"Kaleidoscopes: Spectrum" Exhibit Opens 4/6/19

I am beyond delighted that my “Rhapsody in View” kaleidoscope was accepted to be part of the Brewster Kaleidoscope Society’s “Kaleidoscopes: Spectrum” exhibit. The show, at the Mansion at Strathmore in Bethesda, MD, runs from April 6, 2019 through May 26, 2019.

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The first-ever kaleidoscope exhibit in the U.S. was mounted at the Strathmore in 1985, curated by Cozy Baker. Baker founded the Brewster Kaleidoscope Society in 1986.

As for my contribution to the show: With a tip o’ the hat to Gershwin, “Rhapsody in View” features a palette of cool blues and greens in the object chamber and the vintage marbles on its body. The body combines reclaimed clarinet and flute parts, guitar tuner gears, and a two-mirror system. The dry cell object chamber is made of vinyl record, clear acrylic, guitar tuner gears with a trumpet button end piece. The object chamber contains: guitar picks, guitar strings, piano string, crushed recycled glass, pieces of a vinyl record, a crescent moon cut from a drum head, and star charms cut from a drum cymbal.

I can’t wait to visit the exhibit in person later this month! You can view the online catalog on the BKS site.

Kaleidoscopic Tendencies

The Coat of Many Colors kaleidoscoope. ©2019 Wesla Bay Weller

The Coat of Many Colors kaleidoscoope. ©2019 Wesla Bay Weller

Guitar strings transformed. Interior image of the Coat of Many Colors kaleidoscope.

Guitar strings transformed. Interior image of the Coat of Many Colors kaleidoscope.

I got the idea to make kaleidoscopes one night last August. As I was drifting off to sleep – or rather, as I tried to stop thinking about work so I could sleep – I was contemplating what I could make with the old flute and clarinet joints I have accumulated over time. “Kaleidoscopes!” popped into my head. I jotted down a quick note.

The next day, I started researching the hows and whys and wherefores of kaleidoscopes. The more I learned, the more they intrigued me. I bought books and did research online. I sketched out design ideas. I joined the Brewster Kaleidoscope Society, an organization for kaleidoscope artists, galleries and collectors. The BKS is named after Sir David Brewster, who invented the kaleidoscope in the 19th century,

The Coat of Many Colors kaleidoscope, pictured above, is my first scope. I made it for the silent auction at the 2019 MusiCares gala last week, at which Dolly Parton was honored as MusiCares’ Person of the Year. Parton’s classic song was my inspiration.

Each step of the way, I puzzled over construction solutions and aesthetic choices. Getting the hang of precisely scoring and snapping the front surface mirrors for the interior took a bit of trial and error. I selected meaningful musical and colorful elements to go into the object chamber. When the scope at long last reached the stage where I could look through the eyepiece and turn the object chamber, I did a little dance of joy.

I was hooked. The alchemy. The synergy. The harmony. The fun! This was a turning point – literally and figuratively – for my work.

I can’t wait to make more kaleidoscopes to share with you.

The cherry on top of this creative sundae is that the Coat of Many Colors kaleidoscope raised money for a great cause. I hope that my instrumental patchwork did Dolly and her mama proud.

Posted on February 13, 2019 and filed under kaleidoscopes.

Happy New Year! I Made a Mixtape for You

Well, it’s a Spotify playlist, actually. My trove of lovingly sequenced TDKs and Maxells from years past now reside in cardboard boxes and storage closets.

I created the Time After Time mix of time-themed tunes to celebrate the debut of Upbeat Tempo wristwatches, which are a true passion project of mine. This music mix has been ready to share for over a year now. The watches, however, have needed to incubate for a little while longer. I have been researching, designing and developing them for over 3 years now. In true Upbeat Instrumental Style fashion, I make the quartz watches’ cases, bracelets, and dials using recycled and upcycled musical instrument parts. Intrigued? Stay tuned!

The first collection of limited edition Upbeat Tempo watches will debut in 2019.

You know what? Let’s get this party started already. I hope you dig the tunes, and I hope that the Spotify player works smoothly for you. I had such fun putting this playlist together. In fact, I found so much great “time” music that I created a second playlist, to be shared at a later date.

Happy New Year! May your time be filled with joy, music, love, art, and passion projects.

(Credit for cassette photo: Thegreenj [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC BY-SA 2.5 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], from Wikimedia Commons)

Posted on January 1, 2019 and filed under music, Upbeat Tempo.

Shiny New Website

So, here we go with the latest incarnation of my web presence: weslabayweller.com. I have long wanted to streamline the assortment of web pages, online shops, and blog that I've been juggling for my various projects and brands.  

Now, weslabayweller.com is your one-stop-shoppin' for info and products from Weller Than Ever, Upbeat Jewellery, and the newest kid on the block: Second Chance Pianos. And it's the new home for this here blog, Music is Delicious. Over the next few weeks, the domain names for my other sites will migrate to this cyber hub.

I look forward to sharing more about the Second Chance Pianos project, and beginning the chronicle of that exciting and ambitious project.

In addition to building this site, I've been busily working on new designs, which I'll be adding to the online shop in the coming weeks.  

Please take a look around the new virtual digs. Welcome!

Posted on August 9, 2013 and filed under website, Second Chance Pianos.