Tuesday, January 17, 2017

WILDNESS AND UKITUDE

Fascinating 'finissage' of the Call of the Wild exhibition yesterday at Natalia and Simon Zagorska Thomas' home and Studio Ex Purgamento with one-celled organisms behaving almost intelligently and Morse code going Dada and conversations ranging from this to that and every variation in between. Happy to have been there and looking forward to further eclectic/electric salons at ExPurg.

And tonight was my first ukulele lesson in a pub room near the BBC. It was fun even though my hands are too small, my fingers too short and fingertips so sissy that nylon strings hurt. The fingertip cushion skin toughens up after a while, I'm told. We learned and (sort of) strummed three chords and two songs and have homework. Teacher and students (about 12 of us) all very simpatico - a short course, once a week for 4 weeks. Hope to report on some progress at the end of it. At the moment my ukulele aptitude or ukitude, on a scale of 1 to 10, is approximately minus zero.

7 comments:

Catalyst said...

I have no doubt that you'll soon be giving Jake Shimabukuro a run for his money. (You can see him on YouTube.)

Nasreen Iqbal said...

That's fantastic!

My fingers got calluses after I played guitar for a while. Until then, I had a few ugly weeks, though. Boys don't like girls with scabby and cracked fingertips...

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Bruce, someone who commented on this post on Facebook included a link to Jake S. on YouTube. I'd never heard him before: amazing! But I'm not aspiring to anything anywhere near that kind of virtuosity on the uke - I just want to strum and sing a few songs.

Nasreen, if some boys don't like your playing the guitar, cracked fingers and all, then they're not worth worrying about. Those who like you for yourself, however you are, they're the ok ones.

Roderick Robinson said...

Just an impulse, then, with no explanation? No hint at commitment. No pride in progress. And those of my age, at least, would like to know how you managed to disassociate yourself from memories of the UK's most famous and most cheesy uke-ist, George Formby. Is it really called the soundhole?

"fingers too short" seems to suggest you may not stay the full four-week course. It's a new departure and that's commendable, they become rarer with the passage of time. But are you in the slightest bit serious?

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Robbie, I mentioned in a post back in November that I'd bought a ukulele. What motivated me was seeing a poet performing his work accompanying himself on a uke. Of course I'll stay for the 4 week, and I'll practice diligently until I can master enough chords (short fingers notwithstanding) to accompany myself singing my repertoire of favourite French, Spanish and some English or American songs. That's all I want do with the uke. George Formby I can appreciate but he's not my thing. Nor do I aim for the virtusosity achieved on this humble instrument by serious musicians such as Jake Shimabukuro (mentioned above). Playing the ukulele, (a bit) is only a distraction/digression from my principal focus which is, as you know, as visual artist.

Hattie said...

I sympathize about the small hands. Also, hearing loss has ruined my ear for music, alas.
So in spite of living in Hawaii, I have not taken up this instrument!

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Hattie, the humble uke has been taken up by a lot of people around the world. Was it in Hollywood films that it was first linked to Hawaii? I like it because it's small and light but it's going to take a while to get my fingers to stretch and get into all those contortions to play even a few chords.