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Errantry: Novak's Journal
...Words to cast/My feelings into sculpted thoughts/To make some wisdom last
Personal/Musical: Dina's Musical Oasis 
23rd-Apr-2006 10:51 pm
WOW, again

Back in March I enthused about my friend nalaladina's music, when she had put some mixes of tracks from her forthcoming album on her Myspace site. Well, today I got an IM from her that I just found, telling me about another Myspace site she had just set up regarding a new project of hers, of which I had only heard whispers. Unlike Shripwrecked: From Birmingham to Jericho Without Prozac, this new effort is recorded without a backing band, just her voice and her (increasingly-trademark) harp. Yes, harp. Dina was given a small Celtic harp some years back, but rather than learning Irish Trad music or anything of the sort, she just simply started playing the music she already had coming out of her on this new instrument, creating her own folk-rock sound in the process. Well, the IM just gave me excuse to enjoy just the perfect kind of musical oasis that I want when I get to spend the entire day grading all these exams.

On this forthcoming EP, Fallen Paper Towels, Nadina and her harp give you everything. There is the ironic, heartbreakingly-happy sounds of "Paper Towels," confronting the images of the now-lost life we thought we would one day have, where the harp stands in for one might imagine would have been the guitar or banjo of another folk artist. But you also hear "One More Glass of Rum," where the harp underscores the exotic melody of Nadina's vocal line and begins to sounds more and more like a full orchestra as the song spins and draws you in. Again, the songs strike me as some of the most distinctly feminine music I have ever heard, and the most strong as well, underneath an all-too-real human fragility. By all means, help yourself to her downloads, and let her know what you think. Maybe I'll see you in line when the full project is released.
24th-Apr-2006 06:24 am (UTC) - if i could fall over in a field
you are so kind and i am hiring you to write reviews for me permanently!! i am so graciously humbled by your words. thank you, thank you, thank you. God Bless.
24th-Apr-2006 06:40 am (UTC) - Re: if i could fall over in a field
Poo! Thanks for the head's-up about the new stuff: I was sorry you were offline when I got it. As to the rest, I'm just being honest. You're on a roll here: as soon as you can get people to come through the door (and, admittedly, the word "harp" is probably a hard sell nowadays), once they're there, you'll have them in the palm of your hand.

I'm bummed that you guys aren't touring more widely: I told Mark that you have all the support you need in the field – Mike in South Bend, J.P. in West LaFayette, Don in Chicago, me in Milwaukee, and others, I'm sure – to do a good Midwest tour on the cheap with free accommodations.

Most of all, I'm glad to hear the kind of freedom in you coming out underneath all the specific emotions. I can see why you've been so excited about this next set of songs: there's an abandon in them that is infectious. The character of "Paper Towels," so briefly sketched, wrings out so much empathy at every image and line that it's like knowing the character as well as you would at the end of entire novel. Suffice it to say: I'm really excited for you and this new set.
24th-Apr-2006 06:51 am (UTC) - if i could fall over in the midwest somewhere...
I will plan on setting something up for a mid-west tour, for sure! Thanks for the open door, too. My first goal is to have the finances to get both CDs completed, which shouldn't be too long from now. Then I will be HAPPILY touring. YAY!!
Did I tell you I found a connection in Trieste, Italy? (that's where my Dad is from originally) I am DREAMING about playing in his hometown. We shall see, soon-to-be-Dr. Novak! Take care and thank you, again!!!
Best wishes with all that you have going on- grading, interviewing, Goldschmidt! Have a great time!!!!
24th-Apr-2006 06:55 am (UTC) - Re: if i could fall over in the midwest somewhere...
Eh, not so soon: I figure with the teaching fellowship I have, two years to finish the dissertation while getting my Introduction to Theology lectures in shape. Not soon enough, or altogether too soon...?

P.S. – Go to sleep! Staying up this late is my gig!
24th-Apr-2006 01:04 pm (UTC)
Thanks for letting us know about her.

I think you would adore the music of Joanna Newsom - dig out the "Milk-Eyed Mender" album somewheres.
26th-Apr-2006 06:04 am (UTC)
I shall check her out.

And I'd be totally lying if I didn't say that as I wrote the entry above that you and your need for female-oriented soundtracks didn't leap directly to mind. :-) And I restrained myself from trying to schmooze you, 'cause I'm cool like that.

In fact, though, Dina does a lot of her music in association with a rape victims' crisis center, as one of a number of ways she volunteers and advocates in that area, which had struck me as an area of artistic/social sympathy between the two of you.
21st-May-2007 05:31 pm (UTC)
And now, a year later, Nadina's EP Fallen Paper Towels, is available at CD Baby and is just waiting for you to pick it up!

Strangely, though, this entry is being repeatedly hit with "spam" comments, and so I'm going to close this entry off for further anonymous comment, which is tragic in its own way: any further discover of Nadina's work through here – and celebration of it – would be a great good.
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