Archive for January, 2010

The call to adventure

January 23, 2010

In the last entry I talked on and on about symbiosis, and what it means in regards to the future of art, and how I have an epic sweeping vision, in which doing away with what we normally see as convention will create something new and exciting, which gives us more freedom than is usually found within artistic endeavors.  This project, although still in it’s infancy, now has a name, and an HQ.  I created a facebook group page for The Adventure, where there are only strengths and no weaknesses.  Community is the first phase in my ultimate scheme, and what better way to carry it out, than in the framework of a social network, using facebook for what it was meant for. Networking.  I pooled through my list of friends for visual artists, musicians, actors, photographers, writers, you name it they go across the board.  Although the only activity from the group so far is from my own self, the fact that the numbers are quickly growing is a sure sign of the revolution to come.  We will see how it pans out, and hopefully I will have more to discuss in later entries.

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symbiosis

January 19, 2010

So, as anyone that knows me can attest, I always love finding new and interesting ways in which to work on my projects, such as my stories, poems, songs, etc. These can include: experimental story structures, testing out new genres, or escaping a more introspective and personal world, to enter a more bizarre and fantastic realm, that is as foreign to me as the power of speech is to a mute. I pursue my art, and pour out my creative juices in the first place, because I enjoy them and they make me feel accomplished, and make me happy. It’s logical, but I also remain so persistent in following my dreams due to my desire to make things that I can share with and can be enjoyed by other folks. Art for the sake of art is definitely a legitimate way to think, which helps us go beyond sheer aestheticism, but I’m sick of it being used in a wholly self-serving manner. “I made it so it must be good,” is how the stereotypical snooty artist feels. But if you make it selfishly and only for yourself, what good is it really? We, as human creatures should be able to share what we do and what we love in a way that doesn’t destroy our individuality. We spend so much time in all aspects of our life, seeming to argue for the sake of arguing. “You voted for that guy, when you should have voted for the other guy,” or “your favorite color is orange? what’s wrong with you?” or the classic, “You don’t believe in my religion, so that means you’re going to hell!” The matter of voting is based on personal opinion, and although this country is not the democracy it claims to be, being able to make a decision for good or ill on picking the one you want, is based off our individual personality type, environment, social standing, and most importantly, the one thing that tends to differ on a universal scale. Your opinion. Someone having a different favorite color is really worth scratching another person’s eyes out? Seriously people, there are bigger things to waste our time(or not) on and besides the difference is what makes us interesting to one another. And the third point, if someone simply doesn’t believe in something’s existence, can it really be said, that someone else who believes a different thing would be able to judge where the other person’s immortal soul might end up. The point I am trying to get to through all of this, is one simple word: symbiosis.

Symbiosis is defined by The American Heritage Dictionary as a long-term relationship or an association between two or more organisms that may benefit both, but doesn’t have to. In regard to my art, I began recording songs with my friend Colin, only having the expertise of my voice, and bass, as well as a ridiculous pile of lyrics that I had written. I found myself relying on him, and his multi-instrumental talents to pull together a complete song. When I proposed playing or starting a group with other friends at school, many times they either tended to be too busy with all their school work, or were already parts of their own respective bands and projects. How cool would it be, if instead of a traditional band, you had a network of musicians, songwriters, singers, and any other sort of musical talents to draw from, no matter what sort of project you had in mind. And it grew from there, as I tried to put together a collegiate a capella group numerous times. No matter how many times it failed, I just kept trying harder. I was gathering this idea, that we could start out in the standard way, mimicking the sounds of the instruments, (which in many cases is quite unbelievable to listen to) and move on to create something that truly would test the limits of what the human voice could do. Each attempt dissolved before we could do much with it, but my big dreams would not stay forgotten. I had also always liked to write stories and poems, and once I found myself enrolled in writing classes, I grew even more interested, and became more and more aware of my skills in this department. I began to build up my own network of peers with which to discuss strengths and weaknesses of mine and others’ work and in the process, creating unforgettable friendships in the process. And much more recently I found myself drawing on a regular basis, something I used to all the time years ago, but have since neglected. Seeing my own interests and all of my own strengths and weaknesses, and discussing my vision with numerous friends and family members, I began to see my dream.

I still see music as the point to gather the organization around, but does it need to stop there? I think not. Think of something truly for the people, by the people. No ideas are bad ideas, and nobody has to go any direction they don’t want to. I value diversity in everything. Say this one guy can play the kazoo, and this girl can play the accordion, and some other person has always wanted to learn to play banjo. We can use them. No talents will be seen as too big or too small, and it will become a family. We will always carry out tasks that involve the whole, but if somebody says, “hey, I have this other idea.” Then follow it, and take whoever else is interested. A symbiotic media venture is the future, and if you look at the success of Gorillaz, what is the limit to what can be done not being confined by the standard or the typical?

And the best part is, we can be anywhere! I am prepared to get my mind blown wide open by this adventure.

