Archive for the ‘art & books’ Category

quick update >

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017
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soooo lots going on…but you wouldn’t know by my posts! I was recently brought on-board to write a screenplay for a movie contest…how did that come about – you ask? Basically I wrote a short piece of fiction in a comment section of a blog, and it was believable enough for a local movie dude (who has won some awards) to contact me and ask for more … which I did (the subsequent terrific feedback hasn’t hurt either). Screenplays are a bit tricky – you don’t just say >>JANE says “WHAT”<< You say >>Jane looks coldly at Jim, she raises both hands in the sky – the camera pans in quickly while a jungle beat pulsates – Jane says WHAT while storming toward Jim<<....know what I mean?? Also I will be doing the soundtrack and theme song... having a blast with it. It is my first full blown movie project where so many of my interests collide. The movie itself will only be about 8 minutes long - and I will write more as I progress, but it has been a hoot so far.

I have been drumming a lot locally in churches, and am working with a few different music projects. I recently picked up a vintage 60’s era Rogers Holiday drum kit and some very sweet Zildjian K’s – Imma say it loud and proud – this kit sounds so buttery, focused and fine…(as they say) kid you not…I’ve got drool marks all over the place and I haven’t even got it all set up yet…it has been said Ludwig has it and Gretsch has it – but Rogers Holiday IS IT! One new addition is a 24″ Zildjian K Light Ride – puttin the OOh in my LALA 🙂 Further I am revamping a whole bunch of music studio stuff, new trigger configurations, new mic implementations, new software, new synths, lots of new music / songs… I really should post more knowhatimean? I know, Instagram and such – right? Photos – right? And to think I’ve been a professional photographer with work @ Disney Epcot and Kodak Gallery Award blah blah blah – can’t even get Instagram off the ground… LOL!

Let’s see – I am on letter 815 of Vincent Van Gogh… and that too has been an eye popper. He is basically in an insane asylum in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence France ATM… he recently cut off his ear… the whole story is so heartbreaking, and to think as he sits in the asylum he says;

“However, melancholy very often overtakes me with great force, and besides, the more my health returns to normal the more my mind is capable of reasoning very coldly, the more to do painting that costs us so much and doesn’t bring in anything, not even the cost of producing them, seems madness to me, a thing completely against reason. Then I feel utterly sad, and the bad thing is that at my age it’s darned difficult to start again with something else.”

Not realizing his paintings would eventually command the highest prices in the history of art – and today – even his tiniest scribbles sell for a cool million. Yet there he was October 1889, alone, semi-motivated, fighting for his sanity, ignored (generally) by the art community, and utterly broke / broken. I am in the last months of his life – it is roughly a 9 months from today (in the letters) that he commits suicide. In Holland (where he is from) and in the art world in general he is a hero and a genius. The dichotomy is breathtaking.

I have been offered an exclusive deal with Jingle Punks which is cool…. dunno if I even mentioned this before. Anyway – that’s it for now – catch ya’ll on the flip-side!

thoughts from Van Gogh

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017
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I am a big fan of gaining inspiration from a wide variety of sources… I enjoy painting, photography, sculpture, many musical styles, movies, poetry – the list goes on.
One of my favorite reads currently would be the Letters of Van Gogh, found online here
It is really amazing to read this brilliant artists thoughts… as he struggles with lack of finances, being ignored, and an almost superhuman passion to paint / work. In one of the letters he is referring to a fellow artist that had “pecuniary difficulties” which, according to Van Gogh caused the artist to “lose his wits”… as he describes the artists situation to a fellow artist Van Gogh says;

“He is prompted to act in his crisis of nerves to make money – – – whilst painters would make pictures…..”

I wonder how many musicians are driven to make money in a crisis of nerves… instead of music?

Till next time.

Man’s highest action is to reach up higher,

Wednesday, September 7th, 2016
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Stir up himself to take hold of his sire.
Then best I love you, dearest, when I go
And cry to love’s life I may love you so
As to content the yearning, making love,
That perfects strength divine in weakness’ fire,
And from the broken pots calls out the silver dove.

GM

thoughts on creativity

Wednesday, August 10th, 2016
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IMG_1228
… so I am fixing a water connection to the front of my house, and I look down and see a folded paper on the ground… I pick it up and unfold it, and find this;

song seed

song seed

well, well, well…

 

 

 

a song idea. from when? I had no idea. I have piles of songs and pieces of ideas spread literally all over the world. Funny thing, I don’t remember this song, writing it or even what the context was when I put it down. I remembered part of it – but not the chorus (exactly). I remembered enough to want to work on this more than the other song I was doing. Is this weird? I dunno. I have spoken to, listened to, read about, and worked with creative people of many varieties…and it seems the creative “process” varies quite a bit from person to person. Sometimes I wonder if the process is actually quite similar, but the artists awareness is of varying degrees. The reason I say this is that most everyone is surprised by their great “idea” and if it was truly their own, I don’t think this would happen. That would mean an idea is given… and if so, who gives it? I believe the Lord gives ideas, and we elevate or flush accordingly. I find the process of creating a song or video, or even just drumming so utterly pleasant. Exhilarating even sometimes… Here is an interesting thought from Van Gogh about painting – but many of his ideas parallel music.

