All posts by diana Stone

About diana Stone

Diana is a performing composer and muscian playing Piano Violin & Guitar. She currently plays with the Rock/Roots band Elephant Shelf and also the Delta Ladies who mix roots acoustic music and electronica. She composes in a variety of styles from pop to rock to Jazz and and classical music.Diana is also expert in multi-media recording and music production.

And its still february

So what have I been up to since you last heard from me. Music mostly and exercising and that’s really about it.  I just put a new tune up on Soundcloud and the usual places. A violin string broke right in the middle of a take, but hardly surprising as it was on my not much used electric fiddle.  The strings have not been changed much on that one. 

So here is the tune.Its an east mediterranean modal vibe type of thing. 
 

So there it is. In other news its a bit warmer.  

February 21 more

Week 6 of my extended exercises regime and I am having a bad day. My back has really been playing up big time. I hope its a temporary hick up, but I need be be a little bit careful for a day or so I think.  We have brilliant sunshine locally at the moment which is  great and gives the spirits a bit of a lift at least.  I won’t be offered a vaccination for a few weeks yet by the look of things. That’s not a huge problem as I am still pretty much in a bubble in practical terms.   

I have been beavering away creatively as much as possible I am a bit worried about repeating myself though. My mood is actually quite good considering. As I normally have an ongoing issue with depression I do wonder if my extra enforced physical activity is actually helping with it.   Perhaps?  Finances though mean I shall be on thin gruel for a while yet. I can’t see any money making opportunities before the end of this year.  Some people are rather better at coping with this lockdown lark  than I am.  Certainly talking to my friends and acquaintances many seem to be keeping quite bullish about things.  I do need to hear that of course. Remotely winning friends and influencing people is not yet part of my skill set. Also the gap left by people that are no longer around is hard to fill.  There is no off switch for that feeling and with very little in the way of distractions otherwise its harder still.  They say that you dont miss what you never had but I really dont think thats true or at least you miss perhaps what you nearly had? 

   

Feb 2021 part 2

Thank goodness its warming up a bit finally.  So a chance to take a bit of stroll is now possible in relative comfort again. Today there was a decent amount of winter sunshine and buds are starting on the trees too. So a pleasant reminder of life renewing again for in preparation for spring. I am now on week 5 of my extended exercise routine and I am less anxious so that is  one tangible benefit at least.  its a hard slog at times though as I ma very stiff when i wake up most mornings and it takes a while to get going. It’s different every day of course though. Perhaps I am slightly less depressed now, but feeling well enough to  just to be getting a tiny bit bored.  I need to start my clearing out process now too.  Perhaps those many cardboard boxes can be flattened out now? 

What do people talk about at the moment?  “Hello, just ringing to say I didn’t go out again today”.  It’s weird.   Its also tiring too. We are all trying of course to add a bit of meaning to the days.  I am setting  myself a few challenges musically and in a couple of other areas too. Hopefully I can hang on to some degree of sanity that way.   The virtual world is a thin substitute for normal interactions. We are all in our bubbles for so  much of the time now. Too much time to think?  Maybe. 

Currently I can indulge myself with reruns of my favorite sci-fi series at least.  Its a welcome relief from present reality like pizza and beer when appropriate.  Or wine of course, Its all cool. Sort off. 

So if we all get through this I have got to try and lean to win friends and influence people. Only joking, sort of.  Hello rest of the world I am still here I think.   Most days start well enough but the limited amount of umph soon runs out I am saddened to say. The call of the duvet is strong at present. Winter evenings should have the option of going for a swift half at least.  So another grand night in again.

To me, fair friend, you never can be old

— SONNET 104, LINE 1

But where there is true friendship, there needs none

— TIMON OF ATHENS, ACT 1 SCENE 2, LINE 17; TIMON

February first thoughts

February has got off to a slightly wonky start it has to be said.  I have now been doing my extended daily exercise routine for about 3 weeks and I have had to row back slightly due to problems that I suspect are linked to over enthusiasm. Currently I am doing most of  my typing standing up. This seems to be mostly an improvement in on area. Some gain but this  week a little too much pain sadly has put the kibosh on it a tad. Also anxiety is still a major issue. 

In the world outside  this room there is some better news at least including the possibility of an early  relaxation of some Covid restrictions.  This due to evidence mounting that vaccination is reducing the  the R rate and also natural immunity having a similar effect.  There is still plenty of fake pandemic ant-vax news flowing far and wide sadly.  Especially on Facebook where everyone is a virologist of course. But  some good news along the way. 

