RAGHU RAI, Magnum photojournalist

Raghu Rai was born in the small village of Jhhang, now part of Pakistan. He took up photography in 1965, and the following year joined “The Statesman” newspaper as its chief photographer. Impressed by an exhibit of his work in Paris in 1971, Henri Cartier-Bresson nominated Rai to join Magnum Photos in 1977. Continue reading RAGHU RAI, Magnum photojournalist

The Making of an Underground Film: CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite, December 31, 1965 (w/Andy Warhol, Jonas Mekas, the Velvet Underground & Edie Sedgwick)

The Making of an Underground Film from CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite, broadcasted on 31st December 1965. Featuring Jonas Mekas, Piero Heliczer with Velvet Underground, Stan Brakhage, Willard Van Dyke, Andy Warhol and Edie Sedgwick

ROBERT POLIDORI :: AFTER THE FLOOD – large format photographs in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina

Immediately after Hurricane Katrina wreaked its havoc upon New Orleans, photographer Robert Polidori returned to the city he had inhabited long before, to bear photographic witness to its devastation for The New Yorker.  He ended up staying much longer than he had originally planned, and returned many times to continue capturing images of the city’s abandoned desolation.  One of the world’s premier architectural photographers, Polidori considered the wrecked rooms, collapsed houses, and ravaged neighborhoods on view in After the Flood as metaphors for human fragility. He navigated through the wrecked streets and collapsed, electricity-less, molding houses of the city toting his large-format camera. By virtue of long-exposures under natural light, Polidori produced hundreds of images.

“In each image, the artist seems to have captured the very air of New Orleans, weighted heavily with mold, humidity, and history.”-New Orleans after the Flood: Photographs by Robert Polidori, The Met, April 2006

“All artists, as best they can, make sense of a world that is often senseless. Mr. Polidori’s work, from Chernobyl to Havana — in sometimes dangerous, topsy-turvy, out-of-time places — generally bears witness to profound neglect. A photojournalist’s compulsion and problem is always to contrive beauty from misery, and it is only human to feel uneasy about admiring pictures like these from New Orleans, whose sumptuousness can be disorienting. But the works also express an archaeologist’s aspiration to document plain-spoken truth, and they are without most of the tricks of the trade that photographers exploit to turn victims into objects and pictures of pain into tributes to themselves.” -The New York Times, What’s Wrong With This Picture, Michael Kimmelman, Sept 22, 2006

“Robert Polidori is one of the world’s most acclaimed photographers of human habitats and environments. Creating meticulously detailed, large-format color film photographs, Polidori’s images record a visual citation of both past history and the present times within the confines of a single frame.

Born in Montreal, Polidori moved to the United States as a child. Polidori began his career in avant-garde film, assisting Jonas Mekas at the Anthology Film Archives in New York, an experience that critically shaped his approach to photography. While living in Paris in the early 1980s, he began documenting the restoration of Versailles, and has continued over a 30 year period to photograph the ongoing changes.

Polidori’s additional projects include Havana and the aftermath of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant meltdown. His current work deals with population and urban growth through photographing “dendritic” cities around the world, including Mumbai, Rio de Janeiro and Amman.” – Robert Polidori.com

Wadada Leo Smith :: “Martin Luther King, Jr.”, from the album Ten Freedom Summers

On May 5, 2012, Jazz trumpeter and visionary composer Wadada Leo Smith released Ten Freedom Summers, a large-scale work 34 years in the making, comprising a four-disc box set.  The monumental 5-hour work is Smith’s meditation on the civil-rights movement and other related topics and is organized as 19 fully developed suites for various music ensemble configurations. Continue reading Wadada Leo Smith :: “Martin Luther King, Jr.”, from the album Ten Freedom Summers

Jean-Claude Risset, computer music pioneer has died, aged 78

* this article-respectfully republished from The Wire:( http://www.thewire.co.uk/news/44612/french-electronic-music-composer-jean-claude-risset-has-died)
 French electronic musician Jean-Claude Risset has died, reported Exclaim!. Risset passed away on 21 November in Marseille, aged 78. Cited as a pioneer in computer music, he worked with Max Matthews at New Jersey’s Bell Labs where he experimented with sound synthesis and psychoacoustics. Risset also created a version of the Shepard scale called the Shepard–Risset Glissando, a type of auditory illusion that gives the impression a sound’s tone is either rising or descending, an effect he also created for rhythm and tempo.

Risset was a composer of orchestral, chamber, vocal, piano and electroacoustic works. Born in Le Puy-en-Velay on 18 March 1938, he studied composition and piano at École Normale Supérieure de Paris from 1957–61. He also studied mathematics and physics and earned a Doctorat ès Sciences in 1967. He started work at the Bell Labs in 1965 and from 1967–69 he worked on brass and timbre synthesis as well as pitch and sound processing and development. There he met F Richard Moore, John Pierce, James Tenney, Vladimir Ussachevsky and Edgard Varèse. He went on to work at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Marseille from 1969–72, and on computer sound systems at the Faculté d’Orsay and the Université de Paris in 1970–71. He was also chair of the computer department at IRCAM from 1975–79.

Risset’s albums including Mutations (1978), Songes – Passages – Computer Suite From Little Boy – Sud (1988), Invisible ‎(1996) and Elementa (2001). In 2014 Editions Mego released Music From Computer, which reached number 12 in The Wire‘s Top 50 Chart of that year. Describing his work in The Wire 363, Philip Clark wrote: “Risset sculpts his found objects into plastic forms – birdsong stretched out of melodic alignment, high pitched insects heard as basso profundo drones… [his] music has a poetic backbone impressively all its own.” Risset was the author of An Introductory Catalog Of Computer Synthesized Sounds (1969).

THE REALITY OF KAREL APPEL, 1962, 15 minutes

“As an artist you have to fight and survive the wilderness to keep your creative freedom. Creativity is very fragile. It’s like a leaf in the fall; it hangs and when it drops you don’t know where it’s drifting.” –Karel Appel

Karel Appel, (Christiaan Karel Appel April 1921 – 3 May 2006) was a Dutch painter, sculptor, and poet. He started painting at the age of fourteen and studied at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam in the 1940s. He was one of the founders of the avant-garde movement Cobra in 1948.
Continue reading THE REALITY OF KAREL APPEL, 1962, 15 minutes


akira-sato-untitled-1960-954x635“Akira Sato, the Japanese photographer, was noted for his graphic and iconic experimental photographs of women. His seminal book, also entitled Woman, is an enigmatic collection of portraits finely meshed with a type of fashion, but as with all things Japanese, his work retained an exotic quality that was to define his style. Sato was born on July 30, 1930 in Tokyo. While a student of economics at Yokohama National University he was an avid reader of LIFE and other photographic and fashion magazines at the American CIE library in Hibiya. He graduated in 1953 and one year later made the move and became a freelance photographer, specializing in fashion. Continue reading AKIRA SATO :: UNTITLED, 1960