#74 Creak & Quake

AmperArt 74 Creak & Quake


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Greet­ings, mortals.

This mor­bid install­ment of my Amper­Art series could have been enti­tled “Crypt Doors & Tomb­stones” but I chose the just-​as-​eerie verbs over the nouns “Creak & Quake.” These words are all from the first stan­za of Grim Grin­ning Ghosts, the theme song per­me­at­ing Walt Dis­ney’s Haunt­ed Mansion. 

Truth be told, I’m still only 99% sure that the song starts with 

When the crypt doors creak & the tomb­stones quake…” or
“When the crypt goes creak & the tomb­stones quake…”

Why? Because after vis­it­ing sev­er­al web­sites to make sure I got the lyrics right (even though I’ve heard the song hun­dreds of times, it’s not embed­ded into the skull like “It’s a Small World”) there were dis­crep­an­cies. The first site which sound­ed like an offi­cial lyrics site is what threw me off: It read “…goes creak” which was sur­pris­ing, as I’ve always heard, so I thought, “When the crypt doors creak…” The orig­i­nal song­writ­ers — Bud­dy Bak­er, melody, and lyrics by Xavier “X” Aten­cio, the Dis­ney leg­end — were list­ed, along with dates and oth­er infor­ma­tion.  So I fig­ured that was what they wrote, and every­one just adapt­ed what they thought they heard. 

Until I vis­it­ed a few more sites. Every­where else the song goes “…doors creak…” which sounds so much bet­ter; is part of the Dis­ney fans’ venac­u­lar; and what I chose to use in my piece of art­work. (It’s prob­a­bly the cor­rect choice.)

William Shake­speare & his poem, Venus & Ado­nis, influ­enced the title of the Haunt­ed Man­sion’s theme song:

Look, how the world’s poor peo­ple are amaz’d
At appari­tions, signs, and prodigies,
Where­on with fear­ful eyes they long have gaz’d,
Infus­ing them with dread­ful prophecies;
So she at these sad sighs draws up her breath,
And, sigh­ing it again, exclaims on Death.
Hard-​favour’d tyrant, ugly, mea­gre, lean,
Hate­ful divorce of love,’ — thus chides she Death,—
Grim-​grinning ghost, earth­’s worm, what dost thou mean
To sti­fle beau­ty and to steal his breath,
Who when he liv’d, his breath and beau­ty set
Gloss on the rose, smell to the violet?

The tomb­stone and grave­yard in this piece real­ly do exist: The Gra­nary Ceme­tery, Boston, Mass. Well, almost. The top and bor­ders of the tomb­stone are authen­tic (except for the icon­ic “D” under the skull); I elon­gat­ed the entire mon­u­ment and replaced the somber inscrip­tion with sil­ly lyrics. So much for rev­er­ence. I wish to give cred­it to an incred­i­ble pho­tog­ra­ph­er, whose image I came across on the Inter­net and used as ref­er­ence for this piece. Her name is Del­la Huff. Her pho­tog­ra­phy is spec­tac­u­lar. See it at http://​del​lahuff​pho​to​.zen​fo​lio​.com/ I had no idea such mor­bid tomb­stones actu­al­ly exist­ed. The grave­yard, though heav­i­ly dis­tort­ed by my twist­ed mind, is among many won­der­ful pho­tographs I found at https://​www​.flickr​.com/​p​h​o​t​o​s​/​m​b​d​e​z​i​n​e​s​/​s​e​t​s​/​7​2​1​5​7​6​0​7​8​5​7​0​0​8​0​82/


listen up!

As much as I detest innacu­ra­cy (why can’t oth­ers do a lit­tle research like I did, even though it took longer than the art­work?) it led me to sev­er­al inter­est­ing haunts:

I dis­cov­ered alter­nate, high­ly enter­tain­ing ver­sions of Grim Grin­ning Ghosts; a great video for the kids (and the grown-​up kids); and of course it was haunt­ing­ly won­der­ful to hear the orig­i­nal sound­track again (where I could swear they enun­ci­ate “doors”). Here are those sites:

Turn off the lights and turn up the sound:

Enter­tain­ing a capel­la from VoicePlay:
https://​www​.youtube​.com/​w​a​t​c​h​?​v​=​j​p​w​0​y​Q​p​v​b_c

Here’s the orig­i­nal sound­track fol­lowed by a cool alter­nate ver­sion (which seems to have been pro­duced by James Pres­ley) and some of the begin­ning and end­ing narrative:
https://​www​.youtube​.com/​w​a​t​c​h​?​v​=​X​S​a​q​SVi – Ms

The kids will enjoy this sin­ga­long video: https://​www​.youtube​.com/​w​a​t​c​h​?​v​=​e​a​v​o​0​8​I​X​duQ (I like it very much myself.)

