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

Posts tagged “Music

Lake Rock Sky (An Electric Ladyland Remix)

Sometimes an image reflects things that exist only in the mind….

A moment with lake, rock, and sky in retrospect ... An Electric Ladyland Remix

What do you do with a memory that occurs suddenly while creating a piece? Or after the piece has been produced? I really did not have any definitive path for this piece. I just wanted to explore form, color and process utilizing photographic images from a lake, a sky and a mountain. Process is important to me and sometimes an abstract work can reveal a lot about process. It then occurred to me after its completion that it had both an organic and electrical feel to it. And the image that came to mind, while deepening my contemplative view of the work was Jimi Hendrix. Yes—Jimi Hendrix. Why Jimi, now that is a good question? You really do not see any real connection to Jimi at all in the piece. Or so it seems. Perhaps if you are thinking like I am—in that moment; or after having similar life experiences, you would see Jimi as well. But it is ok if you don’t. It’s your art as well as mine. I am just the physical creator of it. To you, it is what it says and reflects from your life experience.  But I digress. Getting back to Jimi and how he relates to this piece, is in itself abstract. In 1970 while visiting my older cousin and sifting through his record collection, I came across two beautiful album covers and titles. Both were mysterious and beautiful. They were Band of Gypsies and Electric Ladyland. This was my introduction to his music and rock music in general. I was 13 years old. I never looked back. The two albums and the music recorded on the discs would have significant influence on my future art. An introduction to psychedelic colors, experimental structures and abstract forms.

So I saw Jimi, in this piece, and it began with a lake, a sky and a mountain. And I called it “Lake Sky Mountain (An Electric Ladyland Remix)”

I can hear Jimi say … groovy….


Moments In Time (A Yesterday Video Remix)

Sometimes moments in time are like the possession of precious jewels only remembered briefly…..

My latest video entitled “Moments In Time (A Yesterday Video Remix)” starts off with clips from previous videos and a multimedia performance before evolving into my most recent ventures of 2012; finding new forms in the mountains of Western North Carolina. My early video work began back in 1988. Of course there were no digital cameras, and we had to use those large, bulky, VHS Cameras. At the time I was fortunate to have some rather unique video editing software, and hardware courtesy of my Amiga 1000 digital suite and the third-party supplier of a video mixer called the Genlock. Now with a HD digital camera, there is much higher resolution, creating a more definitive, sharper image. I recently purchased the Avid Studio Pro video software, and hope that the quality, and versatility will yield several levels of high performance (within a modest price range).

One of the major traits in the processing of my previous video work, has been my ability to layer video sources. So I am looking forward to using this new capability (the latest digital hardware and software) to continue this process. In the end I hope to create thought-provoking video imagery that is abstract, ambient. and minimalistic.

So I hope you enjoy what I think may be a transitional video on the path to new ideas, and processes.

Moments In Time (A Yesterday Video Remix)….

http://youtu.be/6ti_CrYaRzk


Music For Backgrounds: Ajad – Reiki Vol. 2 (Reiki Music 2: Music for Love)

The wonder of healing and finding the true Self … resting in peace with All That Is…

Today, I awoke to some very inspiring posts. They brought to my attention the essence of our lives spent in gratitude for All That Is and our remarkable ability to be creative, while discerning our immense capacity to love and be loved…

This morning I wrote a short text to my sister, telling her I loved her dearly. February, is a difficult month for us. Both my Mother’s and daughter’s birthdays are this month. Both, including my father, sadly have passed away. It is just her and I now.

I needed to reach out to my sister, share the love, tell her that she was in my thoughts and I hold her dear….

I am in the middle of my Chakra Colors for Meditation series. A collection of mindful images that I hope promotes a desire to journey within—to find a place of healing, peace, and love. I thought an interlude that included some soothing Reiki music would be just the thing to enhanced your contemplative experience of the day

Remember to breathe softly, focus your attention and stay centered.

Ajad – Reiki Vol 2 (Reiki Music 2: Music for Love) 59:53

http://youtu.be/64PT6JSuPK8

Here is the link to The Silence Series: Chakras Colors for Meditation – 1st chakra Muladhara (Red)

http://wp.me/p1f97v-Iq


January 21. 2012. 05:59 PM (A Heavenly Slideshow Remix)

2011 and now 2012 promises to bring to the forefront—images and ideas for the contemplative and visionary mind.

Here is just a sample of recent work.

http://youtu.be/uJHrGjLq3Dw

Music by Tomasz Bednarczyk


Water For Meditation (A Contemplative Thought Video Remix)

On a beautiful afternoon, at a moments notice with camera in hand…

A peaceful discovery

Water and meditation….

http://youtu.be/pyYahhz2svM

Music by Molly Berg and Stephen Vitiello

Water for Meditation is a study in video minimalism. I am again, working with environmental and organic imagery to present an ambient setting for quiet contemplation.


