Back to the album, this is my latest draft, “Bittersweet”. As much as I love dance music, I can’t ignore my affinity for soundtracks/film scores…so why not embrace both in one set? I think there’s room for this piece as an interlude or closer.
Taking a little detour today from the album-in-progress to share “Quincy”, an update of an old track of mine. I started this one around 2004. It might be too mellow for the album, but I really like the jazzy feel of it, and the theremin-esque synth voice adds a little eccentricity that is in keeping with my recent material. Have a great week!
No player visible? Direct stream here.
Admittedly, I was not terribly familiar with this movement. Having studied visual art, I had taken my fair share of art history courses, but there was a predominantly Western/Eurocentric focus, especially when it came to modern art. The few times Asian art was covered was in reference to classical period / traditional / religious works, so this was a great opportunity that the Guggenheim provided, to learn more about them.
Curling upwards through the cylindrical progression of the museum, I saw pieces that reminded me of Western artists such as Joan Miró and Jackson Pollock, but often created through more unconventional methods. Kazuo Shiraga, for example, applied paint solely with his feet, creating large-scale pieces of broad, continuous strokes, and Akira Kanayama built small remote-controlled vehicles to aid in his curvilinear drip abstractions. There was a standout piece by Kumiko Imanaka that laboriously applied hundreds of thin, wavy, colored metal strips in a successive rotating pattern, creating a fantastic optical illusion that appeared to shift as you walked past it.
Actually, many of these works displayed carried on the theme of circular, modern and minimal…how perfectly complementary that they should be shown at the Guggenheim, a venue that is all those things! “Gutai: Splendid Playground” is on view through Wednesday, May 8.
Yesterday on the Lower East Side, I was on my way to meet a friend when this bold stencil piece caught my eye. It was painted on the side of a temporary housing unit (the kind you might see at large construction sites or movie sets) located adjacent to a neighborhood playground, tying-in very appropriately as a site-specific work. I grabbed a quick snapshot and realized later that the tagline was slightly clipped, but the message is, “Stay curious.”
Just as the toddler depicted, pointing in a state of wonder at the silhouetted pigeons, I recall instances of children intrigued by their feathered friends at the park, sometimes running towards them to catch a better glimpse, only to chase them away. The piece reminds and encourages us to take a minute to stop, explore and marvel at the world. Many of us look to movies for an experience or an escape, and quite often, those filmmakers and writers are extracting from or trying to recapture moments they took to immerse themselves in the real-life inspirations they’ve encountered. It’s kind of a symbiosis of life and art. It also reminds me of that infamous line in John Hughes’ classic, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off that I probably needn’t quote. I certainly would have missed out on this if I hadn’t paused.
One of the things I love about street art – whereas galleries and museums have limited operating hours, these kinds of public works are open for all to discover any day, any time. This piece was created by Joe Iurato. You can view more of his work at www.joeiurato.com.
Here’s the preview track, “Descentigrade” from my album in progress…sort of old sci-fi flick meets broken beats. While waiting for the train the other night, I noticed the turnstiles and lights on the lower level resembled some 1950s science fiction film contraption from overhead, and thought it would make a complementary cover photo.
Track title provides direct link if the embedded player isn’t displayed.
Wednesday night, the Lower East Side was presented with a winning triple-combo of powerful, gritty rock & roll and stunning visuals in a great-sounding venue, thanks to Chainwave and Ismael Medina at Pianos in New York City.
You can hear/download some of the band’s latest tunes at: http://chainwave.bandcamp.com/
A twofer Wednesday — I had “Diving For Lost Loves (The Race)” up on my SoundCloud a while ago but didn’t get to share here, and the second track, “Elimkovan” is one I wrote recently and posted this week. Both are part of an album I’ve been building up pieces for, drawing inspiration from ambient and symphonic music, jazz, techno, UK garage, and broken beat.
Titles provide direct links if the embedded player isn’t displayed.
If the embedded player isn’t displayed, please visit the direct link at soundcloud.com/bluelinesduo/scale-it-back-bluelines-mix.
A few months ago, I read about a DJ Shadow remix competition for his collaborative song with Little Dragon, “Scale It Back”. It was already a year too late, but I wanted to attempt one anyway because I was a fan of both artists and just enjoy doing remixes.
The timing turned out to be a boon, as I had recently started collaborating again with my old friend, tech 4, as Bluelines. Years ago, he showed me this digital audio workstation software called Performer (which became Digital Performer), and I was hooked on the spot. Having previous only dabbled on a keyboard synth-based sequencer with small LCD panel, seeing this opened up a world of possibilities!
tech had recently sent me an idea for a track, which consisted of a downtempo breakbeat, stark piano bass line, and a layer of pulsating synth. I was immediately hearing elements to accompany them. When there were enough parts assembled, I felt it would really suit the vocal from “Scale It Back”. Auditioning it in there sounded perfect! It didn’t hurt that Yukimi Nagano (of Little Dragon) has such a soulfully grooved voice that flows with so many genres.
After making some adjustments, I sent what I had over to tech, who said, “You hit it right on the head!” Following a few rounds of back-and-forth tweaking and mastering, we’re happy to present you with this remix. We hope you like it!
For many years, I’ve been collaborating with artist Elia Gurna on poetry and music, as einLab. In my third installment of fictionspired, a series of sound compositions inspired by art, literature or film, I am pleased to present The Rilke Project, a collection of German/English recordings of works by Ranier Maria Rilke, set to various styles of music.
Each poem was translated and bilingually recited by Elia, which I then built a soundtrack around. “The Loving One (Die Liebende)” is the ambient opening piece, followed by an electronic/hip-hop approach to “The Poet (Der Dichter)”, and lastly, a future garage influenced rendition of “Lovesong (Liebeslied)” as “When Your Depths Tremble (Liebeslied)”.
Rilke’s beautiful poems lent themselves naturally to song and music, and we hope you enjoy hearing them in a different context!
If the embedded player does not display in your browser, please visit: http://soundcloud.com/einlab/sets/the-rilke-project.
Yesterday, I attended the opening reception for Art of the Heirloom: Cultural Seed Savers, showcasing twenty-six original works commissioned for Hudson Valley Seed Library’s annual Art Pack collection. Among the artists featured was my friend and einLab collaborator, Elia Gurna.
The ongoing series is a great opportunity to highlight horticulture and regional artists while providing their works a more widely distributable physical medium to share with the public.
Art of the Heirloom is a traveling exhibition and will be on view at the Horticultural Society of New York through March 8th.