S_V_H The Shape of my Heart image 4

What you, the visitor, need to know:

Photo 1: All the major pieces of this music box, including the sound system, are together, along with a quick arrangement of the sample music to check spacing.
Photo 2: I chose Target cotton balls for the speaker box fill because of their firm shape.
Photo 3: Audio Test of the newly constructed audio system for this music box.
Photo 4: This is a close-up of the finished audio system.


Going deeper:


Photo 1: This is an open artwork with a large amount of empty middle that will fill with the shadows from the music that are not as noticeable in the bright North light and studio lighting. Although a little unusual, none of the cover artwork music is attached with magnets to the canvas. All the music is firmly held to either of the 6 inch by 18 inch steel sheets or to the two 1inch galvanized steel rods I purchased from Menard’s, described as 60″ S Cleat Duct Fittings. The surprise was when moving from the tables to the easels, how heavy this music box felt with none of the music attached.

Photo 2: I started speaker building with no fill except for strips of corrugated cardboard that I thought was a great idea. Obviously, I should have asked for a second opinion. Finally, I came to a better understanding of speaker technology. The suggestion was to use polyfill. I looked around the house and found a bag of cotton balls on a bathroom shelf. Using the cotton balls for fill proved to be an outstanding improvement in the sound coming from my undersized speaker boxes.

The inside dimension of the speaker boxes is about 10 inches by 13 inches with a shallow depth of only 2 inches. Because they come with screen covers, these new 2-way speakers no longer need to be encased inside a box for protection. That changed allowed me to reduce the speaker box depth by 1.5 inches. This change improved the balance of the artwork, making for a better fit with the canvases that are only 1.5 inches wide.

My speaker boxes, no matter the artwork, have fallen well short of the recommended sizing for a 4 inch speaker. That has not been a factor. The sound, for multiple reasons, including speaker box design, has been steadily improving. This tells me the size of the boxes is not critical.

Photo 3: What is being heard are the built-in test sounds that bounce from the right to the left speaker to confirm that all the fifty plus connections, mostly by soldering, all work. The sound comes from a 16 MB little Adafruit mini sound board.

Photo 4: This image is an interesting accomplishment. Pictured is the first 20Watt stereo system setup that can be played either with a DC 12V power adapter, or a 12V lithium battery simply by switching the power connection. The extra female connector seen hanging inside the 8 inch canvas is not used.

Final Thoughts:

I am not really crazy with the look of this artwork. Maybe it is the large open spacing in the middle of the artwork. I am not sure. The music notes and stems are done, but not finished. I will add to them the necessary beams and flags, and other notation touches that will give the artwork an added decorative and interest look. Those additions offer the opportunity to punch up the look of this music box.


Roger’s poem:
My younger Brother Roger passed away a year ago this August. In a tribute to him I wrote a story poem that took months to complete. At his celebration of life, this last June 4th, I read it aloud, with encouragement and support from my family. I believe this poem contains universal relatable moments and meanings about the difficulties of losing someone close to you. It offers an understanding that loss is not about accepting and moving on. Instead, it is a story poem about the choice of moving ahead in Life with them.
(This poem is in fifteen parts and with each new blog post there will be added one additional part)


Roger’s poem

The sun in winter
is all too short.
Who knew as you move through our lives,
that yours would follow the winter sun.

Winter arrests time
for thought and reflection
that February afternoon.
Dressed for warmth
we venture out,
Into the soft light,
surrounded by stillness,
not an oak leaf stirring. 

The cold of that yesterday
 is heard in the crackling crunch
 of fresh fallen snow, 
 as I straddled previous steps
 along a well-worn path,
 deep into the woods.

Although I think
we are alone,
Zelda knows better,
her actions are telling. 
Life and the deer are about. 
Stopping with her tail up,
head sharply flipping, 
to-and-fro sensing something_, 
I also pause,
feeling a stirring in the air.
With her nose to the snow, 
Zelda looks to turn off the known path, 
to explore another trail, 
far less traveled. 
Her interest, I cannot foresee,
or know where it leads. 

Before I can call her back
to the safe way forward,
Winter freezes my momentum,
with a stinging breeze
across my cheeks,
breaking the silence,
awakening concerns.
Had I dressed warm enough?
I feel and pat
my coat,
all was there.
Then it came to me,
that it was not the cold,
but the wind, returning to me
moments once set
quietly away.
I wondered why on a
cold Winter’s Day
on this made-up path,
at this crossroad
in these common woods, 
this walk halted,
by an unforeseen breeze
sending a shiver
tumbling inside, 
then out into the light.
Why over all my many memories,
did I find this one exposed
from beneath Winter’s blanket_,
a consciousness,
an awareness,
that once_, 
was you? 

But time was fleeting.
I had let pass the diminishing forest light
and our late start,
fearing the coming darkness
will hide this path,
I call Zelda back
to the safe way home. 
For Home is where we want to be. 
What choice have I,
but to be on our way. 
We had to turn back,
for time does not. 
I could only turn away. 

Those moments have passed
this another Winter’s Day,
although the cold
is harder to ignore,
our routine beckons. 
Although she cares less,
I dressed Zelda in a purple coat
and I in my heaviest hooded jacket,
thankful that each new walk
the sun grows nearer,
and longer,
and the return less concerning.  

sections 1-7 of fifteen.....to be continued.

Scott Von Holzen