Love

The character for ai, the ‘love’ that one person
feels for another, suggests that although the
word is now used as freely in China as elsewhere,
love was once considered a highly
spiritual emotion. Some sages believed it to be
a form of giving that should be extended not
only to those closest to us, but to more distant
members of society as well.
In the center is the ‘heart’ pictogram.
Above and below ‘heart’ are the characters
for ‘breath’ and ‘graceful movement’. Love,
therefore, can be seen as a kind of inspiration.
It breathes life into the heart, and brings grace
to the body.

“The Word Prayer” – Poem By: Heather Whitley Gibson

a love everlasting
until death arrives
at your answering
a phone call
the taste of coffee
changes
minutes ago
at peace
vibrates like
a cliche quote
it hits your skin
like an advertisement
writing a song
a poem
suddenly, easily stated
the word prayer
sounds like a cheap wig
my grandmother
can not speak
her words are understood
moving lips
at nothing
honest forms in words
death kills
letters open hearts

 

JOHN LENNON – “GIMME SOME TRUTH”

Pix Before Pixels

 

Original Post From http://www.artnews.com

Altered pictures have been around since photography’s invention. Until now, however, they have mostly been seen as footnotes and oddities in the medium’s history. “Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop,” on view from October 11 through January 27, argues that everything digital
photography does has been done before—in portraits, photo-illustrations, pictures for newspapers and magazines, and novelty photos. “The technology has changed several times in the course of photography’s history, and that’s part of the history of the medium, but there’s no break between analog and digital,” Fineman says. “It’s a continuum.”

That continuum exists in part because the motivations for tweaking images haven’t changed much. Chief among those reasons is that all cameras have shortcomings—there are things they cannot record. Early photographers in particular relied on darkroom techniques and postproduction procedures to make their pictures look like what they saw, or would have liked to see, with their eyes. When Édouard Baldus photographed a monastery courtyard for Cloister of Saint-Trophime, Arles, in 1851, he encountered a complicated angle and dim light, problems familiar to any photographer. His solution was to patch together a salt print from multiple negatives. The finished composite has crisp details in even the shadowy areas and has views in both directions around an ornately carved corner. “He couldn’t get everything in sharp focus and in the right exposure, so he made a lot of paper negatives and fit them together like a jigsaw puzzle,” says Fineman. The result is a “perspective that couldn’t really exist. It looks convincing, but you can tell along the seams.”

The sky was a particular challenge for 19th-century photographers. Since emulsions were more sensitive to blue light than to warmer colors, skies had to be overexposed for the foreground to look correct. One solution was simply to paint out the negative to make the sky smooth and white; another was to combine a negative exposed for the sky with one exposed for the rest of the image. But photographers did not limit themselves to negatives from the same time or place. Gustave Le Gray used the same spectacularly evocative sky for three different seascapes, and Carleton E. Watkins inserted towering fluffy clouds above his view of the Columbia River. The blank sky in Watkins’s untouched image, which also appears in the Met show, is “a much more modern-looking picture,” Fineman says, but to 19th-century audiences “clouds looked better—and sold better.”

Salability has often been a powerful motivator for doctoring photos, and the strange and funny have always attracted attention. Fanciful images on cartes de visite and other kinds of prints were wildly popular. Trick-photography postcards showing oversize produce (an ear of corn so huge it requires its own railroad car, or a watermelon as a house) were a big hit in the United States in the first decade of the 20th century. The European equivalents were more romantic. Women appeared in bubbles or clouds. In one, a man raises a bottle to a hand-colored moon with a smiling female face. Portraits were often enlivened by showing the sitter next to her double—or decapitated. Thousands of headless pictures were made from the 1870s through the early 1900s. A poser could be depicted holding (or, in one case, juggling) his own head. “You could go to a photography studio and get a portrait taken with your head on a platter,” Fineman says.

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“Martha My Dear” – (Beatles Cover)

 

I came across this video while browsing threw some Beatles songs, and I thought I just had to share this version of a Beatles classic. This guys style of guitar playing is so clean, and pure that he turns this song into a beautiful guitar piece that he plays like no one else I’ve seen. Enjoy!

 

We Added A New Member To Our Family!

