Amy lives with her treasured companion Adam (and a tuxedo cat) in a cute old miner’s cottage in a scenic alpine region outside Melbourne, Australia. She spend her days studying music, teaching music, gaming, exploring local forests, putting together outfits and costumes, and immersing herself in the lore of Middle-earth.
Read on to find out a little more…
- I am passionate about music, particularly from the 17th to early 20th century. I like to lose myself in sacred choral music, in the world of the castrati and the early Italian opera, in Scarlatti’s prolific sonatas, Vivaldi’s energetic concerti, Purcell’s choruses and signature ground bass, Handel’s great works, Bach’s keyboard music, and everything in between! One of my dreams is to go to Venice during Carnivale, attend a few exclusive masked balls, and visit some of the old opera houses around the Italian cities.
- I’m fascinated by the 19th-century French Salon milieu, and by Liszt’s and Chopin’s virtuosity and mastery of the piano. Continuing in the later romantic vein, I love Rachmaninoff’s monumental concertos and preludes, and there is nothing like the pulse of Stravinsky’s Petrouchka to bring excitement to my day.
- My favourite contemporary composers are Michael Nyman, Howard Shore, Jeremy Soule (game soundtracks), and Yann Tiersen. My non-classical pleasures are symphonic metal (early Nightwish, Blind Guardian, Haggard etc.), a bit of dark/new wave (The Cure, Cocteau Twins, Depeche Mode etc.), and gothic/neoclassical artists like Dargaard, Dark Sanctuary, and Sopor Æternus. I have a big soft spot for The Cranberries, Enya, and Imogen Heap’s luscious layers! I really enjoy choral groups like Anúna, The King’s Singers, and the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge. Finally, I love finding groups or artists who set Tolkien’s works to music, or compose pieces that capture the “essence” of Middle-earth and its races.
- I have enjoyed playing the piano most of my life and am always trying to expand my classical repertoire. I also work as a piano teacher, and am currently studying a Bachelor of Music.. Though I learnt a few other instruments in the past (like the oboe), I feel that the piano is a such a versatile solo instrument with a huge scope for expression. My ambitions in music are to finish composing a suite of “Elvish” music or pieces set to my partner’s poetry, and to continue teaching and see where that takes me. I also recently achieved one of my biggest dreams: to acquire a harpsichord! I’m so, so pleased to be able to add that authenticity to my early music repertoire now!
- I am currently learning folk harp which I absolutely adore – it was a dream for so long to be able to give it a go, and with my background in piano making it easy to read harp music, I’m finding it incredibly rewarding and therapeutic to explore the different textures and sound that a harp gives. My other longtime instrument dream of getting my own harp also came true this year!
- I have ankle-length hair which I’ve been growing (with small yearly trims) since about 2004. I usually keep it in a thick plait, and wash it once a week. There’s an FAQ page about it here, and I sometimes answer questions about it and general hair care on tumblr. I generally do not respond to unsolicited or “creepy-sounding” questions and comments!
- I swoon for historical fashions, particularly from the late 17th-century to the Georgian era, and late Victorian to La Belle Époque. Though only possessed of a small collection of historically-inspired reproductions, all made by Vanyanis, I hope to add more as my sewing skills improve.
- While not very active in the lolita fashion community these days (not to be confused with the novel of the same name!), one of my favourite hobbies was the blending of my love for historical fashion into something more practical and wearable (though only just!). Because Japanese Classic Lolita fashion takes its inspiration from so many elements of the 18th and 19th-century dress and aesthetics that I adore, it struck me as the perfect way to enjoy the ornate craftsmanship and feminine lines in day-to-day life. I still love the style but have decided to only keep the pieces that are most flattering or versatile – truth be told, I value the friends I’ve made over the past few years more than the frills!
- I’m having fun going back to a “dark mori-esque” incarnation of the gothic fashion I used to wear constantly a decade ago, as well as trying to prioritise the “Elven” gowns and aesthetic that were such a dream for me as a Lord of the Rings obsessed teenager! Dark mori makes it easier to incorporate those natural themes and lacy layers, while also being extremely comfortable.
“Alêtheia” is a Greek term meaning “unconcealed”, which I chose for its association with the mythological river Lethe – and also because it’s a pleasant-sounding word. A Nocturne, in this instance, is a musical form which is evocative somehow of the night, and was popularised by Chopin. The term has significance to me because Chopin’s Nocturnes are one of my favourite sets of works for solo piano.
This domain actually began as a message board that I ran for friends, after becoming nostalgic for the mid-2000s when forums were still quite popular. It didn’t really take off, so I decided to create a proper blog to document my thoughts and life events.
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