Asheville And Art For Cities (A Post Canvas And Paint Video Remix)

Asheville the Paris of the South….

I have had the pleasure and opportunity to travel to some rather unique cities such Paris France, Amsterdam in the Netherlands, and here in America, cities like Washington DC, NYC, and Los Angeles. In these major cities there are never a shortage of great art, fine dining, and exciting culture. The streets are always alive throughout the day and into the night.

But I have also come to love the small to medium-sized cities such as Greenville SC, Burlington VT, and my favorite Asheville, NC. Asheville is very beautiful. Bohemian and unique. It is a gay-friendly city and a haven for those who seek a more spiritual lifestyle. It is nestled in a valley surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains. It host for the visitor or long-time resident, diverse experiences to discover the world of  art, theatre, music, and outdoor adventure. I simply fell in love with the city many years ago.

Here is my tribute to a great city….

http://youtu.be/8YxbdmYVXJI


Music For Backgrounds 03: Brian Eno – Discreet Music

Discreet Music is an exquisite moment in classic ambient music….

I love the work of Brian Eno. Followers of ambient electronic music are quite familiar with his work. Throughout the years he has been well received and recognized as the founding father of the ambient music genre. This song entitled Discreet Music embodies the term classical ambience; circa 1975. His work, and especially this piece has always been an influential support mechanism for a lot of my creative pursuits and processes (most notably—repetition and pattern in my visual design). Some of my favorite moments with this piece has been the repeated playing of the song while entertaining guests for dinner. I believe it is perfect for any setting while enjoying a wonderful epicurean delight.

Once again in keeping with the structure of “Music For Backgrounds” I am imploring a song of some length. Discreet Music clocks in at just over 30 minutes long.

Peace in ambience….

http://youtu.be/SrBoE0ItRLc

Below is a small excerpt of his career.

Brian Eno

Brian Peter George St. John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno (born 15 May 1948), commonly known as Brian Eno or simply as Eno is an English musician, composer, record producer, singer and visual artist, known as one of the principal innovators of ambient music.

Eno studied at Colchester Institute art school in Essex, England, taking inspiration from minimalist painting. During his time on the art course at the Institute, he also gained experience in playing and making music through teaching sessions held in the adjacent music school.

He joined the band Roxy Music as their keyboards and synthesizers player in the early 1970s. Roxy Music’s success in the glam rock scene came quickly, but Eno soon tired of conflicts with lead singer Bryan Ferry, and of touring, and he left the group after the release of For Your Pleasure (1973), beginning his solo career with the art rock records Here Come the Warm Jets (1973) and Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy) (1974).

Eno extended his reach into more experimental musical styles with (No Pussyfooting) (1973) and Evening Star (1975), both collaborations with Robert Fripp, The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (1974) by Genesis where his work is credited as “Enossification”, and his influential solo records Another Green World (1975) and Discreet Music (1975). His pioneering ambient efforts at “sonic landscapes” began to consume more of his time beginning with Ambient 1: Music for Airports (1978) and later Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks (1983) which was composed for the documentary film For All Mankind. Eno nevertheless continued to sing on some of his records, ranging from Before and After Science (1977) to Wrong Way Up (1990) with John Cale to most recently Another Day on Earth (2005) and Drums Between the Bells (2011).


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


Weekly Movie-Making Moments In Film: Joe Frank Theater

The ongoing work of avant-garde monologist Joe Frank….

Memories

http://youtu.be/jO1mgTvLfa4

During the 1980’s while listening to NPR Radio, I came across the incredible surrealist work of monologist Joe Frank. His dark story of angst and misplaced reality quickly fascinated me. His work over the years has been a strong influence on my writing and my visual art. I am very pleased to introduce to you, my readers, to the beautiful work of Joe Frank. – Walter Smith

Joe Frank (born August 19, 1938) is an American radio personality, known best for his often philosophical, humorous, surrealist, and sometimes absurd monologues and radio dramas.

Early life

Joe Frank was born Joseph Langermann in August 1938 in Strasbourg, France near the border of Germany to Meier Langermann (then 51) and his wife Friederike (then 27), while in transit from Germany (where they were living, although they were Polish citizens). Being Jewish, his family was fleeing Nazi Germany and moving to New York City, where they arrived on April 12, 1939. Bills to allow the family into the country were passed in the U.S. Congress twice, the first having been vetoed by President Roosevelt. Joe’s father died when he was 5 years old. The next year his mother married Freddy Frank and changed Joe’s last name. In his twenties, Frank studied at Hofstra University in New York and later at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Frank taught English literature at the Dalton School in Manhattan when he became interested in the power of radio.

