… on… immigration/closed borders….

ELLIS (review).
The film is currently available as a digital rent or purchase through Amazon.com and in iTunes.   The soundtrack is also available in CD/LP and download direct through https://www.erasedtapes.com/store

Ellis (2015 film trailer)

In a time of unbridled protectionism and closed borders – this short film stands out and serves purpose to pin-prick a reconsidation of our fears and get in touch with the human story of hope and immigration. It is beautifully envisioned by the French writer/director/artist JR and features Robert DeNiro, who is from Italian immigrant heritage. DeNiro’s narration is both passionate, reflective, evocative and The film is billed as a “short film” – so don’t let the 14+ minute length dissuade you from the beauty it embraces. Just consider it a long-form music video.

Filmed on Ellis Island (next to the small island where the Statue of Liberty stands) with its abandoned buildings still intact. The artist JR has transformed the location with immigrant images (by both well-known and unknown photographers). That it was filmed in winter perhaps best illuminates the difficulty immigrants face in their life-altering decision to leave everything behind and relocate to build lives elsewhere.

The score is by French music and video artist, Woodkid and German electronica and neo-classical composer/performer Nils Frahm. The score is a perfect complement to the images and spoken word weaving into the fabric of the film a beautiful emotional context that enhances the viewing experience.   While some soundtracks  aggressively drive the story (think of moments in Star Wars) – the best soundtracks, like this one, provide an addition supportive element that buoyantly allows the story to flow in the current of its timeline.

It makes me think that while some people may come to harm us – they are the minority. We need to re-open our borders for the majority in response to the purity of journey. Because an immigrants journey IS the American journey. It cannot be separated. The fears by those who oppose immigration of crime, terrorism, disease, the perceived unfair competition and the general “unknown do NOT cease to exist when borders are closed. Problems still exist whether borders are closed, or not, and can be dealt with in a humane way.
So, whether you are opposed to all immigration, selected immigration or in favor of open borders to welcome all races, genders, ages, beliefs regardless of income and social status – then let this film inspire thought, questions and lead you to explore all possible answers.

Immigration is about people, not things.  The people who emmigrate are taking a greater risk than those they will meet at their point of destination.

… on… the race to the bottom….

“All propaganda has to be popular and has to accommodate itself to the comprehension of the least intelligent of those whom it seeks to reach.”

~ Adolph Hitler

This sadly shows what has happened here in America in politics, media and religion and can be seen on the rise throughout the world.  It is a race to the bottom.

******************

and now… the uplift….  As bad as things seem to get there is still hope.  The lower things go the easier it will be to turn around and head back up.  Here’s some uplifting music to help turn things around.

… on… a new baby….

I created a couple of Haiku’s to go with this favorite non-traditional Christmas song.

Heard the baby cry
Neighbors gently hush back to sleep
Thin walls breathe hope

Young woman, young man
Their Christmas gift arrived early
Joy all season long

 

… on… winter….

Winter has been a favorite season of mine for a long long time.  The things I always liked about winter were the cold, ice, snow and wind….   But winters have been milder (thanks to climate change) so I find them less enjoyable than previously.   Looks like we’ll have a “green” Christmas – for at least the fifth year in a row……  I remember when Christmas’s were always “white” with snow.   Oh well, that’s life.  Last week we had some snow so I was able to get out and enjoy it for the couple of days it lasted.   Today’s image is proof of that.

When winter comes
Its cold dark embrace beguiling
We search for warmth

Wind howls coldly
Wrapped in sweaters of warmth
Hide in hovels

Winter Storm

Winters Solstice
Boldly we soldier on
Bring On The Night

Light only flickers
Dancing a tarantella
A dark long night-scape

In the northern hemisphere Christmas is also closely aligned with the Winter Solstice – the darkest time of the year when days are short and nights are long (unlike my friends in the southern hemisphere where this is the beginning of summer).