My New Year’s Resolutions

January 7, 2010

A week into the new year, and I have finally decided on my resolutions. You can laugh all you want, but what sort of person knows what their resolutions are ahead of time? The fact that they are called new year’s resolutions would imply that you don’t set them until after a new year has begun. Number one, is to eat better. And eating better also has its perks, that of me wanting to actually cook everything. As far as healthy eating is concerned, the Vegan cookbook I got as a Christmas present is on its way to helping me. On top of that, I am going to exercise more regularly. Sure, I do my share of walking around when I head downtown, but walking only does certain muscles good. My regimen, although not yet adhered to on a structured workout schedule, consists of crunches, hand weights, lifting on the weight bench, treadmilling and the heavy bag. This year is beginning much better than the last. My third task is to increase my artistic productivity, seeing as I “need” a job, and considering how scarce they are, I need to come up with new ways to seek money, and also those which actually apply to the degree I have received. I am hoping that this blog in addition to my newly opened deviantart account will get the publicity I need. I have another blog, which is a video game fan fiction, which I just started. find it at, questionableexistence.wordpress.com, if you’re interested. Not trying to toot my own horn or anything, but I find it very helpful to hear what everyone has to think of my work, and it will help me figure out how to better hone my skills to make a potential living.

My final resolution is this: to love a little bit more, day by day, to give the world more hope, and most importantly to be strong enough to be truly myself in all situations.

A much more inspired entry is in store for next time, but until then, you’ll just have to wait and see.

heckhound out.

Album of the year and other things to help bring in the new decade right.

January 1, 2010

From the extent of my listening, I name Muse’s The Resistance best album of 2009. A lot of the releases of 09 that I was pumped up about I have yet to listen to. Muse is one of my favorite bands, even if they seem a bit devalued now that Stephanie Meyer and Twifreaks the world over claim to like them. But as long as the quality of Matt Bellamy and his two cohorts doesn’t go down to the level of Twilight, then I am good with them. The fact the concept of the album is based much on Orwell’s 1984, which is one of my favorite books is only part of the reason I love it. The opening track, Uprising brings immediately to mind the feeling of a Doctor Who episode. The fact that the songs soar from classical instrumentation to heavy rock riffs, to sweeping Freddy style vocals, or the dance beats of Undisclosed Desires, or the riffage midway through United States of Eurasia, which reminds one of Zeppelin’s Kashmir. The Muse I have come to expect is most evidenced by the raging rock whirlwind found in MK Ultra and the slow and heartfelt Guiding Light. But Muse is always full of surprises, and while some say the polish found within this album is off putting, it does the opposite in my mind, by realizing that they can exceed not just others’ expectations of them, but redefine themselves as a band. Sure there may be much more convention here then what we saw in Absolution and Black Holes and Revelations, but they still play with the rules as they see fit. The three part Exogenesis Symphony that finishes off the album, would fit right at home in a film score, and if it doesn’t “feel like Muse,” then I say, what does Muse sound like? Since Absolution they have gone across the board of Rock and Pop music, and my only complaint would be that they don’t showcase Bellamy’s crazy harmonies enough in comparison to the rest of the disc.

My fave new tv show of the year, while not as epic as my favorite album, or my favorite movie, it still holds a dear place in my heart, and that would be Glee. I first heard snatches of a cool arrangement of Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing on a commercial during American Idol. Can I admit that I watch it, without cringing a little? No. But Paula Abdul is gone in the new season, so it becomes less cringeworthy. But this is not the show we are talking about is it? Back to Glee. Anybody who was either in chorus in high school, anyone who didn’t quite fit in, they all will find a place in their heart for this show. My only criticism is that some of the song arrangements are a bit blah, but the awesome guest stars and cameos, and the hilarity that ensues between Sue Sylvester and Mr. Shue is well enough worth the watch. The majority of the characters are stereotypes, but it actually contributes to the magic. Music brings all types of people together in a way nothing else can, and the way each of the characters seem to learn from one another to become more who they actually are, is something not enough shows involving teen woes seem to cover. I mean have you seen Gossip Girl, or the OC? The sheer diversity of the cast and of the song arrangements themselves is enough to please any kind of music fan, even if there are a few disappointments, such as, why the hell are there no a capella arrangements? After the explosive, but not unexpected fall finale, I can’t wait to see what comes next.

And here we are in a new year, a new decade. I don’t yet have an idea for a resolution of my own, but I will offer up a few of my thoughts for consideration this decade. There has been a ridiculous amount of talk about the man who tried to blow up a plane on Christmas, and the majority of the focus seems to be on the fact that he is Nigerian. Would it be any different if an angry white American man did something like that? The way we go on about profiling criminals, you’d think there was a big difference between those two things. Let us not be blinded by attaching a stigma to groups of people versus individual actions. The Post 9/11 world should have taught us something about this. The next resolution is a little lighter in scope, but still as important: If we award a prize to someone, let us make sure they actually have done something to earn it.(Nobel Peace Prize, I’m looking at you.) Third Resolution and last: Be sure to give a little more love everyday, whether it’s a high five of encouragement, or a hug for a close friend you haven’t seen in a while, or any other number of expressions or gestures that show you care for other people,(amazing what a simple wave or smile will do to brighten someone’s day) the world will become ever a little bit brighter, a little bit better. As the song by Harry and The Potters tells us: “The weapon we have is love!” Let us use it to its full extent, and maybe there will be a few less bombs, and more people hugging their moms.

Until next time, have a blessed(non-denominational) new year!