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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Random Song Of The Week #18

The autumn season is my favorite and I always look forward to the color change of the leaves, the autumn blooming flowers, the coolness in the change in weather, but most of all, the holiday of Halloween. So I decided that through the month of October I will post music that has a bit of flavor for the holiday. Today I'm posting one of my favorite songs from Ozzy, though the song isn't intended to be Halloweeny, it still has that bit of flavor. The others that follow will have a more dark and Halloween feel to them. Hope you enjoy!

Ozzy Osbourne -- See You On The Other Side
Album -- Ozzmosis (1995)


Voices, a thousand, thousand voices
Whispering, the time has passed for choices
Golden days are passing over, yeah


I can't seem to see you baby
Although my eyes are open wide
But I know I'll see you once more
When I see you, I'll see you on the other side
Yes, I'll see you, I'll see you on the other side

Leaving, I hate to see you cry

Grieving, I hate to say goodbye
Dust and ash forever, yeah

Though I know we must be parted

As sure as stars are in the sky
I'm gonna see YOU when it comes to glory
And I'll see you, I'll see you on the other side
Yes I'll see you, I'll see you on the other side

Never thought I'd feel like this

Strange to be alone, yeah
But we'll be together
Carved in stone, carved in stone, carved in stone

Hold me, hold me tight, I'm falling

Far away. Distant voices calling
I'm so cold. I need you darling, yeah

I was down, but now I'm flying

Straight across the great divide
I know you're crying, but I'll stop you crying
When I see you, I see you on the other side
Yes. I'll see you. See you on the othe(r) side
I'm gonna see you. See you on the other side
God knows I'll see you, see you on the other side, yeah

I'll see you. See you on the other side

I'm gonna see you. See you on the other side
God knows I'll see you, see you on the other side, yeah
I wanna see you, yeah, yeah, yeah, see you on the other side
God knows I'll see you, see you on the other side, yeah
I'm gonna see you. See you on the other side

Monday, September 24, 2012

My New Musical Love?

I love listening to Hearts of Space, a program that plays every Sunday night music you would never hear on any other radio station: ambient, world, new age and so forth. This past Sunday they played a program dedicated to the Autumn Equinox (titled "The Fading Light") and I took note of which songs and artists I really enjoyed on the program and saved their albums on my Amazon wish list so I can remember to purchase them later. One of the artists they played was Adam Hurst who plays the cello, perhaps my favorite of all instruments. Since I got home from work today I've been listening to his music on YouTube, and the last time I did this and became obsessed over a musician was with Ludovico Einaudi, his instrument of choice being the piano. I have five of his albums, and it is looking like Adam may be receiving some of my money in the near future as well. From what I've heard, much of his songs have a Middle Eastern and gypsy influence to them, and have a quality that evokes sadness. Which I like. Here's one of the sadder songs of his, deep and mournful:


Music like this jives with the mood of my novel, for the most part. Deep, soulful, sad. Beautiful. Which is why I want to buy some of his albums, music to get me into the mood to write my own work, music to work by. Plus, I can only listen to Ludovico and my other CD's so many times before tiring of them. I need to change up! Another video, just because:



And I like his hats.

There were other artists as I mentioned on this past Sunday's show that I enjoyed as well, one being Jennifer Zulli. She sells her albums on her website, which is where I'll have to buy them for they are only available on Amazon in MP3 format and I'd rather have a CD, because that's just how I am. She's fairly new, from what I gather, not having many albums out yet, but her album 'Opening' is the one I would like to have of which three songs were showcased on the HOS show. This song, though quite pretty, isn't as strong as the ones on the show, but it is the only one I could find from the album on YouTube:



I love finding new music artists, and I love HOS!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Random Song Of The Week #17

Eagles -- Hotel California
Album -- Hotel California (1977)



On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair
Warm smell of colitas, rising up through the air
Up ahead in the distance, I saw a shimmering light
My head grew heavy and my sight grew dim
I had to stop for the night
There she stood in the doorway;
I heard the mission bell
And I was thinking to myself,
"This could be Heaven or this could be Hell"
Then she lit up a candle and she showed me the way
There were voices down the corridor,
I thought I heard them say...

