Bob is in training for the San Antonio Rock 'n' Roll Marathon in early December. At dawn, Bob was out running around Cave Creek Regional Park. He came back and showered. We were on our way to visit Bob's Aunt and Uncle, but I wanted to meet someone who worked at the park to say "hi" from Dave and Faye Malouf.
We took a short drive to the Visitor Center at the park. I went in and met Ranger Dave. He has worked with Faye and Dave in the past and said he can't wait for them to arrive later in October. (They'll be working there again.)
|Cave Creek Regional Park Visitor Center|
Sally took us to see the early set up of Carefree's "Enchanted Pumpkin Garden." So far none of the beautifully carved pumpkins are out, but we did get to see the playfulness of the artist in what's already set up.
|Free the pumpkins!|
|Pumpkin boxing ring|
|Sculpture in the Carefree's Town Square|
|A pretty fountain area|
|Me and Bob (photo by Aunt Sally)|
|Aunt Sally with Bob|
|Skip and Sally's place in Carefree|
|Lots of quail!|
|These quail are just outside their sliding glass door.|
|I'm glad I didn't scare them away.|
|Stalking their food. LOL.|
|Uncle Skip and Bob fist bumping|
I'm going to preface our museum experience today by saying that I love museums, but don't usually spend two days in one. The last time we went to a museum that we should have spent two days in, was the Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg, Texas. (We only spent one day and we were exhausted!)
Suffice it to say, the MIM in Phoenix also offered a two-day admission. We had four hours total to spend this afternoon. It quickly became obvious that a two-day admission would be the way to go if we were to do this again.
Let me paint a picture for you of how overwhelming this museum is. First off, this museum has five curators who put the collections together.
When you pay your admission, you are given a headset. Each artist or country area has a display of clothes/costumes, instruments, and video(s) with accompanying music. At each "area," your headset plays music or interviews with musicians. As you walk through the museum, your headset picks up the music for that area, so in the space of two minutes, if you're walking from one place to another, you could hear, three or more different types of music. It is a very aural experience!!
|Good to start with a definition of sound|
(They thought of everything.)
The MIM is laid out geographically (on the upper level). There are also rooms on the lower level: Target Gallery (for special exhibitions), Orientation Gallery (with a short orientation video), Artist Gallery (world-renowned musicians and musical innovators, i.e, Santana, Elvis Presley, Kronos Quartet, etc.), Mechanical Music Gallery (instruments that play on their own), Conservation Lab (where instruments are restored and preserved), and Experience Gallery (where you can play the instruments).
After lunch, we started on the first floor in the Orientation Gallery. We watched the slideshow and then gazed in wonder at the guitar room, and also a room with more obscure instruments.
|Guitars, lutes, lyres|
|Lyre guitar (look at that face)|
(electric Spanish guitar)
The octobasse was intended not to double orchestral basses, but to play long sustained tones under them. The composer Berlioz wrote that "any festival orchestra with over 150 players ought to have at least three of them."
Below is the Paigu (goblet drum), the oldest object in MIM's collection, dating to the Neolithic period; a drumhead would have been tied to the hooks around the rim. This drum was used by the Yangshao people, Shaanxi Province, China, circa 4,000 BCE.
|Paigu (goblet drum)|
MIM Artist Gallery highlights:
|Chinese ceremonial drum|
|Video of Beijing Olympics opening ceremony|
|Bob listening to Dick Dale surf music|
|I love Carlos Santana|
|History of cymbal making|
While we were in the Artist Gallery, an announcement was made that in the Mechanical Music Gallery they were going to demonstrate the Apollonia. Cool, I walked into the next room and waited for them to play it.
|Explanation of the Apollonia|
Since we were pretty much finished with the Artist Gallery, we stayed in the Mechanical Music Gallery and checked out orchestral music boxes, coin-operated music boxes, barrel organs, hand-cranked organs, and singing birds. The singing birds are like music boxes. You wind them up and the birds sing (such a pretty sound).
The Xorgan (below), despite its compact size, is one of the loudest instruments in the collection.
|Xorgan (barrel organ), Odessa, Ukraine|
|Pierement (mechanical organ)|
|Orchestral music box with Mandarin figures|
Bob and I went separate ways. Bob wanted to start in the United States and Europe. I wanted to go more esoteric and exotic with instruments I wasn't familiar with. I started in Africa.
There isn't enough room in this blog to put in the many interesting things I saw and learned. So, here are some of the interesting items. You MUST go there and immerse yourself in the museum. You MUST! (I sound like Aunt Sally.)
Here we go...
|Xylophones amplified by gourds and|
spider-egg casings (though paper and plastic
are now common substitutes)
Ntan (mother drum of the Ashantis) and Ompe (footed drum of the Fantis).
|Ntan and Ompe drums|
|Yaktaro (spike lute)|
|Close up of the birds on top|
|Mongolian instruments and costume|
|Explanation of shadow-puppet theater|
|Central Java instruments|
England (via southern Germany):
A replica of the oldest extant keyboard instrument, a southern German clavicytherium.
|Naturhoorn (Nature horn)|
|"Octochordis" mandolino lira|
|European street festivals|
|Explanation of street festivals|
|European Street Festivals|
|Kitorna (wheel fiddle)|
|Cembalo (harpsichord), Italy|
There are also exhibits of the production of violins, and pianos.
|Pianaccord (Denver, Colorado)|
|Reproducing Piano from Ampico|
(American Piano Company)
|I love the dragon-head design on this guitar!|
|Art on the back of a banjo|
|Hip hop display|
|Ibanez triple-neck electric guitar played |
by guitar virtuoso Steve Vai.
(The only one of its kind.)
|Grand Harmonicon (We used to "play glasses"|
at home. Crystal wine glasses worked best.)
|Lead poisoning??? Wow!|
|At the entry|
For dinner, we are meeting Bob's cousin, Charis, at their home in Scottsdale. From there we will go out to eat. To be continued...