Creating connections through the arts and across cultures

Tag Archive for ‘Music Matters’

Violin Lesson; Life Lessons

Pop and I share a young music student, a twelve year-old girl. He teaches her fiddle and I teach her violin. That seems a fair trade. She comes up for his Sunday musical open house. We both love working with her because not only is she interested and has a bit of talent, but she’s […]

Mara Purl: Koto at Lincoln Center then twirls to “Child Secrets” awards upon return home

Mara Purl, a colleague from Women Writing the West, knows the challenges and advantages of being multi-faceted in our artistic work. Mara says she’s a “hyphenate” (how cross-genre folks are designated in Hollywood.) She refers to her web site as “an eco-system with interconnecting gardens” and you’ll be amazed at the multi-talent you’ll find there. […]

Donation Sustains Music Program: Erwin A. Thompson in the news

At the Writers Club Reception this week Pop said, “If I’d have to choose between music and writing, I’d be hard put to choose.” With this set of articles in The Telegraph this week, looks like he doesn’t have to. Pop’s a newsmaker! At 92 he’s on a roll! On May 8, 2008 at 11:08PM […]

Riehlife Poem of the Day: New song lyric by Erwin A. Thompson “Somebody Else’s Woman”

My father while going through 100s of hours of recorded music tapes (one of his projects this winter is re-recording), he got fed up with all the “cheating” songs. He thought he would put in his version. He stayed up until Midnight writing it and this note that goes along with it. —JGR Erwin A. […]

Riehlife Contemplation: What are the rivers you need and want to cross? Jimmy Cliff’s “Too Many Rivers to Cross” can be used as a writing prompt and a life prompt, too.

Jimmy Cliff’s “Too Many Rivers To Cross” was one of the sound track songs from my time in Botswana and Ghana in the 1970s. There were a lot of rivers to cross, and I learned how to cross them…not all at once, but slowly, and one by one. This also made a great slow dance […]

Erwin A. Thompson’s 1936 song “Girl in the Little Blue Hat” coquettes again Valentine’s week 2008

In 1936, when my father was 21, he wrote a song for Sherman Bowen’s younger sister, Lucille, that came to be titled “The Girl in the Little Blue Hat.” Lucille was sixteen when he composed the song, but had been perhaps eight-years-old when my father started dancing square dances with her at Ben Hill’s dances […]

SCN Caberet: Musical Memories & Anecdotes with Sue Bilch & Paullette McDougal

My father has a phrase for it in his beautiful poem: “Music brings memories.” Yes, indeed it does. Working from that premise, Sue Bilch and Paullette McDougal presented a thrilling cabaret performance for the Story Circle Network Saturday luncheon. It occurred to me during the performance, as I listened, enjoyed, and looked around the room, […]

Learning Jingle Bells…quiet holiday spirit here…a child’s old-fashioned courtesy

Both my father and I are Holiday Drop-outs, lying low for the most part until after New Year’s Day when the world turns back to sanity. Our holiday spirit is a quiet one…dedicated to continuing to do the things we usually do…and keeping it all on a small, human scale. Last night was one of […]

“Remember Pearl Harbor” and other songs from World War II, from my correspondent from that war, my father, Erwin A. Thompson

I asked my father, who in the Second World War was Sergeant Erwin A. Thompson, “I” Company, 36th Armored Infantry Regiment, First Army to write a post honoring Pearl Harbor Day. My father is a man who served in that war and still has scars around his scrapnel wounds to prove it. I know, because […]

“There’s a Star-Spangled Banner Waving Somewhere”—song, historical notes, and reflection by my father, a WWII veteran

My father and our long-time neighbor Jim Weeks (one of the three guitar players who, my father jokes “makes me sound good” when he plays fiddle) sang this quite movingly on the TV profile of my father. I always love watching and listening to this on tape. My father is a combat veteran of World […]