Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Don't Miss Today

I nearly did...

Don't feel like I've got a lot to say this week.
I have been researching quite heavily, so this will be more a succinct round up of thing I have seen and a couple of things I have made.


Local Hero is a beautifully shot, observed and conceived piece of simple film making. Such subtle nuanced performances sit amongst majestic landscapes and are photographed with ease and a great natural joy. Although there is a clear and strong narrative the film is much more about people, relationships between people and the myriad of ways with which we communicate our lives. In short, absolute pleasure.

In almost direct contrast Paris, Je t'aime felt tried and lost within an overarching concept. Generally the 18 shorts, based on or in Paris, were disappointing, including directors I hold in high regard such as the Coens, Van Sant and Cuoron, the very short nature of the films seemed to not allow any real grasp upon an overall visual or storytelling style. Some shorts were instantly forgettable, some ill-conceived, some just bad. The final two films showed a marked improvement and also showed that with such time constraints, simplicity, a real focus on dialogue and characters rather than trying to establish an aesthetic and most of all a few years behind you really pay off.

At current I am reading about the myths, folklore and customs of a few different but often strangely alike cultures.

The Eskimos of the Arctic and Canada

Pueblo Indians of the plateau region of the southwestern United States.

The Zinacantecos, modern Mayans.

I find it interesting that all these cultures share certain similarities, especially in their harmonious relationship to the land and nature around them. Whilst their customs and folklore may occasionally seem naive and foolish to us, the sheer respect and knowledge they have for the flora and fauna has allowed them to survive their respective harsh extremes of landscape and climate they live in. The mythology from these peoples is honest and true, where a respect and love and often fear and awe for nature itself is embodied in the tales of their kind.

What follows is the creation story from one of the tribes of the Great Planes

Osage (Wazh√° zhe group)

Way beyond, once upon a time, some of the Osages lived in the sky. They did not know where they came from, so they went to Sun. They said, “From where did we come?”

He said, “You are my children.”

Then they wandered still further and came to Moon.

Moon said, “I am your mother; Sun is your father. You must go away from here. You must go down to the earth and live there.”

So they came to the earth but found it covered with water. They could not return up above. They wept, but no answer came to them. They floated about in the air, seeking help from some god; but they found none.

Now all the animals were with them. Elk was the finest and most stately. They all trusted Elk. So they called to Elk, “Help us.”

[Pg 20] Then Elk dropped into the water and began to sink. Then he called to the winds. The winds came from all sides and they blew until the waters went upwards, as in a mist. Now before that the winds had traveled in only two directions; they went from north to south and from south to north. But when Elk called to them, they came from the east, from the north, from the west, and from the south. They met at a central place; then they carried the waters upwards.

Now at first the people could see only the rocks. So they traveled on the rocky places. But nothing grew there and there was nothing to eat. Then the waters continued to vanish. At last the people could see the soft earth. When Elk saw the earth, he was so joyous, he rolled over and over on the earth. Then all the loose hairs clung to the soil. So the hairs grew, and from them sprang beans, corn, potatoes, and wild turnips, and at last all the grasses and trees.

Now the people wandered over the land. They found human footsteps. They followed them. They joined with them, and traveled with them in search of food.

And a song of the Sioux


Now set up the tipi,
Now set up the tipi,
Around the bottom,
Around the bottom,
Drive in the pegs,
Drive in the pegs,
In the meantime I shall cook,
In the meantime I shall cook.

Beautiful sentiments from a gentle people. I wish this was my life...


I have mostly been trying to learn how to draw again and decide what I want to draw, why I want to draw, these and various other existential deliberations.

Whilst not doing this I have been messing about with bits of music. Big Fire (which is myself and Nicolas) are hoping to release and do some things soon. We are wanting to record 3 songs we have been messing with for a week or two alongside 3 songs that are taken from songs and poems from our reading around the various peoples talked about above, for these three we hope to arrange a choir of friends and have a nice time singing loud and clear.

As Michael Jackson's Beer Companion I am hoping to try and get a release sorted and soon, some gigs. In the mean time here are some old and new things:
A Day A Week

A Song A Day A Week

Recorded between 02/03/09-06/03/09

This has been floating about for a while. In an attempt to return to spontaneous writing and recording I decided to try and record a song every day for a week. By Friday I had burnt out but I was reminded by how satisfying this can be. I don't practice and work on songs really, I do the majority of composing and writing of a piece of music as I record. This is sometimes frustrating as I maybe never fully realise the potential of a song, but then it does keep the pieces quite light and experimental and offers a different way of working to that of my drawing, which is usually planned and controlled. With my music I don't know what to expect of the outcome, which I find exciting.

Zip file of the week

2 New Sketchy Pieces

I hope to release something soon on Hair-Piece Champion, a collaborative group of musicians releasing material via CDRs, download and recycled media. We hope to make some interesting plans for exciting announcements over there soon...

until next Wednesday.

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