And some­thing real­ly enter­tain­ing — spooky at first with organ and choir, then wild­ly zany with unique voic­es, and all sorts of oth­er sounds…produced by James Presley:
https://​www​.youtube​.com/​w​a​t​c​h​?​v​=​R​I​_​4​v​z​q​e​vLg


Production notes:
Original size: 10x15 inches
Program: Photoshop, Illustrator (for the dingbats)
Fonts: Willow, Eccentric, Harrington
Ampersand: Harrington (line shadow added)
Images:
Tombstone & graveyard  reference: Granary Cemetery, Boston, Massachussetts, USA

Della Huff is the photographer whose tombstone photo was used for reference and sampling by the artist. See her spectacular fine art photography at http://​del​lahuff​pho​to​.zen​fo​lio​.com/  Della’s original photo that made this AmperArt piece possible:
http://​www​.pbase​.com/​d​e​l​l​y​b​e​a​n​/​i​m​a​g​e​/​4​0​9​4​6​116
Graveyard background: mbdezines Image modified so extensively it does not resemble the original photograph…but the background would  not be “authentic” without this photographer’s contribution.
Artist discovered that crypts do have doors at:
http://​idiot​pho​tog​ra​ph​er​.word​press​.com/​2​0​1​4​/​0​5​/​2​8​/​t​h​e​-​c​r​y​p​t​-​d​o​o​r​s​-​o​f​-​r​i​c​o​l​e​ta/
Music and lyrics sites visited for reference:
https://​www​.youtube​.com/​w​a​t​c​h​?​v​=​j​p​w​0​y​Q​p​v​b_c
https://​www​.youtube​.com/​w​a​t​c​h​?​v​=​X​S​a​q​SVi – Ms
https://​www​.youtube​.com/​w​a​t​c​h​?​v​=​e​a​v​o​0​8​I​X​duQ
https://​www​.youtube​.com/​w​a​t​c​h​?​v​=​R​I​_​4​v​z​q​e​vLg

H u r r y  b a c k …

#42 Corned Beef & Cabbage


#42 Corned Beef & Cabbage77 
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This is a high-​resolution pdf & may take a few minutes to download.
Find printing tips & framing ideas here.

 I don’t expect this to be my most pop­u­lar Amper­Art edi­tion, cer­tain­ly not one that will be framed & hung on many liv­ing room walls. (Although it might look nifty in a retro-​styled kitchen.) 

Read More

#36 Doorbells & Schnitzel

Amper­Art #36 is the fourth and last line of lyrics that contains “and” in the song My Favorite Things from the 1960 musi­cal and the 1965 film, The Sound of Music:
 

Rain­drops on ros­es & whiskers on kittens
Bright cop­per ket­tles & warm woolen mittens 
Brown paper pack­ages tied up with strings

These are a few of my favorite things


Cream col­ored ponies & crisp apple streudels

Door­bells & sleigh bells & schnitzel with noodles

Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings

These are a few of my favorite things


Girls in white dress­es with blue satin sashes

Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes

Sil­ver white win­ters that melt into springs

These are a few of my favorite things


When the dog bites

When the bee stings

When I’m feel­ing sad

I sim­ply remem­ber my favorite things

& then I don’t feel so bad

This is a col­lec­tion of four edi­tions, each fea­tur­ing a line from the song that includes the word “and” which of course we replace with our favorite charac­ter, the ampersand.
 
Notes about the art­work: 

 

The art­work was mod­eled after the orig­i­nal movie poster, and I hand-​lettered the & to resemble the orig­i­nal poster title, which was also hand-let­tered back then. (I used to hand-​letter head­lines and titles with pen and brush, before pix­els took over.)
 
The amper­sand does dou­ble duty in all my prints for this set. Not only does it con­nect rain­drops & kit­tens & ket­tles & ponies & door­knobs, it also ties the last two lines of the song togeth­er:I sim­ply remem­ber my favorite things & then I don’t feel so bad
 
 
 
The col­ors were sam­pled from the movie poster, and I select­ed just a few from the palette. I did not use any blue, as I thought a nice sky blue would be a beau­ti­ful mat col­or if you decide to print and frame this set.
 
I hope you enjoyed this series inspired by The Sound of Music.
 
More impor­tant­ly, I hope you get to enjoy your favorite things this hol­i­day sea­son & always.