Aug 102009

…though it’s not a winter’s day. Here in Seaside (where Holly and Kyle and Damien live) it’s supposed to be summer, but it’s not exactly warm. Kyle is studying at the Defense Language Institute, and they live on beautiful Fort Ord. If you’ve ever been to Fort Ord, you’ll know just how TIC that comment is!

Damien is nearly two, and along with being Terminally Cute, he’s practicing for the Terrible Twos. His parents will have to endure that–I just get to enjoy the cute. Grandmothers have it so good. Yesterday before Church he tangled with a PBJ. He eventually won, but the PBJ put up a good fight. This picture doesn’t even begin to do it justice.

Let’s see… since last time I wrote anything of substance here, I spent a week in Utah with Allyse Smith Taylor, working on her next album. One of the highlights was getting to meet her family and staying with her wonderful grandparents. Grandma makes a mean omlette… Allyse’s mom sent in lunch a couple of days… I got to know Kneader’s fairly well (mmm… good thing they don’t have those in Colorado yet)… Dan Carlisle at Soularium studios keeps a well-stocked candy dish in the control room… in short… the whole week revolved around food, and unfortunately the aftermath is still haunting me.

I was hoping to be of some use in helping Allyse with Snow, but I’m not sure I was worth my board in that respect. It was fun to meet Dan and Jared at Soularium, Sam Payne, April Moriarty, Daron Bradford… fun to reconnect with Marvin Goldstein. Allyse’s album should be out shortly, and the tracks really are lovely.

James and Francesca Loynes came over from England so James could do a couple of duets with Allyse, then they came on to Colorado to spend the next month with us. We recorded the tracks for James’ next CD, and spent the remainder of the time playing silly games, sightseeing, and planning our trip over to England in September.

One highlight of their visit was July 4… Independence Day… and to honor, er… honour the occasion, they regaled me with our national anthem. It was something quite out of the ordinary to hear “…and the rockets’ red glare… the bombs bursting in air…” done in proper British accents by singers costumed for the occasion… a red, white and blue tiara, bow tie, socks… I have pictures, but I think I’ll let James decide whether or not to post one lest I leave myself open to retaliation.

They also cooked us up a proper English feast (complete with… goose fat?!) one Sunday–Allyse and Spencer and Snow came down for it. I know the British are accused of doing bland food, but this was marvelous. Taking them back to the airport in July was rather melancholy. That’s the problem with visits… they always seem to end somehow, and you have to go back to real life.

Musically, the long and short of all this is… I have a whole fistful of new scores to post, in the unlikely even that I ever get them finished. (Okay, I’ll get them finished… but it’s taking forever.) I’ll probably start adding them one at a time over the next few weeks–makes the updates much easier than doing it all at once.

Jul 162009

The end… she said… the END… of 15 straight years of Seminary… no more Seminary ever she said.

Guess whose hubby will be teaching Seminary this year?

Okay, yeah, I’m a bit jealous. 🙂

May 172009

…is a good rule to follow. My to-do list is baffling my brain… so pick just ONE thing and do it, right? My calendar is making me cry, but I can only live ONE minute at a time, so just go with what’s there, right? So, in the face of tiling my downstairs bathroom, cleaning carpets, weeding gardens… I picked ONE thing: “Update Blog.” Heh… lazy.

Lots of fun miscellany at the moment (well, fun for ME anyway!)… to begin with… *****drum roll******* my grandson is now officially a member of the Primary Nursery! His mommy and daddy might actually get to hear a lesson or two on Sundays. Okay, I knew you were just dying to see a picture of him, yes?? You’re welcome. 😉

Funny, I could have sworn footballs were shaped differently.

Daniel, my youngest, graduates from High School on Friday. His last day of Early Morning Seminary (a before-school scripture study class for which he leaves home around 5:30 a.m.) is Tuesday. This marks the end of an era for the DeFord household–15 straight years of Seminary. Wow. Can’t say I’ll miss that time of day much. At the Choral department awards night this past week, he received the “Outstanding Senior” award in his a cappella group–an all male ensemble called the “Inflatable Misconceptions.” Here’s a picture of my Daniel at the zoo awhile back.

