“Painting Abstraction: new elements in abstract painting” by Bob Nickas.

Oregon College of Art and Craft Library:

 “Painting Abstraction: new elements in abstract painting” by Bob Nickas.

 Featured Artist: Michelle Ross

She is well known for her contemporary abstract paintings, which “[traverse] the history of abstraction, design, decoration and the love of language” (here). Her work has been likened to Mondrian, Hans Hoffman, Giorgio Morandi, Agnes Martin, Mary Heilman, and Robert Mangold. Ryan Pierce has stated that “Ross’ paintings are firmly grounded in the tropes and traditions of modernism,” they are “refreshingly free of the gimmicks that crowd a lot of abstraction these days,” and they “link the classical and the modern with grace and reverence, leaving plenty of open space for whatever happens next” (from a 2007 review on PORT).

More images of her recent work can be seen on the Elizabeth Leach Gallery website.

2011-12-05-michelleross

 “Painting Abstraction: new elements in abstract painting” by Bob Nickas.

For this week’s library pick, we have selected a title that showcases many of Michelle Ross’ contemporaries and other artists pushing the limits of abstract painting. The book is Painting Abstraction: new elements in abstract painting by Bob Nickas.

After a prefatory essay on the “persistence of abstraction,” the book is broken up into six parts: “hybrid pictures,” “Rhythm and Opticality,” “Color and Structure,” “Found/Eccentric Abstraction,” “Form, Space, and Scale,” and “the Act of Painting.” About a dozen or more artists have been selected for each section and a short text describes how each particularly addresses some issue related to that section’s theme.

For example, Nickas asks “Is the hand of an artist more visible to us when drawing and line are central to her paintings?” (139). He then demonstrates how this question can be answered in the “affirmative” by a close investigation on the work of Allison Miller. Several large, full-color reproductions of her work follow in order to illustrate his point.

Painting Abstraction is an authoritative compilation that addresses the key issues in the field of abstract painting from the last five years and profiles 80 different contemporary abstract artists including Mark Grotjahn and Amy Sillman. Bob Nickas work is an excellent balance of research, critical analysis, and, what all great art books so often have: art, art, and more art.

2011-12-05-paintingabstraction

MIDI Troubleshooting 101

midi

Original Post From http://forum.recordingreview.com

It’s sometimes difficult to started with MIDI. The communication between all the different components can get very confusing. This article is designed to help you through the process of solving your MIDI problems. The basic chain for MIDI is quite simple. The biggest problems occur in the understanding of what each piece of the puzzle does. In this first example, I’m going to assume we want to record a piano part within Cubase using Kontakt2.

#1) We need a way to enter the MIDI data. This sounds very unmusical, but it’s important for me to write in this fashion to make sure you understand what is really happening within your MIDI sequencer. You CAN enter your MIDI data with a mouse within Cubase and most other software based MIDI sequencers. However, most people prefer to have a little more human element in their MIDI productions and therefor using a MIDI controller (piano style keyboard) is the most popular way of entering MIDI data. You can also enter the data with an electronic drum kit, a MIDI guitar pickup, triggers, or using one of the keypad style gadgets out there. It needs to be said that any old keyboard with MIDI out can be used as a MIDI controller. Just to clear up the part, “entering the data” is the same thing as recording a performance or playing an instrument. In our first example, we are recording a piano part, so we will use the standard piano style MIDI controller.

#2) Now we need to hook our MIDI controller to our computer. The old standard was the 16-pin MIDI cable. Most computers do not have a MIDI cable input, but many audio interfaces do. You’ll need to plug this cable into an audio interface that has built in midi. (If you don’t have an audio interface with built in MIDI ports and your MIDI controller leaves no other options, like USB, you’ll need to obtain a MIDI interface. Most modern midi interfaces designed for working with computers use USB to connect to the computer. No special MIDI interface is required.

#3) Now it’s time to make sure the MIDI Sequencer / Recording software is picking up the MIDI signal. Most will have a meter that flashes when MIDI signal is received. So hit a few notes and see if anything lights up. If nothing lights up, there is probably a problem with your MIDI controller, the MIDI interface (if applicable), or the signal is not being routed properly within the recording software. You’ll want to check the manual for your recording software for specifics.

In our example, when we strike a key on our MIDI controller, we see a meter light up on the Cubase transport. This tell us that Cubase is getting the signal. If we do not see the meters on the Cubase transport lighting up, we have a problem. It’s possible that your operating system isn’t receiving the signal. Make sure your drivers are installed for your device(s). Also make sure that you have properly setup and set as the default MIDI device in Control Panels > Sound and Audio Devices if you are using Windows. Also make sure that you have the device setup in your recording software / sequencer as well.

Now we need to create a MIDI track to actually record the MIDI data and we may have to specific which MIDI input we want to use. (This is sometimes handled automatically). When we strike a key on the MIDI controller, a meter should light up on for that MIDI track. We have the data in the sequencer, but we still won’t hear any sound. Cubase (or any sequencer itself) doesn’t necessarily play sound. We need virtual instruments that utilize either synths or samples to actually create the sound based on the MIDI data we send to it.

So, in Cubase, we’ll open up the MIDI instruments section and load Kontakt 2 (our sampler software of choice) and then select a piano sound. Going back to our MIDI track, we need to send the MIDI signal to that piano sound by setting the output of the that MIDI track to Kontakt 2, on the appropriate channel.

