Tuesday 28 December 2010

Geographical Fugue .. heard of it?

A quick geographical tour of the world, some music, a visit to Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London, a fun idea to read with children, or read aloud to others, a text to share as you chant it out ... an education for us all ....

Joanne - for you - these are the corn/straw decorations I used on my mother’s tree – they’re very pretty, but quite delicate ... Joanne is the Queen of Whole Latte Life and loves porches, doorways and the coffee cup rating system ....!

Poetry enunciated travels the world ....
Trinidad .....a .....

And the big Mississippi
and the town Honolulu
and the lake Titicaca
the *Popocatepetl is not in Canada.
rather in Mexico, Mexico, Mexico!
Canada, Malaga, Rimini, Brindisi
Canada, Malaga, Rimini, Brindisi
Yes, Tibet, Tibet, Tibet, Tibet,
Nagasaki! Yokohama!
Nagasaki! Yokohama!

(*Pronounced POPPO-CAT-A-PET-AL)
Lake Titicaca from the Bolivian side (above)

As I read the words I got drawn into the rhythm of the spoken chorus and thought what a wonderful piece to read to others, who perhaps love to be read to, for grandparents to share with grandchildren ... and then to open an atlas or a globe to point out the places ... to find out more about each one ...

Had you heard of the Fugue? ... I found out about it via Keith Davis, who has a passion for public speaking and had paid a visit to London to look round Shakespeare’s reconstructed Globe Theatre – his excellent post is here!

The second Globe, from Hollar's 1638 Long View of Southwark

While Cordelia Ditton, from a theatre background , loves training others to enunciate and articulate clearly, had commented on Keith’s post .... I remember as an early teen being sent off for diction lessons ... now I can understand - - - then well ....?!

It was Dilly’s rendition of the fugue above that sent me off to find out more – when the thought struck .. that it was the kind of thing that would stimulate my mother, and certainly my uncle would have been very interested as he was extremely musical.

Then I thought about the educational aspect – and how many of us know where most of these places are, or anything about them ... what do they produce, which country are they in, which sea, which are capitals, what are the capitals of the other places, which is the highest .... etc etc

The Tibetan yak is an integral part of life in Tibet

From there to the poetic aspects, the musical side of things, let alone the exercise for the vocal chords as we say the words – slowly to start with .. but the whole spoken chorus takes on a different cadence when it is performed: as the Womens’ Chorus of Dallas show us.

The composer, Ernst Toch (1997 – 1964) was prominent in Berlin, going into exile in the 1930s to Paris, London and on to New York, before settling in California, where he composed classical music and film scores.

The biography of this avant-garde composer from the pre-Nazi era, makes an interesting read ... born in Vienna to the family of a humble Jewish leather dealer, when that city in the 19thC was at its cultural zenith; he studied philosophy at the University in Vienna, medicine at Heidelberg, then music at the Hoch Conservatory in Frankfurt, majoring in the piano ... before leaving for happier shores.

Before I leave music .. Keith has also posted a TED talk called “Look for the Shining Eyes” – a moving title don’t you think? – Benjamin Zander is one amazingly inspiring musician .. with a fantastic story to tell ... Keith’s description ... “I guarantee that if you watch the first minute ... you’ll watch to the end, and this is one ending you won’t want to miss”.

Something different to do with the family... all of us with relatives – old or young, a puzzle or two, a jig-saw of information .. something to read, something to listen to, something to watch .. a little bit of history, of music, of acting, of education, of the globe ... so many points to discuss ... a Geographical Fugue woven into a web of thoughts!

Happy New Year and enjoy .... Here comes 2011 bounding along .. to this cascade of authors, poets, artists, musicians, educators, bloggers, all speakers, photographers and readers ... Happy Inspirational Year ahead to us all.
For Teresa, Linda, Soul Dipper – Amy, Susanne, gloW, Roland and every one ... a close-up of the “Old Boy” – Hardwick - an inherited special agent, brought to this planet to look after his appointed earthlings ... Mr Tasker (when he was in my mother’s Care Home), and now my mother ...

Dear Mr Postman – the freezing cold and snow have gone; the birds and the squirrels have been fed; the damp has returned .. our earliest snows in November and the coldest December for 100 years have nearly gone ... we celebrated quietly .. we pray for a very happy, successful, blessed New Year for you and yours.

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories


Will Burke said...