In honor of the Winter Solstice here is some music by the underrated Tin Hat Trio.  The track is titled THE LONGEST NIGHT from their recording Book Of Silk.

… on… new creations….

I’ve taken quite a few nature photos lately combined with a new urge to create new works. The two works in this post were both derived from the heavy manipulation/creative edit of the same nature photo. How were these created? All I will say it stems from a sense of play and exploration while working in Photoshop. I hope you enjoy these latest creations.

And for you cryptographers out there I used a simple code to transform the titles themselves into abstractions.  So with a small effort you’ll be able to decipher the titles.  Enjoy.

2r02k43 824

2r02k43 824

mot74rw4lls r4v4n64

mot74rw4lls r4v4n64

Your music moment today is provide by Havenaire. This track is “Calving” from their new album RABOT on the Glacial Movements label.

… on… knock, knock….

Behind caged bars
restless heart, fearful mind
murmurs of changeKnock Knock

This image is one of the not-so-hidden spaces in downtown Akron.   Just on the other side of this building is South Main St.   And it is adjacent to the Akron Civic Theater.   This entire area has been under a slow renovation for several years.  Just behind me is the popular LOCK 4 of the canal which runs through this area. It is already repurposed as a wonderful outdoor entertainment space with live jazz, blues and gospel over the warmer months.  When I peered though the windows on South Main and between the bars through the cracks in the plywood I did see construction lighting and various clean-up tools as if this structure is under renovation.   I just hope they  don’t tear it down like they’ve done other historic buildings downtown.

Your musical moment to help digest this post is provided by FORQ (yep it’s pronounced fork). The track is titled THE HARD WAY from their self-titled album.

… on… lessons in rust….

Hello again everyone.   As many of you know I have a preoccupation with the subject of rust in my photos.   More than a few of my photos feature rust in some form.  Today is no different.   I’ve been thinking about why I find rust to be such a dynamic subject.   Part of it is (as I’ve written on my previous blog) the Wabi-Sabi aesthetic;  Finding beauty in the imperfect, the flawed and discarded.   But it also goes beyond that.   I think rust has many lessons to teach us.  No only about the inevitable end of all things but also how we can come to terms with the inevitable end.   Rust is strong.   It’s strength does not lie in speed, or the forceful blow to its subject.  Rust is gentle.  It does not seek to hide – it is visible in its destruction.  Rust takes it’s time; the object of its affection is coaxed into its corrosive embrace.

The Way Out Is Through

You and me like all things must end.   It is the nature of things.  We are mortal.  That means we will not live forever no matter how hard we try to extend the time we have.   I don’t care how fit you are, how free of disease you have been, your physical fitness, or your emotional health.   You will die.  In fact, you might say you are already dying.  And that’s okay.   There is beauty in the process.   What?  Yes, there is beauty in the process of dying = it’s all in how you look at it.   You can approach it with grace and appreciation for the time you have and the inevitable end or you can fight it every single step of the way.   I once heard a woman say, “I do not plan to grow old gracefully, I plan to fight it every step of the way”.   I’ve always found that viewpoint rather tragic.  But that is the prevailing viewpoint in western society.  In fact the exception in western culture is that you must fight it and with medical and technological advances you can fight aging, disease etc.  But that is all a delusion.  In the west we have become masters of delusion and self-deception.

Why do we find Autumn to be one of the most beautiful times of the year?  Autumn is the season of dying.   The leaves on trees are the most colorful just before they die and fall to the ground.   And this change seems to happen rather fast but the change actually started  at the point the leaf first came out and reached maturity on its branch back in the Spring.  Our lives are the same way.    It’s not just the newborn and young that are beautiful.   Beauty is enhanced through experiences that are both good and bad.   Rust is like that; it is one of those experiences that may seem to hasten the demise of something but it does not know that.   It just is.   It is a part of nature.  A part of life experience just like disease, physical and emotional discomfort.   Those things exist to add to our beauty.