READ MORE AT: http://forum.recordingreview.com/f18/midi-troubleshooting-101-a-5208/

How To Get A Record Deal

 

Let’s talk about how to get a record deal. After all this is what you want. Right? You’d probably do anything just to get one. One of the most important things that you should focus on is making your music unique. I’ve seen too many artists try to record a song that is almost identical to a particular song they’ve heard on the radio. When it comes to record deals, it just doesn’t work.

All the record labels want is one thing that is uniquely different in your music. That’s all. You know what? You’re already unique. You are different to every other artist, musician and songwriter on the planet. So what do you do? Bring out that uniqueness in your music. Bring out the you in your music. Let your music reflect you. Your songs should capture your unique personality and individuality.

This is how you capture your listener. They will stop and listen because your music takes them to places they have never been before. It’s not the same regurgitated songs that they have grown accustomed to and are tired of. Record label reps are the first listeners and they’re human. Make them stop and listen. This is how artists get record deals.

There are songs that you listen to for the first time and they immediately grab your attention. There is something in them that do that to you, whether it’s a particular kind of melody, something in the lyrics, the topic or whatever. Here’s what you should do. Write songs with the intention of doing the same thing to your listeners. That’s all! Don’t do exactly what was done in the song you heard. Make it different and unique, but make it create the same impact.

Regurgitation doesn’t get artists record deals. It’s uniqueness. Give a record label a song to knock their socks of in the same way that your favorite songs knocked your socks off. As soon as you do this, you’ll be on your way.

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

 

“The Gods” – Song By: Ronnie and Heather Whitley Gibson

Here comes Zeus in his zuit suit
Hercules in all his glory
hot and bothered, looks for Venus
history and poetry
standing at the Mayan temple
watch them sacrifice a child
Egyptians prepare a mummy
watch out the gods are on fire

all chant when the sun shines bright
the gods, the moon, the night

looking at the stars and Mars
watching Aztecs playing ball
George is singing my sweet lord

everyone try’s to stand tall
even when their idols fall
what you must do against all odds
is try your best to worship the gods

some people take time to pray
pray to Billy Holiday

some even praise animals
to stop sky and thunder from falling
and after the day is done
some pray to Jim Morrison
everyone try’s to stand tall
even when their idols fall
walk to the door and turn the knob
drop to your knees and worship the gods

muses mount the Trojan horses
pyramids and the white house
Apollo take your pick

shine your tongue and join the mob
drop to your knees and worship the gods

Play The Gods

“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!

 

History of the Guitar

Apollo kitharoidos (holding a kithara) and mus...

Apollo kitharoidos (holding a kithara) and musagetes (leading the Musas). Marble, Roman artwork, 2nd century CE. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

HISTORY OF THE GUITAR

 

The guitar is an ancient and noble instrument, whose history can be traced back over 4000 years. Many theories have been advanced about the instrument’s ancestry. It has often been claimed that the guitar is a development of the lute, or even of the ancient Greek kithara. Research done by Dr. Michael Kasha in the 1960’s showed these claims to be without merit. He showed that the lute is a result of a separate line of development, sharing common ancestors with the guitar, but having had no influence on its evolution. The influence in the opposite direction is undeniable, however – the guitar’s immediate forefathers were a major influence on the development of the fretted lute from the fretless oud which the Moors brought with them to to Spain.


The sole “evidence” for the kithara theory is the similarity between the greek word “kithara” and the Spanish word “quitarra”. It is hard to imagine how the guitar could have evolved from the kithara, which was a completely different type of instrument – namely a square-framed lap harp, or “lyre”.

 

 


It would also be passing strange if a square-framed seven-string lap harp had given its name to the early Spanish 4-string “quitarra”. Dr. Kasha turns the question around and asks where the Greeks got the name “kithara”, and points out that the earliest Greek kitharas had only 4 strings when they were introduced from abroad. He surmises that the Greeks hellenified the old Persian name for a 4-stringed instrument, “chartar”.


The earliest stringed instruments known to archaeologists are bowl harps and tanburs. Since prehistory people have made bowl harps using tortoise shells and calabashes as resonators, with a bent stick for a neck and one or more gut or silk strings. The world’s museums contain many such “harps” from the ancient Sumerian, Babylonian, and Egyptian civilisations. Around 2500 – 2000 CE more advanced harps, such as the opulently carved 11-stringed instrument with gold decoration found in Queen Shub-Ad’s tomb, started to appear.

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

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“Cover To Cover” – Song By: Ronnie and Heather Whitley Gibson

upside down hanging from trees
the air that you breathe, your heart won’t skip a beat
the center of paintings that stare
with the rising sun sleepy eyes start to glare

losing my sight walking at night
penetrate the dark with candle light
cover to cover

puffing cigarettes
a moment in time when a man loses his wife
a ham on the table
you think your smart, it is raining outside

one drop of rain, a tear from the sky that’s giving
beautiful, it is the sweet that is forgiving
cover to cover

laying on blankets of grass
wonderful, ugly, and fair
the needle draws the blood
the uncomfortable weight of a stare

not to feel the pain that makes you cry
smoke from a chimney means there’s fire

like a good book read cover to cover
like a good book read cover to cover

Take A Listen To “Cover To Cover”

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/