I can see how you got caught-up in the rhythm. Any educational tool is a good thing!

Karen Lange said...

As always, wonderful info, Hilary! I have heard of Fugue but had forgotten. Thanks for jogging my memory, and for all the other lovely tidbits and links you share. So glad we met through blogging.
Happy New Year to you and your family,
Karen :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Will .. I know - one I'd worked it out .. it is such fun .. and your little one will enjoy it in a few years?! Cheers and good to see you - Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Karen .. thanks so much. I hadn't heard of the Geographical Fugue .. but forever will know about it!! I loved adding in all the links etc - just seemed to all tie in together and bring a cheery post for New Year to the world!!

I can't believe how wonderful everyone is in the blogging world - really cheers my heart .. you too have a wonderful New Year's Eve and happiness and success in 2011 - Hilary

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

I haven’t heard of this Geographical Fugue, but enjoyed reading it.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Jane .. how lovely seeing you here .. nor me .. but I enjoyed the rat-a-tat of the rhythm .. cheers Hilary

Keith Davis said...

Hi Hilary
Loved the "Geographical Fugue" - especially the two versions.

Good to see that someone is blogging over the holiday.

Me? Just a few comments here and there and thinking of ideas for my next post.

Many thanks for mentioning a couple of my poste - much appreciated.

Have a fantastic New Year celebration and don't forget... "all things in moderation." LOL

Anonymous said...

Hi Hilary! I so enjoy reading your posts. I learn so many new, interesting things about the world.

The corn/straw decorations are all so pretty. It must take someone with a lot of patience to make the delicate ornaments.

I hadn't heard of the Geographical Fugue before. Now I've learned something new.

Hilary, I hope that 2011 is all that you hope it will be!


I really enjoyed this, a pleasure to read.


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Keith .. thank you! Glad you listened to both Dilly's rendition and to the Dallas Choir .. really fun I thought.

A great many people are blogging - and I'm already trying to keep up!

Good to know you're thinking re posts for next year .. it's a pleasure to mention yours - they're very enjoyable and informative.

You too - enjoy the rest of the break .. and Happy New Year and here's to a very successful 2011. Cheers Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Suzanne .. thank you, thank you - wonderful to receive such a comment!!

Aren't the corn/straw decorations fun .. I guess they must be Chinese .. I found them in the Samaritans shop .. and got them to open up for me!! So I could buy them - then and there!! Then I went back the next week & said how pleased we were with them.

I just love the concept of the Geographical Fugue .. and now you know too!

You too Susanne .. have a fun filled end of 2010 and a fulfilling 2011 ..cheers Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Yvonne .. delighted to hear you enjoyed the post .. many thanks -

Have a wonderful 2011 .. Hilary

Talli Roland said...

I've never heard of the Fugue, but then again, in Canada we didn't have diction lessons, either! I'd love to go for a few now, for fun!

Hope you had a fantastic Christmas and happy holidays!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Talli .. nor had I! Not sure why I was sent and it's too late now to ask .. I guess I spoke too quickly?! I'm now complemented on my speaking voice .. but I definitely need some extra practise, especially in public - which we all need at some stage in our writing careers.

Yes I had a wonderful peaceful time - while you had fun in London .. it sounded a magical day .. you too enjoy the rest of your time - and a very happy 2011 .. with The Hating Game .... Hilary

Helen Ginger said...

Wow, you covered so much stuff. And all of it interesting. Thanks.

Hope your Christmas was wonderful and filled with family and love.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Helen .. well each part seemed to connect in .. and I'm just so glad it make senses and is interesting!

I had a very peaceful time .. and relaxed .. compared to many full -scale family Christmas parties .. Enjoy this week and the build up to a New Year .. Hilary

N. R. Williams said...

You are a very inquisitive lady. Interesting post.
N. R. Williams, fantasy author

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Nancy .. well - I enjoy finding things out!!! As long as you enjoyed the post ... which I think you did?!

Enjoy the rest of 2010 .. cheers Hilary

Anonymous said...

What a lovely idea Happy New Year :O)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Madeleine .. glad you liked the thought .. I just feel so many could benefit if we took the time and actually took into account the need of others ..

So glad you can see that - you too have a lovely last few days of 2010 and a happy 2011 - cheers Hilary

Jannie Funster said...

Hardwick! You look so festive. Did you get lots of steak and kidney treats.