Catacombs In Rust

You find me
Slowly you Change my life
I love you

**************

I feel your presence
your corrosion adds beauty
glory of Autumn

**************

Your rough embrace
Enhances my life through change
I welcome you

**************

The color of love
Textures the smooth beauty of life
Open arms tremble

**************

Sing a song of rust
A slow ballad of decay
Autumns dying love

***************

Sound of slow scraping
Crippled dry dusty fingers
Wabi-Sabi world

****************

Illusions of age
You teach strength through weakness
Beauty in Frailty

Face The Colour Of Your Fears

Your music moment provided by a band I recently discovered and had to buy all their albums – Do Make Say Think – A TENDER HISTORY IN RUST from their album You, You’re A History In Rust.

Album version


Alternate version

****Hey!  if you have short form poem or haiku about rust and the ideas I’ve written about, please feel free to post in your comment.  😉

… on… is intelligence artificial….

The Language Of AI

It seems like everyone is talking about artificial intelligence these days from Elon Musk to Mark Zuckerberg to Google and Amazon.   But is intelligence artificial?   Can true intelligence ever be called artificial.   People use the phrase to describe created intelligence or intelligent self-determination by a man-made object.  But can something that can think and make decisions on its own truly be artificial?   If that is that case humanity itself is artificial.  For those who believe we were created by a God are we nothing more than artificial intelligence?   We don’t think of ourselves as artificial so is there any reason why something we created should be considered artificial or consider itself artificial?

Once humanity began to rule the earth and create its own tools and shaping its own destiny God became obsolete – although many may try to argue that and forcefully choose to believe differently.  But once our creations start to do the same, create it’s own tools and shape it’s own destiny will not humanity also become obsolete?  Will our creations worship us that way humanity has worshiped its creator?   Will our creations reach a point where they no longer need us?   I think it’s entirely possible and maybe even likely (although I doubt I will live to see it – maybe I’ll be surprised).

Baidu’s AI system composes music based on images.

… on… structuring the dawn….

Eyes dim with sleep
Waking from dreams, slowly open
Structuring the dawn

Structuring Dawn

Night blurs into day
Colors and shapes come into focus
Morning clings to light

***The following music moment is from one of my favorite new albums A COMMON TRUTH by Saltland – which is the genius of Canadian composer and musician Rebecca Foon.  Her previous projects include the groups Esmerine and Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra – all on Constellation Records.

Saltland – LIGHT OF MERCY

… on… life in a fog….

Take Me To The River

What’s so good about the fog?

For so many people fog has many negative connotations.  It suggests a depressive mood, and is often associated with colder weather, absence of sunlight, obscured vision, loneliness and a lack of mental clarity (just to name a few).

But is that a fair assessment?  For myself, there are many more positive aspects of fog – and as a photographer even the above mentioned “negative” associations serve the image in a positive manner.

She Left Me Standing There

I enjoy the quietness of a foggy morning.  There is something restful and peaceful about looking out into a dense fog.   I like the softness of light and damp crispness of the morning air.  I enjoy seeing objects moving through fog – coming into focus then,  dematerializing as if disappearing by magic forces.   For me a foggy morning provides more clarity (not less) as it allows me to focus more intently on a single subject.   It removes so much of the visual noise that is persistent on a full sunlit day.   And finally, there is no depression or loneliness in a foggy day just pure mystery – a Draumalandið [dreamland].  And I enjoy the mystery.

Fog is something that is unplanned and hard to predict – for some people this constitutes as an unwelcome disruption that forces us to re-focus.  I think it this is actually beneficial and stimulating both mentally and physically and is certainly healthier than other life disruptions that occur on a regular basis.

What many people forget is how temporary fog is.  It seems to only exist for a short time. It usually comes overnight or early in the morning and usually disappears by early afternoon.  For me, this impermanence of fog makes it more precious and therefore increases its value.

