M is for Music

Music has an amazing influence on us. I have friends whose babies are soothed by the same songs they recall listening to while pregnant. Last Friday we saw The Be Good Tanyas live in downtown Vancouver at the CBC musical nooner, it was sunny, it was really hot, and there were lots of people gathered.

Among the most enthusiastic and grooving ones was a crowd of kids right in front of the stage. Up and down they jumped, running after each other, grabbing the shy ones by the hand, dancing in circles wearing summer hats and lively colours. Kids instinctively shake to the beats. Witnessing this reminded me of how magically music brings people together and loosen our stiff necks. For those living in Vancouver, music is a huge part of our summer hyper of living outside. Tonight, we’re venturing with Georgia to the Folk Festival and the weekend also holds a great celebration: Nicky and Gabe’s wedding! An incredible pair of humans that live this life with equal parts of passion and justice. I am thrilled to join you in this day, rooted in commitment and respect. And this is the incredible picture book they gifted to our bebe:

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M is for Music (2003) is written by Kathleen Krull and illustrated with collage and paint by Stacy Innerst. This book brings a musical choice of words to the alphabet. Every page is enriched by instruments, genres, artists, and qualities of sound. It goes like this:

I is for interesting instrument (interval, intonation, improvisation)

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The Alphabet is followed by Musical Notes from A to Z that include an explanation/insight on the words. The large print with deep colours and shades attract the eyes of our little one- who is two months old just today. I will finish this one up with a video from L’Orchestre d’Hommes-Orchestres, We saw their Tom Waits concert at the Cultch from the front row while I was pregnant. One of the most memorable musical experiences of all times. Note: extremely talented performers and interesting instruments at play.

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Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

Here’s a personal fact you might be really surprised to hear… I read my first Dr. Seuss book when I was 18 years old. At the time I was in NY with my stepdad, Gene Johnson (aka Koochie), recently graduated and on my way into university, with 8 months in between. In the process of re-arranging the ‘bodega’ (the storage room) Koochie came across an old edition of Oh, the Places You’ll Go! (1990) we sat and read it together. I can’t think of a better time in life for that gift. So now you must be wondering if I’ve drifted into my own children’s books randomly… of course not, my version of the book is back home in Brasil. Georgia’s Oh, the Places You’ll Go! was a gift from our friends, Dan, Jenn, Morgan, and little Audrey. It is a beautiful party edition with a sparkly cover. This morning, as the sun is daring not to shine, I laid down and read this joyful and honest tale of what life entails. Georgia stared at all the colours and shapes and I felt goosebumps, page after page… and here’s a video of Oh, the Places You’ll Go! told at Burning Man 2011:

ISBN 10: 0679805273 and ISBN 13: 978-0679805274