The Creative Energies of Gems and Metals

I like to know the meanings of symbols, colors, numbers and even birthstones. It’s entertaining, but more than that, it fascinates me when the mystical and magical resinates with me so well. I must admit, when I find something that I want to have a special meaning for me doesn’t, it does disappoint me. But I don’t let that stop me from believing that the universe is full of magic.

I’ve found many web sites with information about birthstones. This information includes the possible era and origin of the stones, the different colors, which stone is for which month and the meanings of each stone. Some also include the zodiak sign that corresponds with each stone.

Since it’s April, the birthstone for the month is diamond. This alone shows that gemstones aren’t only meant for the month of someone’s birth. There are most likely many who don’t associate them with anything other than their beauty.

Speaking of beauty. I’ve been noticing for awhile that jewelry is being crafted in more creative ways compared to 20 years ago. Either that or I haven’t noticed the stacked rings or bracelets until a couple of years ago. In any case, jewelry has evolved through the creative designers.

Whether it’s for a birthday, an anniversary, a token of appreciation or a gift to say, “I love you”, we can be a part of the creation, in a manner of speaking. We can, for instance, choose the birthstones which reflect the favorite colors of the recipient. That might prove difficult if it’s meant as a surprise and you don’t know what they are, unless you are the recipient.

Will it be silver or gold? Or perhaps like me, they’d prefer two-toned silver and gold. I didn’t find this at Joy Jewelers, but there are still many ways in which to create the perfect piece of jewelry.

Alchemists considered the moon to be a symbol of silver and to have a feminine energy. Gold, on the other hand, has a masculine energy. Both metals, being symbols of wealth, when worn, may give a person the feeling of being rich.

Bring the two metals together and you have a balanced energy. Let silver’s emotional, sensitive, and calming energies and the powerful and optimistsic energies of gold enrich and inspire you. It’s a state of mind.

The Magic of Danelectros

Lipstick Tube Pickups

I’ve just been introduced to a new (to me) brand of guitars, which quickly revealed a synchronicity. But, being the Scorpio that I am, I want to leave a little mystery to entise you to return to find out what it’s about.

The subject may even be of interest to you. That would be great. It is to me and I look forward to doing more research and the writing of it. Just so you know, that article is being added to an already semi-long list that I have been pondering the “Should I or shouldn’t I write about it?” question. And then the Universe gives me the perfect reason to say “Yes” at just the right time. Or, “Divine time”.

I don’t know right off hand, but I think there are now three or four brands of instruments that I have written about. It surprised me to learn that Danelectro guitars aren’t as well known as the others on my list. When production began, which was back in 1954, the cheapest models were being sold for $69.00. This was a good first guitar for the teenagers who wanted to learn, and perhaps become a rock star.

The most likely reason for such a low cost was because of the materials being used to build them. I truly enjoy learning about the simple yet innovative ways along with the sheer ingenuity and creativity of crafting something that can produce musical masterpieces done by the gifted artists that play them. What I am referring to, at least as one example, are the lipstick tube pickups. Yes. You read that correctly. The pickups were manufactured using lipstick tubes.

Today, lipstick tube pickups are not usually featured in new models, but the danelectro bass has two. The lipstick tube pickups are what give the Danelectro guitars their unique sound. Sounds magical to me.

Hey, Mr. DJ Let’s Dance and Play

The headphones I had when I was a teenager, allowed me to hear more instruments and more background singing more clearly than my stereo speakers did. It sure was a great way to enjoy music without hearing outside noises, too.
Since I don’t like my music up loud, I’m pretty sure I was the only one who could hear the music. Too many people (I was going to say kids, but adults do it, too) damage their hearing that way.

Being a DJ is an entirely different story.

When I imagine a DJ at a club, I see an image of their shoulder hunched, supporting the earpiece of a headphone up to his or her ear. And now I understand why. The reason is that DJs have to be aware of the track that’s being played over the PA, while queuing up the next song in the set.

It makes sense for headphones to be loud enough so that the DJ will be able to queue up the next song while monitoring the song being played at that moment This ensures it isn’t about to end. How the headphones are made is also an important factor. DJs need to be able to listen with one ear, so it’s important that the headphones have the flexibility to move without them breaking.

One more mystery solved. I wonder what’s next.

Mystery Solved, Let’s Dance

Have you ever wondered what makes an instrument create it’s unique sound? I have and I still do for many different instruments. I’ve always liked the way music sounds when maracas are being played. I’ve read that they’re loud. With my sensitivity to noise, I don’t know if I’d like them so much if they were within earshot. But maybe it’s not that loud. I can hear them well enough even while other music is being played, so, I can just imagine.

