Sunday, March 29, 2009


I'm pleased to announce that David Bernabo and I may be releasing an album sometime soon! I say may be as we don't know the release date, and don't have the CD's in our hands. So it's kind of tentative but more definite than anything I've ever attempted releasing in the past, for certain. The material is recorded and edited, and ready for mastering. The CD which you can possibly own yourself will have six tracks, five of them being based on through-composed pieces that I wrote over the last few years, and the talented Mr. Bernabo improvised on guitar over top of them. And one bonus improv! (Fancy.) Dave and I also edit the tracks together, and added some extra instrumental parts as well. All together there are appearances by piano, interior piano strings, guitar, vibraphone, bass drum, suspended cymbal, wurlitzer keyboard, and a deconstructed zither (natch). What a nice little company! I'm working now on designing some interior notes for the album, and the cover may be based on a collage I did of squares of paper from a slide library. Dave is also working on an illustration for the liner notes, and will be designing the exterior typography. How about that for total collaboration?
When I graduated from CMU my graduating bio stated that I hope to stay in Pittsburgh and collaborate with local artists and musicians, rather than be holed away without creative options or move away someplace else. I think I've begun to accomplish my "mission" without even realizing it. And it's fun. We like fun.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

New Necklaces

I managed to acquire something magical: all the threads from an artist's work at Mattress Factory, which amounts to spools and spools of thin sewing thread. The installers were kind enough to try and bundle it up as best as they could when they took down the piece, rather than just wad everything up (which probably would be cool too, but this is more useful).
I'm looking to make a bunch of crazy nekkpieces with it, maybe keeping one really simple and just tying it off and the others can get really snarled and tangled. The first one I made is pink! I crocheted a wire background and stuffed a bunch of threads through, and then added a few crystal beads from a formerly tacky old-lady necklace. It's a little ticklish and not really meant for wearing to the grocery store, but I would be proud of whoever would wear it with their everyday clothes.
I also borrowed some Huge Ass Crochet Hooks from a friend (she says size Q, but I don't know what that means in crochet-world sizes), and made a much more normal necklace, which I might try to sell if I can make a couple of them. They also make good artsy eye-patches, for pirates who wish to see out of both eyes.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Shirt Dress

Thank heavens I don't work in clothing retail. I'm all for pushing the boundaries of fashion, but sometimes girls' spring fever can get a little ridiculous.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Braces, Carmina Burana

I got braces! I am strapped into these sexy babies for the next 10 months. I had been thinking about getting them for, oh, the last fifteen years. I guess there's no time like the present now that I can make my own decisions and do it for myself. I will also be better than my 13-year-old self at wearing a retainer so they don't go back to their old habits of some in front, some in back. As Sally said, "it's gonna be so great...when it's all over." Luckily I don't have to have them on as long as I anticipated, as my teeth aren't totally snaggly (yet); the price not as expensive (though the option for Les Invisilignes state-of-the-art transparent braces was completely out of the question due to exorbitant price); and the orthodontist made the top ones clear for the same price as the normal bottom row. The weirdest part is relearning how to eat without much use of my front teeth, and dealing with some temporary bumps put on my molars, which prevent some teeth from touching each other. It's a time-out for you, bicuspids.

Cuckolds ended up going very well, and I even got a shout-out in Pittsburgh's City Paper. And I quote: "...Cuckolds offers spectacle...Nathan Hall's original score keeps the tone peppy." They asked for peppy and that is what they got! And on the final night there was a standing ovation for everyone, which was awesome that the audience liked the production so much! My favorite music in the movements ended up being repeated a few times, which can be heard on my website here (simply click on the London Cuckolds for the audio sample and don't forget to adjust the volume). It's a short scene change for bassoon, pizz strings, and tambourine. Peppy, indeed.

I also sang Carmina Burana with the Symphony and Mendelssohn Choir two weekends ago. It was the first time I ever did more than the "O Fortuna" movement. The piece really grew on me, especially after reading about the organization of the piece literally according to the Wheel of Fortune (not the Vanna kind). This which is why several movements suddenly go from violent percussion clangs and blaring brass to love songs and sweet dolce strings, and then back again, all within the same section. Or emotionally, from "joy to bitterness, hope to grief" (says wikipedia) and back again. Several of the movements that I hadn't paid much attention to in the past really grew on me, especially the songs with the baritone solos (and falsetto). But the best part was getting to sing great men's parts and shout "Hei!" and "Na Za Za!" and "Io!" a lot. Through my braces.

Picture right: Braces. Sexy, non? I'd make out with me.