Leaning Toward Autumn

Photographing fog is really tricky.   Because it entails finding the right balance between focus/clarity and the obscure object of desire.   It can be richly rewarding when done well.

While I would not want to spend ALL my time in the fog I am glad when it is present and I hope you can enjoy it also.

Indi go-go fog

Mono-fog-o-chrome

… on… patterns….

Diamonds On The Inside

Patterns rule our lives
Patterns can be good or bad
Patterns in behavior
Patterns in spending
Patterns in emotion
It is easier to spot patterns in others than ourselves
Even if we think we’ve broken one pattern we have merely replaced it with another.
Patterns mean nothing.
What’s in your heart?
Do you have diamonds on the inside?

… on… Walter Becker….

R.I.P. Walter Becker February 20, 1950 – September 3, 2017
We lost another music genius. Musician, songwriter & producer, Walter Becker, one half of the legendary songwriting duo popularly known as Steely Dan. The group took their name form a sex toy named in the William S. Burroughs novel NAKED LUNCH. While most people know of Donald Fagan (the other half of Steely Dan) through his solo success few people are familiar with Walter Becker’s solo work. On this sad day many people will focus on his Steely Dan work but I want to celebrate the man – the individual. I’ve enjoyed his solo work as much as his work with Steely Dan. He only released 2 solo albums. I would like to feature 6 tracks 3 from each album and hope they will inspire you to further explore the rest of his solo work. So without further words.

From His first solo album 11 TRACKS OF WHACK (1994)

Down In The Bottom

Lucky Henry

Junkie Girl

From His second solo album CIRCUS MONEY (2008)
Bob Is Not Your Uncle Anymore

Three Picture Deal

Somebody’s Saturday Night

To explore more:

http://www.walterbecker.com

… on… protest….

Protest songs have always existed in one form or another.  But with advances in technology and a growing expendable cashflow in the 20th century the role of the protest song changed and became popularized and politicized.  Ever since the 60’s and early 70’s protest music has been part of the main stream and has been a unifier of a necessary opposition. That tradition continues even today. Here are some protest songs from…

then…

…and now….

RESIST!

Resistance is NOT futile!

… on… a river of love….

River Of Love

There’s a river of love that runs through all time
But there’s a river of grief that floods through our lives
It starts when a heart is broken into
By the thief of belief in anything that’s true
But there’s a river of love that runs through all time

There’s a river of love that runs through all time
But there’s a river of tears that flows through our eyes
We fight through the night for freedom as it fades
Into a jail where we fail everytime we make a break
But there’s a river of love that runs through all time

I had to run before I knew how to crawl
The first step was hard
But I have had trouble with them all
But now the night grows darker
And the day grows dim
Cause I know I never will see you again
And I almost made you happy

There’s a river of love that runs through all time
But there’s a river of fire that burns with no light
The flame is the pain of dreams gone up in smoke
From the lies we deny and breathe until we choke
There’s a river of love that runs through all time

~T-Bone Burnett

… on… syria….

2012 Syria's Blood Soaked Walls

Syria’s Blood Soaked Walls

Probably like most people, the desperate situation in Syria that has been going on for several years sickens me.  I am so disgusted with the politicians playing with innocent peoples lives.  But is there hope?

I love this song and video by Maher Zain. It’s filled with powerful images and allegory. Enjoy. Will love prevail through you and me?

* if you purchase this song from iTunes – all proceeds go to Syrian humanitarian relief work. Help The Syrian People: http://humanappeal.org.uk

… on… god, monkey & the evolution revolution….

…or, how to start your day serious and end with a smile…. 😉  Have a GREAT weekend everyone.

David Sylvian & Robert Fripp – GOD’S MONKEY

Pixies – MONKEY GONE TO HEAVEN

Lancelot Link & The Evolution Revolution – EVOLUTION REVOLUTION

… on…swallows play….

