold mine of art and literature.

Seattle’s Burke Museum is promoting Burke from Home. There are activities for kids, virtual exhibits, and extensive information about local flora and fauna. I love their pages on animals and am thrilled to see that Rod Crawford has a Spider Myths page on there. People scream when they see spiders, blame them for all manner of skin blemishes, and kill them on sight. Crawford sets the record straight and encourages us to practice respect. As I tell the big gnarly spiders hanging out in the shower sometimes, “you don’t bug me and I won’t bug you.”

The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution have more than 30,000 pre-1840 American objects in their collection and many are featured online. They have an online quilt index as well. Now would also be a good time to get in touch with your local Sons or Daughters of the American Revolution chapter to ask for help connecting the dots to your suspected patriots.

Universe Today featured Five Space and Astronomy Activities to do at Home During the Coronavirus Outbreak. You can choose from Re-live Apollo 13 in Real Time, Citizen Science, Astronomy Outdoors, and Read and Listen. Slooh.com, Space.com, and NASA’s interactive Solar System Exploration are also excellent places to sharpen your space skills. There are also a great many space-related videos on YouTube (due to the classes and educational shows on YouTube alone, boredom should not exist). How ’bout some honey in zero-g or the Wired interview with Chris Hadfield that discusses if space smells like burnt steak.

The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society is offering free webinars for another 10 days or so. Some free genealogy courses are listed at Lisa Lisson’s site as well. Washington State has the nation’s best Digital Archives at a state level. Start clicking around and enjoy!

The American Battlefield Trust offers virtual tours of Civil War and Revolutionary War battlefields. Seeing King’s Mountain on that site this morning was profound. My ancestor and his four young brothers fought in the Battle of King’s Mountain. One was killed, one was “shot through” but recovered, and my forebear was nearly killed but lived to a very old age.

The Battlefield Trust employs that fascinating 360-degree interactive technology that allows you to explore every nook and cranny of a site. Much closer to home, Seattle Now & Then often does that too. The articles, archives, photography, and other bonuses from Dorpat & Co. are engrossing. From their sidebar you can enter other portals such as the Globe Radio Repertory, where you can listen to dramatized versions of classic literature. That gem is parked on the Internet Archive, which could keep you busy until our sun burns out.

Collective Evolution posted How Your Kids and You Can Learn and Explore the World for Free While Quarantined. This mentions museums, but includes virtual aquariums, opera, symphonies, and world landmarks that you can visit courtesy of the world wide web. I like how they are emphasizing music– today’s kids may think music is a snap track with a scantily clad auto-tuned 20 year-old wailing about her first world problems. There is a whole ocean of actual music out there.

There are undoubtedly many more opportunities to absorb beauty, wonder, and knowledge online. Know of a good website? Please a link in the comments section. With this bottomless pit of information at our fingertips, there’s no excuse for being bored. If we lose the power grid as well, there are these wonderful objects called books which also contain endless enlightenment. Books are easy on the eyes, don’t need batteries, and can go just about anywhere with you.

Now you can’t be bored! Sir Isaac Newton’s Self-Quarantine tells how Newton’s time alone led to some of his most world-changing discoveries. Perhaps you or your kid are the next Newton. There is much more to you than you know. What divinely deposited gifts lie within, veins of talent that have been waiting for a pause in your life to be discovered?

Every difficulty in life presents us with an opportunity to turn inward and to invoke our own submerged inner resources. The trials we endure can and should introduce us to our strengths.

Epictetus

3/23/20: The Smithsonian came out with this mega-list of extreme awesomeness, 68 Cultural, Historical and Scientific Collections You Can Explore Online: Tour world-class museums, read historic cookbooks, browse interactive maps and more.

3/24/20: Did you know this about Shakespeare? Shakespeare and the Plague


©2020 H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com. All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com.

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Croatian cellists Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser, collectively known as 2Cellos, have released their take on The Show Must Go On for the 25th anniversary of Freddie Mercury’s death. They continually amaze me with their passion, deliciously mad creativity, and the new ways they find to use their instruments.

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Tonight while driving home I heard this song and was struck by its message. Let the past go… you don’t live there anymore. Walk into the new life being given to you.

I suspect that I’m not the only person who’ll be encouraged by this tonight. In Christ you are a new creation, a child of the Most High, and He wants His best for you.

You are good enough because of His grace. What happened before doesn’t matter. What you’ve done is forgiven. What matters now is that you trust Him enough to start to live again… and step into the amazing future He’s been planning for you since before you were born.