After a quick Google query, it didn’t take long to find out what is inside those plastic yellow shells. And, besides learning what’s inside, I also learned that each maraca in a set has different pitches. One low pitch and one high pitch. It makes sense, but I never noticed the difference. I do listen to Spanish music once in awhile, but maracas aren’t always part of the percussion section even in Spanish music. Salsa comes to mind right now.

So. What is inside these musical, shakeable latin percussion instruments? It depends on who made them and where they were made. If seeds or dried beans are what we are hearing, then they were probably made in South America. Imitation maracas probably have little black plastic cylinders inside. I’m just guessing, but it makes sense, doesn’t it? The high-pitched maraca has less cylinders than the low-pitched maraca. Mystery solved.

Maracas look like a fun instrument to play and even for excercising. I wonder if anyone uses them instead of dumbells. I use my dumbells when I’m dancing to upbeat music.

Listening to upbeat music can raise your vibrations. Dancing to it can raise them even more. Soemtimes I just don’t feel like it. Not really preferring to stay down, but there are times when the music just doesn’t seem to be getting inside me, reaching my soul to wake me up to make me feel alive.

When the music does touch the soul, you’ll know it. You’ll feel it. The sound of maracas are a good sound to create this type of feeling. A happy soul wants to feel the music and dance.

Escape Into the Soundscape of Echoes

Sunday through Thursday for two hours, from 10:00 until midnight, you can either find me sitting at my desk or lying down on my bed with my radio tuned into Echoes Radio. Hopefully I won’t get so relaxed (as I usually do) and miss a song by falling asleep way before midnight. Host and executive producer, John Diliberto brings a soundscape with energy that permeates through each song, flowng from the airwaves into my body.

John’s Living Room Concerts are recorded at the artists’ homes. The interviews John has with the artists give me a glimpse inside the artist’s mind, muse, and a touch of heart and soul. It gives me a better perspective of their music and more appreciation of their craft and of them.

There is music that I had never heard before until I became a dedicated listener to Echoes Radio. It’s true what they say on the air that you will hear something new every night (unless it’s a repeat broadcast that you’ve already heard). That’s great for those times when I fall asleep before the clock strikes midnight.

Some nights I might be centering myself with a short meditation when Chinmaya Dunster graces the airwaves of Echoes with his enchanting melodies of India. On the same night the highly energetic rhythm of Afro Celt Sound System may give me a burst of energy and tempt me to stand up and dance. But it’s a wee bit too fast, so I’ll tap my feet and maybe even do a little dancing in my seat.

Since listening to Echoes Radio I’ve also been introduced to different musical instruments that I may have never otherwise heard. This reminds of the post that I wrote saying that I was interested in learning about some of the history of instruments. Such as when and why they were created.

Last night the Living Room Concert was with James Hood. Formerly of The Pretenders. He plays an instrument that I may never had known existed without being a listener of Echoes Radio. The Hang looks as though it came straight out of the space age. It’s a tuned metal percussion instrument that looks like a flying saucer.

Sometimes I hear a song and instantly know it’s one I’ll want to hear again and again. Other times I need to hear a song more than once before deciding whether I like it or not. Right now I’m undecided whether I like the sound the Hang produces. I’m willing to give it another listen. It sure would fit in well with the theme of my blog, wouldn’t it?

Echoes Radio is a welcome escape into a soundscape that crosses cultures all around the world. Until then, I’ll listen to more music and see what catches the attention of my muse and my soul.

Hey! Let’s Make Some Noise Fuzz Face

Fuzz face? I hope I can learn about more musical equipment with silly names. Does this Silicon Mini Fuzz Face from Guitar Center resemble a bearded man?

The first time I saw it I wasn’t paying attention. The name reminded me of a teddy bear for some reason. But even more was the vision of a tiny face with a bushy beard. I wonder how fun it was to come up with the silly, crazy name, “fuzz face” for musical equipment. Not to mention the look of the product itself…Cuteness.

Now I see the face and understand the name better. But it’s not because of its appearance. My guess is that it was given the look not just for a visual idea of what it is, but also for fun.

I imagine it’s probably a lot more fun when the guitarist is jamming on his/her electric guitar and creating those “fuzzy” tones. I’m sure I’ve heard that distortioned sound plenty of times, but I’d have to focus on a song with that sound to understand exactly what the “fuzz” is all about.

Get your creative buzz and create some musical “fuzz”.

“We All Live in a Yellow Submarine”…Bathroom?

Yellow Submarine Bathroom

Isn’t this wild? A decorated bathroom inspired by The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine. So many colors! Music and art. Sound and color. I’m sensing a blog post coming.

The muse is awake. Alive and well. Bright colors will do that sometimes. I wish it would happen more often.

It might not just be a trip to the bathroom. It could also be a trip in the bathroom.

Posted in Art