This morning I watched a DVD of a woman explaining how she came to help starving kids in a remote Honduran village. Her language derived from her experience of reality in ways different than my own experiences, but her results and her ideals impressed me. So many debates involve whether to have eggs scrambled or fried, and it's good to hear someone who's just pitched in making omelettes.
Lately I read about astrophotography, in which the camera is used with a telescope to see the stars, and micro-photography, in which the camera takes pictures of tiny things. I concluded that both these fields fascinate me, but that at present I decline to plan to buy another set of consumer goods for another hobby to pursue desultorily.
I instead put my creativity directly into a new and exciting field: kaleido-photography. In this new discipline, one places a small, 3 dollar and 95 cent kaleidoscope up to a point-and-shoot camera lens, and then flashing colored cards behind the kaleidoscope for dramatic effect. The result is lo-fi bliss.
My on-line friend the Dutch musician and music software sample composer Marco Raaphorst posts a weekly free mp3 called Klankbeed: Raaphorst. Klankbeeld is one of those foreign words whose literal translation, I am told, is inadequate, but it means something along the lines of "soundimage". For each klankbeeld, Marco takes a Creative Commons picture he likes,and then writes a song about it.
This week's song was a short cinematic bit of classical-esque popular music. So when I generated a half minute of this new kaleido-photography, I Kubricked it onto Marco's personal "Danube". Marco was kind enough to give me a shout-out at his website. I am also involved in an exciting project that Marco and Bert Kommerj, this cool radio fellow from the Netherlands, put together which is called Media Me. In Media Me, we all explore the changes in our lives by all this new media technology, as well as the implications of sharing and read/write culture. Media Me's first and essential existence is as a flickr Creative Commons photo pool, so if anyone else would like to join in, then all are welcome. I as pleased that Bert gave me a shout-out at the Media Me weblog.
I was up until 3 a.m. working on an exciting remix of a talented ambient artist's
material. I spent five hours or so pursuing one path, only to realize I had, like the fellow in the Springsteen song, taken a "light at the right and then straight on 'till night, and then, boy, you're on your own". I abandoned the whistles, waffles, drones and
hesitations of the first draft, and began anew. I now have 5 minutes of the requisite 15 minutes of the project completed. The result thus far is much more "dark ambient" than my recent material, as my recent material seems to veer into melodic chill. I'm having a great deal of fun working with sound samples that are not stereotypically "pretty" in a show tune way, and finding their inner beauty. I always favor the plain girl with the
showy mind and the directness that softly touches on what matters with inelegant but indelible hands.
I also created a kaleido-film to accompany my field remix of Calendar Girl's "July" song. It's right:
here, available for viewing, although as I type this the code to embed it into this weblog is not yet completed. I used a number of devices like indistinct text and titles to accompany the song and kaleido-film, and I hope it works as intended to create an undefined, lo-fi sense of wonder.
A busy, travel-filled week ahead. I am glad I did so much this weekend--including, not least, laundry, mailing out my eBay packages, and some modest house-cleaning.
The pear trees on our street and the magnolia in our back yard begin to bloom, the mockingbird on the chimney is in full song, and honeybees are at Allen Station Park, investigating the flowers.