 

We have just adopted a new dog, and his name is Mika. He’s a West Siberian Laika that we got from a farm in Indiana where the couple that lived there rescued animals to help out the county they live in. He’s registered, and his papers trace his bloodline back a hundred years to Russia. He’s a sweet boy that’s gentle, very loving and full of personality. We could not have asked for a better dog, and we already love him so much!

 

Five Beatles Songwriting Tricks

Original Post From http://www.songwriting.net

The Beatles are known as the most successful music group in music history, selling over a billion records worldwide. The songwriting partnership between Lennon and McCartney is legendary. The Beatles collectively were also songwriting Ninjas, but they employed many tricks that anyone can add to their songwriting tool box. Here are 5 less obvious examples:

Five Beatles Songwriting Tricks

 1. Mutate Your Chorus As well as starting songs with the chorus, some of The Beatles’ greatest hits open with a chorus hybrid that previews the title and hooks. The intro to Help has the same chord progression as the chorus but moves twice as fast and features the title 4 times (to the chorus’s 3). Use this trick and by the time you reach your chorus the listener will be hooked by the reassuring feeling that they’ve heard your song somewhere before.

2. Bluesify Your Melody We expect to hear blue notes like the b3, b5 and b7th in rockers like Back In The USSR but the Beatles often added these notes into more melodic material too. In Blackbird the final phrase uses the b7 on inTO the LIGHT and the b3 on dark BLACK night. Tricky to pull off if you’re not a confident singer — you might want to insert the blue note into your chord until you’ve learnt to pitch it correctly. Using it will add a soulful edge to your melodies. Also used on: Ticket To Ride, From Me To You.

3. Delay The Root Chord Starting a song on the tonic chord is a rut the Beatles managed to avoid a surprising number of times. Eleanor Rigby starts on C major (the bVI of Em) before heading to the home chord. It’s one of the many things that gives the track such an immediate sense of tension. Using this trick will give your progressions more forward momentum. Also used on: All My Loving, Hello Goodbye.

4. Utilize The Outside Chord Many of us employ ‘out of key’ chords (whether we realise it or not!). But out of 186 Beatles compositions only 22 remain in key! In Strawberry Fields Forever, Lennon pulls the rug from under the Bb major tonality by replacing the F major chord with an F minor . Bb Let me take you down ‘cos I’m going Fm to… It’s like the stomach drop you experience on the crest of a rollercoaster. Later he creates a disorientating momentary high by replacing the Gm with a G major. Eb Nothing to get G hung about Outside chords will surprise your listeners and freshen your melodies. Also used on: I Am The Walrus, Fool On The Hill.

5. Restate Your Lyrics The Beatles didn’t make their lyrics memorable just by repeating sections wholesale. They also repeated and adapted words, phrases and sentence structures. Take A Day In The Life. 4 verses, a middle 8 and only one repeated line. And yet it’s memorable (in part) because of lyrical links like these – I read the news/saw a film today, oh boy and though the news was rather sad/holes were rather small found my way downstairs/coat/way upstairs I just had to laugh/look Using this subtle trick will make your lyrics sticky and give a sense of unity to a track.

http://www.songwriting.net/blog/

Lobby group targets presidential conventions

Original Post From http://www.theartnewspaper.com

Americans for the Arts is lobbying for the cultural and creative industries at the Democratic and Republican presidential conventions. But even the loudest lobbyists may not be loud enough.

At the Republican convention on 28 August in Tampa, Florida, and at the Democratic convention on 4 September in Charlotte, North Carolina, Americans for the Arts and three other organisations are holding a panel, Arts Speak, at which politicians are expected to talk about the importance of arts education, the positive impact of arts jobs on local economies, and the funding of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Among others, they have booked Mike Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas, and Richard Riley, the former education secretary, to speak. They are already arts supporters, however. It is unclear whether the arts lobby will be able to persuade others to become converts. “The appetite to take up a cultural bill is lacking,” says a congressional staffer with knowledge of the arts caucus.

“Obviously it’s not the same as the unemployment rate, which garners attention once a month,” says Narric Rome, the senior lobbyist for Americans for the Arts, “but when the delegates go home and talk about some of the issues that were voiced at the conventions, this is the kind of thing that they remember”. He says that their events are “the only voice for the non-profit arts” at the conventions.

