conceptual art scrapbook revised/expanded

If you are following the process of the Conceptual Art Scrapbook, you may want to see what changes have taken place recently. I’ve just added several new pieces and expanded others. I’m trying to keep the original ideas in there and some reflective notes, because the scrapbook may or may not be the finished product but it is a documentation of the process of creating it.

I’m starting to share some of this with people, and interesting questions and dialogues have emerged. I’m documenting them in side notes on the process. This reflects my thinking about my thinking about the art, in response to a question or comment. I do welcome any reactions.  If you share with me, please do keep in mind that I haven’t put any poetry or other creative work into the public realm for 20 years and this is a bit scary. I do want to take the risk and let it be seen because the dialogue is valuable, so please be honest but gentle.

If someone suggests or inspires a possible enhancement that I decide to include, I am trying to acknowledge their contribution.

It is important to be seen. Thanks for your attention.


Harry’s gig for Virgil & Accelerators

Just came backfrom Harry’s Bar and Bistro where Virgil and the Accelerators played. Virgil has really matured as a guitarist, check him out. With brother Gabriel on drums, it is really a family affair.

The gig was excellent, all they needed was a second show.  Keep an eye out for future gigs and maybe a new CD in the future

What I’m listening to now – Rosa Zaragoza

Haunting spiritual and sensual music from Spanish singer Rosa Zaragoza who sings in a variety of spiritual traditions, languages and styles. Sometimes you hear the belly dance, sometimes the flamenco, sometimes the digeridoo (yes!).

Quotes extracted from the English introduction to her home page:

Rosa Zaragoza started her professional singing career in 1984, inspired by discovering the lyrics to Jewish-Catalan songs from the 15th century. She performed these songs in a tour through Israel, New York and all over Europe. She then began working with both religious and secular material from the three cultures of the Iberian Peninsula: Jewish, Muslim and Christian.Rosa founded and is the artistic director for the Mystic Music Festivals of Barcelona (2000 and 2001) and Valencia (2001).

You can get her music on iTunes or download some clips from her website. Just do it, you know you want to!

Conceptual art scrapbook

I’ve been more or less gasping for more creative air to breathe, creative projects that lie outside of the work I do in my job, which is also creative in its way and which I love.  To provide an outlet, I’ve set up a new page on this blog called conceptual art scrapbook, a place where I can note down concepts for artworks that may or may not be created.  At a mimimum I should be able to add some visuals and more text over the next few weeks.

If you take a look, let me know what you think.

Dan Barbiero

Dan has played a few more interesting gigs, including the Takoma Park Jazz Festival and a gig at ArtOMatic (photo).  Please see Dan Barbiero’s MySpace page for some very cool improvisational music. He plays double bass, sometimes as ‘prepared bass’ where the sound is altered by the addition of other implements. More information can be found on his webpage.  Watch for Dan to perform in the Washington DC area.

Here is a blurb from Dan about his gig in College Park (sorry I didn’t get this up prior to the gig…life got in the way, but I don’t know how many local people would see it anyway): 

Nine Strings–Gary Rouzer on Steinberger bass cello and Daniel Barbiero on double bass—will present a live improvisation at the College Perk coffeehouse on Sunday evening June 29.  Our sets will alternate with sets by artrock duo CliffArt and will feature a mixture of duo and solo improvisations in an electro-acoustic atmosphere.  We start at 8:13–hope you’ll be able to come by to listen. 


 Photo is Dan at ArtOMatic.

Dan playing at ArtOMatic

Sleep Furiously – film review

I’ve just come from seeing ‘Sleep Furously’, a film by Gideon Koppel filmed in Trefeurig not too far from Aber.  It premiered at the Edinburgh Film Festival and features music by Aphex Twin, so hits on a couple of chords.

It is a very soft-spoken film, more intense in the last third introduced by the only words from the filmmaker, as opposed to the unscripted speech of the people being filmed living out their lives.  Ghostly words appear on the screen about only having the courage to speak out when things are ending, having the courage but not the words. This sentiment has already built up over the preceding sequences but permeates the final scenes.

Beautifully framed with the camera usually stationary below normal line of sight, you get a close-up view of textures of life in a small farming town with the heads and faces of the people often cut out of the frame. The effect is fragmentary and abstract, rich textures of a weather-beaten wall, hay in a barn while pigs and calves are being born. Lush colours and emptiness.  Slow unfolding of daily life, returning to the library’s book mobile that seems to knit the community together bringing a very odd selection of titles to break the isolation of the older denizens of Trefeurig. There are children, elderly, and middle-aged people, but almost no one is seen in their 20’s or 30’s. Lovely people talking about their animals, hands baking a Victorian sponge (for Americans, this is a cake).  A slow build up of intensity.

The sense of the passing of an old way of life has already been commented on, with the closing of the school etc (a very real local issue). The final scenes bring home a heavy sense of melancholy and loss with time-lapse photography of curtains in an empty window and other scenes of derelict or near-derelict cottages.

I was expecting the music by Aphex Twin to be more prominent than it was, in many cases they didn’t choose the more electronic pieces.  Quiet. 

I walked back in the rain in a contemplative mood indeed.