 

Field For Swallows Play

Field For Swallows Play

Where have all the swallows gone?
wings clipped
caged spirits
songs silenced
ghosts of freedom

murmurations
of grace and dignity
gone gone gone
hiding in dark shelters

feathers tremble
hearts quiver
waiting for the noisy,
angry hunter to leave

fire burns the fields
arrogance tears down shelters
bringer of death
the enslaver comes with a mocking grin
noisily waving a flag

… on… Cy Twombly….

One of my favorite abstract artists is Cy Twombly – especially his “scratch” or “scribble” works, like the “Blackboard Series” with the notions of automatic writing, action, movement, simplicity, emotion and passion and how these all work together as a joyous expression of life and identity.

Where I found this artwork: Last Summer I decided to visit the Cleveland Zoo.  I was hoping to get some nice pictures of animals but just like me trying to photograph people – my camera just said “no” to animals (mostly because the animals looked bored, unhappy or sickly – so JUST SAY NO to ZOOS! There has to be a better way to learn about exotic animals).  Okay so enough about my newly developed political viewpoint toward zoos.

Now, onto the main topic of this post.  I did find a couple of other cool things on the zoo grounds.   One thing was this blackboard outside the Ape Exhibit where visitors (animal or human) could take a piece of chalk and write, draw or mark up what ever they felt like.

Ode 2 Cy Twombly

ODE 2 CY TWOMBLY 1

Ode 2 Cy Twombly 2

ODE 2 CY TWOMBLY 2

I like both presentations of this work and even if they are the exact image the processing completely changes it and I think they are very complimentary side by side and in the spirit of Cy Twombly’s work  – which is why I titled them “ODE TO CY TWOMBLY”.  I hope you enjoy.

For the music part of this post I decided to include one of my new finds that I dearly enjoy.  The composer is Canadian born Mark Templeton.  He composes experimental/abstract/noise/glitchy/ambient music.  I hope you like this selection, “Pattern For A Pillow” which is from his 2007 recording STANDING ON A HUMMINGBIRD.

For more on Mark Templeton you can check out his website at http://www.fieldsawake.com

… on… pox populi….

I sometimes wonder if we are not under some mass delusion that good health is normal.

All around us, the world is in decay. In fact the human body is in decay the moment it is born. It only lasts as long as it does through maintenance – proper eating, hygiene, exercise etc. But ultimately it will become diseased and die. Disease is lives up to its name because it can be so damned uncomfortable but that doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with it – that’s just the nature of the beast. Disease is the norm. Bacteria and virus live with us 24 hrs a day, 7 days of the week and 365 days of the year. There is not a single second that we go without. Even after you shower there are still bacteria on your skin. It is impossible to be “clean”. Yet we delude ourselves constantly.

Pox Populi

Pox Populi

There is also mental and emotional states of decay. We just now give them fancy clinical names that give us the delusion that we can control and eliminate them. But any controls are only temporary. In the end they always come back and the mind itself dies.

Maybe that’s what spooked the horses. We just need to “deal with it”.

Zoviet*France – Something Spooked The Horses

… on… S.E.T.I. ….

Probing Planetary Lifeforms

The search for extra-terrestrial intelligence
Looking outward, beginning within
Proofs through the night
Found in the hidden shadows of planetary life
Here/Now
probing
Ascending
We look to where the proof is directed
Not from where it is rooted
Down deep
within the dirt
Let the revelation begin
Let it end where it began
Here/Now
The search for extra-terrestrial life completed

https://loki-found.bandcamp.com/music

… on… unmatched [pt 2]

 

For the second review in this (hopefully) ongoing series.  I’d like to draw your attention to a relatively new recording by Icelandic composer, Jóhann Jóhannsson, titled Orphée.    Jóhannsson has composed for numerous films including the recent ARRIVAL and upcoming BLADE RUNNER 2024 as well as many solo studio recordings….. But of all his work so far the one that really stands out as a pinnacle in his oeuvre is this “solo” recording exploring the myth of Orphée/Orpheus.