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Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. –C.S. Lewis

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©2016 H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com. All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com.

 

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On a recent Saturday a friend and I decided to visit the Jimi Hendrix Memorial in Renton, Washington. Hendrix was a Seattle native who was originally buried in a simple grave in Greenwood Memorial Park following his death in 1970. More recently he was moved to this amazing site which is a fitting tribute to a musical genius.

The marble used is stunning, as is the domed design.

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The lyrics to Voodoo Child.

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There is a polished sundial and the stones around the memorial look like they belong on a concert stage.

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Inside the memorial the panels are covered with lipstick. Germs! It’s also probably not good for the stone either.

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I wondered if this was his original grave marker. He was so young. I don’t have any love for the lifestyle that took him so early on, but he was a pioneer and a true artist who paved the way for future innovations.

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Other Hendrix relatives are buried here as well.

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Hendrix had a tumultuous upbringing and a lot of turmoil in his short life. He died before I was born but his music has always been a part of my life.

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It’s funny how most people love the dead, once you’re dead, you’re made for life. -Jimi Hendrix

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©2016 H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com. All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com.

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Seattle Highland Games 2015 1

Every July in Enumclaw, Washington, near the southern border of King County, a fabulous festival is held at the old fairgrounds. There is something for everyone– all genres of Celtic music from the traditional to modern Celtic rock, athletic events, food, a kennel show, livestock, clan booths, lectures, processions, pipe and drum competitions, dancers, and dramas that showcase real weapons.

Bellingham, Tacoma (Graham), Skagit County, Whidbey Island, Prosser, Kelso, and Spokane all have similar events during the late spring and summer that are worth attending. The 69th Annual Pacific Northwest Highland Games and Clan Gathering can easily attract 25,000 to 30,000 people because of its rich offerings. You don’t have to be Scottish to attend– as on St. Patrick’s Day when everyone is Irish, here everyone is at least a little Scottish (the Welsh always have a booth too). And keep in mind that not everyone who is Scottish is white– Scottish descendants come in all shades and sizes.

There are always certain dignitaries present at these events. During the formal kickoff of the games midday, they are introduced and a benediction is given. Seattle Highland Games 2015 2

These formalities are followed by a procession of the clans in alphabetical order followed by the traditional dog breeds featured in the kennel show. Here, Clan Buchanan takes to the green (which was pretty crispy looking after an unusually hot summer lacking any meaningful rain).

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Note the leather shields and weaponry. It’s refreshing to be in open carry sword territory.

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Mr. and Mrs. Nessie accompany the Seattle Genealogical Society. Later I found them posing for photos near the entrance to one of the exhibit halls. Normally elusive, they know they’re among friends at the games.

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The Corgis– a favorite of the Queen of England– are one of many Celtic breeds strutting their stuff.

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The 79th New York Cameron Highlanders are a fixture at such events and provide a three-volley salute at the opening ceremonies. Everything at their encampment is meant to appear authentic, so if you blocked out the surrounding tents, you’d suddenly find yourself in another century.

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From the modern to the ancient, all manner of wares are sold here. Yes, you too can own a cannon and use it to jolt your oblivious neighbors back to reality next time they have a large crowd singing drunken karaoke classics of the ’80s until midnight.

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The Romans made an appearance for the first time. They occupied Britain for hundreds of years and are a huge part of our history. Arthur himself may have been at least part Roman. One of my clan names has Latin roots.Seattle Highland Games 2015 9

Our Viking brethren camp out with the clans and remind us of the other large invasion that integrated itself into the local culture and gene pool.

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The Scottish Court. I remembered to curtsy after taking the photo.

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There are always traditional Highland animals on hand, such as sheep, cattle, and ponies. This mama cow and calf were interested in all the people wanting to pet them, but mama’s horns easily clanged against the metal fencing, unintentionally startling many.

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Do you know the caber toss? The crowds get very involved with this event. The caber is a pole nearly 20 feet long that weighs 175 pounds or so. Competitors must pick it up and toss it so that it flips end to end, trying to achieve the straightest toss possible. You should see the size of some of these guys. The announcers made the athletic events especially entertaining this year (what was that about the guy from Baton Rouge and The Waterboy?).

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Looking over the grandstands to the south. The weather would be hot, then cold, then sprinkle, then burst out in sunshine. We were putting our jackets on and taking them off so often we must have looked like a flash mob doing some sort of routine.