Welcome to the Hotel California

Such a lovely place (Such a lovely place)
Such a lovely face
Plenty of room at the Hotel California
Any time of year (Any time of year)
You can find it here

Her mind is Tiffany-twisted, she got the Mercedes bends

She got a lot of pretty, pretty boys she calls friends
How they dance in the courtyard, sweet summer sweat.
Some dance to remember, some dance to forget

So I called up the Captain,

"Please bring me my wine"
He said, "We haven't had that spirit here since nineteen sixty nine"
And still those voices are calling from far away,
Wake you up in the middle of the night
Just to hear them say...

Welcome to the Hotel California

Such a lovely place (Such a lovely place)
Such a lovely face
They livin' it up at the Hotel California
What a nice surprise (what a nice surprise)
Bring your alibis

Mirrors on the ceiling,

The pink champagne on ice
And she said "We are all just prisoners here, of our own device"
And in the master's chambers,
They gathered for the feast
They stab it with their steely knives,
But they just can't kill the beast

Last thing I remember, I was

Running for the door
I had to find the passage back
To the place I was before
"Relax, " said the night man,
"We are programmed to receive.
You can check-out any time you like,
But you can never leave! "

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Brought to you by 50 Shades of Grey

Holy crap! I've written 550 words so far, the most I've written in months. My subconscious is shaking her head for having waited for so long while my inner goddess is jumping up and down with pigtails, squealing like a five-year-old girl.
 
And that is all.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Random Song Of The Week #16

Ludwig van Beethoven -- Moonlight Sonata (Mvt 1)
Completed in 1801




The original name, Piano Sonata No. 14 in C-sharp minor "Quasi una fantasia", Op. 27, No. 2, was completed in 1801 and dedicated to his pupil Countess Giulietta Guicciardi. The first movement that you're listening to became popularly known as the Moonlight Sonata, for the German music critic Ludwig Rellstab likened it to moonlight shining off the water of Lake Lucerne.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Random Song Of The Week #15

Tracy Chapman -- Give Me One Reason
Album -- New Beginning (1995)



Give me one reason to stay here
And I'll turn right back around
Give me one reason to stay here
And I'll turn right back around
Because I don't want leave you lonely
But you got to make me change my mind

Baby I got your number and I know that you got mine

But you know that I called you, I called too many times
You can call me baby, you can call me anytime
But you got to call me

Give me one reason to stay here

And I'll turn right back around
Give me one reason to stay here
And I'll turn right back around
Because I don't want leave you lonely
But you got to make me change my mind

I don't want no one to squeeze me, they might take away my life

I don't want no one to squeeze me, they might take away my life
I just want someone to hold me and rock me through the night

This youthful heart can love you and give you what you need

This youthful heart can love you and give you what you need
But I'm too old to go chasing you around
Wasting my precious energy

Give me one reason to stay here

And I'll turn right back around
Give me one reason to stay here
And I'll turn right back around
Because I don't want leave you lonely
But you got to make me change my mind

Baby just give me one reason, Give me just one reason why

Baby just give me one reason, Give me just one reason why I should stay
Because I told you that I loved you
And there ain't no more to say

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Castle Dracula

When most people hear of Castle Dracula, an image of a dark, many-towered castle perched upon a mountaintop with bats flying about and wolves howling in the distance is what usually comes to mind. Often there is a drawbridge with a great gorge beneath it, wind howling ready to take one off and impale them upon the craggy rocks below, vultures swirling in wait, and a nearby village of peasants (who you wonder why they just don't pack up and move) in constant fear of the castle's resident. You know, something like this:


An artist's (not mine) portrayal of Castle Dracula.














That is the image of Bram Stoker's vampire Dracula's castle often portrayed in the movies and video games. Romania, home to the historical Dracula, Vlad Țepeș (the Impaler), wants you to believe this is the real Castle Dracula:


Bran Castle, in all its restored medieval glory.


Bran Castle, located outside of the town of Bran in southeastern Transylvania, or central Romania within the cusp of the Transylvanian Alps. Nearby city of Brașov is located 30km (about 18 miles) northeast of the castle. There is no evidence the castle was ever in Vlad Dracula's possession, considering during this time much of the residents of the area were German and he and the Germans were not the best of friends. It is very conceivable he had visited and stayed at the castle during political negotiations with the boyars while campaigning for the Walachian throne for the third time, and at the end of his second reign when he had been taken prisoner by the Hungarian king Mátyás Corvin. The original wooden castle built in 1212 by Teutonic knights had been destroyed in 1242 by the Mongols. In 1377, the castle as we see it (with some additions) was built by the Saxons of Brașov (Kronstadt) with the Hungarian king Louis I blessing. From 1920 to 1957 the castle had become the favored home of Queen Marie of Romania and enjoyed renovations and some new additions. Now it is a museum showcasing some of the queen's furniture and other collectables.