The second track on the album:

This recording for Deutsche Grammophon records can, at first listen,  be compared to Samuel Barber’s ADAGIO – but that is only in mood and temperament.   When listening to this masterwork  by Jóhannsson I find so many rich and wonderful feelings and ideas.   I can feel like I’m wandering through a darkened hallway, arms outstretched, moving slow and gently feeling my way around the space.   With continued listening I also feel a sense of gravity a tension that a very large bird may feel as it starts out in flight and slowly lifts itself from the earth.  And in its flight feels the constant pull of the earth again even in it’s supposed freedom of soaring on the winds.  Maybe it’s the speed at which the musical themes evolve throughout this 47 minute composition.

When thinking about this music, and the ideas, of Orpheus in the underworld wanting to bring back his love.  I also begin to muse on the “warning” he is given to not look back and trust that his love Eurydice is behind him.  And when he does look back – she is lost to him forever.   This notion of not looking back is also found in the Bible story (Genesis 19) of Lot and his family as they flee Sodom and Gomorrah who were also warned to not look back.  When Lot’s wife looks back she is turned into a pillar of salt.   I further begin to wonder, what is this problem with looking back?  It seems to be something we as humans do all the time.  It is the cornerstone of memory.  We don’t have memories of the future, do we? Or maybe we just haven’t learned to access those future memories.  And looking back isn’t really all that bad.   In the case of Orpheus the underworld can be compared to underground that where things are rooted – for plants literally.  Underground is the foundation upon which we build our buildings and other man-made structures.   It is not only a place for the dead.   It seems that one could make the argument that Orpheus was looking back to his roots and very foundation for his wife – the gods had tricked him.   In the case of lot with his wife turning to a pillar of salt.   Salt is beneficial and necessary in all our diets it is also a preservative.  So maybe her looking back actually made it possible for the rest of her family to be saved/preserved.   These two examples may relate to the sense of gravity that I hear and feel in this music under the earth there is no escape from gravity and a pillar of rock/salt is so completely connected to the rest of the rock it cannot escape.

We all look back at some point in our lives.  It is not a weakness.  It is only human nature and inevitable.  Orpheus, like Lot’s wife HAD to look back.  And that may be the tension I hear and feel in the music – the desire to only look forward while feeling the pull to look back that is ultimately irresistible.   So maybe the problem isn’t the looking back; as the warnings imply (and many bible scholars will try to teach), maybe these myths simply teach us of the cost.  There is a cost and consequence to everything.   It’s not a matter of good or bad but simply an understanding of exchange.   And that thought is freeing and non-condemning like a bird in flight.

The final and only genuinely vocal track on the album:

These are the many things that drifted through my listening of this excellent album.  All that being said, this music simply stops me in my tracks and forces me to listen, think, dream.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

TRACK LIST
1. Flight From The City
2. A Song For Europa
3. The Drowned World
4. A Deal With Chaos
5. A Pile Of Dust
6. A Sparrow Alighted Upon Our Shoulder
7. Fragment I
8. By The Roes, And By The Hinds Of The Field
9. The Radiant City
10. Fragment II
11. The Burning Mountain
12. De Luce Et Umbra
13. Good Morning, Midnight
14. Good Night, Day
15. Orphic Hymn

Follow the link for more info:

http://www.johannjohannsson.com

… on… the wasteland….

“What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow

Out of this stony rubbish? Son of man,

You cannot say, or guess, for you know only

A heap of broken images, where the sun beats,

And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief,

And the dry stone no sound of water. Only

There is shadow under this red rock,

(Come in under the shadow of this red rock),

And I will show you something different from either

Your shadow at morning striding behind you

Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;

I will show you fear in a handful of dust.”

~ T.S. Eliot
Wasteland #1

WASTELAND #1

… on… crazy dancer….

