Sunday, January 01, 2012

A New Year

I'd like to wish everyone a joyful, happy, fulfilling, satisfying and prosperous 2012. Thank you all for accompanying me in 2011 and/or 2012 even if only briefly. And as Mr. Roger's says, "thank you for being you" and enriching my life!

Now, 2011 was an interesting year. It started out in the US visiting my brother and his family in Montana. My mother was with us too. We love their style of hospitality and love being with them. Dante, after cruising for many months decided, "I can walk!". At this point his vocabulary consisted of Auto, Palla/Ball and "ba-bau", which meant cat (go figure!). He was also good at making animal sounds and would perform on command.

I'm not much of a resolution person, but I had decided with Dante well over a year old I could start doing more narrating work for StarShipSofa again. Since I'd been "on leave" Tony hadn't run much, if any poetry and I thought that was a shame. I had the brilliant idea of creating my own poetry segment for the show. I pitched it to Tony and he loved the idea. The result is Poetry Planet, a ca. half hour show featuring Speculative and Fantasy poetry. I'd hope to do it monthly but that's proved too much so I submit it to Tony when it's done, about every 6-8 weeks.

I also joined the small vocal ensemble Raggio di Sol, which is not a professional venture for me, but which has gotten me singing regularly and I do have the opportunity to sing solos and we do quite a bit of one on a part choral singing as well.

I had lessons with Carol Baggott-Fort for the first time since I was just a few months pregnant. It was also my first trip away overnight. I spent 2 nights and 3 days in Iserlohn, Germany singing and listening to Carol teach. I stayed in a hotel and it was all just like heaven! It was great to have some adult conversations about something besides children. And on music and singing too!

We spent Easter in Italy and Dante had his first chocolate Easter egg!

This was a Hildegard year for me, meaning I sang lots of music by Hildegard von Bingen. My good friend and colleague Allegra Silbiger asked me to fill in for one of the singers in her Ensemble 'Diadema' for a trip to Poland doing 2 concerts in July. Plus the famous concert I showed up a year early for finally took place in Dillenburg in October. It was great to reconnect with the church musician there and with the women in the schola. The last time we did that program was in 2006, I believe. Hopefully, I'll be asked back to sing something else before too long. Joachim Dreher always plans so far ahead, though! :-)

We spent 2+ weeks in Italy, with family and on the beach, in August. Dante had the best time. And I managed NOT to get a sunburn for the first time in my life!

Dante started day care after we got home from Italy and got used to it very quickly. He goes 4 days a week for 4 hours in the afternoon. I usually teach while he's there. It's working out very well.

Raggio di Sol put on a wonderful Benefit concert in Sept. we sang lots of great stuff, much of it with a small baroque orchestra, including some solo work for me. There are YouTube videos, for which I'll post links one of these days.

Dante turned 2 on Oct. 3rd. And since then he's lived up to the cliche. It wasn't all his fault though, because he's been sick a lot since the weather got cold. But he's of the opinion he doesn't need to sleep anymore. I'm not, but there is no convincing a 2 year old of anything. His language acquisition is quite amazing. He's doing well in all 3 languages and doesn't mix them at all, which is a bit unusual. I hardly ever hear him speak German, but his teachers say he's doing great.

Magnus is enjoying his work (again) despite the breakdown of support for nuclear energy in Germany. His work is mostly in England at the moment anyway. It was a really tough period for all of us but especially for him having to deal with the ramifications of the tsunami and the accident in Japan this year. Things were rather uncertain for a while but now that the dust has cleared a bit we are mostly back to business as usual.

In November I spent 4 days in Hamburg taking lessons and trying not to sneeze on my fellow singers. At least Carol was unconcerned!

Raggio did a wonderful Christmas concert in which I got to sing some music of a more soloistic nature.

We closed out the year with Christmas in Italy. My sister in law had her first baby on Dec. 21, the day we arrived and we are enjoying little Freya!

Like I said I'm not one for resolutions but I have thought that I might try to do a few things this year. Those include reading more actual books, calling my mother more often, even if Dante is asleep or not around; and perhaps expanding my recording activities to include actual money-making ventures.

You can read more detailed accounts and links and stuff in this year's blog posts!

That's it from me!


Larry Santoro said...

Sounds like a good year, Diane. Best to you and Magnus and Dante and Italy and Germany and to song and IS a wonderful life, isn't it?

Matthew Sanborn Smith said...

Sounds like a great year, Diane! Hope you and the boys have an even better one this year!

Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work Diane!!
Glad you're active and enjoying it all. Hope our paths cross again sometime in 2012?
Hugs from Berlin,