Category: Uncategorized

PRESS RELEASE: Acclaimed soprano Nelly Miricioiu to perform in Manila

Nelly-withNajibIsmail

World-renowned soprano Nelly Miricioiu will perform in Manila on March 6 at the Meralco Theater at 8 p.m. Her program includes songs by Puccini, Verdi, Rossini, Respighi, Chausson and Chopin. She will be assisted on the piano by Najib Ismail.

She will also hold an intensive vocal workshop on bel canto singing to advance and young Filipino singers. For three consecutive days (March 9 -11) at the Ayala Museum, she will coach 12 of the country’s finest singers in the art of singing bel canto opera, specializing in the music of Bellini and Donizetti.

The masterclass is open to the public. Two culminating concert, “An Evening with Donizetti,” will be held on March 14 and “An Evening with Bellini” March 21. All will be held at the Ayala Museum at 7:30 p.m.

Hailed as a singing actress, Miricioiu is one of the most versatile artists of our day. Her repertoire extends from Mozart and bel canto to Verdi, Puccini to the verismo and modern Italian opera Respighi and Zandonai. She has also sung the works of French and Russian composers.

Critics have described her as “A rare vocal phenomenon of this century” (L’Opera of France) and “This extraordinary diva can sing anything and sing it well” (Rodney Milnes of Opera, the leading opera magazine in the world).

Since her Covent Garden debut in 1982 as Nedda in I Pagliacci opposite Jon Vickers, Piero Cappuccili and Thomas Allen and her 1983 triumphant La Scala debut as Lucia di Lammermoor, Nelly has been heard in all major opera houses of the world. She has worked with some of the most prestigious conductors and directors in leading roles, including Tosca with Jose Carreras, Jose Cura and Neil Schicoff), Mimi with Placido Domingo, Violetta in La Traviata with Franco Bonisolli, Roberto Alagna, Renato Bruson, Alfredo Kraus, among many leading artists of the day.

It was in the bel canto repertoire and her dedication to rediscovering forgotten operas where Nelly found her niche. Universally acclaimed for her luscious sound, beautifully constructed technique and exceptional theatrical stage presence, Michael Davdison wrote in Opera Magazine: “The highly individual timbre of Miricioiu’s voice, her imagination and intensity, her exceptional range and sense of timing make for a unique talent.”

London became Nelly’s home. After her successful debut, she became a household name at the Royal Opera House where she has sung for over two decades in roles such as Marguerite in Faust, Antonia in Tales of Hoffmann, Valentine in Les Huguenots, Norma, Elisabetta in Roberto Devereux to name just a few.

In 1996, she was entrusted with reviving the infamous Tosca production for Maria Callas. The revival was a huge success and established her as one of the best Tosca’s seen on stage. Clive Hirshon wrote in the Daily Express: “Nelly Miricioiu had the requisite passion for the title role plus a melting pianissimo that ravished the house with its purity of tone.”

The Financial Times’ Richard Fairman wrote: “Her Tosca is an artist down to her fingertips, the kind who turns every wave in a theatrical event.” She reprised her appearance as Tosca on the Royal Opera House stage in 2001 and in 2003 she enjoyed an immense success as Elisabetta in Roberto Devereux by Donizetti of which a recording was later released by Opera Rara.

George Hall of Opera News raved: “It was Miricioiu’s opera, and ultimately her evening. Hers was the longest role and the most demanding, not merely in its manifold technical difficulties but in its range of mood – suspicion, hope, love, hate, joy, pride and finally a bitter, crazed fury. All of these require expression, both in the enunciation of Cammarano’s text and in the vocalizing of Donizetti’s taxing music. Even the greatest bel canto exponents might experience mishaps over such a long ordeal, but Miricioiu’s diligent connection to words, music and meaning held out to the end in singing of outstanding consistency and command.”

Proceeds from her Manila concerts will go to Juan Antonio Lanuza endowment fund for advance vocal studies. This program aims to help Filipino young artists in the advancement of their careers through masterclasses, workshops and scholarships.

Ms. Nelly Miricioiu’s concert is presented by the Cultural Arts Events Organizer in partnership with the Manila Chamber Orchestra Foundation, Ayala Museum, Lyric Piano and DZFE.FM The Master’s Touch.