Early Career

In 1977 Frank started volunteering at Pacifica Network station WBAI in New York, doing experimental radio involving monologues, improvisational actors, and live music during late night free-form hours. In 1978 he moved to Washington DC to serve as a co-anchor for the weekend edition of National Public Radio’s All Things Considered, his first paying radio job.

During this period he wrote, performed in, and produced 18 dramas for NPR Playhouse, which won several awards. His 1982 monologue “Lies” was used as the inspiration for the Martin Scorsese movie After Hours, without permission.(He later settled out of court for a “handsome” settlement.)

KCRW, 1986–2002

In 1986, on the invitation of Ruth Hirschman [Seymour] the general manager of NPR’s Santa Monica affiliate KCRW, Frank moved to Santa Monica, California where he wrote, produced and performed in his own weekly hour-long radio program, “Joe Frank: Work In Progress.”

While at KCRW, Frank received several awards, including a Peabody Award and two Corporation for Public Broadcasting Awards, one for his acclaimed three-part series “Rent-a-Family.” Frank was also a Guggenheim Fellow.

Joe Frank continued to work at KCRW until 2002, and his work evolved, as evidenced by the diverse series he produced: first Work in Progress, then In The Dark, followed by Somewhere Out There, and finally The Other Side.

Radio programs

Frank’s radio programs are often dark and ironic, and employ a dry sense of humor and the sincere delivery of ideas or stories that are patently absurd. Subject matter often includes religion, life’s meaning, death, and Frank’s relationships with women.

Frank’s voice is distinctive, resonant, authoritative, and—because of his occasional voice-over work—often oddly familiar. At the 2003 Third Coast Festival he explained that he was “recording in Dolby and playing back without it—which created Joe’s now familiar intimate and gritty sound.”

Adding to the atmosphere of Frank’s monologues are edited loops of instrumental music from sources as diverse as Miles Davis, Steve Reich, Tangerine Dream, Can, Air and Antonio Carlos Jobim.

The repetitive music and Frank’s dry, announcer-like delivery are sometimes mixed with recorded phone calls with actor/friends such as Larry Block, Debi Mae West and Arthur Miller, broken into “acts” over the course of each hourlong program.

Frank’s series The Other Side included excerpts from Buddhist teacher Jack Kornfield’s Dharma talks at Spirit Rock Meditation Center. In an interview on KPFA’s the Morning Show, Kornfield was asked about working with Joe Frank. Kornfield explained that although he had never met or talked to Joe Frank or heard his show, he didn’t mind Frank using the lectures and that many of his meditation students had found Kornfield through the show.

Other work

  • He can be heard on the song ‘Montok Point’ on William Orbit’s album Strange Cargo Hinterland.
  • “The Decline Of Spengler” Stage Play (New Directions 48, New York)
  • “A Tour Of The City” Stage Play (Tanam Press, New York) was produced by Theatre Anima at Hangar #9 in the Old Port of Montreal in 1990, and was directed by Jordan Deitcher.
  • The Queen of Puerto Rico and Other Stories,, William Morrow and Co, New York, 1993. ISBN 0-688-08765-5 a collection of short stories: Tell me what to do—Fat man—Night—Date—Walter—The queen of Puerto Rico—The decline of Spengler

2002–present

Since 2002, Frank has performed on stage in Chicago at the Art Institute of Chicago and Steppenwolf Theatre, in San Francisco at the Great American Music Hall and in Los Angeles at the Hammer Museum and Largo at the Coronet, as well as other venues.

In 2003, Joe Frank was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Third Coast International Audio Festival.

His body of work (over 230 hours) continues to be aired on the Pacifica Radio affiliate station KPFA in Berkeley, California and many NPR stations including WNYC New York, KCRW Santa Monica and WBEZ Chicago. The entire archives, Joe Frank film shorts and other extras, are available by subscription to his web site. Show CDs, downloads, and iPods are also available through his website.

Frank’s new web site launch in August 2010 now includes free daily downloads of stories excerpted from his radio shows.

Frank continues to write new work for the stage and his website, and posts frequently on Facebook.

Inspiration to other artists

Frank’s body of work has inspired a variety of other artists including:

  • Ira Glass of This American Life: “Ira Glass worked under Frank as one of his first jobs in public radio, and credits him as his greatest inspiration.”
  • David Sedaris, writer
  • Troy Schulze, a theater artist in Houston who created the show Jerry’s World (2003) for the Houston, Tx.-based theater group Infernal Bridegroom Productions. Utilizing material from several Frank shows, the piece was deemed “Best Original Show” in Houston that year, by the Houston Press.
  • Jeff Crouse, artist and technologist, created Interactive Frank, which uses content from the web to dynamically create a Joe Frank Show. “The user types in a sentence, and Interactive Frank takes over, scouring the web for another sentence that follows a sentence with the last three words. Frank can also find streaming audio to accompany the generated narrative based on a word analysis, and it can read the narrative using an online text-to-speech generator.”
  • Filmmakers like Francis Ford Coppola, Michael Mann, David Fincher and Ivan Reitman have optioned or bought stories from Joe Frank’s radio shows.

