Filtering by Tag: The Awfulisers

Day 25: Creative Challenge

Stephen Bennett has delivered on the promised recording of his first song, The Awfulisers. He set the song to a poem by cartoonist, writer, painter, philosopher and poet, Michael Leunig, and wrote a limited range vocal line to suit beginning to intermediate students. He's sung the vocal line himself in the recording below, accompanied by his computer playing a midi file through his Roland sound module. It would be nicer with a real pianist, obviously, but for the time being, this demo will suffice. Great to hear him in action again.

Steve's photo montage of The Awfulisers

Steve's photo montage of The Awfulisers

Kanen: Masked ball shoes - before

Kanen: Masked ball shoes - before

They say no good deed goes unpunished, and there may be a nugget of truth in that. Opera Singer and strange bedfellow, Kanen Breen, has been busy with his glitter today. When he showed up at his friend's house to deliver the mask he'd made for his friend's daughter (she's attending her first masquerade ball this weekend, see day 21), she decided that the shoes he'd bought her, which were silver, needed to be gold. Just as well he had his travel glitter pack at the ready.

He tried to give the silver shoes a lick of his trusty so-soft gold fabric paint, but the paint refused to dry and then peeled off in tacky looking patches. With fabric glue, silver glitter, gold glitter, a can of clear varnish, and some masking tape at hand (who else takes all this stuff with them when they go visiting?), he's transformed the shoes into glittery gold creations. He managed to drop one of the shoes in the dirt while the gloss was still wet, but he's confident he got most of the tan-bark out before it set. He's sure the combination of glue and varnish will hold the glitter in place, but he says he missed a trick because a light spritz of super-hold hairspray between gluing and varnishing would have added an extra layer of glittery security. Photos don't do this creation justice. I'm quite sure the shoes need to be seen to be believed.

Kanen: Masked ball shoes - after

Kanen: Masked ball shoes - after

Digital interpretations of Scarlet's pastel drawing

Digital interpretations of Scarlet's pastel drawing

I watched a pastel drawing demonstration online today - how to draw a realistic eye with pastels - presented by The Virtual Instructor, to try and get a clue about how to use the medium (not to mention how to draw an eye - they were fresh out of horses). Inspired by the demonstrator's creation, I decided to have a go at it myself, which wasn't easy because it wasn't a tutorial and lots of steps were skimmed over. While not a patch on the demonstrator's drawing, mine is a good beginner's effort and I'm quite pleased with it. I've attached a photo of the original drawing, along with a couple of versions that I fiddled around with digitally.

Scarlet's original pastel drawing

Scarlet's original pastel drawing

Day 23: Creative Challenge

The ayes have it. Opera singer and strange bedfellow, Kanen Breen, has been busy with his...yes...you guessed it...sequins...with spectacularly avian results. He's been picking the eyes out of his wardrobe and replacing them with glitzy, shimmering sequins. He's hoping that on a sunny summer's day, these birdy eyes will flash and catch the light in the way they've failed utterly to do in his hotel room. He struggled to get the full sparkling experience in his photos, too, but it's easy to imagine how dazzling this shirt will be in the right light. Today's contribution has a stunningly tropical feel about it. Now all we need is the holiday to match.

A bird's eye view of Kanen's sequined shirt

A bird's eye view of Kanen's sequined shirt

Continuing with the tropical theme, Trish Urquhart, who runs Allaboutwriting, works as a documentary producer for Left-Eye Productions, and tries very hard to live up to the title chef extraordinaire, has made a stunning Naartjie and Passionfruit Curd today. Naartjie is the Afrikaans name for citrus. The word has been used in South Africa since 1790, but the first record of it in written English was by Lawrence Green in the Tavern of the Seas in 1947.

Trish created a hybrid today, basing her creation on her favourite passion fruit curd recipe, but reducing the naartjie juice according to the method described on 101 Cookbooks. She cooked it to 165 degrees (important information for people like me who turn everything into toffee), and the results speak for themselves. Check out more of Trish's amazing cooking exploits on her food blog.

Trish's exotic Naartjie and Passion fruit curd

Trish's exotic Naartjie and Passion fruit curd

You can't compare apples with oranges, but you can take a tropical theme too far. Oh well, life is short and I may as well live dangerously. Actually, that's about as exciting as my day's going to get. I woke up with a heavy cold and spent the day on the couch wondering what I could create in repose. My solution was to take a You Tube drawing tutorial. The one I took was called Pastel Drawing Painting Techniques and the first projects were these apples. I had to knock off after I'd completed my red apple because I was too sick to finish the tutorial, but I'm mightily pleased with the results. I'm also pleased to be able to boast that these pictures haven't been enhanced at all - just photographed and then set out in this diptych with black frames around each picture for clarity (thank you, Stephen Bennett, for the photo work). Not a horse in sight, Kanen!

Scarlet's pastel apples

Scarlet's pastel apples

Stephen Bennett has bucked the tropical trend - no holiday for him - and written a song for voices with limited vocal range today. It's not always easy to find repertoire suitable for students with undeveloped voices, and he's been thinking about writing some songs to fill that niche. He's blogged more details here, but the gist of the story is that he's long been a fan of cartoonist, writer, painter, philosopher and poet, Michael Leunig. Leunig wrote a wonderful poem about the mess bureaucrats are making of the world, and Steve has written a vocal piece to Leunig's text. This is part one of a two day project. Today we get a photograph of the score. Tomorrow Steve's going to record himself singing it, and he'll post the audio recording to our Day 24 blog. He just has one minor detail to attend to first: He needs to learn to do multi-track recordings on his computer. One man, five minutes? I don't think so.

Steve's composition, The Awfulisers, set to a poem by Michael Leunig

Steve's composition, The Awfulisers, set to a poem by Michael Leunig