I had NOT heard of the Fugue. But Bach's Toccata & Fugue in Dm remains one of my favorite soul-touching pieces EVER. Could listen again and again, and (almost) never tire of it. I am in love with Handel's Water Music too.

Well, off to Dallas now to join the choir...


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Jannie .. he does look pretty festive with his hat on .. not sure about the steak and kidney treats .. but he's looking good and had lots of sleep!

I hope you and Kelly might enjoy the chorus together .. and does Kelly know where all those places are?!

I agree Bach's Toccata and Fugue and Handel's Water Music are wonderful pieces to listen to ..

Oh - yes of course - Dallas down the road .. hope you've got your speaking boots on .. some chanting and timing perfection too ..

Enjoy the next few days and going to the DIY store for more lolling on benches - they might give you a glass of champers to pay you to entertain?! Cheers Hils xoxoxo

Chase March said...

Hi Hilary,

I often use a poem in my classroom to help the kids learn about Canadian geography.

I use "In Kamloops" from Dennis Lee's Alligator Pie.

It is a great poem to read for fun. It is also a great exercise to have the kids find all of the places listed in the poem on a map worksheet. It gives them practice using an atlas too.

This post reminded me of that lesson. Perhaps I could do something similar with the poem you posted too.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Chase .. interesting ..and I've asked if you could post it across - thanks - I tried to find the words but couldn't seem to.

Yes - that's what I was thinking with this poem .. the one thing that's always bugged me .. is how little people know about geographical places .. and it's always fascinated me!

It's fun - but a big learning tool at the same time for the kids ..

Thanks for coming by - enjoy the rest of 2010 .. Hilary

LTM said...

Hi, Hilary! What a fun post! I love the poetry, and scrolling down, I esp. love the silver fish in your swan post. Have a wonderful new year~

:o) <3

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Leigh .. thanks for following! and so pleased you obviously enjoyed the posts plural! The swan is amazing .. such detail. I have printed out the post to send to Barbara, who sent me the postcard that inspired me.

Great to see you .. and I'm sure you and your Mom (as you'd say it!) .. will get to write your book this coming year .. cheers to 2011 - Hilary

Chase March said...

Hi Hilary,

Here's the poem

"In Kamloops" by Dennis Lee

In Kamloops
I’ll eat your boots.

In the Gatineaus
I’ll eat your toes.

In Napanee
I’ll eat your knee.

In Winnipeg
I’ll eat your leg.

In Charlottetown
I’ll eat your gown.

In Crysler’s Farm
I’ll eat your arm.

In Aklavik
I’ll eat your neck.

In Red Deer
I’ll eat your ear.

In Trois Rivières
I’ll eat your hair.

In Kitimat
I’ll eat your hat.

And I’ll eat your nose
And I’ll eat your toes
In Medicine Hat and
Moose Jaw.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Chase .. thanks so much .. some of the names I recollect .. especially Kamloops when I went over the Rockies ..

That's great - one day I may well use the poem and/or read it out to people who enjoy being read to. Fun poem and story with some lovely names ..

Cheers - You're a star!! Hilary

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Lovely pics Hilary...I remember having straw ornaments when I was a little girl in England. I'm glad the weather has warmed up. We're having some odd weather now. It's very foggy because of the snow cover and the air temperature is above freezing.

Have a safe and Happy New Years...

Mason Canyon said...

I always enjoy so much when I stop by here. Enjoyed this post. Hope you and your Mom had a wonderful Christmas. Wishing you a joyous and Happy New Year. May 2011 bring happiness and good health.

Thoughts in Progress

Rosaria Williams said...

What a fantastic post, so full of interesting facts. Thanks for introducing me to the Geographical Fugue, a wonderful poem and activity too.

p.s. thanks for your visit!

Anonymous said...


I love the idea of all these exotic places, but I'm hopeless when it comes to music! Give me a Tibetan yak any day. Thanks for the fun.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sharon .. thank you - I remember corn dollies ... but don't remember them as ornaments - except I've just popped over to Wiki and there they are!

Yes - thank goodness the weather is warmer and easier to travel in. And the States looks like it's having its fair share of odd weather conditions now .. and we had a thick mist yesterday .. very gloomy!