For tickets, call Ticketworld at 891-9999 or CAEO at 997-9483, 7827164, 0918-347-3027 or 0920-954-0053. Limited discounted tickets for students available via CAEO. You may also purchase online through Ticketworld at this link: https://www.ticketworld.com.ph/Online/NellyMiricioiu.

Help Touringkitty WIN a Hello Kitty Evercoss Cellphone!

Click the photo to take you to the link! But don’t forget to like their Facebook Page as well, @imhellokittyph!

Yep, I am begging pleading REQUESTING for your help, Touringkitty fans!

Please help me win this really nice and perfect Hello Kitty Evercoss Cellphone!

Hello Kitty Philippines is running a liking contest and I did not miss the chance to join because of the prize. You see, I’m sort of desperate here, haha, because I know not all my friends like Hello Kitty as much as I do.

So, I’d really really really appreciate if you could help me in this really simple cause. Please consider this your Christmas gift for my family (so that my husband won’t buy me a new phone, haha!).

For the entry to be counted, you should also LIKE the Hello Kitty Philippines Facebook Page. Then like the photo.

Link addresses which you can copy and paste and share to your family and friends here:
Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/imHelloKittyPH
Photo: https://www.facebook.com/imHelloKittyPH/photos/a.1530811230503266.1073741842.1411274982456892/1530811333836589/?type=1

So, dear friends, family, colleagues, classmates, schoolmates, choirmates, churchmates, workmates, bloggy friends, mommy friends, work bosses, students, idols, fans, etc., hope I could get your support on this. Let me know how I can reciprocate the favour. May God bless you a hundredfold!

 

~ Touringkitty (who is desperate for your support!)

Touringkitty Travels: Brick Adventure at Adventure Jungle

Last November, my daughter and I got a chance to visit Adventure Jungle. This day, the Brick Adventure at Adventure Jungle was also launched.

Brick Adventure at Adventure Jungle.
Brick Adventure at Adventure Jungle.

Adventure Jungle (formerly known as Kinder Zoo), is the 2000 square meter zoo and private facility inside Manila Zoo launched Brick Adventure to press people and bloggers last November 30.

The Brick Adventure is a place for young at heart to play this famous toy building brick (Original Lego Toys) The bricks can be assembled in different ways to breathe any object your mind desires. In adventure jungle, we created lots of different animals from Lego blocks, like a giraffe (6 feet high) or even the amazing seating lady taking care of them all named Andria, the exhibit truly is a site to see and not an ordinary brick construction because of the gigantic construction of the toys from the usual 3 to 4 inches miniatures.

My daughter enjoys building Lego figures, and enjoyed it more while in the midst of those big Lego masterpieces.
My daughter enjoys building Lego figures, and enjoyed it more while in the midst of those big Lego masterpieces.

A site to see and touch also among the 58 different species we have are our amazing 50 years old Mr. T (Tortoise), Blu (Hyacinth Macaw from the movie Rio) and Gabbie (Gibbon).

Think Rio and you'll easily recall Blu. Here are seven of these Macaws, brought here from Brazil!
Think Rio and you’ll easily recall Blu. Here are seven of these Macaws, brought here from Brazil!
Rafael, yes!
Rafael, yes!

My daughter got to ride the horse for the first time!

First timer!
First timer!

And she got to feed Mali the elephant, with the help of Mr. John Chua, the volunteer elephant keeper. Read my story about him and a dedicated zookeeper, Neng, here.

Visit Brick Adventure inside Adventure Jungle, and enjoy the array of activities for the kids and kids at heart.

For more info, check Kinder Zoo Adventure Jungle in Facebook, @Kinder_zoo on Twitter or send sms to Neng at  +63 928 834 3476. 

Address: Manila Zoo, Adriatico Street, Malate, Metro Manila. 

Touringkittyps: Five ways for a meaningful #MerrySMChristmas

Christmas is just around the corner, literally. Eight more days and we once again feast, celebrate, gather family and friends, and feel God’s abundant blessings.

Are you fond of making Christmas lists? If you haven’t yet, maybe you could include these five things that I hope would make Christmas more meaningful to you.

