I will be gone on my birthday and since found the cake and had the song, I thought I'd get you all in the mood. The image? A cupcake! The creator, Mike's Amazing Cakes. I'm sure there are other steampunk styled cakes out there, but Da Vinci is one of my heroes, so, I choose this one.
As for the music--
I work for a family of musicians. The parents are both cellists and their daughter is a budding pianist (How do I know she's not just playing around? She loves to practice!) For a birthday present one year, I asked for a cello lesson. I decided that I would learn to play Happy Birthday for myself. I'm not a rank novice. I played violin as a kid, and guitar, and got a minor degree in music theory. So, when I say I learned to play this piece in a day, it's not a miracle. And not even accurate now that I think about it. It took me about three days to work it out and then a couple of hours to get the bowing right. That is the hardest part of playing cello.
Lena (Andaya for those who want to know) told me that she starts her students just bowing open strings, for several lessons. Once I started doing the practice, I understood why. It's Hard! However, I did it.
You will hear it twice: The "ok everybody, lets sit down and listen while I play" version and then I just play. I'm glad I recorded the entire session. I get to hear how I learned practice. And how I learned that I really don't need to play cello :-) If you ever have an opportunity to hear either Lena or Ricky Andaya play, go, sit, listen. They are wonderful musicians and the most amazing friends anyone could have.
So, without further ado--