The first of two posts for today.
My dad was extremely musical and played many instruments – all the wind instruments apart from the clarinet and the recorder, and was also an expert keyboard player – piano, harpsichord and organ. I have decided to devote a section of the album to his music.
This is the title page.
The picture shows one of our early annual musical weekends which took place over the spring bank holiday weekend. These gatherings took place for over 50 years, beginning when I was a very small child, and we saw the next generation coming along too. Music would take place morning noon and night – very late at night, well into the small hours! Large quantities of food were consumed, and local Devon cider, and a very good time was had by all. These weekends are part of my heritage of happy memories.
The background for the page was created by laying down a Tim Holtz mask (“Concerto”) and applying white pan pastel. The photo was attached with regular matt gel medium and the text and borders were done with the white marker pen, with the addition of black permanent marker around the title. You can see that on the border, I have filled in the “raindrops” from the previous page, and added stalks to them to turn them into music notes for this page. The text gives a bit of detail about Dad’s lifelong love of music.
The second page background was created by stamping with my music background stamp (Artistic Stamper music background) without the use of an acrylic block, so that it moulded itself to the page and also left some gaps to give it a more distressed look. I stamped with Versamark and then embossed with black embossing powder.
Adding the photos, using regular matt gel medium.
The borders, text and embellishments, all done with the white marker pen, with the addition of some blue acrylic paint. Spraying with Rustoleum sealant spray completes the page. This spray is matt, which had the effect of dulling the shiny surface of the black embossing of the background, making it appear an integral part of the page.
The picture on the left is one that Dad took many years ago, of all his instruments lined up. This was taken before he started playing the bassoon. The viola was a long-standing family joke because of all his instruments, this was one he did not play well, and when he started, the room tended to empty! At the annual music gatherings, it used to come out in the small hours when the less stalwart musicians had all retired to bed, and a few intrepid musicians would generally tackle such pieces as Schubert’s string quartet “Death and the Maiden” which goes on for ages! Definitely one to separate the men from the boys.
Dad was a member of his local symphony orchestra for many years, playing in turn the flute, the oboe family, the horn, and latterly, the bassoon. He also played chamber music at every opportunity, being a member of a chamber orchestra for a number of years. There were occasional musical evenings when friends would gather to play and sing, and when I was a small child, I was often lulled to sleep by the sound of live music ascending through my bedroom floorboards. I am sure this is why I love chamber music so much. My dad’s lifelong favourite composer was J.S. Bach and when he retired he bought himself an electric organ, on which he played nothing else. He passed this love on to me.
The picture on the right hand side shows my dad playing the organ at a Christmas service at church. He was a very reluctant church organist and helped out only when there was absolutely nobody else to do it – he preferred his keyboard music to be a private affair and only felt happy performing in public on his woodwind family.
To complete the music section, I could not leave out a page about Dad’s harpsichord.
He made this instrument himself, entirely from scratch. It took him four years to do (including moving house in the middle of one of the severest winters on record in February 1963). It played extremely well and was used for many local concerts.
As a result of my dad’s passion for music, classical music has been a major part of my life, and I am very grateful for this influence.