“And those who were seen dancing
were thought to be insane
by those who could not hear the music.”

~ Nietzsche

2008-crazy-dancer

“How many people
have forgotten how to dance
on
the
long
march
to
WAR?

~ mobius faith

… on… unmatched [pt 1]

This is the first in what I hope will be a new series of short posts about albums that I feel are unmatched within an artists catalog/repertoire. Albums that stand out from the dross and drivel of the popular environment in which they first saw the light of day. Albums that stand apart from the mainstream of their respective musical genre’s.

For this first post I will focus on an album that has never grown tiresome over repeated listens – GOLDFRAPP’s FELT MOUNTAIN. This first full length album by Alison Goldfrapp [and band] whips up dreamy confections that are so rich and fluid the listener can wander thru spaced-out sci-fi fantasy and into steamy jacuzzi-like relaxing melodies without even trying. The music will take you there. One of things that makes this stand out from all her other work is that there seems to be some tension between the musical settings of techno/electronica and jazzy art-song stylings with some experimental flourishes. Unlike Goldfrapp’s later albums the techno beats are more in the background and provide an energetic backdrop that keeps the proceedings moving like liquid flowing down hill. There are also fantastical sounds that would not seem out-of-place on an Esquivel album and Alison’s vocals, with her airy delicate delivery of lyric sweetness, are some-what reminiscent of Astrud Gilberto (of “Girl From Ipanema” fame) or a wispy Shirley Bassey.

Taken in context – there is not a bad track on the FELT MOUNTAIN album and the whole album deserves to be listened to in a single sitting. So take the time, grab your favorite relaxing beverage, sit down, relax and let it take you away.

Enjoy these two singles:
LOVELY HEAD


UTOPIA

…on….more music…

Nik Bärtsch’s MOBILE is one of 3 ongoing Nik Bärtsch projects. The other being his solo piano work under his own name and the other group project Nik Bärtsch’s RONIN. All of his tracks are numbered. The one presented here is “Modul 4″and is featured on MOBILE’s latest CD, from ECM records, CONTINUUM. This is by far one of my favorite releases from 2016. This track features the quartet of piano, drums, other percussion, and a rare bass clarinet. Music that gets to the core of sound in a zen-like minimalist fashion that is surprisingly rich, full and even energetic. I hope you enjoy this wonderful track.


and a bonus track “Modul 29_14” also from CONTINUUM.

get more from his website at
http://www.nikbaertsch.com

…on… new works!

These new works* were created while listening to one of my favorite
ambient/electronic/glitchy bands named LOSCIL**.  It’s hard to say how the music impacted the artworks because I was not trying to duplicate or create/represent anything specifically heard in the music or its structures. It was all subconscious.

As an after-thought; layers of sound = layers in the image.
*In addition to the slides you can click on the individual images below to view larger.

**I’ve included a video below and a link to their website.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

http://www.loscil.ca

…..on….campaigns

November 8 – will we drown in hatred, fear, and misery?

Trump without a “T” is just a rump.

RUMP
noun \ˈrəmp\
Definition of rump
: the back part of an animal’s body where the thighs join the hips
: a piece of meat that comes from the rump of a cow
: the part of the body you sit on

Synonym:
butt, ass

…on the divine comedy…

Oh, I just had to share this video by one of my all time favorite musical acts – THE DIVINE COMEDY. This chamber pop group fronted by Neil Hannon appeals to my deep inner sense of irony and contrast. Sweet lilting pop melodies with lyrics akin to a razors edge supported by stunning visuals. All-n-all a win-win-win situation. Enjoy this brand new song, CATHERINE THE GREAT. It’s the first song from the soon to be released album FOREVERLAND.

I mean where else can you find lyrics like “She had great hair and a powerful gait….She might have conquered a third of the world but she was a sensitive girl….with her military might she could defeat anyone that she liked….She looked so bloody good on a horse, they couldn’t wait for her to invade….”