Voiceover and acting work

Joe Frank has done voice over work for commercials including Zima, and Saturn Corporation. He was the voice of the computer in Galaxy Quest and provides voiceover for:

  • “Wild Rescues” on Animal Planet
  • “Conspiracies” on A&E
  • “Ends of the Earth” on the Learning Channel
  • “Hurricane X” on the Discovery channel
  • “Sexy Beast” film: narrator on trailer. This trailer was nominated for best film trailer in 2004.

He also had a small acting role in The Game.

Awards

  • 2003
    • Third Coast International Audio Festival Lifetime Achievement Award

During NPR Playhouse

  • 1982
    • Broadcast Media Award
  • 1983
    • Radio Program Award from the Corporation For Public Broadcasting
    • Gold Award from the International Radio Festival of New York
  • 1984
    • Gold Award from the International Radio Festival of New York (second)
    • American Nomination to the Prix Italia
  • 1985
    • Special Commendation from the Berlin Prix Futura

During Work In Progress

  • 1988
    • Major Armstrong Award
    • Corporation For Public Broadcasting Program Award
  • 1991
    • Peabody Award
  • 1993
    • Guggenheim Fellowship for Radio Art

Looking Forward to 2012 – An Artist Shares His Thoughts

Looking forward to a year of art, writing, and contemplative journeys in 2012….

Riding the path to a creative tomorrow

Somewhere in the waking, I will paint with more than one color, write with more than one word, express more than one idea….

This will be my last post of 2011. It is Friday morning, December 30th. I am sitting in front of my computer while listening to Fluid Radio on ITunes. As I begin typing, Fluid Radio is playing a track entitled Shooting Blankets from the band called Two People in a Room. It is a quiet morning. The ambience is meditative. The cats are hanging about; grooming themselves, eating and listening to the sounds. I am preparing lunch; whole grain pasta, and tomato basil sauce with scallops and meatballs. I wanted to go to the gym this morning and do some spinning or weight training, however when the urge to write beckons, expression and creativity governs the day.

I have been thinking for some time now what I wanted to work on and accomplish for the New Year. This past year I feel I have been quite successful. I spoke more in depth about my past achievements in my recent post It Has Been a Year of Blogging – Some Thoughts I Wish to Share. Now it is time to look forward.

The very first thing on my agenda is the opening of my online store n e w d i g i t a l s c a p e s for selling my art. I have completed the design of the site (Imagekind is my site provider) and I am now in the process of uploading, editing and organizing my art galleries. I am very excited. An online store, I believe, is well suited for my digital art, and should provide a high quality venue for the purchasing of my art. Prints in various sizes, high-end photographic paper, canvas, and assortment of frames are all available. Links to the site will be available on my website and on my blog in January.

I am also looking forward to returning to my love of video art. I just got a HD video camera, and will be upgrading to a semi-professional editing system. I hope to investigate a distinct realm of processing which I call “video as chance”. It is a form of video expression that allows for time, space and subject matter to dictate what come into the lens of the camera. In the meantime, I will continue to create 2-dimensional photographic work. As I hope to continue to find new ways to structure my work in a beautiful yet provocative form.

I will continue to blog as often as I can. In the past year, I have come to appreciate blogging as a great tool for finding a consistency that sustains the creative process. The heavy schedule of creating new art, and marketing my online store may mean less posting. But I always let the mood of the moment carry the day, so we will see.

Another important part of my exploratory nature is my connection with the mind and body through challenging physical adventures. Top of the list is finding new mountains to climb on my mountain bike; long road trips on my road bike; rocking climbing and hopefully sky diving. That last one will take a little courage.

I hope to finish out the year with the publishing of an art book that centers on my blogging experience. Art for Posts is the title.

All in all I am looking forward to expressing ideas and concepts, and continuing the communication I have come to appreciate with so many talented writers, photographers, musicians, and artists.

2012 is a year for us. Let’s do it together.

Art rules.

Ideas conquer….


Urban Contemplation: 13 – The French Quarter

The city series….

There is always music in the French Quarter

A journey in the French Quarter through a landscape of sound, imagery, and fine cuisine.


Urban Contemplation: 12 – Music for Public Places – Lawrence English & Stephen Vitiello

The city series….

