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A Woman On The Verge

thoughts and musings of my mind

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Arts and Entertainment

It’s About Seaweed!

I love music, when I was a little girl I was always singing in the car. I am fairly certain it drove my mom and dad nuts because I made up my own songs – I was five and six so I can’t remember those songs now. I also used to listen to all the records we owned over and over, I remember once when I was listening to Paul Revere and the Raiders and I spent an hour listening to just one song as I was trying to figure out the bleeped word in one of their songs. So now as an adult I still enjoy music.  I tend to gravitate towards independent artists, which as I have said in a blog before is because I grew up in Seattle and folks up there tend to be more free thinking in their tastes.

One of my favorite groups is Celtic Thunder, although group is so the wrong word to call them.  A whole blog could be written about that topic alone.  Their newest CD and DVD have been released and is titled Voyage.  I love the opening medley, Atmos, Druids, Deus Meus & Dulaman.  It is all in Gaelic and Latin (I am pretty sure I heard some latin in there.) and it is very intense and masculine sounding.  The lyrics for Dulaman are traditional Irish folk music.  It sounds really intense and in Gaelic it even looks pretty.

 A’nion mhin o sin anall na fir shuiri

A mhathair mhin o cuir na roithlean go dti me

Dulaman dulaman, dulaman na binne bui

Dulaman na binne bui Gaelach

Dulaman dulaman, dulaman na farraige

Dulaman na binne bui Gaelach

But the English translation just sort of leaves nothing to the imagination.

Oh gentle daughter, here come the wooing men

Oh gentle mother, put the wheels in motion for me

Seaweed from the yellow cliff, Irish seaweed

Seaweed from the ocean, the best in all of Ireland

There is a yellow gold head on the Gaelic seaweed

There are two blunt ears on the stately seaweed

The Irish seaweed has beautiful black shoes

The stately seaweed has a beret and trousers

Now I know the song has a lot of meaning, it is about the tradition of gathering the seaweed during lean times since seaweed is so nutritious.  But when you see the manly men of Celtic Thunder singing this song well my mind doesn’t go to that though at all.

Celtic Thunder Voyage – “Atmos, Druids, Deus Meus & Dulaman”

I still love the song, I just am less interested in remembering what it means in English.  After all who wants to wax romantic about seaweed?

July 21 Update:  I see folks looking for the translation of Atmos, Deus Meus.  Deus Meus is Latin for My God.  The translation of Atmos is still being researched, but it could mean Vapor in Greek.

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Being an artist…..

Who is an artist?

Is it a generational thing that causes people to say “You aren’t an artist, you aren’t making a living at it.”  Or is just a preconceived notion about what an artist is?

According to the dictionary an artist is a noun and consists of the following definitions:

A person who produces paintings or drawings as a profession or hobby

A person who practices any of the various creative arts, such as a sculptor, novelist, poet, or filmmaker

A person skilled at a particular task or occupation
– a surgeon who is an artist with the scalpel
A performer, such as a singer, actor, or dancer
A habitual practitioner of a specified reprehensible activity
– a con artist
– rip-off artists

Wikipedia has an entire page dedicated to defining an artist: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artist

I think Americans get hung up on the fact that artists don’t work ‘a regular job’ it completely goes against our puritanically driven culture and mores.  The Cambridge dictionary defines puritanical as:

Believing or involving the belief that self-control and hard work are important and that pleasure is wrong or unnecessary

This belief is completely embedded in the American culture.  It is why there are so many stressed out workaholics in the US.  In most corporations we have 2-4 weeks of vacation, people who want to succeed are anticipated to work more than 40 hours a week, you have to fit in to a defined set of rules, and lunch is at the most an hour a day.  In Europe they have much more vacation, lunch is longer than an hour usually, and while they work hard, they also play hard to balance their lives.

So getting back to being an artist in the US-based on this idea that one must work hard to succeed it leads one to believe that if a person is not engaged in making art and making a living from art at least 40 hours a week and producing works from this time that this person so is not truly an artist perhaps? Is this person just pursuing something that is pleasurable and is that wrong?

I grew up around artists, my grandmothers were both artists.  Our parents made sure we did something musical, I sang, attempted playing the trumpet and learned how to play the acoustic guitar.  I was also involved in theatre.  My father who is a chef could be considered an artist, you should watch him cook and stay away from his grill. My oldest sister is an artist, she is one who works hard to actually make a living at her art.

A few years ago I attended a discussion on the Creative Class and its influence on modern culture.  This idea of a Creative Class is far more encompassing than just someone who paints, sculpts, sings, acts, etc….The creative class is a considered a socioeconomic group which has an impact on our society in this post industrial era.  Richard Florida has written extensively on the Creative Class and its rise  in today’s society.  Based on his definition I feel extremely comfortable calling myself part of the creative class, but am I an artist?  I create things using a fabric medium, but I don’t make a living at it yet and probably never will.  There are people in today’s society who say you are an artist only if you actually succeed at making a living. But really Who is an artist?

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