A bit blurry, but sooo in character.

In the music world… I spent a couple of days last week with Allyse Smith Taylor and Marvin Goldstein, working through a dozen or so arrangements for Allyse’s next project. Allyse has quickly become one of my favorite people in the world–having her so close (Denver) is a blessing–and her new baby Snow (perfect name for a Rocky Mountain baby!) is just beautiful. We had a good time trying to stay on task. Marvin is great for funny stories, and between us I think we crammed a couple of hours worth of work into two days…

We’ll be hitting the studio in June for a week–the CD should be out in August. This is Allyse’s project–she’s doing all the work, all the funding, calling all the shots… I’m just along for the ride. I’ll be posting streaming audio so you can listen to her beautiful renditions when we finish. There will be two brand-spankin-new-never-been-heard-before songs on the album, and I’ll post the scores for download when the recordings are ready. (It’s going to be interesting trying to convince people that they’ll have to wait awhile for Marvin’s piano arrangements… he’s not playing from a score–he just takes the music that’s available and goes to town with it–so his performances will have to be transcribed.)

James Loynes will be singing a couple of duets with her on the album, and after we’re done he and Fran will be coming back to my place… I get to keep them for a month this time! Life is good. 🙂

Feb 052009

This post has nothing to do with music. (Come to think of it, half of them don’t, but hey… it’s my blog!)

This YouTube video is long. 16 1/2 minutes long. But honestly, watching it was one of the nicest 16 1/2 minutes ever.

I love things that make me smile. 😉

Jan 282009
You know, here in Colorado Springs we are a spoiled-rotten-as-it-gets bunch. It’s always amusing to talk to telephone support people who may be anywhere in the country or world, and hear them say, “Wow… Colorado Springs… you must be freezing!” The weather here is one of the best-kept secrets in the country. Lots of sunshine, bright clear skies most of the time, snow melts in a day or two, and through the winter you can count on half your days being shirt-sleeve weather, with maybe a hoodie thrown in for early morning or late afternoon. So when we get a couple of days in a row of reeeally cold weather, some of us get whiny. Like me. Ah well, they say you should play to your strengths, and whining is one of my specialities. 😉

I’m currently working on a song to support the LDS youth theme for 2009 (it’s going to the vocalist today), and I must admit I’m curious about something. The theme is:

“…be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.”
(1 Timothy 4:12)
It’s a great scripture, and a worthy theme for all of us, old or young.

The thing I wonder is why the first phrase, “Let no man despise thy youth…” was omitted. I’m sure there are good reasons–no quarrels with the theme as it stands, but… I think the pat on the back that phrase offers to our young people is a well-deserved counterbalance to all the flack they get for their driving skills and other perceived vices.

The young people of my ward (translation: local congregation of the LDS church) are wonderful kids. I love to sit next to them in choir, to hear what they’re doing and what their concerns are, to let the girls steal my grandbaby when he visits, to see the excitement as young men who grew up too fast wait for their mission calls… Of course, I don’t know them all, but if the ones I do know are any indication, they’re great people, and are making a superb contribution to the world.

It’s amusing that Paul would caution Timothy about youth–it seems funny to me, in our modern world where “young” is good and “old” is somehow less desirable. (The alternative isn’t all that appealing, now is it?) At any rate, some of the people I love best are half my age, or half that, and I hope they include themselves in Paul’s “no man,” and never feel they’re too young to make a difference.

Jan 022009

You know, BYU’s football season didn’t turn out quite the way I wanted, but there’s always next year, and the basketball team is doing quite well.

I am not generally a Utah fan. However…

Why in the world is a 13-0 Utah team not even mentioned in the same sentence as “national champion??” The only team left undefeated in the country, solid in every respect, dominates #4 Alabama in the bowl game… and they’re not deserving? I wish just a few of the AP voters who think for themselves and aren’t in the hip pocket of the BCS would play the maverick and give them a vote.


***Yes, I am working on a song to support the 2009 youth theme for the year. It will probably be finished about the end of January. Sorry I’m slow… but life keeps getting in the way.***