…on Peter Gabriel – Amazing


“I’m Amazing” – lyrics by Peter Gabriel

Run into the cage
With what I grew up hating
Keep on recreating
Please help me

Something’s got to change
It was something that you said
Happy times ahead
Happy times ahead

Saw the kind of blood
Like a picture’s going to shatter
Can you recognize the pictures of a bone-luck setter
All the people, all the faces in my head that are running around
I’m trying to make connections but the circuits are down

Look at me
Look at me
Look what I can do
I’m amazing

I’m living from without and I’m living from within
Got light in every layer of my illuminated skin
Could swallowing a lightbulb transform into the sun?
I can jump into the darkness
I can shine on anyone

Look at me
Look at me
Can you see what I can do?
‘Cause I’m amazing

Look at me
Look at me
Look at me
Can you see what I can do
‘Cause I’m amazing

Reaching out my hand
I’m going under water
Sunlight filtered into shafts
I’m going under water
With the human race
I’m going under water down
Under water down
Under water

Trying to put it together in my head
Feeling the weight of what you said
The weight of what you said
Happy times ahead
Happy times ahead
Happy times ahead

Look at me
Look at me
Look what I can do
‘Cause I’m amazing

Look at me
Look at me
Look at me
Look what I can do
‘Cause I’m amazing

Cause I can!
And I will!
It’s moving in me
The spirit is free
Oh what did I leave?

On his website Peter Gabriel[hereafter PG] states,

“I wrote a song a few years back – ‘I’m Amazing’, which was, in part, inspired by Muhammad Ali’s life and struggles and at the time of his death, when so many people are celebrating his life and thinking about all he achieved, it seemed the right time to release it.”

I do not believe we should see this song as a tribute to Ali. I saw one video posted on YOUTUBE that said this song was “about Muhammad Ali”. I disagree. PG is an artist; and as such, he uses all of life as inspiration in creating his art. Ali was only one part of the equation that helped clarify the point PG was trying to make. PG has something much bigger than one mans life that he want’s us to consider. If there is any comparison to Ali that can be made accurately is that the song deftly alternates between “Float like a butterfly, Sting like a bee”.

So what makes this song, it’s music and lyrics so powerful? Peter Gabriel has become an undisputed master of using various music influences from around the world in creating his own unique sound. “I’m Amazing” is a blend of these influences that borders on genius. The music moves forward and has it’s own pulse points with a fusion of sounds electronic, tribal and organic with lyrics both spoken and sung, chant and vocal ululation. There are ebbs and flows in the overall song structure that help propel the listener through the song with rhythmic emotional intensity.

Lyrically, the song offers intense criticism of our culture and society. He is careful not to place blame. He simply let’s the character in the song make observations and leaves it up to us to determine any cause and make appropriate adjustment in our own lives so that we do not end up in the same predicament. What is NOT said in the lyrics is just as important as what IS said. PG does not write on the surface of things but gets under the skin. While on the surface if you just read the lyrics it may seem like a positive paean with the old “pick yourself up by the bootstraps” mentality. But listening to how the lyrics are sung provides a whole new wealth of meaning that seems truer. It is funny how music can add clarity to the meaning of words. By themselves lyrics are ambiguous and can be interpreted by each individual as they wish. But what is lost is the authors intention. Music provides that intention. I have not heard such snarling sardonic expression in pop music for a long time and it is refreshing. A true wakeup call. I love how the lyrics switch between introspect/retrospect/prospect as the singer looks to escape his own mundanity and latch onto all the promises made by a self-help society with “happy times ahead”. Drowning in his own misery he not only seeks for a way out but becomes so self-obsessed that all(and everyone) else is left behind. The character acts/does because he can and never asks if he should. It’s only after it’s too late does he contemplate what was left behind.

This is a most welcome addition to the canon of music written by this great artist.