05 July 2007

Wordless Wednesday explained, and thanks, Hedwig

First of all...
Hedwig approves!

How many mistakes did I make while I knit these? I imagine every single one. Let's see. I never used DPNs before, so I had to convince myself that it was 2 socks001Hedwig and sockspossible.
I had to learn to hold them without losing every stitch, and without losing a needle. I had to perfect my picking-up-dropped-stitches skills, and develop trust-the-pattern skills when the heel-turn directions looked like hogswallop. I had to get past my fear of
SSK, a stitch I have executed with great sloppiness in past projects. Let's not mention kitchener. Let's mention the newfound ability to "read" the sock well enough to tink and fix gruesome errors - like picking up gusset stitches so badly that the seam looked like a keloid. The biggest mistake I'd been making all along, though, was believing I could not knit socks. Not only can I knit socks, but I love knitting socks! To all of you who sent me encouraging owls - THANK YOU! Even Hedwig is happy.

The picture I posted yesterday is a musical instrument called a theremin. If you've ever heard "Good Vibrations," you know what a theramin sounds like. Last Friday, John and I went to a concert at the IMAC in Huntington: "An evening with Herb Deutsch and friends: a 75th birthday retrospective and celebration of the Moog Synthesizer." Herb Deutch collaborated with Robert Moog to create the famous electronic instrument, and his performance of "Jazz in the garden" in 1965 was the Moog's first public performance.

The concert featured Deutsch, NAIL and a theremin artist who performed a duet with piano, "2 songs without words." It didn't need words - it was such a flowing, sensitive, melodic piece, with the theremin playing such a delicate melody. I always wanted to have a theremin and to learn to play it. (This would not be such a weirdo desire were I in Japan.) The hand gestures that control the sound are a delicate dance in the air - essentially, the theremin player is playing air. It truly is an amazing instrument, one of my favorites.

Another of the pieces played was another composition by Deutsch, "Dreamscapes for MIDI and primitive instruments." The MIDI (pre-programmed) played swirling melodies and sounds, Deutsch played shofar, rainstick, Peruvian ocarina, and didgeridoo, and the arc of music from ancient times forward melded into pure beauty.

(When I studied music at Hofstra in the late sixties, I took four courses with Professor Deutsch, and I got to see The Room that contained one of the first Moog synthesizers. I was, at the time, not interested in the Moog - in fact, the best memory I have of those years was writing a paper about the hurdygurdy. )


12 comments:

KnitNana said...

Ah, the Moog. And "Switched On Bach!"
(((hugs)))

amy said...

Congratulations on the socks! What a great accomplishment, to feel like you really understand socks. Enjoy them!

Khadijha Caitlin said...

Thats so great! I love unusual instruments too! My great grandfather played the dulcimer.
I'm also quite fond of the Glass Harmonica - anything thats rumored to drive people mad is right up my alley!
In never knew what that sound was on that Beach Boys song - thanks for sharing....thats really cool!

Khadijha Caitlin said...

Congrats on the socks!!!!!Your Hedwig is awesome too!

Bridget said...

Hedwig does look quite pleased with your sock efforts.

Oh dear the theremin and the didgeridoo ... for reasons unknown, I always used to confuse them ...

Jennifer said...

Congrats on your first socks! They look great.

Bells said...

Yay Melanie! Well done. I'm thrilled you finished your first socks. I knew you could do it!

Dorothy said...

Your socks turned out lovely. I'm still waiting for Paula to knit me a pair. I gave up on handling DPNs long ago.

Rose Red said...

Yay for finishing the socks - and for getting the sock love - handknit socks rock!

pixie girl said...

Brava on the lovely socks - I adore your Hedwig! Thanks for the musical info - so interesting - I love learning stuff like that :)!
:)

Becky said...

Yeah! for first socks. :) They are lovely.

Switched on Back was one of my all-time favorites!

Paula said...

I think you did a fantastic job on your first socks!
The first socks I knit looked like I was making them for the Madagascar Aye-aye!