A meaningful Christmas is:

1. Thanking God for His gift to mankind. Have a few minutes of reflection at the start or end of the day, and recall how God’s love is manifested through the gift of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

2. Giving back. As you complete your Christmas list, don’t forget to set aside for your favourite charity.

Our church, the Shrine of Jesus, the Way, the Truth, and the Life near SM Mall of Asia, has an annual Christmas fundraising project for the Shrine’s maintenance and repairs. Last year, my children’s choir donated and we’re planning to do the same this year, hopefully with a higher amount. Your P1,000 donation will go a long way. Contact our Shrine Office from Tuesday to Sunday for details.

3. Serving others with gladness. Be it volunteering for an institution, visiting the poor and sick, or sharing your talents and skills for the church. Sharing is serving.

4. Doing good. In the simplest forms, like not littering, recycling, supporting local products, showing courtesy, following traffic rules. There are a thousand and one ways to do good anytime, anywhere.

And teach others to do good. MY daughter did her own share of doing good by donating to the SM Cares’ Bears of Joy. P200 for two bears, in which one is given to charity. She chose to give both.

Do good and teach others to do good.
Do good and teach others to do good.

5. Connecting with family and friends. Especially those whom you have not connected with for a long time, even enemies! Give love on Christmas Day may just be a song, but it holds the real essence of Christmas, which is God’s love for us.

And from the mall chain that has got it all for us, here’s how they make a very #MerrySMChristmas! Visit http://bit.ly/MerrySMChristmas for more details, and watch “How #MerrySMChristmas Begins.”

Have a good one!

~ Touringkitty

Caritas et amor in the noblest way

I have been wanting to write about this for weeks now, but I was not able to create the best title for this, until I found this:

Caritas et amor (Gregorian chorale) by Z. Randall Stroope (*1955)
Sung by the Philippine Madrigal Singers
Church of St. Matthias, Munich-Fürstenried, Germany, 2010.
Video credits: isispartners

And that’s what I experienced during my visit to two institutions last month: Elsie Gaches Village and Kinder Zoo (now known as Adventure Jungle).

Caritas

Christian love of humankind. Charity.

The Shrine of Jesus volunteers visited Elsie Gaches Village in Alabang, Muntinlupa as our outreach activity. As we arrived, we were briefed by one of the social workers there, as to what to expect. They only have a few social workers taking care of some 500 people, young and old, with physical disabilities and special conditions, specifically the mentally challenged. If I recall it right, the proportion is two social workers to one cottage with about 50 persons. That’s too much! A salute is not enough for their noble work.

We were ready. The patients trickled in, and so did the rain. We would have wanted to take a peek of the 16-hectare area donated to the government that used to be a summer villa of philanthropists Samuel Gaches and Elsie McCloskey. One of the volunteers cracked the ice by teaching the patients an action song, which I accompanied with the guitar my husband brought. We were asked to render some songs for them later in the morning.

Randomly, some volunteers would pull me out of a group to play guitar for the others. And they were all delighted to listen to the guitar! Some patients have amazing voices, like the girl who sang Journey popularized by Lea Salonga. Some requested songs and I tried my best to play them well. Mind you, I had to play everything without sheet music, and I did it! What power and love music can give.

One specific reminder that was mentioned to us is that these people appreciate being touched as a sign of love, because of the lack of it. High fives, handshakes, and hugs filled that rainy morning, and were generously given by the Shrine volunteers, and reciprocated by the patients.

We capped the visit with snacks and a simple gift-giving. Theirs are such appreciative and kind souls. We, for sure, are the strangers in their special and blessed world. And as we part, we can’t just help but wonder when they will feel that love again, and from whom. The social worker told us that since the holidays are coming in, a number of organizations wanted to pay the village a visit to do an outreach as well.

I can’t explain how I felt but I was just grateful to the Divine Master for this opportunity not only to do our apostolate to those in need, but also for the chance to do this with some of the nicest people I know — the Shrine volunteers and our Rector, Mons Bobby. They are all inspirations to us as we continue to do our ministry in the Shrine. Challenging days in the Shrine are always outshined by days like this.

It was also a great opportunity to meet the social workers and listen to their stories. They are the patients’ heroes. They are our heroes! No one can match the caritas they selflessly give.

Amor

Love. The greatest gift.

Love for animals. They say that animals are a man’s best friend. For zookeepers, this love is so pure.

