Guitar Recital 2017

Edmonton, Alberta. Photo credit: Leslie Hodgins.

The 2017 classical guitar recital was held during beautiful summer weather on Sunday, May 28 at Jamie Philip’s studio space, just off 124 Street in Edmonton, Alberta.

Jamie Philip’s Studio Space, Edmonton.

The program

The 90-minute classical guitar program consisted of two ensemble groups, solo guitarists, duets, and a singer-guitar duo.

Section 1: two ensemble groups, 7 and 12 people, respectively. (I was in the second group.)

Section 2: solo performers and duets.

Section 3: duo performance by singer Merrill Tanner and classical guitarist Ernst Birss.

Recital program coordinated by Ernst Birss.

Ernst Birss: classical guitarist and guitar teacher

Colibri Duo: Singer Merrill Tanner and classical guitarist Ernst Birss

Edmonton Classical Guitar Society

Articles of Interest (Edmonton Classical Guitar Society)

Shockingly green spring leaves on May 28, 2017.

See also

Music as a Barometer of Your Well-Being

Playing Music: A Full Workout for Your Brain

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Day 29: Today’s Writing Song

In honour of my guitar ensemble performance yesterday, here is Asturias (Leyenda) by Isaac Albeniz played first on violin by David Garrett, then on classical guitar played by John Williams and Ana Lidovic (whose concert I missed when she was in Edmonton in March 2015).

Asturias is a song known well to classical guitarists. Each player has his or her own “feel” and sound, as you can see from the two different players below.

My father learned to play the song by ear from a cassette tape in the 1980s! It took him about two years. I didn’t have much patience in those days and only learned the very beginning.

Having played both violin and guitar, I have the utmost appreciation for how these players perform this complicated piece.

ASTURIAS (LEYENDA) — Isaac Albeniz
Performed by David Garrett (Violin)

ASTURIAS — Performed by John Williams (Guitar)

ASTURIAS — Performed by Ana Lidovic (Guitar)

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Day 28: Today’s Writing Song

I first heard The Unguarded Moment by the Australian band The Church in 1983 (though it came out in 1981 on the debut album). An underappreciated song, it didn’t play often on the radio. When I finally heard it in the car one day while pulling into the driveway, I rolled up the windows on a 30ºC-plus, humid Ontario day with the car parked in baking sunshine, and cranked the bad-quality radio.

Thankfully, I knew the name of the band and song, but it took me over two and a half decades to track down. I found this ancient video on YouTube. The original upload was deleted, but this video (that I just found) seems to be the same version of the song that I saw many years ago. We’ve come a long way with technology, so don’t be too hard on the quality. This song means a lot to me. I particularly like the vocal harmony–and the accent, of course!

When The Unguarded Moment became available on iTunes, I bought it. There is no agony greater than the need for a song you can’t find!


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Day 27: Today’s Writing Song

Throwback to the 1980s. I love these songs!


Uploaded by Canal de Cziczeko, YouTube

There is a video version (below), but the ending of the vocals is cut off, along with the great drum section from after 4:00 to about 4:40.

“The Payolas (or Payola$) were part of Vancouver’s new wave of bands and active in the Canadian music scene for a decade from the late 1970s, recording several albums and singles that were Canadian chart hits. They disbanded in 1988, but reformed again from 2003 to 2008, issuing a new EP in 2007″ (source: Wikipedia).

“The band also played as The Payola$, Paul Hyde and the Payolas, and Rock and Hyde” (source: Wikipedia).

Dirty Water by Rock and Hyde was another great song.

DIRTY WATER — Rock and Hyde

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10 things writers wish that non-writers understood

Stephanie Carmichael pins down some key points about what it means to be a writer.

The last item is intended a little sarcastically, according to Stephanie. “Writing’s not boring”–or I wouldn’t be doing it in my sleep-deprived time–“but it’s not glamorous, either.” It can be excruciatingly difficult, though.

I absolutely do wish a movie of my book would come out. It might heighten public interest with the added element of music, and by providing visuals for the human conflicts and internal pain experienced by the protag. Won’t happen in this lifetime, though, and that’s the point.

Also, asking what our books are about is definitely a bigger question than it seems.

Misprinted Pages


Being a writer is a profession nobody seems to understand. Do you sit around all day in your pajamas? Do you use a fancy pants typewriter? Are you just making elaborate fantasy maps all day?

The answer to all of these is “usually no.”

So what’s the deal? Well … let me clear up a few misconceptions.

Nobody has time to write

We make time. That’s how it happens. Magic, right?

Pretty much all of us have day jobs, social obligations, errands to run, and various other life responsibilities.

Writing the book is the easy part

You heard me. Writing the book is the easy part.

What’s hard is revising it multiple times based on feedback from critique partners and betas, perfecting your query, snagging an agent even after they request a partial or full manuscript, staying motivated / patient while you receive a lot of criticism and rejection or radio silence, getting a book sold…

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Improve Your Writing Skills

MladenR on Writer to Writer has compiled the following elements for writing:

Writer to Writer

Since I just finished my sixth semester at college, today, and have one more year until I graduate, I’m in quite a celebratory mood so I decided to make this post as helpful as possible. I collected 8 tips that will help you improve your writing skills. It’s eight things you can practice that will improve your story.

This is a post for beginners – every established author already knows it but I selected a few things we should pay attention to.

I have to credit my English teacher who inspired this post in a discussion we had today about the progression of literature through the years.

I’ve written about things you can do to improve your writing skills before, but this is different. I will present some interesting and modern concepts here that you can apply to your writing.

Deconstruction – reconstruction

What I truly love about Neil Gaiman’s novels

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Writing Hub – Books, Writing, Tips & More…

Author Mandy Eve-Barnett attended the same writing retreat at Strawberry Creek from May 18 – 22 that I did. Here is her post-retreat write-up with photos:

Mandy Eve-Barnett's Official Blog


My escape on a writing retreat from 18th – 22nd May was absolutely fabulous. Surrounded by fresh spring greenery, bird song, blue skies, fellow writers and delicious food (cooked for us!) what more could a writer need? The photos above give only a glimpse of my time there. I particularly love the A frame cabin – wouldn’t that be a perfect place to have to write in?

Strawberry Creek Lodge may only be an hour or so away from home but it is a different world away from the normal reality of life. This enabled myself and my fellow writers to indulge in the written word, discuss plots, formats and support each other. With an open or closed door policy we could shut ourselves away to write or be open to conversation and walks through the woods and along the creek. The lodge is a magical place where ‘real’…

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Day 26: Today’s Writing Song

WHO WANTS TO LIVE FOREVER? (Queen) — Breaking Benjamin

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Day 25: Today’s Writing Song

INTO THE WEST (Lord of the Rings) — Annie Lennox

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Writers’ Retreat 2017: Strawberry Creek Lodge

I have returned from Strawberry Creek Writers’ Retreat and, as promised, I’m posting some photographs. This is post #1: the lodge, the woods, and the creek.

Click this link to view my Facebook album from the retreat. The link can be viewed even if you don’t have a Facebook account or aren’t signed in. Select “Not Now” (if not signed in), then click the first photo frame. This will allow you to see each full photo, the comment, and the date, as well as advance with the arrows.

Below are some more photographs. I will post birds and wildlife in a separate blog article.

Photos are my own, taken May 18 – 22, 2017.

© 2017 Eva Blaskovic
Camera: Huawei Nova Plus 16M Smartphone

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