Perfomance at Art Gallery of New South Wales – Lawrence English & Stephen Vitiello – 2010

http://youtu.be/WRkdgtBoUt8


Urban Contemplation: 11 – Music for the World Trade Center – an interview with sound artist Stephen Vitiello

The city series….

An interview with sound artist Stephen Vitiello – World Trade Center Recordings

http://youtu.be/PbkMBU2A9T8 – Stephen Vitiello


Urban Contemplation: 10 – Music for Entangled Thoughts – Lawrence English & Ai Yamamoto

The city series….

Music for Entangled Thoughts

http://youtu.be/gy1C5Jj6zNQ – Lawrence English & Ai Yamamoto – Plateau 2007

Detail of entangled thoughts and attached emotions


Urban Contemplation: 09 – Music in the Streets – Painting in the Air

The city series….

The sounds of the streets and the color of music

color takes a form

finding it

only takes

a moment

to listen

hearing the blue

seeing the red

feeling the glow

of fair music

painting in the air

….

sounds flow like palettes

of greens and yellows

just sitting

by you

feeling mellow

listening

smiling

and hearing colors…

and knowing

it’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood


“All I Ask Is That I Am Allowed To Participate In The World Of Ideas” – Bill T. Jones

Bill T. Jones

I am a strong admirer of dance and modern dance in particular. And most notably Bill T. Jones, who has always been at the forefront of the discipline.  He is an immensely creative and provocative choreographer, artistic director and dancer. I had the pleasure this evening of watching American Masters on PBS, and the featuring of “A Good Man”– Bill T. Jones and his examination of the life of President Lincoln and his new piece “The Ghost Train”. Listening to Jones’ pondering on creativity; the social, political, and psychological constructs that form his art, I was deeply inspired. It led me to my previous post on the idea of artists giving voice to their vision. This is a night of celebrating ideas, voice and Bill T. Jones.

http://youtu.be/Dg4a5RiAed8Bill T. Jones – As I Was Saying

http://youtu.be/ag5cSZcKp1g – Toronto Dance: Bill T. Jones – Chapel/Chapter

Bill T. Jones (born February 15, 1952) is an American artistic director, choreographer and dancer.

Early life

Jones was born in Bunnell, Florida and his family moved North as part of the Great Migration in the first half of the twentieth century. They settled in Wayland, New York, where Jones attended Wayland High School. He began his dance training at Binghamton University, where he studied classical ballet and modern dance.

Jones choreographed and performed worldwide as a soloist and duet company with his late partner, Arnie Zane before forming the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company in 1982.

Career

Creating more than 100 works for his own company, Jones has also choreographed for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, AXIS Dance Company, Boston Ballet, Lyon Opera Ballet, Berlin Opera Ballet and Diversions Dance Company, among others. In 1995, Jones directed and performed in a collaborative work with Toni Morrison and Max Roach, Degga, at Alice Tully Hall, commissioned by Lincoln Center’s “Serious Fun” Festival. His collaboration with Jessye Norman, How! Do! We! Do!, premiered at New York’s City Center in 1999.

In 1990, Jones choreographed Sir Michael Tippett’s New Year under the direction of Sir Peter Hall for the Houston Grand Opera and the Glyndebourne Opera Festival. He conceived, co-directed and choreographed Mother of Three Sons, which was performed at the Munich Biennale, New York City Opera, and the Houston Grand Opera. He also directed Lost in the Stars for the Boston Lyric Opera. Jones’ theater involvement includes co-directing Perfect Courage with Rhodessa Jones for Festival 2000, in 1990. In 1994, he directed Derek Walcott’s Dream on Monkey Mountain for The Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, MN.

Jones also collaborated with artist Keith Haring in 1982 to create a series of both performance and visual arts together.

Television credits include PBS’s “Great Performances” Series (Fever Swamp and Last Supper at Uncle Tom’s Cabin/The Promised Land) and “Alive from Off Center” (Untitled). Still/Here was co-directed for television by Bill T. Jones and Gretchen Bender. A PBS documentary on the making of Still/Here, by Bill Moyers and David Grubin, “Bill T. Jones: Still/Here with Bill Moyers”, premiered in 1997. The 1999 Blackside documentary I’ll Make Me a World: A Century of African-American Arts, profiled Jones’ work. D-Man in the Waters is included in “Free to Dance”, a 2001 Emmy winning documentary that chronicles modern dance’s African-American roots. Narrated by Jones himself, the BBC/VIEW also produced a documentary film, entitled Bill T. Jones: Dancing to the Promised Land, that documents the creation of Jones’s Last Supper at Uncle Tom’s Cabin/The Promised Land and guides us through the life, work, and creative process of Jones and the Bill T. Jones / Arnie Zane Dance Company.

