Culture



5&1, Part 23: The Calls of the Birds

By Mark Meynell

It is only natural that those of an artistic temperament will be drawn to the natural world. Forms of human creativity are almost bound to be captivated by aspects of divine creativity. Consider the landscapes of the Hudson River School (like those of Frederic Church or Thomas Cole); or the profound attention to nature’s exuberance in Vincent van Gogh or kaleidoscopic shifts in light in Claude Monet; or the human realities in the biblical story as captured by Rembrandt or Giotto. Then, when it comes to words, just a couple of minutes in Gerard Manley Hopkins’s company will awaken us to what we’re constantly surrounded by but too often overlook.

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A Path of Delight: Building the World of The Door on Half-Bald Hill

By Helena Sorensen

[Editor’s note: Our theme for today at North Wind Manor’s Opening Week is story, and this evening the Manor will host a Storytellers’ Night with Helena Sorensen, Andrew Peterson, Jennifer Trafton, Doug McKelvey, A. S. Peterson, and Jonathan Rogers. So here’s a piece from Helena about her journey from a flash of inspiration to a completed story in the writing process for her latest novel, The Door on Half-Bald Hill.]

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The Hutchmoot Podcast: The Striving Artist with Russ Ramsey

By The Rabbit Room

Tonight at the Manor, Russ Ramsey is speaking about the life and work of painter Henry Ossawa Tanner. So, as a companion piece to Kyra’s inspiring meditation from this morning, here is a session from Hutchmoot 2017 where Russ explores the life and work of another artist—Vincent Van Gough.

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The Lost Art of Listening & A Conversation with Sara Groves

By The Rabbit Room

Our theme for today at North Wind Manor’s Opening Week is music. This evening, we’ll be celebrating the gift of music with a special Local Show at the Manor, and on our blog and podcast network, we’re highlighting a few pieces and conversations that engage with some timely questions: How do we listen to music? How have our listening habits changed over time? And what does it mean to become a better listener?

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5&1, Part 22: Over Hill, Over Dale (Shakespeare’s Comedies)

By Mark Meynell

So we come to our third foray into the Bard’s musical legacy, taking the categories used in the First Folio of his plays published just a few years after his death (1623).

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5&1, Part 21: Latin American Fiesta!

By Mark Meynell

How on earth do you pick six compositions to represent an entire continent? Answer: You don’t. Because you can’t. So perhaps this is the first of a few more Latin 5&1s to come. My knowledge of what is out there is patchy, to say the least, but here are a few gems I’ve picked up over the years, with a bit of a geographical spread thrown in.

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The Portal of The Resistance

By Matt Conner

From the beginning, The Resistance has felt like a bit of an oddball in the Rabbit Room Podcast Network. But to be honest, that was always part of the vision.

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5&1, Part 20: It’s All About That Bass

By Mark Meynell

The great jazz bass player Charlie Haden once said this:

The bass, no matter what kind of music you’re playing, it just enhances the sound and makes everything sound more beautiful and full. When the bass stops, the bottom kind of drops out of everything.

—Charlie Haden
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Oh, Freedom: Words & Music for Juneteenth

By Ruth Naomi Floyd

[Editor’s note: For Juneteenth last year, Ruth Naomi Floyd (known by many in the Rabbit Room readership for her amazing Hutchmoot sessions) shared a lovingly curated combination of her own words, two letters from former prisoners of the American slavery system, and her performance of the song “Oh, Freedom.” This story of a freedom “prayed for, hoped for, cried for, moaned for, even fought for” carried an abiding resonance that we wanted to extend to our readership this year, as well. We encourage you to take in these words and melodies slowly and attentively.]

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5&1, Part 19: Rosy-Fingered Dawn (Heliophiles of the World Unite!)

By Mark Meynell

For years as an inveterate night-owl, the dawn has been one of those natural phenomena I mostly appreciate in the hypothetical rather than in experience. But as middle-age has set in, I have found myself waking earlier and unintentionally glimpsing its glories with greater frequency. It’s hard not to be moved, especially if, like the Psalmist’s watchmen, one has found oneself longing for the end of night (Ps 130:5-6). It never palls. No wonder then that composers have been stirred by the first flickers of the sun’s ‘rosy-fingered’ rays (to quote Homer) to capture the ineffable in the audible.

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Terraforming with Propaganda

By The Rabbit Room

Today, Propaganda has released his debut collection of essays and poetry, Terraform, and we highly recommend it to you. For one thing, what a cool concept to guide a collection like this—terraform is a verb, often used in the context of science fiction, which refers to the process of transforming a planet to make it habitable and hospitable to human life. In his book, Propaganda essentially asks, If we already speculate in our fiction about “terraforming” Mars, what’s stopping us from terraforming Earth itself, a place whose habitability is threatened every day?

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5&1, Part 18: Home Thoughts from Abroad (Composers in Exile)

By Mark Meynell

It feels rather apt to be considering Exiles for this playlist, since I’m actually spending the week at the Rabbit Room mothership, North Wind Manor (or should that be motherburrow?). Robert Browning perfectly captured the nostalgia of homesickness with his sonnet, “Home Thoughts from Abroad,” as he finds himself wistfully imagining the exuberance of an English Spring from Italy (and within a few years of writing this, he would move there permanently with his new wife Elizabeth until her death in 1861).

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