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More big burly men in kilts. This weight throw event seemed to be populated by Stone Cold Steve Austin lookalikes with one supersized Guy Fieri-esque contender. The ball and chain they are throwing weighs well upwards of 50 pounds– and these guys could throw.

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What’s a Scottish event without a good weapons cache? This is one of many vendors at the games.

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An indoor stage.

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This fine chap attends every year. This time he was accompanied by a Scottie that evidently didn’t mind his blaring bagpipes.

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One of the many bands competing at the games, the Robert Malcolm Memorial Pipe Band, who received several awards.

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Pirates beware: your curly fries are a hot commodity.

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Each clan booth has its own decor and insignia. If you’re from that or an associated clan, you can hang out at their booth like family… because you are.

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There were many beautiful dogs here, among them Gordon Setters. You can stop and pet each breed. Some handlers even keep a dog up on a table for easy access.

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Bagpiping isn’t just a man’s game. Pipers and drummers are male and female, young and old.

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Here CJ Henderson, Aaron Shaw, and Tiki King of the Wicked Tinkers rouse the crowd with their high energy Tribal Celtic madness. At first glance you might wonder what a didgeridoo is doing among kilts, but this Aboriginal alpenhorn and its Bronze Age cousin make this group.

Henderson can do things with a didgeridoo that I didn’t know a didgeridoo was designed to do. He and his enviable circular breathing can turn the didge into a beat box, brass band, 2000-foot deep beluga, bass clarion, and a bevy of other functions. He also used it to poke the awning above to drain off pooled water, cheering loudly along with the audience as he found yet another use for his caber-like companion.

These guys sing, play multiple instruments, banter, and even parade off and on the stage during performances. Henderson also plays a mean bodhran, and Shaw is like the Slash of pipe players.

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This might look easy. It’s not. These women are competing in the sheaf toss, which means securing a 10-pound burlap bag on a pitchfork, then tossing it behind you in an effort to clear a bar that can be set 20-something feet high. One world record was nearly set today– the woman in that class was nearing 30 feet.

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Tent art.

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Why not pick up a shield for the kids? They can be used for fighting, sledding, home defense, fort building, serving meals, and when not in use, as bedroom decor.

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At the closing ceremonies, all the pipe bands come together on the main lawn and march to the grandstands. It really is like seeing an army assembled.

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The master of ceremonies announces the results of the weekend’s competitions.

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The musicians march forward as they play in unison. If you’ve never heard hundreds of bagpipers at once, you need to. Put it on your bucket list. It will rouse your Scottish blood something fierce. Note the looming clouds to the north.

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The Scottish American Military Society folds our flags.

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See the menacing cloud lowering itself to the left? This is why the emcee told the audience he was going to hurry. I also hoped that the doves that were just released would hurry home because there were at least three eagles soaring on updrafts close by. Go doves, go!

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All pipers and drummers 10 years of age and younger were called forward to be recognized. Seattle Highland Games 2015 33

Almost done… fists in the air like you just don’t care… WHOOO….

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Just as the bands retreated, the floodgates of heaven opened. Even the bumbershoots were Scottish on this day.Seattle Highland Games 2015 35

Despite the torrential rain and thunder, this merry band of competitors found an available shelter and continued to play and cheer.

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The fairgrounds emptied quickly. We were soaked to the skin in about two minutes.

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These two gentlemen were among the last off the lawn as they sprinted for shelter.

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Next year will be the 70th Annual Pacific Northwest Highland Games and Clan Gathering. This year it cost $17 per adult per day and $12 per child over five. The two-day passes are a better deal. Admission is cash only, so if you didn’t bring enough, the onsite ATM charges nasty little fees. Parking costs about $5; many homeowners across the street and the hotel down the block offer parking spots.

There is a beer garden and pubs, and some performers, in the Celtic tradition, emphasize the importance of drink, so us nondrinkers might not find that appealing. But there is more than enough for both adults and children to do otherwise.

Given the caliber of the musicians performing, speakers, and athletes competing, it is well worth your dime, and you get get to be among your brethren as well. You can see this year’s schedule, showcasing the variety of events, here.

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For that is the mark of the Scots of all classes: that he stands in an attitude towards the past unthinkable to Englishmen, and remembers and cherishes the memory of his forebears, good or bad; and there burns alive in him a sense of identity with the dead even to the twentieth generation. -Robert Louis Stevenson

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©2015 H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com. All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com.

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