I took my daughter to Adventure Jungle, found in nearby Manila Zoo, through the invitation of their PR officer, Grace Nicolas, a fellow mom blogger. We’ve been to Manila Zoo before, but this is another facility inside the zoo. And we saw new animals and Aria even got to ride the horse! Truly a highlight for my little champ.

There also, we met and talked with two people, Neng, who has been a zookeeper for more than a decade already. She explained to us that a zookeeper should be mindful of the animal’s feeding schedule, diet, and the like. She had studied these animals on her own, and she’s not even a veterinarian! It was just pure love dedicated to these animal friends.

We also met Mr. John Chua, brand ambassador for Canon Philippines, and a volunteer elephant keeper at the Manila Zoo. He frequents Manila Zoo and he loves Mali the elephant so much, that Mali follows his commands! The kids during the tour were able to feed Mali with some bananas, and Mr. Chua asked Mali to hug one of the media people who covered the event. And he is not paid for this.

If these animals could only talk, I am sure that they will profusely thank Ms. Neng and Mr. John, and their loving zookeepers.

Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est. God is defintely there, in these two places.

~ Touringkitty

CCP Hands-on Choral Workshop 2014: Training ground of choral champions

Last October, I was fortunate to be part of the team of trainors for the CCP Hands-on Choral Workshop.

This annual workshop is held on the last week of October.
This annual workshop is held on the last week of October, done in partnership with the Philippine Madrigal Singers.
Some present and alumni members of the Philippine Madrigal Singers were trainors for the five-day workshop. Marivic Llamas, Krystl Buesa, yours truly, Joel Aquino, Paolo Pardo, Bianca Lopez, Mark Carpio.
Giddy people early in the morning: some present and alumni members of the Philippine Madrigal Singers aka trainors. Marivic Llamas, Krystl Buesa, yours truly, Joel Aquino, Paolo Pardo, Bianca Lopez, Mark Carpio.

The workshop is now on its 12th season, and has attracted choral groups and conductors from all over the Philippines as well as other countries. This year, we had a choir from Kuala Lumpur participating in the workshop.

Mark Carpio conducting all participants of the choral workshop. They filled the entire stage!
Mark Carpio conducting all participants of the choral workshop. They filled the entire Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo stage!

This was not the first time for me to join as trainor, but everything seemed new to me this time around.

With the God's Heritage Chorale from Bulacan, the choir I handled back in 2006. Along with Sheen Sanchez, another Madz alumnus.
With the God’s Heritage Chorale from Bulacan, the choir I handled back in 2006. Along with Sheen Sanchez, another Madz alumnus. Photo credit: Churchill Garcia-Natoc.

This choir joined the workshop again this year, with some familiar faces and new ones who got to experience the Madz training through the workshop. I guess they find something good and new in each workshop that they’ve participated three times already!

Early this year, the Cultural Center of the Philippines called itself as a Center for Choral Performance, where major choral events are lined up in the Center until next year, the highlight being the second Andrea O. Veneracion International Choral Festival in July 2015.

This year’s choral workshop was made even special because of several factors. Aside from the fact that it had been in hiatus for two years (there were no choral workshops held in 2012 and 2013 because of Madz trips abroad–incidentally, the years I worked for the Center), the workshop also featured a special Artist Talk by no less than Mr. Ryan Cayabyab, who created a new arrangement of one of his songs, premiered by the participating choral groups.

In Mr. C’s talk, he took the audience back to the days when fate had prepared the road for his musical journey, as a son of an opera singer who did not encourage him to take the same career his mother took, as a young UPIS student who was just tinkering on the piano, and as a teenager who would try out different careers–from winning a painting contest to applying as a disc jockey, and eventually getting the biggest gig that paved the way for his musical career. His story was unbelievable, humble, yet very inspiring.

The participants were fortunate to premiere a Mr. C work, Ikaw pa rin ang mahal ko, the theme song of Sa Ngalan ng Ina, originally sung by another OPM hero, Basil Valdez. Here’s a sampling from the Madz Facebook page:

Choirs from various schools, communities, parishes, and companies joined the workshop. Individual conductors, or choirless conductors as they called themselves, who want to be better conductors learned through the sessions with Madz Choirmaster himself, Mark Carpio.

The choirs assigned to me were the MBPS Chorale of Manulife and Musica Chorus of Quiapo Church.
The choirs assigned to me were the MBPS Chorale of Manulife and Musica Chorus of Quiapo Church.

