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

Music For Backgrounds

Images For HD Video: Water For Meditation (Sunrise Remix) and On Water

Exploring nature through video …

I enjoy working with video. It has always been a true love of mine. It is however, a very challenging medium. It takes time to learn new programs and to obtain the right equipment. And it is expensive. Exhibiting video art in a gallery usually requires a grant. And grants are difficult to come by these days. In the 1980’s and 1990’s, I was awarded a couple of grants for a video installation and a multimedia collaboration. All in all, through recent years, and mostly because of the expense, I’ve shifted from video art to digital imaging. 2-dimensional work. Photography, prints, and digital art.

However, I do want to invest more time in video making. At the heart of this endeavor is having the right mindset for video. Filming. Set design. Editing. Video making is much different from taking photographs. I must remind myself not to think in terms of large production. But rather find inspiration and subject matter in the in-between spaces. Mood. Ambient nature. Form. Simplicity. Lo-tech – high-tech.

The pieces “Water for Meditation” and “On Water” are two perfect examples of ambient nature. They are not very complicated to film and produce, yet fulfill, in this instance, my desire to create an ambient environment for meditation. Transporting the viewer to a moment of relaxation. “On Water” is micro short (26 seconds) in length, while “Water for Meditation” is nearly six minutes long. I prefer long meditative pieces, however I realize that it takes a considerable amount of investment on part of the viewer to “sit” through the minimal motion of a piece of great length. All in all I hope to produce in the future some rather experimental pieces. Incorporating original imagery and music created by me. Work that at this time is a mystery to me.

Below are 2 links to my YouTube channel and the video pieces; “Water For Meditation” (Sunrise Remix) and “On Water”.

Please enjoy. Any feedback is well appreciated. In the future, I hope to post videos more regularly.

Namaste

http://youtu.be/pyYahhz2svM  –  Water For Mediation (Sunrise Remix)

http://youtu.be/wGXnumdn_Ys  –  On Water

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Music For Backgrounds 02: Jack DeJohnette -Peace time

A beautiful journey into a serene world of meditative bliss. This is perfect music for your meditation, creative process or yoga practice….

– Jack DeJohnette’s Peace time 1:02:08

Throughout late 2009 and most of 2010, Peace time was one of my most played albums. It simply is captivating….

http://youtu.be/zcmJgliXwqc

Jack DeJohnette (born 9 August 1942) is an American jazz drummer, pianist, and composer. He is one of the most influential jazz drummers of the 20th century, due to extensive work as leader and sideman for musicians like Miles Davis, Joe Henderson, Freddie Hubbard, Keith Jarrett and Sonny Rollins.

Biography

DeJohnette was born in Chicago, Illinois. Besides the drums, he also studied the piano. He first became known as a member of Charles Lloyd’s band, a group that pianist Keith Jarrett also was a part of at that time. He played with Bill Evans in 1968 on the acclaimed Bill Evans at the Montreux Jazz Festival, and from 1969 to 1972 played with Miles Davis. In the 1970s he recorded for Milestone/Prestige and ECM. He also appeared widely on ECM as a sideman. Since then he has recorded for MCA Records, Blue Note Records, and Kindred Rhythm.

DeJohnette has led several groups since the early-1970s, including Compost, a jazz-rock group that did two albums for Columbia with Bob Moses and Harold Vick; Directions (with John Abercrombie, Alex Foster, Warren Bernhardt, and Mike Richmond); New Directions (with Abercrombie, Lester Bowie, and Eddie Gomez); Gateway (with John Abercrombie and Dave Holland); and Special Edition (with David Murray, Chico Freeman, Arthur Blythe, Peter Warren, and others). Since the 1980s, he has been a member of what has become known as Keith Jarrett’s Standards Trio alongside Jarrett and Gary Peacock.

Since 2003, DeJohnette has been part of Trio Beyond with fellow musicians Larry Goldings (organ) and John Scofield (guitar). The trio was set up in tribute to The Tony Williams Lifetime trio led by Williams with Larry Young (organ) and John McLaughlin (guitar). He also currently appears as a member of the Bruce Hornsby Trio. In February, 2009, DeJohnette received the Grammy Award for Best New Age Album, Peace Time.

DeJohnette’s most current project as of 2010 is Jack DeJohnette Group, featuring Rudresh Mahanthappa on alto saxophone, David Fiuczynski on double-neck guitar, George Colligan on keyboards and piano, and long-time associate Jerome Harris on electric and acoustic bass guitars.

DeJohnette successfully incorporates elements of free jazz and world music, while maintaining the deep grooves of jazz and R&B drummers. His exceptional experience of time and style, combined with astounding improvisational ingenuity, make him one of the most highly regarded and in-demand drummers. He also occasionally appears on piano, on his own recordings.

In 2012, DeJohnette will be awarded an NEA Jazz Masters Fellowship for his “significant lifetime contributions have helped to enrich jazz and further the growth of the art form.”


Music For Backgrounds 01: Dr. Atmo – Samarra (Sad World II)

Music For Backgrounds is my 2012 music reviewer which will explore new music in the electronic / ambient genre. I hope to continue what I began with last year’s 30-Day Song Challenge; introducing my readers to the music of artists from around the world. I am calling this series “Music For Backgrounds” because I want to bring a musical sensibility that supports participation from a distance. This is background music. Music for creating art, working around the house, reading, anything where your attention is needed elsewhere. It is music for repeated listening throughout the day. Most of the tracks will be slightly long in length (up to an hour will be the average), therefore I suggest that you make a copy of the URL and paste it in a folder or on your desktop. Because of the length of the music, I realize that it may be difficult to devote listening time while posting.

First up in the series is Dr. Atmo. In the 1990’s I was very much influenced by the FAX label out of Germany. The label, founded by Pete Namlook, brings together various musicians in the electronic sphere for collaboration and solo projects. Dr. Atmo produced the 2-cd masterpiece entitled Samarra (Sad World) in 1993. The track featured here is just over 40 minutes long. It is a long-flowing, mind-blowing excursion into a wall of sound. It begins with a wash of ocean surf and synths with a vocalization depicting a rather strange, surreal story of Jesus in the upper room. As the piece progresses, the cyclical synths are joined by drums and sequencing beats. Sad World is a beautiful and mysterious work of art. A true masterpiece.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?list=AVGxdCwVVULXeYKfxr26ARzrKpWOZHMPaB&v=1vFb8LyYz_4&feature=player_detailpage