“I tell you, if one wants to be active, one mustn’t be afraid to do something wrong sometimes, not afraid to lapse into some mistakes. To be good — many people think that they’ll achieve it by doing no harm — and that’s a lie, and you said yourself in the past that it was a lie. That leads to stagnation, to mediocrity. Just slap something on it when you see a blank canvas staring at you with a sort of imbecility.
You don’t know how paralyzing it is, that stare from a blank canvas that says to the painter you can’t do anything. The canvas has an idiotic stare, and mesmerizes some painters so that they turn into idiots themselves.
Many painters are afraid of the blank canvas, but the blank canvas is afraid of the truly passionate painter who dares — and who has once broken the spell of ‘you can’t’.
Life itself likewise always turns towards one an infinitely meaningless, discouraging, dispiriting blank side on which there is nothing, any more than on a blank canvas.”

Personally I don’t see things this darkly, but his point about the muse is certainly something to consider… even if you don’t have writers block. So many suffer paralysis from analysis. DO! WRITE! PAINT! CREATE! Don’t let that demon doubt (which would steal your very life if it could) tell you you can’t. Who cares if you get famous or rich? The joy you get from learning and overcoming an obstacle, and then saying THERE IT IS will far outweigh the voices that criticize… and you will destroy the whining “you can’t”. Creativity must have risks, it must sometimes fail, it must challenge and inflict, it must inspire. Sounds like learning doesn’t it?

You may not create the perfect masterpiece in your new medium – but you will be learning, and everything you learn about creates a lifetime of opportunities and interests that will swell your heart and fill you with inquisitiveness about possibilities. You can. 🙂

“Because children have abounding vitality,

Thursday, June 2nd, 2016
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because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.”

GK Chesterton

To trust is gain and growth, not mere sown seed!

Thursday, April 21st, 2016
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Faith heaves the world round to the heavenly dawn,
In whose great light the soul doth spell and read
Itself high-born, its being derived and drawn
From the eternal self-existent fire;
Then, mazed with joy of its own heavenly breed,
Exultant-humble falls before its awful sire.

GM

The worst power of an evil mood is this–

Thursday, February 4th, 2016
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It makes the bastard self seem in the right,
Self, self the end, the goal of human bliss.
But if the Christ-self in us be the might
Of saving God, why should I spend my force
With a dark thing to reason of the light–
Not push it rough aside, and hold obedient course?

GM

THOU art of this world, Christ. Thou know’st it all;

Sunday, November 1st, 2015
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Thou know’st our evens, our morns, our red and gray;
How moons, and hearts, and seasons rise and fall;
How we grow weary plodding on the way;
Of future joy how present pain bereaves,
Rounding us with a dark of mere decay,
Tossed with a drift Of summer-fallen leaves.

GM

on the outside looking in >

Saturday, September 12th, 2015
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I recently watched the movie Standing In The Shadow Of Motown. The entire movie was good, though I was a little less into the guest spot cameos of people covering the hits (Bootsy on bass > oh yeah – singing classic Motown? not so much). There was a lot of talk in the movie how unknown the Funk Brothers were and are, since back in the day album credits rarely listed session musicians. Drummer Steve Jordan said at one point; the band was so happening that you could put any singer in front of them and they’d have a hit. Often times studio musicians recognize this and just accept that as part of the gig, but the sheer number of hits and almost complete anonymity of these Funk Brothers is truly eye-popping. One of the most brutal examples of this came during a section featuring guitarist Robert White (who wrote the well known intro to My Girl). The guitarist was at a restaurant and My Girl came on the radio. Someone in the restaurant came up to the booth White was dining at and was gushing at that intro “do you hear that? It’s amazing!” and Robert White, who wrote it, looked up and said “yeah I…” then stopped, looked down, and said “I’ll order the BBQ chicken”. His friend asked him later – “why didn’t you tell him that was you?” And Robert responded “nah – he’d never believe some old washed up guy like me”…the friend stated Robert was always on the outside looking in. I was struck by that. Here was a guy who was on many, many number one hits, playing with an amazing roster of talent, living what many would consider “the dream” and he was on the outside looking in. But he isn’t alone.

Shut Up and Play the Hits features the last show of LCD Soundsystems (the show is very good) interspersed with the quiet, somewhat desperate and doubting day to day unwinding life of James Murphy as he calls it quits with LCD Soundsystems. If you want another example of someone on the outside looking in, watch this. The contrast of high energy concert with an almost bleak depressed “everyday life” as Murphy goes about his business makes the whole thing even heavier. A part of me wondered if Murphy was shooting for some melodrama, in being emotionally neutral, or even flat – but the interview brings out the gnawing doubts he lives 24/7. Outside looking in. And this got me thinking..why? (more…)

thinking >

Friday, April 17th, 2015
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Don’t shut up any avenue of your nature, let God come into every avenue, every relationship, and you will find the nightmare curse of “secular and sacred” will go.

With regard to other men’s minds, take all you can get, whether those minds are in flesh-and-blood editions or in books, but remember, the best you get from another mind is not the mind’s verdict, but its standpoint. Note the writers that provoke you to do the best mentally.

We have no business to limit God’s revelations to the bias of the human mind.

Truth is discerned by moral obedience. There are points in our thinking which remain obscure until a crisis arises in personal life where we ought to obey, immediately we obey the intellectual difficulty alters. Whenever we have to obey it is always in something immensely practical.

The first thing to go when you begin to think is your theology. If you stick too long to a theological point of view you become stagnant, without vitality.

Doubt is not always a sign that a man is wrong, it may be a sign he is thinking.

A logical position is satisfying to the intellect, but it can never be true to life. Logic is simply the method man’s intellect follows in making things definable to himself, but you can’t define what is greater than yourself.

Don’t run away with the idea that everything that runs contrary to your complacent scheme of things is of the devil.

Obedience is the basis of Christian thinking. Never be surprised if there are whole areas of thinking that are not clear, they never will be until you obey.

It takes a long time to get rid of atheism in thinking.

OC