The trainors were assigned two choirs each, who each sang a song of their preference, and one song which came from the trainor and will be performed together. I chose What the World needs now is love, a really simple danceable arrangement of the Bacharach song with piano. As they’ve easily learned the piece, I also gave short pieces as some sort of exercise for them.

I was surprised to know that trainors will also conduct, as I cannot remember doing that during the previous workshop I was part of. I even confirmed this to Sir Mark, to my surprise and excitement. It was my first time to conduct on the CCP’s Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo stage!

What. An. Experience. To conduct at the CCP Main Theater! With Musica Chorus and MBPS Chorale. MBPS' conductor, Ms. Orquias, assisted on piano.
What. An. Experience. To conduct at the CCP Main Theater! With Musica Chorus and MBPS Chorale. MBPS’ conductor, Ms. Oquias, assisted on piano.
Sir Mark handing over the certificate to me. It's as if I've graduated all over again! Thank you, thank you.
Ninong Mark handing over the certificate to me. It’s as if I’ve graduated all over again! Thank you, thank you.

The choral groups may have different backgrounds and reasons for participating, some of them have mentioned this during the opening ceremonies. But to me, they are definitely champions by just being a good solid group, thirsting for knowledge that will help improve themselves and their choirs as they sing for God and for their schools, churches, companies, and communities. They’ve worked hard for those five days, which seemed really short, but all did and went well.

For us, trainors, nothing is more gratifying than seeing the choirs take what you’ve taught them to heart. We’ve witnessed this during the culminating activity. And as we look back at the first day we met them, a lot of good had happened. We’re successful enough to shared a piece of the Madz way. And we hope we could share this to more choristers in the generations to come.

Huge thanks to the Madz family for the opportunity to work with these great choristers and for what seemed to be a reunion of sorts among us alumni especially during break times. Likewise to my former workmates at the CCP and the Artist Training Division for being a venue for these choirs to create more wonderful choral music.

*All photos, save for one, are from the CCP, as posted in their Artist Training Division Facebook Page. Follow them on Facebook and be updated with their upcoming projects.

~ Touringkitty

Philippine Launch of P.S. From Aeropostale at UP Town Center

Last Saturday, November 22, was my first time to attend a Nuffnang event, and it had to be in faraway UP Town Center!

Ha, the UP Diliman grad from Pasay talked as if commuting there is something she did not do for about eight years or so. But it was worth the trip, despite the rain as my daugher and I worked our way home.

But why would I miss this event, when it had all these in one day: foodfab, and fun!

Event: Philippine Launch of P.S. from Aeropostale
Venue: UP Town Center Amphitheater
Time: 3-ish in the afternoon

Psfromaeroph 1
This greeted us as we are about to enter. Skies slowly turning grey, and it went a heavy downpour later in the afternoon.
Photowall fun! Top: Disney Frozen T-shirt. Shorts: Terranova. Pardon the pink sparkly shoes; I was not able to bring another because I changed her clothes already!
Photowall fun! Top: Disney Frozen T-shirt. Shorts: Terranova. Pardon the pink sparkly shoes; I was not able to bring another because I changed her clothes already!

Oh, yes, food. Bizu prepared some snacks and hors d’oeuvre and servers are just going all over to offer all sorts of snacks and sweets, to my daughter’s delight!

Psfromaeroph 3
Churros!
Eenie meenie miney macarons!
Eenie meenie miney macarons!

And for some fun, booths with games, activities, and a big do-it-yourself mural, were all around!

psfromaeroph 5
Booths with food and games.
They were creating this mural on the spot! Live drawing happening.
They were creating this mural on the spot! Live drawing happening.
Which the kids got to colour afterwards. Here's my little one doing her own thing.
Which the kids got to colour afterwards. Here’s my little one doing her own thing.

Another highlight was this: Kid DJs, D+Cash got us all alive and moving while waiting for the main event!

Booths with food and games.
I have cool nephews. Yup!
And here's my daughter dancing to her Kuya DJs' beats!
And here’s my daughter dancing to her Kuya DJs’ beats!

But, the main event, was this: fab, indeed!

Joyce Pring hosted the fashion show.
Joyce Pring hosted the fashion show.

It was my first time to ever watch a fashion show, and I am right in front of the action! Here is P.S. from Aeropostale’s line of functional clothes for children and teens with sizes 4-14. Now available in the Philippines!