Let's cheer ourselves up as we 'creep' towards the New Year - you too have an enjoyable evening as 2011 comes in. - Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Mason .. thank you! It was fun to do the linking and tie everything in. Mum and I are fine .. very quiet .. and I too hope and wish for a successful 2011 with lots of happiness and good health abounding!

Have a lovely evening tomorrow - is it?! Cheers Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Rosaria - thank you .. and glad you think the Fugue is fun, entertaining and possibly an activity - certainly a talking point!

Pleasure popping over and seeing your town as the post - it always interests me .. Happy New Year - Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Amy .. you sound like me .. hopeless with music, but love international places .. and the yaks .. well they just added another little snippet. Delighted that you enjoyed the visit - always good to see you .. enjoy the run up to the New Year .. Hilary

T. Powell Coltrin said...

Dear Hilary, You are a delight. I get such great information from you. My eyes are glued to the screen reading your posts.

Hardwick is adorable and is (made into) a great character.

May you have the absolute best new year of your life--yet. May you continue to make good from the negative. May you continue to enjoy writing your wonderful posts.

Happy New Year!


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Dear Teresa .. gosh - many thanks - that's a great comment to have .. I'm honoured and delighted I entertain you.

Hardwick is totally special as you say .. and yes - he's in my little brain waiting for energy .. to come out and tell his stories.

Thank you so much .. I'd love us all to have the best year possible: you've got a new beginning ... socialising?! New challenges with a great deal of satisfaction for you ahead .. I'm sure.

The blog is here to stay .. with so much support, I definitely couldn't walk away!! So no worries there ..

You too - Have a great evening tomorrow and a very happy 2011 ..

Cheers from Hardwick and I! Hilary

Ella said...

I love the educational, fun aspect!
I love the idea of a web of thoughts~
Happy New Year to you n' yours, I hope 2011 is a great year for you!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Ella .. delighted to hear this - thank you .. and the web of thoughts - those connective musings.

You too have a wonderful 2011 and much happiness with your family and friends .. cheers Hilary

TALON said...

Happy New Year, Hilary! Hope 2011 is a blessed one for you and your mother and your family and friends.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Talon .. thank you - you too .. have a lovely time tonight .. and all the happiness and success you could wish for with lots of blessings in 2011 - Hilary

Unknown said...

Wow, I learn so many different things from you. There are many Popocatepetl streets in Mexico and it took me a long time to be able to pronounce it.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Clarissa .. thank you! .. it's fun putting the posts together ..

And now I've learnt something from you - many Popocatepetl streets in Mexico .. I guess there must be, but it certainly hadn't occurred to me! Mexico .. must be beautiful and has so much history ..

Language and pronunciation .. another story altogether ..

Happy New Year .. cheers Hilary

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year From Southern California.

Don't forget to watch the 122nd Rose Parade on New Year's Day coming from Pasadena, California...only 30 miles from The Old Geezer's home :-)

No matter what looms ahead, if you can eat today, enjoy today, mix good cheer with friends today enjoy it and bless God for it. ~Henry Ward Beecher

May God Bless and Protect You in the Year to Come. ~Ron

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Old Geezer .. you're up late?! Happy New Year .. I expect I'll catch the parade on YouTube ..

As you say no matter what looms ahead .. we can take the positive and be happy with life.

Thank you .. my thoughts to you and Mrs G .. have a very good and happy New Year together, and all health and happiness to you and the family .. Hilary

Short Poems said...

I really enjoyed your beautiful post Hilary, a pleasure to read.
Happy New Year
Marinela x

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Marinela - Happy New Year! Thank you - delighted you enjoyed it ..

You too - have a wonderful year ahead .. and many hugs!! Cheers Hilary

... Paige said...

Happy New Year, Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Paige .. thank you - you too and your family .. all the best for 2011 - Hilary

Chris Edgar said...

Those ornaments look like they took some effort -- you actually wove all that straw together by hand? After lifting the bales of straw from the barn into your house? :) Okay, I'm not sure whether you did that, but I'd be interested to hear how they came about!

Julie Musil said...

You have the coolest information on this blog! And I loved the photos.

Happy new year to you!

Soul Dipper said...

I love the unpredictability of your subject matter, Hilary, and all the interesting facts that come out of each topic.

I enjoyed the Fugue offered by Chase March - being a fellow Canadian.

Thanks for mentioning and linking my blog, Hilary. You have such a giving heart.

