words and art by w a l t e r w s m i t h

Biking to a Place Inside and Out / 06

Sometimes on the bike the reality of life and the beautiful dream become one

I am very fortunate that were I live, I can immediately access miles of rural back roads to immerse myself on my road bike. I spoke earlier about the sense of transformation that is achieved while biking. Here on these winding roads and gently sloping hills, I pass by farm lands, historic areas, woods and beautiful estates.  What enhances a great ride is the right music. There is a distinct difference in the selection of music for road and mountain.  On the road there is a need to be able to hear your surroundings for safety measures. Hence, my selection is always, soft, slow dancing ambient. My favorite band for a ride is the neo-classical ambient band from Austin Texas, Stars of the Lid. In fact, this has been the most prolific band for me in the past two years. This is aural mastery of the highest order. In contrast, when mountain biking, there really is no need to be conscious of your surroundings.  Now your music can flow anyway you like. For the mountain, I prefer long flowing electronic sounds from bands like AES Dana, Bombay Dub Orchestra and Near the Parenthesis, or French Pop artists like Etienne Daho, France Gall, Charlotte Gainsbourg, and Alizee to name a few. It is here on the mountain when you need that extra aural drive to push your rhythm to its fullest—to make that climb.

Music plays a significant part in creating the aural soundscape in which to find transformation in physical movement

2 responses

  1. I’d be curious to know how you create these pictures… pretty cool!:-)

    February 16, 2011 at 1:14 pm

  2. Hi Liz, and thank you for the wonderful comments on this series entitled “Biking to a Place Inside and Out”. You asked how I create these pictures….
    You can go to my website and get a more detail examination of my process, but here is the shorter version 🙂
    First, I have a large collection of photographs and images that I can use. I have been creating digital art since 1985. I always start a piece with photo correction techniques before creating effects. Depending on the image (portrait, landscape, abstract) determines where I want to go in relation to effects (soft, sharp organic, geometric, opaque, transparent etc). I always let the computer contribute its own “ideas” as well. It is important to note that for my posts, I usually utilize a single frame image and not a multi-layered, multi photo, image that I produce for my more conceptual collages. The images for the posts are similar to “sketches” which are quickly created… unless it is a previous image already found in my portfolio. One of the things that I am discovering in this process is the immediacy of the internet and social networking i.e. YouTube, Facebook, blogging etc. I want these various internet mediums themselves to become the vehicle for art, individual and collectively. That is why blogging is exciting. It provides a challenge to produce regularly and provides tools for creativity and an audience. I recently have come across the idea of creating an avatar of me as an artist, and a real-time gallery space to create work in and interact with visitors who come to the gallery. I think there is a site called “Somebody Else” that might provide this type of interaction. Anyway I do hope to be a consistent blogger, and want to thank you again for your inspiration. If you have any suggestions on sites that can provide real-time, interactive, creative solutions for visual artists let me know.

    February 18, 2011 at 4:05 pm

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