Jones is the co-creator, director and choreographer of the musical Fela!, which ran Off-Broadway in 2008 and opened on Broadway in previews in October 2009. Jones won the Lucille Lortel Award as Outstanding Choreographer for his work as well as the Tony Award for Best Choreography.

Awards

In 1994, Jones received a MacArthur “Genius” Award. In 1979, Jones was granted the Creative Artists Public Service Award in Choreography, and in 1980, 1981 and 1982, he was the recipient of Choreographic Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. Bill T. Jones has been awarded several New York Dance and Performance (“Bessie Awards”); 1986 Joyce Theater Season (along with Arnie Zane), D-Man in the Waters (1989 and 2001), The Table Project (2001) and The Breathing Show (2001). Mr. Jones, along with his collaborators, sister Rhodessa Jones and Idris Ackamoor, received an “Izzie Award” in Choreography for Perfect Courage in 1992. In 2001, Jones received another “Izzie” for his work, Fantasy in C-Major, with AXIS Dance Company. Jones was honored with the Dorothy B. Chandler Performing Arts Award for his innovative contributions to performing arts in 1991. In 1993, Jones was presented with the Dance Magazine Award. In 2000, The Dance Heritage Coalition named Jones “An Irreplaceable Dance Treasure.” Jones has received honorary doctorates from the Art Institute of Chicago, Bard College, Columbia College, the Juilliard School, Swarthmore College, and Yale University. He is also a recipient of the SUNY Binghamton Distinguished Alumni Award.

In 2003 Jones was awarded The Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize, one of the richest prizes in the arts, given annually to “a man or woman who has made an outstanding contribution to the beauty of the world and to mankind’s enjoyment and understanding of life.” In 2005 he received the Wexner Prize at the Wexner Center for the Arts at The Ohio State University.

In 2007, he won the Tony award for Best Choreography for Spring Awakening.

Jones was named a 2007 USA Eileen Harris Norton Fellow and awarded a $50,000 grant by United States Artists, a public charity that supports and promotes the work of American artists.

Jones was inducted into the National Museum of Dance C.V. Whitney Hall of Fame in 2007.

In 2010, Jones won the Tony Award for Best Choreography for his work in Fela!.

He was one of five recipients for the 2010 Kennedy Center Honors.

Bill T Jones was the recipient of the 2011 YoungArts Arison Award which is given annually to an individual who has had a significant influence on the development of young American artists.

Bill T. Jones


Weekly Movie-Making Moments In Film: Napoleon Dynamite

Napoleon Dynamite

Nerds of the World Unite….

What a great film and one of the best original comedies to come along in quite some time. I’ve always loved films about high school angst, going back to those great John Hughes films of the 80’s. Not everyone can relate to a film like Napoleon Dynamite; many have found its charm to be wanting and distasteful. However, I can identify with its peculiar awkwardness, that I too shared with others in high school. And just like Napoleon, art was often my escape. It can be said that Napoleon’s nerdy demeanor is always just a moment away from giving you the side-splitting laugh you always dreamed of 🙂 – Walter Smith

http://youtu.be/H2Kh7umdOrk – Napoleon Dynamite Trailer

http://youtu.be/kr7djGY1fhA – Napoleon Dynamite Dance Scene

Synopsis: The directorial debut of filmmaker Jared Hess, who  also co-wrote the screenplay, Napoleon Dynamite is a quirky, offbeat comedy set in the small Idaho town of Preston. Jon Heder stars in the titular role, a carrot-topped oddball with a decidedly eccentric family that includes his llama-loving, dune-buggy enthusiast grandmother. The story centers on the local high school’s race for class president. Using some nontraditional means, Napoleon is determined to help his pal Pedro (Efrem Ramirez) run a winning campaign and defeat popular girl Summer (Haylie Duff). Also starring The Drew Carey Show’s Diedrich Bader, Napoleon Dynamite premiered at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival. …

Dancing to the song Forever Young

The Promise – Lyrics to the song, The Promise by When In Rome. The ending theme to Napoleon Dynamite. Enjoy the musical flashback to the 80’s.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMZL9pd4Q8M


30-Day Song Challenge: Day 20 – Asks the question, what artist best captures the essence of ambient meditation for the creation of art?

Taylor Deupree

Taylor Deupree – Rusted Oak – From the CD Shoals

http://youtu.be/CUR7mFmoQsU

Taylor Deupree – Landing – From the CD Landing

http://youtu.be/Cc_uKx8NTa4

Human Mesh Dance (Taylor Deupree) – Sunken Garden

http://youtu.be/ABwD5xs_YEg

Taylor Deupree performs

Taylor Deupree (born April 30, 1971), is an American electronic musician, photographer and graphic designer. He is most known for the founding of the 12k record label, along with his work as a member of Prototype 909, his solo project as Human Mesh Dance, and his collaborations with Savvas Ysatis and Christopher Willits. In 2008, Taylor Deupree was the Président d’Honneur of the Qwartz Electronic Music Awards 5th in Paris (France).

