SOAP BOX PREAMBLE from Margot: The two most important sources of wonder and inspiration in my life are the natural world and music. With a degree in wildlife biology, a day job as a zoo veterinary technician, and the drive to be outside discovering all I can about natural systems, I have long been an advocate for treading lightly upon the earth and keeping the balance of nature intact. For me, music as a form of expression can celebrate life, mimic the sounds and rhythms that occur naturally, convey emotions and images, teach about distant lands and cultures; the list is as long as the possible combination of sounds one can imagine. Sharing harmonious sounds can bind people together for common passions--the only way we can preserve habitats, reduce our exploitation of non-renewable resources, keep our bodies and minds healthier is to work TOGETHER. All of us. Find common likes and interests, share in the excitement of discovery, foster positive and non-exploitive ways to get by. Following are a number of links that are personally important to me. Some are musical groups that I am either in or have played with, some are organizations that I and my company personally contribute to, and others are just things that I think are neat and want to share. I hope you enjoy them; I would love to hear from you with comments, reactions, and any links you might want to share with me!
Playing for Change: www.playingforchange.com and www.playingforchange.org --bringing Peace through Music and building musical education centers in remote corners of the third world. If you haven't heard of this project yet, educate yourself now. What started as a quirky musical project is rapidly becoming a widespread movement of goodwill and peacekeeping.
Kasese Wildlife Awareness Conservation Organization--Asaba Mukobi, an Oregon Zoo animal care staff member, created the Kasese Wildlife Conservation Awareness Organization in 2002. This organization, based in Mukobiís home town of Kasese, Uganda, was created to educate school children and communities about the many different species that make up the wildlife inhabiting nearby Queen Elizabeth Park. Funding will allow this project to increase the number of schools and communities reached.
MARGOT'S MUSICAL MUSINGS
Pacific Crest Wind Symphony --Portland's premier wind ensemble and well-kept secret that is rapidly leaking around the country. Pacific Crest is a 41-piece symphonic band led by the excellent conducting talents of Dr. Edward Higgins. We not only perform a wide array of top quality classical band music several times per year around the Portland area, we also give the next generation of classical musicians a boost by performing benefit concerts to raise money for local school music programs and providing music students with free tickets to regular concerts.
Reynolds Audio--MySpace page for John Vernon Reynolds, musician and sound man extraordinaire--Some great new recordings from the Cool Blue Studio.
Dead Beetles--Though the band is no longer performing under this name, the music we created will be around a long time and is worth checking out!
3 Leg Torso--An eclectic synthesis of chamber music, tango, klezmer, latin and world music. Has done several joint performances with Pacific Crest Wind Symphony (see above) and was one instrumental (pun intended) component in the expansion of this author's musical pursuits.
My Fellow Traveller--Several former Dead Beetles (some regulars, some like me occasional and grateful guests), plus a few more, comprise this relatively new musical powerhouse. Led by the exceptionally talented and lovely George Turner, these guys are well worth the listen and should be watched closely for what may be coming next.
James Faretheewell--"The Poet Laureate of Bizaroville" ! ! Unless you are a rattlesnake or a stinging scorpian, you probably never heard of where James Faretheewell comes from but as soon as he was big enough to sling a guitar over his shoulder and thumb down a semi, he was on his way to Big D (Dallas, Texas) where he cut his musical teeth on Texas road house rock, hard rock, punk rock and avant gard performance art-rock. Then years in Austin, Amsterdam, The Great Northwest, influences from far and near and an evolution into poetic, passionate, theactrical acoustic performance has matured James Faretheewell into an engaging, thought-provoking entertainer. James, now based in Portland Oregon, is currently performing, recording and touring.
Vivid Curve--Not your typical "Rock 'n 'Roll" Band! These guys blend unbelievable didgeridoo grooves with tight percussion, snappy guitar and great vocals to get you on the dance floor and onto a higher plane. Don't take 'em sitting down!
OTHER FUN SITES
ODDMUSIC.COM--A wonderful gallery of sights and sounds of unheard-of crazy and wacky musical instruments. Note the HAPI Drum at the top of the list! A wish list for the Pearl Mountain inventory and inspiration to create new sources of new sounds.
Science Tattoo Emporium--a must-see for science geeks and tattoo enthusiasts alike. No anchors or hearts inscribed with 'Mother' here!
www.Trilobites.info --Fossilized remains of some of the world's coolest creepy-crawlies (in my opinion). An incredibly comprehensive guide with amazing pictures
Chaos Theory and Fractals--A relatively new branch of science, a new dimension of infinity, a new way of looking at just about anything. This site is a great introduction and overview with links that will take you as far down this rabbit hole as you want to go
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