May 29, 2008
Today I went to Zulu, probably the best record store in Vancouver. I ended up with four CDs, all one dollar each. Cheap, but with outstanding quality. First off I found a CD from a group/collective I’ve been interested in for many years but have never come across: Hagans. The album is called Animation/Imagination and contained the title track that I have been so amazed by for so long. If the term “future jazz” exists it can definitely be applied to these guys. The album is released by legendary Blue Note. Click here for a listen: http://www.amazon.com/Animation-Imagination-Tim-Hagans/dp/B00000HYBM
I am right now listening to an amazing compilation that I also picked up, “Space” a mix album by Kenny Hawkes. If there is anything that gets me going it’s House music from 1994-1998. Why doesn’t today’s House music have that feeling anymore.
I aso picked up Micheal J. Schumacher’s “Stories” as well as some soulful electro by Robert Strauss in his album “Quasars and Phasars”
Now I got some listening to do.
April 17, 2008
Såsom i en spegel (Through a Glass Darkly) from 1961 is the first movie in Ingmar Bergman’s trilogy A Film Trilogy. A trilogy about Bergman’s personal relationship to God and religion. The film is an interesting milestone in Bergman’s career and life since he started to have a different approach to making movies and he also discovered Fårö, the island he fell in love with and later move to. He also won an Oscar for Best Foreign Film. The film is about a family that are meeting up on a remote island. The father, David is a writer who have just come home from writing a novel in Switzerland, a novel that exploits his daughter Karin’s schizophrenia. Something she discovers on the island, there is now a tense feeling between the family, and Minus, the youngest son is having problems feeling acceptance by his father. The movie plays in the typical style of a Bergman movie, with tense dialogue, beautiful photography (by Sven Nykvist) and great acting. Personally I find the movie worth just watching because of my favorite actor couple, Max Von Sydow and Gunnar Björnstrand. Harriet Andersson and Lars Passgård are also great as siblings. The acting is especially evident in the movie since these four actors are the only actors, creating a very theatrical approach while also making the audience come closer to the characters. A very inspiring movie to say the least.
April 14, 2008
Considering how many movies I’ve been able to watch during this semester, this weekend has been a productive movie watchin weekend for me; I’ve seen three movies so far (or maybe two and a half since one was a collection of shorts). On Friday I watched Rataouille and Pixar Short Film Collection, not too much to say, entertaining and typical Disney, I found Ratatouille especially to be quite classic Disney, but I don’t really know what made me feel that way. I needed to balance this entertainment and easyness out with Jim Jarmusch’s 1984 indie film Stranger Than Paradise, a movie about a stiff relationship between Hungarian cousins. The movie is quite theatrical, many of the scenes are long and take place on the same set. The movie starts with a long scene at the main character Willie’s apartment and then turns into a sort of road movie with Willie and his friend Eddie. The two friends and later Willie’s cousin Eva go on a road trip to New York, Cleveland and Florida and the movie presents these places as very similar. It is a pretty stiff film, not too much happens but there is always that tension throughout the movie that Jim Jarmusch is so good at. I can definitely recommend this movie if you are a fan of Jarmusch or independent film.
April 7, 2008
Walking into the Surrey Art Gallery is a quiet experience. It is hard to believe that the exhibition Open Sound is about sound at all. But when you reach the counter you will be handed a pair of wireless headphones, there is in fact a couple of different headphones for different works. Then you can walk around the gallery disconnected from everyone else. A phenomena that happened on the streets long time ago, in form of the Walkman, and to a much larger extent when the iPod was introduced, now it has happened in the art galleries. The piece I will be talking about is David Grove’s Stops Starting (C0.05), a work consisting of three tape loops that has three different sine waves with different frequencies. What is fascinating is that the light is controlling the speed of these loops, so the sound is always changing. I enjoy the fact that the sound/music is always playing, but also changing. It reminds me of the Internet stations that always play music, without a particular order or any sort of DJ, they are just constantly playing music. It is also an interesting notion that the creator of the piece, David Grove, hasn’t made the music, rather he has made the electronics that make the music, this reminds me of the works of artist like Tinguely; the artist is only the engineer or constructor of the machine that makes the art. However, the sound created is not very ground breaking, the construction and the sound alteration is what is fascinating. It question the format of music, do songs need to be in a particular timeframe to be counted as a song. Or can it just, like this piece, be indefinite. It also questions authorship of music, what and who should be defined as the author?
The exhibition catalogue says that the artist is creating “soundscapes with a conscious resistance to modern, digital methods of sound creation” (2). But I cannot see this at all; the materials he has chosen to create sounds with is just an artistic choice to me, just because it is not made by the latest technology doesn’t mean it is critiquing or resisting it, rather it just creates a specific sound, but then, it is also hard to understand what the viewer/listener is supposed to focus on, the actual soundscape or how the soundscape is made. I also found that the work was presented in a quite mundane way, the piece was hung up above the elevator, without the feeling that it was put there for a reason. It felt more like the gallery was out of space, this made it hard to study how the electronics actually worked, it also made it hard to alter the amount of light that reached the tape loops making it troublesome to actually witness the change of the loops corresponding to light. Overall the piece was an interesting experience, but not even close to be the main attraction of the Surrey Art Gallery, which is undeniably Janet Cardiff’s Forty-Part Motet.
March 31, 2008
People who know me, know the passion that I live for.
Today was the exciting opening day, the first game of the season. Atlanta Braves visited Washington Nationals in a pretty good game. As usual it takes some time for the players to get into the mentality and stadiums after spring training so they feel a little bit rusty, the weather during these early games tend also to be really cold (which is a big contrast from just coming back from Florida or Arizona in spring training). It was very interesting to see the National’s new ballpark, which had President George W. Bush throw the first pitch. Besides from a couple of home runs and spectacular pitching by the Braves the game wasn’t too interesting until Ryan Zimmermanthe hit a beautiful walk-off home run to end the game in favor for the Nationals. The game was entertaining though like always when Jon Miller and Joe Morgan are the commentators. Now I can’t wait to see Toronto Blue Jays against the Yankees, and Seattle Mariners against Texas Rangers tomorrow.
For anyone interested in baseball I can highly recommend a mlb.tv subscription which lets you watch every game being played, it’s great just coming home and being able to watch anything, there’s usually around 15 games being played every day so there’s always something to watch.
March 17, 2008
Here is the link to the project’s website:
This project is open to anyone who makes music and is inspired by Vancouver. Please send me an email if you’d like to contribute.