Today while working on my latest post in “The City Series” (Urban Contemplation 07: On Either Side of that Open Door it’s the Same), I found myself listening to the deeper reflective elements of my music collection—“A Dancing Beggar, Ai Yamamoto, Lawrence English and the featured artist for this challenge Taylor Deupree. Taylor is one of my favorite ambient artist. For me his music slowly evolves and creates a suspended sense of kinetic dynamics that holds the mind still while producing a beautiful landscape for creativity.

What do you think? Although the music may be challenging for any who are unfamiliar with the genre, does it resonate with you as a possible source of creative inspiration for the production of prose and / or art?


30-Day Song Challenge: Day 19 – Asks the question what musician best captures the essence of digital music?

30-Day Song Challenge: Day 19 – Asks the question what musician best captures the essence of digital music?

The Music of Ryoji Ikeda

Ryoji Ikeda - NODE Festival

Ryoji Ikeda – Data. Matrix – Live at Sonair 2010

http://youtu.be/k3J4d4RbeWc

Ryoji Ikeda – THE TRANSFINITE at Park Avenue Armory, New York City

http://youtu.be/Y5NpIuEKtSU

“I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I’m frightened of the old ones.” ~ John Cage

I have always had a love for electronic music since the mid 1970’s. This fascination originated with the sounds of analog space music by such artists as Klaus Schulze and Tangerine Dream. Over the years the evolution of electronic music has been quite innovative and exploratory, while simultaneously producing various styles, and sub-genres. I purposely have sought out, over the years, the artists that were on the edge of the new technology–believing in, and embracing the influence–as a source for my own artistic creativity.

The transition to digital technology has opened the door to a multitude of creative possibilities for musicians and visual artists.

Ryoji Ikeda, my featured artist, is an experimental musician who utilizes a multitude of sound sources to create strange but beautiful musical soundscapes.

Ryoji Ikeda (born 1966 in Gifu, Japan) is a Japanese sound artist who lives and works in Paris. Ikeda’s music is concerned primarily with sound in a variety of “raw” states, such as sine tones and noise, often using frequencies at the edges of the range of human hearing. The conclusion of his album +/- features just such a tone; of it, Ikeda says “a high frequency sound is used that the listener becomes aware of only upon its disappearance” (from the CD booklet). Rhythmically, Ikeda’s music is highly imaginative, exploiting beat patterns and, at times, using a variety of discrete tones and noise to create the semblance of a drum machine. His work also encroaches on the world of ambient music; many tracks on his albums are concerned with slowly evolving soundscapes, with little or no sense of pulse.

“If there were one style of music I wish I had the ability to produce it would be the music of Ryoji Ikeda” – Walter Smith

Ryoji Ikeda – Barbican 2011

http://youtu.be/QHUWvvYDb4c

Ryoji Ikeda – “Per Se”

http://youtu.be/wUYpLrTqzb8

Ryoji Ikeda - datatron-8k-enhan


30-Day Song Challenge: Day 18 – a song you hear often on the radio (Itunes – M2 live from Paris)

30-Day Song Challenge: Day 18 – Asks the question what is a song that you hear often on the radio?

Stephane Pompougnac – remixes

Hotel Costes vol 1 mixed by Stephane Pompougnac

http://youtu.be/bIyc2as7h_k – Ghosts & Roses

http://youtu.be/1D70kcZvgZc – Union Square

http://youtu.be/_hqhq37ifeo – Summer in Paris

http://youtu.be/HiB_ns4lmMU – Amour

http://youtu.be/IC5kuwgFOls – Champs Elysees

http://youtu.be/ntM59FkTpME – One Night in Rio

http://youtu.be/xB3XbZ4nk50 –  Zwing Ting – The Streamers – mixed by Stephane Pompougnac

Here are seven songs that I am sure have had heavy play in Paris, France. Stephane Pompougnac is the resident DJ at the famous Hotel Costes. For the last decade he has been mixing an incredible diverse sound of trip-hop, bossa nova, chill, house, and hip-hop for the Hotel Costes series. The groove is there and the beat flows. I highly recommend checking out this series as well as the Buddha Bar series. The Buddha Bar is another restaurant bar club in Paris, that is frequented by stars and the like and is hosted by different DJ’s. My favorite Buddha Bar mixer is DJ Ravin. Stayed tuned for a look at the playlist of the Buddha Bar series as well.

