Yves Saint Laurent The Perfection of Style is on exhibit at Seattle Art Museum,now through January 8!
Spent the morning in awe and giddy delight as I took in this amazing exhibit at SAM. Left inspired by the colors, the designs, the textures, the history, the process, the sparkles, the variety, the creative output, the elegance, the life, the style, and the genius of Yves Saint Laurent (1936-2008).
Today’s recording: Cordoba from the Spanish Suite Andalucia by Ernesto Lecuona
I recently saw the beautiful movie, Florence Foster Jenkins starring Meryl Streep as Florence, Hugh Grant as her husband, and Simon Helberg as the brilliant pianist and gentle soul, Cosmé McMoon. This stylish movie, based on the real life FFJ, celebrates music, complex relationships, and the human spirit. Despite a sold out performance at Carnegie Hall, Florence is lacking in the musical ability. However, her spirit,enthusiasm, courage, and love for music are contagious. I laughed and cried my way through the film.
There are many touching scenes with the pianist Cosmé and Florence including Cosmé performing an audition for Florence with The Swan from Saint Saens. The Swan, originally for cello and two pianos, is from Carnival of the Animals. Here is an arrangement for piano I recorded this morning.
The Swan, Saint Saen played by Laura Dean Wav
The Swan, Saint Saen, played by Laura Dean MP4
Boom! Summer is here and the living is busy! My recording blog is on a temporary hiatus as I’ve been very busy with the Seattle Opera in Schools (teaching in summer school), my private students, and preparing for my Cuba concert in the fall. I participated in an amazing piano master class in Portland over the weekend with the inspiring Dr. Jill Timmons, my mentor. What a thrill and humbling experience to play a concert hall sized Bosendorfer, valued at $300,000.00 (that’s a whole other story). Joe and I made a weekend of it and spent the next day at Mount st. Helens.
The last few weeks, in addition to teaching my private students, I’ve been working as a teaching artist for the Seattle Opera in their Opera in Schools Program. The opera work includes composing mini operas with 3rd graders. I’ve also been teaching general music at Wedgwood Montessori Preschool. I am inspired, energized and humbled by the fearlessness and creativity of children in the schools and in my private studio.
How Can I Keep From Singing is an American song dating as far back as the mid 1800’s, possibly written by Robert Lawry. The melody is sweet and simple while the text is beautiful and timeless.
My life goes on in endless song above earth’s lamentations,
I hear the real, though far-off hymn
That hails a new creation.
No storm can shake my inmost calm,
While to that rock I’m clinging.
It sounds an echo in my soul
How can I keep from singing?
Romances Sans Paroles translates to Songs Without Words. Below I play #3 by Gabriel Fauré (played on my digital keyboard and mixed on my Macbook as a harp/guitar duo). What a perfect piece for Mother’s Day. No words can describe how grateful I am for my mother, Gail Dean. She’s a woman of steel who raised two kids on her own with courage and grace after losing my dad in a highway accident when we were all very young.
Thanks, Mom, for all of the hours of music lessons, for driving across the state of Montana for camps and concerts, for sewing all of those costumes and dresses, for giving me a great education, and for giving me the courage, independence, and grit to pursue a life in music. I owe it all to you!
To all of the Mamas our there! You know who you are and I know how hard you work to make it all look easy! Here’s to our Moms and here’s to us, the Mamas!
Don’t Advertise Your Man piano and singing by Laura
Here’s my awesome guy, Joe Sweeney! He does laundry and helps my daughter with her math, he also is an amazing bird photographer, very funny, extremely handsome, and the love of my life. I could go on and on, but before I do, I think I’ll take the advice of Clara Smith who first wrote this old blues tune back in the 1920’s, Don’t Advertise Your Man. Sippie Wallace came our with her version in the 1960’s. Bonnie Raitt has also recorded a sassy version.
Be sure to check out these recordings, and remember, girls, Don’t Advertise your Man!