S_V_H Music Box Woodstock revision

What the visitor needs to know:

Photo 1: This is the music box Woodstock, first completed in late 2020, now attached to its new stretched canvas frame, and upgraded speaker system.

Photo 2: This is how the canvas Woodstock was stored until I moved it up and into the studio.
Photo 3: This shows the canvas sandwiched between to heavy cardboard covers to reduce any movement which would have easily torn the wooden notes from the canvas.


Photo 4: I made use of the two rejected wedding project canvases each 24×36 inches while adding two side 12×36 inch speaker canvases. This then matched the Woodstock canvas length.

Photo 5: Also in storage was the speaker system for the Woodstock canvas.
Photo 6: The finished canvas support frame. Woodstock canvas laying behind on the cardboard it came with.

Photo 7: Backside of Woodstock framed canvas support with stereo system now attached and with the new 2-way speaker upgrade.
The updated Woodstock Music Box audio dated October 3rd.


Going Deeper:


Back in November 2020, my studio was a small office room in a wonderful home in a surprising, but conservative town of Owatonna, Minnesota. My wife, Barbara, and I were house sitting for my daughter and her family, who had moved back to Wisconsin. Because the home was for sale, and we did not know how long we were to remain in Minnesota, I wanted to keep a small studio space. Because all my canvases were in storage in Wisconsin, I came up with the idea to just use loose canvases, inspired by Jackson Pollock, see image 3.

image 3: Jackson Pollock from 1949 Life magazine article.

I then built an aluminum frame that was adjustable from 72 to 76 inches by 36 inches in height. Canvases would then be attached to this aluminum frame with the use of magnets. The problem with this idea was, as you can see in this image below, I was using my scratch off technique. What that meant was that the top layer of paint would be susceptible to tearing loose from the canvas. Over time, this ability would lesson, but not in the earlier weeks of applying this technique. This would not be a problem if I hadn’t glued the wooden music to the canvas. My thinking was that areas where the top layer was removed down to the stable base paint layer would be enough for the glue to hold the music tight to the canvas. That proved to be a less than reliable solution to mounting wood to canvas.

The project before this Woodstock update was the Bach Cello upgrade. That work, in 2020, was extremely vulnerable to poor adhesion to the canvas. The thin shafts of the wooden music made it difficult to attach them firmly to the scratch off areas. Even during the Bach upgrade, I had several problems with those thin shafts becoming loose. I tried to solve that issue with the project Woodstock. With Woodstock I went with a wider stem seen in image 2. That helped, but the twisting of the loose canvas still resulted in the tearing loose of the wooden pieces. This entire issue was finally resolved when I used magnets to attach the wooden music to the canvas to the project Play That Song.

Image 1: Woodstock 2020 with temporary metal frame to be used also with other size canvas size works.
Image 2: Earlier, Bach canvas left of the Woodstock image


Roger's poem:
My younger Brother Roger passed away a year ago this last 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 or sections and with each new blog post there will be added one additional part. I am currently posting sections 1-10)


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.  

Along the way
Zelda repeats her many stops,
on our well-walked path. 
And for a distance
all seems as it should,
until the quiet is interrupted
by a strong gust
pressing against my coat,
pausing our step. 
I feel this air’s warmth, 
as I look to see Zelda stopped ahead, 
her ears pushed back 
by the wind, standing at that 
barely a crossroad 
from yesterday. 
Her brown nose twitching 
in this comforting air. 
Although surprised 
to see her at this divide, 
I have a smile of déjà vu, 
by a long-ago line, 
from a well-used book of poetry 
now gathering dust, 
from the poet Robert Frost__, 
“Two roads diverged in a wood…” 
Two roads, 
in a wood. 
that is all I recalled. 
With a sigh and interest 
I pursue 
this other trail upwards, 
to see it following 
the rush of rolling clouds, 
knowing soon these winter paths 
will turn to mud, 
preventing our return, 
until the frozen has left. 
Thus beginning the awakening, 
ending Winter’s parsing of time, 
with days merging all too quickly. 
We will lose ourselves 
to work to be done, 
and unforeseen tasks, 
demands and bills to pay, 
that surely will come. 

Though today 
Winter still decides, 
in the fast blanketing 
approach of low clouds 
bursting with snow 
and ice pellets, 
pirouetting down to us, 
if in an effort 
to hide our way, 
on this favored path. 

But wait! 
Where is Zelda? 
I see her brown eyes turned away 
as she slow trots 
along the untrampled path. 
Concerned I call her back 
when from behind 
I am shoved stepping forward, 
by a distant hum  
that becomes a gusting woosh, 
shaking the treetops, 
that then fads slowly 
to a murmuring sound, 
all so astonishingly familiar, 
awakening a time 
thought placed away_, 
when I held your hand, 
my eyes focus on your whispered breath, 
not knowing what would be your last_. 
Until now. 

sections 1-10 of fifteen.....to be continued.

Scott Von Holzen