Hotel Costes vol 5 mixed by Stephane Pompougnac


30-Day Song Challenge: Day 17 – What musician best captured the essence of analog electronic space music

KLAUS SCHULZE

klaus Schulze Mirage

http://youtu.be/UpaoRFPzwQ4 – Velvet Voyage from the 1977 album Mirage – an electronic winter landscape – video by picturemusic 75

Klaus Schulze "X"

http://youtu.be/0vtE7–vetE – Frank Herbert from the classic 1978 album “X” by Klaus Schulze – video by zrhno

German composer, Klaus Schulze is one the most creative and
enduring electronic musician of our modern age. Born in Berlin in 1947, his
musical career began as a drummer, bassist and guitarist with several rock
bands including the band PSY FREE. He was an original member of TANGERINE DREAM and a
founding member of ASH RA TEMPEL. Both of these bands are all time favorites of mine,
and had become a significant part of my listening playlist during the 1970’s and 80’s.  Klaus Schulze ventured out on his own in the early 70’s and recorded his first solo album in 1972 entitled Irrlicht. Several remarkable albums followed including
Cyborg in 1973, Timewind in 1975, and Body Love; a USA Billboard import charting in
at #2. In 1977 and 1978 he then produced the two albums featured here in this music
challenge; namely Mirage, and “X” respectively.

Out of the vast collection of recordings Klaus Schulze has
produced, these two distinctly different albums in style and sound composition
are my favorites.

In an interview with the master of “electronic space music”, Klaus
described his music as “the background to a mental picture, but the exact
interpretation must be made by the listener, hence the music is only half
composed and the listener himself should attack the composition to gain a mental
repercussion. This is why, perhaps, people love or hate my music!”

I’ve always admired and embraced his music as an art form unto itself, with its unfolding layers of sound
— their tones, textures and colors producing a mysterious, evolving beauty at its very core.

Enjoy the master of Electronic Music.

Live concert in 1978 with Wolfgang Tiepold

Klaus performing on he Moog analog synthersizer circa 1970's

The 1980's and the emergence of the digital age in music

Klaus Schulze still going strong in 2010

Klaus Schulze – Mirage

Velvet Voyage

28:16

Crystal Lake

29:15

In cosa crede chi non
crede?

19:39

Soundtrack recording
from 1976 (Bonus Track)

Klaus Schulze – “X”

# 1 : Friedrich Nietzsche

24:50

Georg Trakl

26:04

Frank Herbert

10:51

Friedemann Bach

18:00

# 2 : Ludwig II. von Bayern

28:39

Heinrich von Kleist

29:32

Objet d’Louis

21:32

Live with orchestra,
1978 (Bonus Track)

30-Day Song Challenge: Day 16

30-Day Song Challenge: Day 16 asks the question what is “a song that is in keeping with all things French”?

Keeping it simple, Keeping it real, Keeping it retro….French pop from the 1960’s with Francoise Hardy and France Gall.

http://youtu.be/0aLoezucIzk – Francoise Hardy – Tous les garcons et les filles (1962)

http://youtu.be/s5aeeSmkPwQ – France Gall – Poupee De Cire, Poupee De Son (1965)

Oh yes, this is just… to damn cool….


The Silence of Liberation

Toward the love within….

Silence

Silence 02

It is after 12 a.m. and I have just read a wonderful post by
fellow blogger Elizabeth—the author of the blog Mirth and Motivation on
Wordpress.com. I was so inspired by her thoughts and comments on the recent
tragedies in Norway, China and the death of Amy Winehouse, that I felt compelled
to create a post on her theme i.e. the need for silence, for understanding,
compassion and healing.

Silence 03

Silence 04

I am not going to say much about the events that occurred here
in this post, (the struggles of mankind as a community and we as individuals
speak for themselves) however, I would like to express my feelings, my
compassion, and the love of healing through
silence
via my art.

Silence 05

Silence 06

Silence is a powerful tool. When we cultivate our inward
journey through meditation, contemplative thought and positive action, we
harness the energy to change ourselves and the world around us. For me, these
moments tonight of creative insight and sharing, in connection with my art and
the desire to send forth compassionate energy is liberating in of itself.  I can feel the hurt that so many in our
communities are experiencing and my desire for their liberation and the end of
suffering goes out to a world in need.

In Buddhism we learn the need for Nirvana: the cessation of
unsatisfactory conditions and their causes.

Silence 07

Silence 08

I hope the images I have created and the music I selected
for this post help to bring some peace and positive recollection to our hearts
and minds.

http://youtu.be/K8-iTakhFrs  — The Disintegration Loops III — William Basinski — Video by Bodyheaven

We are of one Source Energy, and one Spirit.

The Silence of Liberation and the Silence Within