Into the Stream

1 September 2021Getting close! I think, spotting this traffic circle with its mosaic accents.

I’m looking for Mosaic Creek Park, something I mentioned in my Long Slide to Dusk post, after my online search for mosaic-art info coughed up a reference to this wonderfully named parkette. So here I almost am, on Charles Street in Britannia neighbourhood, but not quite sure whether to turn right or left on Charles at this intersection.

I opt for right, for no particular reason. This takes me east to Grandview Park, perfectly fine & good, but not what I’m after. So I spin around, and, as I head back west, have two encounters in close succession.

Sunflower, and plums.

Sunflower is metal, on a hydro pole, no longer framing whatever it once contained, but perky good fun all the same.

Soon after come the plums, not that I immediately know that’s what’s on offer.

I’ve exchanged a few complimentary words about his garden with a gentleman just stepping back onto his porch; we do the chit-chat and then he asks, “Got a bag?” I tilt my shoulder, revealing my knapsack. He beams, holds up a handful of plums — “Just picked them!” — and slides them into my knapsack for me.

So I am in even better humour than ever as I walk the last block on west to Mosaic Creek Park. Talk about “random acts of kindness”!

And there’s the little park, with one outlying chunk of mosaic to welcome me in.

Just a tiny corner of land, but with a big, wonderful story behind it.

The Britannia Neighbours Community Group wanted to do something with this vacant lot; project coordinator Sarah White pulled in artists Glen Anderson and Kristine Germann, who ran mosiac workshops for interested community members; more than 300 people took part, and added their handiwork to the stream of mosaics that make up the “creek” giving the park its name.

And added their names as well.

Individuals, school and other groups, and even neighbourhood animals — all part of the stream. “Topsy,” I’m guessing, is a dog, and Maggie & Pat’s cats are as involved as their humans.

I wander along the stream. Look! there’s a cat …

and here, just to the right of a sweetly cuddled mother and child …

… are those dogs?

No need to puzzle this next one. A heart, universal and eternal symbol, placed here pre-pandemic but even more meaningful now.

I’ve walked the stream, I’m at Charles & McLean, and look back at it, admiring the curve.

I also admire Stonehenge-on-Charles at the far corner (oh all right, a basalt-pillar playground) …

and then settle on a bench for a while. And eat one of those plums.

That’s the end of the Mosaic Creek discovery, but not the end of discoveries — all because, as I walk back home, I notice this musical notation over somebody’s front door.

On a whim I photograph it, and on a further whim, send it to my friend Jeff, a writer/musician/translator with a quick & curious mind. Does it say something? I ask, or is it just pretty?

“Well, there’s music here,” he replies, “but also a technical error.

  1. A piece with one flat (the bulbous little guy after the treble clef) is in the key of F, which takes B flat. The flat here is E flat. So the key as notated, at least by western standards, does not exist! (B flat and E flat together would give you the key of B flat, however.)
  2. There is a cute little tune here, but not exactly that of any doorbell I’ve heard. I attach a recording.”

Jeff also notes (unintended pun, sorry), Jeff also comments that the actual key seems to be A Minor, which has no sharps or flats.

So it’s all a bit of a mishmash, but pretty to look at, and offered to the world (by homeowner, Jeff and me) with cheerful good intentions.

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8 Comments

  1. What a fantastic place! the mosaic just blends so beautifully with the trees and flowers of the park!

    Reply
  2. That mosaic is so beautiful.

    Reply
  3. This is probably more than most folks want to know, but I should have added (re the key of the tune) that a single B flat can indicate F major (as I noted before), but also B minor, and a key signature with both B flat and E flat (the flat on the door score) can indicate either G minor or B flat major. No sharps or flats can indicate C major, all right, but also A minor. The door tune contains both an A and a C, which are two constituent notes of an A minor chord, and a suspended tone in A minor (the two, shorter Ds) that resolves to the concluding A note. Thus, A minor (A being the predominating tone – the note left in your head after hearing the tune), and not C major. If those words are confounding, your ears will understand in any event.

    Reply
  4. Sorry, B flat indicates F major or D (not B) minor. Sheesh. Now everyone’s completely confused. That’s pedantry for ya.

    Reply
  5. Jeffrey Miller

     /  2 September 2021

    Sorry. B flat can indicate either F major or D minor (not B minor). Confused completely, everyone? That’s on me.

    Reply
  6. Love how you portray you neighbourhood. You certainly got a reaction over the music!

    Reply
  7. Pat Mundinger

     /  6 September 2021

    Fabulous pictures and music. It was all so quirky and cheerful, I still have a smile on my face!

    Reply
  8. Nicely done mosaics, and what a great idea. I like the thought of someone who worked on this at say, age 10, coming back 50 years later and seeing it again. That would be nice. And the plums, what a nice gesture. That was clever, to send the notes to your musical friend…and smart of you to incorporate the music, cool! The single flat does look like it should have been placed a little lower, but who cares, it is altogether such a sweet touch. Vancouver abounds with them, doesn’t it?

    Reply

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