Many blessings to your mom, dear well loved Hardwick and you. I hope you have many delightful fugues to experience in 2011.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Chris .. you're right -I've been hanging on to the straw since Harvest time .. and since then have spent hours and hours twiddling with them to make sure I had sufficient ornaments to hang from the tree & then had to cover all my boo-boos with glitter!!

Thanks - fortunately I didn't. Your thought about a little more information sounds good - later in the year, I'll do a post.

Nice to see your comment on JD's blog .. it's interesting how the ties are there and how JD appreciates your coaching skills (both for business and for life). Good to see you here too - a very Happy New Year - Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Thank you Julie .. delighted you enjoyed the snippets of information and the photos ..

Have a fantastic year ahead .. cheers Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Amy .. it is rather unpredictable isn't it?! But it amuses me and you .. everyone who comes by to read is so important .. all commenters are wonderful!

I just thought the Fugue was such fun, and when Chase mentioned the Kamloops poem .. I had to ask for the words. That part of Canada is amazing and I look forward to coming back sometime and seeing more.

Thanks Amy .. it's a pleasure coming by your blog and seeing what the Guides are advising and hearing your allegorical stories.

Thank you .. we have many blessings and can count ourselves lucky .. Hardwick certainly does!! I love your thoughts .. and I hope we can all share inspirational love in 2011 .. Hilary

Jannie Funster said...



Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Ola feliz 2011!!

Thank you - Portuguese is a language I do not understand ... sorry!

Dear Magno - thank you for your visit .... Hilary Melton-Butcher

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

These were fascinating, Hilary. Thanks for all your support last year, Hilary. It meant a lot!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Jannie .. you too - definitely many happy studio sessions, CD recordings .. and lots of love from your little girl (for now), hubby and BB managiments ..

Happy Days to you too .. Hils

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Joylene .. glad you enjoyed the post .. and it's a pleasure to be around Cluculz Lake .. love the name!!

Cheers and a very happy New Year .. Hilary

Patricia Stoltey said...

This fugue is so much fun. I tried it a couple of times myself before going to the Women's Chorus performance. I loved their rhythm and the chanting in rounds. Thank, Hilary!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Patricia .. how wonderful - you gave it a try and listened to the Dallas Women's Chorus .. it is fun and I am sure would be a good source of amusement for young and old.

So pleased to hear you enjoyed the post and its content .. a pleasure Patricia .. thanks for visiting - Happy New Year .. Hilary

Theresa Milstein said...

That Trinidad piece brings me back. We chanted that in 6th-grade chorus, though I had little idea what I was saying. Where did you find it?

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Theresa .. I hate to say it .. but it's all explained in the post! Sorreeee!!

Just so fascinated me when I found it via Keith, with Dilly saying it out loud in her video .. but I had to find out more .. hence the post!

Then the thought re communication at all levels .. talking, educating, historical etc etc .. fascinating piece of history. Something for your classes?

Good to see you - Happy New Year and many more ahead .. Hilary

Blue Bunny said...

did hardwik loose a little hair on his muzel? tel him not to werry, i be ovir soon wit some pie and appel sider.


Joanne said...

What a bright and happy start to my Sunday, Hilary! I love the straw decorations, they are so intricately beautiful. I'm sure they graced your tree with perfect peace. I find the concept of a fugue fascinating, intertwining different voices, rising and falling, traveling together. I borrow the concept in my music memoir manuscript, weaving together my own voice with that of music and a maternal voice as well.

I'm raising my coffee cup in a toast of goodwill to you in 2011 ... Cheers :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi BB .. you're so right - he duz luvs havings hiz muzel cuddled by my Mama .. butz if you're coming ovir soons with sums pie en appel sider - Hardwick will be so pleazed .. he luvs pie en sider .. den he can sleeps agin wiv a full tummy ...

Cheers en eggcups (hiccups or hiccoughs) to you .. Hardwick ages with much luvs and attenshuns from his mistress ..

Happy New Year and see U soon via the Pond Tube .. xoxoxo Hilree

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Joanne - wonderful to see you .. I love the picture I took of the decorations .. so pleased that you appreciate them too.

I just love the idea of the fugue - sadly my musical ability is not too great .. and the maternal voice is of the daughterly sort!

So I'll join you in raising, fairly soon, a glass of vino to toast in all the goodwill we can achieve and give out in 2011 .. Cheers to you too .. Hilary