CIMG0222
The bibo kids who captured us from the beginning of the show!
CIMG0223
Kids’ line.
CIMG0198
Pre-teen and teens’ line.
CIMG0200
Catwalk.

psfromaeroph 10

CIMG0247
Finale!

Such a cool way to launch these cool clothes, right? Thank you, Nuffnang, for the invitation. Until the next!

PS from Aeropostale is available on the following Aeropostale stores: SM Megamall, Robinsons Manila Midtown Wing Central Square Bonifacio High Street and at the 2/F of UP Town Center.

 

~ Touringkitty

Touringkittyps: Five ways to celebrate World Choral Day

Happy World Choral Day!

Music in indeed the universal language. And the Philippines is very blessed to have a musical culture, especially a choral-singing culture where there are just so many choral groups already–in the churches, in schools, in offices, both private and public, and in communities. Our choral groups are among the most known in the world. They share God’s gift of music to different parts of the world, participating in choral festivals and winning international competitions. Our choral directors are sought-after clinicians and adjudicators both locally and internationally. Even our own choral music is popular, and our composers are commissioned by other world-renowned choral groups to create new music for them.

And what better way to celebrate choral music than through this annual event called World Choral Day.

World Choral Day this year will be celebrated on December 7th.
World Choral Day this year will be celebrated on December 7th.

The International Day of Choral Singing is an international choral event to extol the values of solidarity, peace and understanding. This is an initiative of respected conductor and composer, Alberto Grau from Venezuela, which started in 1990.

So, whether you are a chorister, a choral aficionado, or someone who likes music, here are five ways to celebrate this chorally wonderful day:

1. Pop in any choral music CD to start up your day. Or go to the internet and get to know a new choir through their video performances. Or hear Mass, and you’ll surely be blessed and delighted to hear church music sung, most probably by choirs.

2. Attend a choral concert. There is nothing like watching a live choral concert. You may check out Kumpas: The Philippine Choral Community Newsletter, a project of the Philippine Choral Directors Association for a rundown of upcoming concerts.

The PCDA will have its own World Choral Day celebration on December 7th in Cavite.

PCDA Celebrates World Choral Day!
PCDA celebrates World Choral Day!

 

3. If you a choral director or chorister and you will have a choral concert anytime this month, register your event as part of the World Choral Day. Visit http://www.worldchoralday.org/events/subscription and be part of the celebrations. Oh, and make sure to include Original Pilipino Music in your repertoire!

For the choral groups having a concert this month, please read the Proclamation written for the World Choral Day. This is always read during the choral concert. Ideally, the audience should have a copy so they could read along. The Proclamation has been translated to 14 languages, and aims to foster world peace and understanding through choral singing. Click this link for the Filipino and Cebuano translations which you can use for your concert. Other languages can be found here.

Here is the reading of the Proclamation in Filipino read three years ago as led by Mr. Ryan Cayabyab, in a Thousand-Voice Concert he spearheaded. The translation was written by PCDA Secretary Joy Nilo.

4. Support our local choral artists by booking a choral group for your next event purchasing original CDs, watching their concerts or sponsoring their fundraising projects, which helps a lot in bringing their music to more audiences.

If you’re a choral director, you should start building your own library of choral works. You can purchase choral compositions and arrangements of our Filipino composers/arrangers or commission them for new works.

5. If you haven’t yet, sing in a choir now! No less than Philippine Madrigal Singers Choirmaster Mark Carpio encourages us to do so in his TedXDiliman talk:

Do you have more ideas? Share with everyone in the comments section.

Don’t forget to like Touringkitty, Kumpas, and World Choral Day Philippines to be updated with the celebrations.

 

The Kumpas Page is powered by yours truly, Touringkitty. I am a member of the PCDA and a volunteer of the organization as Online Content Manager.

 

*Credits go to the Youtube video owners.

 

~ Touringkitty

 

Touringkitty feature: Timelapse video of pregnancy

How did you document your pregnancy?

I swear I cannot remember something really religious to document those nine months. Photos? Maybe once in a while, but not every month.

Then I remembered, I started this blog the month before I gave birth, and have collected notes in a notebook which led to putting them online. So, the Touringkitty blog was officially born July 2010.

