New Release: A Tribe Called Quest :: We Got It From Here

Yesterday, A Tribe Called Quest released their first album in 18 years, and it appears to be getting the ubiquitous nod for album of the year.  Appearances from Kanye West, Andre 3000 and Kendrick Lamar with Busta Rhymes and Consequence as well. Continue reading New Release: A Tribe Called Quest :: We Got It From Here

Frederick Hammersley: West Coast Hard Edge Abstraction, Pt3

Frederick Hammersley was perhaps the most critically acclaimed of the first generation west coast hard-edge painters.  Having been one of the four participants in the landmark Four Abstract Classicists exhibition in 1959, his place within the history of the art movement was firmly established.  The show’s organizer,  Jules Langsner coined the term “hard edge” in his essay for the catalogue: Continue reading Frederick Hammersley: West Coast Hard Edge Abstraction, Pt3

Documentary: The Tibetan Book Of The Dead (narrated by Leonard Cohen)

The Tibetan Book Of The Dead is a documentary, produced by The National Film Board of Canada in 1994.  It explains The Bardo Thodol, Liberation Through Hearing During the Intermediate State, referred to in the west as The Tibetan Book Of The Dead. The close to 700 year-old text, composed in the 8th century is a text from a larger corpus of teachings, the Profound Dharma of Self-Liberation through the Intention of the Peaceful and Wrathful Ones.  The text is intended to guide a deceased person through the experiences that his or her consciousness faces in the bardo, the interval between their death and their next rebirth. Continue reading Documentary: The Tibetan Book Of The Dead (narrated by Leonard Cohen)

In Search Of Wabi Sabi : BBC doc with Marcel Theroux

In Search of Wabi Sabi is a BBC Documentary in which novelist & broadcaster Marcel Theroux travels across Japan, attempting to understand the japanese aesthetic theory, Wabi Sabi.

Wabi-sabi (?) represents Japanese aesthetics and a Japanese world view centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete”.[2] It is a concept derived from the Buddhist teaching of the three marks of existence (三法印 sanbōin?), specifically impermanence (無常 mujō?), suffering ( ku?) and emptiness or absence of self-nature (?).Characteristics of the wabi-sabi aesthetic include asymmetry, roughness, simplicity, economy, austerity, modesty, intimacy, and appreciation of the ingenuous integrity of natural objects and processes. – wikipedia

Dr. Gabor Mate On The Healing Power Of Ayuhuasca

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The following is a transcript of Gabor Mate’s speech, “Psychedelics and Unlocking the Unconscious; From Cancer to Addition,” which he delivered at the Psychedelic conference in Oakland California on April 20, 2013

My subject is the use of ayahuasca in the healing of all manner of medical conditions, from cancer to addiction. And you might say what can possibly a plant do to heal such dire and life-threatening medical problems? Well, of course, that all depends on the perspective through which we understand these problems. Continue reading Dr. Gabor Mate On The Healing Power Of Ayuhuasca

Julia Wolfe :: Big Beautiful Dark and Scary

Composer Julia Wolfe’s Big Beautiful Dark and Scary was written in response to her experience witnessing the 9-11 tragedy, standing two blocks away from the Twin Towers as the planes hit them along with her two young children.  The piece was written in 2002 for amplified sextet: clarinet, bass clarinet, percussion, piano, electric guitar, cello and double bass. Gargantuan slabs of tone clusters hover and fuss, then begin their brutal climb, ascending in pitch, intensity and volume. Continue reading Julia Wolfe :: Big Beautiful Dark and Scary

Steve Reich :: It’s Gonna Rain

On January 27, 1965, composer Steve Reich premiered his piece It’s Gonna Rain in San Francisco. The piece consists of the manipulation of a taped recording of Brother Walter, a charismatic Pentecostal preacher in Union Square.  Brother Walter’s fire and brimstone sermon begins to mutate into echoes of itself forming a constantly changing, pulsing canon made of human speech woven into an interlocking rhythm.  Continue reading Steve Reich :: It’s Gonna Rain

Karl Benjamin: West Coast Hard Edge Abstraction, Pt2

 

Chicago native Karl Benjamin found his way to California to go to college on the G.I.Bill after serving in the Navy during World War II.  With no formal education in art, Benjamin who was an elementary teacher, began working with crayons in the course of developing art lessons for his students’ curriculum. He became enthralled with the way in which colors appeared to change when in juxtaposition with other colors and enrolled in classes at Claremont Graduate School, ultimately earning an M.A. degree in 1960 and developing a serious art practice as a painter who worked rigorously with color.

‘His principal started it all by asking him to add 47 minutes a week of art instruction to the curriculum.“I bought some crayons and paper,” he said. “And the kids drew trucks, trees, mountains. That was boring, so I said, No trucks, no trees. And they said, What should we do? I said the right thing, even though I didn’t have any background in art. I said, Be quiet and concentrate.” – Jori Finkel, Karl Benjamin’s Colorful Resurgence, New York Times, October 7, 2007 Continue reading Karl Benjamin: West Coast Hard Edge Abstraction, Pt2

kneeling to the god of eclecticism and allergic to the commonplace