And of course the last Trump has well and truly sounded….

So musically I continue to boldly go, but sadly only via the internet at present of course which is sometimes a difficult thing to do in terms of motivation.  Often though it is simply a matter of starting and stuff happens. Occasionally on a day of zero inspiration just going though a practice routine may awaken an idea or two that starts in a  fairly uninspired way but finds its own life in the process of simply doing stuff.  The molding of the clay suggests something random and so it is with sounds too.  The result may be far removed from the starting point or original direction at inception.
Technically I have plenty  of resources which almost leads to having too much choice, which leads to dithering and time wasting.  The main point is of course the result, and of course results and your millage may vary 🙂 The dulcima looks at me sort of funny from the corner daring me to do something with it. I have tried and continue to do so but so far I have not managed to hit my stride with it.  It remains a little aloof it seems. 

In Delta Ladies  news  the last remaining festival we are booked on has now moved to July 2022 as I expected it would. That seems a very long way off at the moment but there is talk of a virtual appearance of some sort this year as a place older and moral booster hinting at better times.

Our building works nearby are in the final phase so soon we should have our public open space open. By April though sooner would I hope if possible. That will make a huge difference as we approach the start of our 4th year in Great Denham. So much has changed since moving here of course and most of my expectations have been swept away on the wind.  And find I have very little left to say about anything now.

       

  

End of January 2023 round up.

Does what it says on the tin really. If you were expecting something exciting newswise I am sorry I have to disappoint you.  I keep plodding on mostly so far. This year the only change is a regular exercise regime that I have started mostly to avoid ceasing up and hopefully to reduce pain too. I am into my second week so far and its been slightly hard going to be honest.  I did expect it to be  and one unexpected but useful byproduct is a slight mood improvement. Not huge but enough to notice particularly at this time of year when for me personally its always a huge struggle even at the best of times.  You can do a lot of useful exercise routines with no extra equipment needed.
I may consider some equipment. Weights would actually be useful as my upper body strength is a bit lacking now in particular and I am getting on a bit now so maintenance is more important than it used to be. Simple tasks like typing can cause me problems so I often type standing up now.  

 Amazing news with different vaccines popping up like mushrooms which is very helpful. A bit of  light at the end of the tunnel then.  I note that a few friends and acquaintances are noticeably feeling the strain and admitting to it.  I cant imagine how we will all react when we start getting let out to play again. How comfortable are we going to feel in some of those old familiar places where we all nestled together spaying our germs willy nilly in all directions? I am really not sure how I will be feeling about it at all at present. I have lead an almost cloistered life in the last 3 months particularly. My social skills are fading somewhat too, though I have never been good at small talk at the best of times. I feel what  extra skills I had in gained in this  department are fading fast though lack of practice. 

My car sits idle most of the time now too. The last long run  was to London in December and I must now consider if it is worth keeping  in the longer term?  It has served me well and did a lot of millage to gigs over the last 5 years, but it like me has been in almost semi retirement since 2020 of course.    I shall be sorry to see it go though as it has served me very well over the years as a faithful servant transporting me and Vicky to gigs many and various.  I suppose all this nostalgic stuff  is exacerbated  by a lack of fresh input? The world seems very small just now though. 

   
Brexit complications continue to snowball for folks buying stuff from the EU with all sorts of extra costs on items that are unpredicted.  I am flat broke so at present its not likely to have much effect on me at present though.  Hopefully that will all sort itself out in a while though,  

Other stuff include replacing tuning pegs on my main violin which are all pretty much knackered. My woodworking skills are frankly  minimal but I can just about manage a bit of chiselling and filling. So far so good though and its quite a visceral thing that brings some satisfaction when one achieves a useful result.  I still have a lot of stuff thats not needed here. Telephone extension cables and similar. A  Car boot sale perhaps when such things start again?  One day and we can dream can’t we. 

One of my minor musical projects is to make more use of the dulcima. I have used it in a small way on a couple of recordings but I have not really got to grips with its potential yet. Its tone is wonderful but not easy to integrate with an ensemble. 
It can be dominant or simply  disappear  into  a wash of sounds.  It can be  mysterious and  ethereal  or crude and homespun in equal measure at times.  That is its magic.
I dont think I have manged to capture its essence to any great degree.