Recently, I saw a really cool video of a pregnancy documentation which I thought was cute, sweet, and was produced with lots of hard work and love.

Yes, a timelapse video for a pregnancy documentation! Looks like hard work, eh?

I got permission from the creators of this video, professional musicians Emanuele and Rechelle Frisardi, to post about this on the blog, and here’s a short Q&A with them:

Touringkitty (TK): Thank you for allowing me to share this! May we know what are your respective professions and where are you based?

Rechelle and Emanuele (RE): We are both violinists. Emanuele is a violin teacher in some music schools here in Germany and I’m a freelance violinist and do private teaching as well. We’re based in Saarbrücken, Germany. (Rechelle is a Filipina and we’ve known her because of her cousin who is our choir mat, while Emanuele is Italian but has

TK: Who conceptualised the video? How did you schedule your shoots?

RE: The main idea was Emanuele’s. He’s fond of making timelapse videos so when I told him I wanted a timelapse of my pregnancy, he thought about doing in episodes of what happens during the 9 months. We listed different possible scenes that we could do for the whole video, then during the takes, we improvised some more since we got more ideas. We shot mostly on weekend nights when we’re free and when we’re not tired. It’s actually a lot of work since every time we had to arrange our living room exactly the same as possible from the last video we took, like the position of the pillows, the curtains, the flowers, etc. And then there’s the actual shooting which takes for about 2 hours, depending how difficult the scene is. Since there’s just the 2 of us working on the film, Emanuele (or me) had to run in every shot to move the objects.

TK: It looks like a lot of work for us, but What equipment and software did you use?

RE: The equipments were very simple (amateur level). Emanuele used a Canon DSLR EOS 550D plus a tripod. The softwares were Timelapse Assembler and iMovie for Mac.

Pretty cool, right? They’ve assembled about 2,000 photos for this five minute video.

 

Got more unique ideas? Share how you documented or plan to document your own pregnancy.

 

~ Touringkitty

 

Touringkitty’s Playlist: Three St. Cecilia pieces from three musical periods

November 22 is the Feast Day of St. Cecilia, Patroness of Musicians!

A couple of weeks ago, my daughter discovered more about this saint, along with other Catholic homeschooled children in an All Saints Party of our support group called, ROCKERS (Roman Catholics Keeping Education Real).

Little saints! Two St. Elizabeths of Hungary, St. Cecilia, and St. Gianna all garbed up for the ROCKERS All Saints Party held last November 7.
Little saints! Two St. Elizabeths of Hungary, St. Cecilia, and St. Gianna all garbed up for the ROCKERS All Saints Party held last November 7.

 

More about the party in this post by CBCP.

This was supposedly our peg for the costume, unfortunately, Aria didn’t want the turban (it was a sunny day that day), and we didn’t have sackcloth. I made a “lute,” though, with a shoe box, tissue box, and rubber bands.

St. Cecilia as rendered by Guido Reni. Photo from Wikipedia.
St. Cecilia as rendered by Guido Reni. Photo from Wikipedia.

St. Cecilia was known for “singing her heart to the Lord” during her wedding day, that’s why she was attributed as such.

And  since it was her Feast Day, here are just three of so many music attributed to her, from three musical periods:

Baroque: Handel’s Ode for St. Cecilia
Ode for St. Cecilia’s Day (HWV 76) is a cantata composed by George Frideric Handel in 1739, his setting of the poem by the English poet John Dryden. The main theme of the text is the Pythagorean theory of harmonia mundi, that music was a central force in the Earth’s creation. The premiere was on 22 November 1739 at the Theatre in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London. (Wikipedia)

Romantic: Gounod’s St. Cecilia’s Mass
Composed in 1864, in memoriam of J. Zimmermann.

20th Century: Hymn to St. Cecilia
Hymn to St Cecilia, Op. 27 is a choral piece by Benjamin Britten (1913-1976), a setting of a poem by W. H. Auden written between 1940 and 1942. Auden’s original title was “Three Songs for St. Cecilia’s Day”, and he later published the poem as “Anthem for St. Cecilia’s Day (for Benjamin Britten)”. Incidentally, Britten is born on St. Cecilia’s Feast Day, in 1913.

Add more to the list. Comment below.

Happy Feast Day, St. Cecilia! We pray that you will bless all musicians in the world.

~ Touringkitty