The lobby group is inviting members from the Congressional Arts Caucus and the Senate Cultural Caucus. But while both groups are sizeable, they do not represent cohesive voting blocks. When the lobby group issued report cards in 2010 based on legislators’ pro-arts records, the Senate Cultural Caucus’s Republican co-chairman, Michael Enzi of Wyoming, received a D+. (Six other arts caucus members nearly failed as well.)

The House caucus, on the other hand, includes eight congress members who are also on the Tea Party Caucus, which wants to shut down the NEA. Add in last-minute election priorities, such as a farm bill and extending tax breaks, and it means that the arts caucus is “not currently working on any priorities or initiatives”, says the congressional staffer, and probably won’t until appropriations come up again early next year.

Federal and state arts spending has declined in the past decade. As the Pew Center on the States notes, state arts agencies have reduced funding by 37% since 2001. However, Americans for the Arts has been campaigning based on statistics that say arts-related jobs have a positive impact on local economies, and Pew says that it “is beginning to pay off”. The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies estimates that state arts funding has increased 8.8% this financial year compared with 2011. The group has also produced a study that says the industry generates $135.2bn of economic activity every year. In June, the Republican-controlled House put forward a bill that would cut the NEA’s funding by $14m to $132m. But, according to the congressional staffer, “it’s unofficially known around [Washington] that the bill will never come to the House floor”. The House will probably pass a resolution this autumn extending the NEA’s current funding levels into 2013.

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YOKO ONO – “To The Light”

YOKO ONO
To The Light
19 June – 9 September 2012

TO THE LIGHT, a major exhibition of the work of celebrated artist Yoko Ono, reflects upon the enormous impact that she has made on contemporary art, exploring her influential role across a wide range of media. This exhibition, her first in a London public institution for more than a decade, includes new and existing installations, films and performances, as well as archive material relating to several key early works.

Ono’s continuing interest in the relationship between the roles of artist and viewer is evident throughout the exhibition.

A number of works in TO THE LIGHT position both artist and viewer as agents of change. For example, a series of instruction pieces written especially for the Serpentine Gallery can be completed physically or mentally by the viewer, while the large-scale installation AMAZE transforms the viewer from the observer to the observed.

Ono also presents #smilesfilm, a worldwide participatory project that encourages participation online. Conceived as a way of connecting people across the world, the project invites people to upload and send images of their smiles by hash-tagging #smilesfilm, creating a global string of smiles covering the planet.

Working as an artist, film-maker, poet, musician, writer, performance artist and peace activist for over five decades, Yoko Ono has influenced generations of artists and received numerous prestigious awards. In her prolific career, she has embraced a wide range of media, defying traditional boundaries and creating new forms of artistic expression. Born in 1933 in Tokyo, she is a pioneer of conceptual art and her work has been presented internationally in major exhibitions and performances.

TO THE LIGHT at the Serpentine Gallery is part of the London 2012 Festival, a spectacular 12-week UK-wide celebration featuring internationally-renowned artists from Midsummer’s Day on 21 June to the final day of the Paralympic Games on 9 September 2012. For more information on the Festival programme visit http://www.london2012.com/festival.

‘My ultimate goal in film-making is to make a film which includes a smiling face snap of every single human being in the world. Of course, I cannot go around the whole world and take the shots myself. I need cooperation…’
Yoko Ono, 1967

Alongside TO THE LIGHT, Yoko Ono presents a largescale participatory project, #smilesfilm, reflecting her pioneering vision of the power of mass participation. Visitors from all over the world can drop in to two specially-designed photo booths installed inside the Serpentine Gallery and record their smiles. These images will then be collected to make #smilesfilm, which will be exhibited in a physical form on a screen at the Serpentine Gallery and presented globally in digital form on a dedicated website, smilesfilm.com, and apps for iPhone and iPad.

Ono’s project at the Serpentine will tap into the transformative potential of the smile, which can change an individual’s view, but also radiate out into the world. Ono associates this transmission of positive energy with healing and peace.

‘People from cities and countries around the world will be able to freely upload and send their smiles by mobile phone and computer to the world and it’s people. Each time we add our smiles to #smilesfilm, we are creating our future, together. Give us your smile! I love you!’
Yoko Ono, 2012

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