Queen Marie at Bran Castle.

As prince (voivode), Vlad Dracula would have had access to stay at many castles during his reigns, in particular his second reign, but it didn't mean he owned them, including Bran. The palace in Tîrgoviște had seen renovations during his time as prince, as well as many churches and monasteries, including Snagov monastery where it is thought his body may have lay at one time, but excavations in the 1930's to find his body came up fruitless. His most notorious renovation was that of his fortress alongside the Argeș River (where a good portion of the setting of my novel takes place) in the south-central portion of the Transylvanian Alps, surrounded by small villages and often referred to as Poenari Castle.

The partially restored walls of Poenari Castle, the Castle Dracula.



It is said the castle, or fortress, was built by the boyars Vlad Dracula had imprisoned on a fateful Easter Sunday, and worked them until the clothes fell off their backs. Those who hadn't died from fatigue and starvation were killed after the completion of the castle. The youngest children and the elderly were put to death, men and women with able bodies were chained and taken from
Tîrgoviște, still in their Easter finery from the festivities of the day, and sent to where the ruins of two castles that sat along either side of the Argeș River across one another, 80 km (50 miles) away. The bricks of one castle were used to help build up the other, new towers were added to the existing foundation, and the fortifications strengthened. Vlad Dracula had a penchant for thick walls, and Poenari was no exception, with the walls near 2-3 meters (6-9 ft) thick. In my novel I write of the early morning attack on the castle by the Turks, led by Vlad Dracula's brother Radu cel Frumos (the Beautiful or Handsome), of which Vlad and his young son, Vlad, my main character, escape from. Several years later during his third campaign for prince of Walachia, I have him return to the castle to survey the damage, which was minimal due to the thick walls and the advantageous situation of the castle upon a mountaintop. After Vlad Dracula's death in 1476, the castle still held residency for others but was soon abandoned. In my novel, I have his son claim the castle in 1485 which had been given to him by his father but hadn't taken up residency until then, and it is where he remains until his death.

Poenari is accessible and tours are offered, though the site is not often visited (which would be to a tourist's advantage). The climb to the castle consists of over 1400 steps, and from the pictures I've seen the view is spectacular, and must have been even more so back in Vlad's day without the modern highway and power lines to mar the view. The river I think would also had to have been wider before the construction of
Vidraru Dam to the north. In times of drought, the river dries up completely. It is, without doubt, one of the places I have to visit if I were to ever go to Romania. It is a place that screams the Impaler, and has a great importance in my novel, and to the main character of my novel, Vlad.


View from Poenari looking north.



Sunday, September 2, 2012

Random Song Of The Week #14

Brad Paisley (w/Dolly Parton) -- When I Get Where I'm Going
Album -- Time Well Wasted (2005)



When I get where I'm going
On the far side of the sky
The first thing that I'm gonna do
Is spread my wings and fly

I'm gonna land beside a lion
And run my fingers through his mane
Or I might find out what it's like
To ride a drop of rain


Yeah when I get where I'm going
There'll be only happy tears
I will shed the sins and struggles
I have carried all these years
And I'll leave my heart wide open
I will love and have no fear
Yeah when I get where I'm going
Don't cry for me down here


I'm gonna walk with my grand daddy
And he'll match me step for step
And I'll tell him how I missed him
Every minute since he left
Then I'll hug his neck


Yeah when I get where I'm going
There'll be only happy tears
I will shed the sins and struggles
I have carried all these years
And I'll leave my heart wide open
I will love and have no fear
Yeah when I get where I'm going
Don't cry for me down here


So much pain and so much darkness
In this world we stumble through
All these questions I can't answer
So much work to do


But when I get where I'm going
And I see my maker's face
I'll stand forever in the light
Of his amazing grace
 

Yeah when I get where I'm going
There'll be only happy tears
Hallelujah
I will love and have no fear
When I get where I'm going
Yeah when I get where I'm going