Thursday, 24 April 2008
Wednesday, 23 April 2008
The Readerswives Collective will be hosting the premier of “Two Dazed on the Rock” at the Centre Fold Gallery this Friday. The event promises to be a good one.
There will be a few drinkles available such as beers, beers and some more beers. Some non-alcoholic beverages will also be there for the nippers.
As the Gallery is only of a certain size we are initially going to run this as an invite only event until we see what sort of response we get. Obviously if you receive an invite its cool for you to bring your girlfriend, boyfriend or dog but just not an army of mates and fellow gang members.
After the Premier the legendary age-old night of "The Get Down" is on in Rogues, so it’s going to be a doubly good night for partying.
Friday, 18 April 2008
Andy Lamp, 2006, C-Type Print
At this moment in history photography is going through a massive upheaval, with digital cameras making it possible for people to take a thousand pictures with minimum effort. There is no ceremony to this and the results are instant, and although this is good for documenting an event it takes the character and thought out of the process, you can take a thousand images and end up with one good shot by accident. If by some fluke you don’t even end up with one good shot you can always work some Photoshop magic on a mediocre one.
The digital revolution has knocked down many barriers making once specialist pathways much more accessible to the average Joe, this is reflected in our popular culture through the likes of Myspace and Facebook where it seems every Tom, Dick and Harry who can afford a digital camera is a ‘Photographer’.
Photography has lost its connection to the painted portrait, the craft of photography has been erased and replaced with a new one where the results are instant; the process of hand crafting the image in a darkened room with a red light for your friend has been surpassed by the clicking of a mouse. The grainy results that can only be achieved by using film are slowly dieing as more and more film manufacturers are discontinuing lines; as a result photography is starting to become nothing more than 1 and 0’s in the virtual world. 1 and 0’s that in 50 years time will no doubt be lost forever as new and improved storage devices are introduced and older storage formats are phased out and made redundant.
Thankfully some people still prefer the traditional approach over the newer digital format. Traditional film takes much more work. Extremely skilled photographers can get better results on film if they can complete the many more steps from shot to print all perfectly. Because there are so many ways things can go wrong with making prints from film, especially from print (negative) film. Rob Luckins is one of those people who still favours a traditional approach.
Rob Luckins started taking photographs at the age of five when he was given his first camera, it was small plastic and blue. Although he didn’t begin taking proper pictures until much later in his life. Rob takes his inspiration from films, magazines and music, attempting to create an idealistic view of the world we live in fraught with nostalgia for a time that possibly never existed.
Rob’s Exhibition at the Centre Fold Gallery is called Welcome to the Dark Slide and is a collection of photographic portraits. Rob Luckins is a UK based photographer who likes to take pictures of people mostly but he has also photographed many different cities and the odd band including The Go! Team and Craig David.
It is Rob’s yearning for the past that is often reflected in his photography as well as the equipment he uses. In these Post Modern times Rob still chooses traditional large and medium format cameras and employs hand processed techniques. “I love the ceremony that comes with meeting people and collaborating on an image, when I turn up with an old wood and brass 5x4 inch land camera people are slightly taken aback as most have never seen technology like it, the camera in itself is a work of art and commands a certain respect! I don’t try to glamourise people in my work, all I want to do is make an image that shows them as they are or as they were at one point in their life. These people are all important to me in their own way, some of them I see all the time, some are people I see very rarely, some are people I will probably never see again. The work is what it is, I don’t believe in telling people what to think about it.”
John Franz, 2007, C-Type Print
The portraits on display are of creative individuals showing a mixture of artists and musicians. Each photograph has been hand printed to an edition of two and are completely un-edited.
All images in the exhibition were hand printed by Russell Squires, an extremely competent photographer and hand printer who has perfected his printing skills over many years.
Thursday, 17 April 2008
Soto started out as a graffiti artist in his teens and this has played an obvious influence on his current work. His graffiti-informed method of working is often showcased through huge wall clusters of small paintings and drawings, which are an amalgam of disjointed storytelling and playful formalism. These wall clusters can be seen as a sketchbook that is used to inform his larger paintings, which often contain personal ephemera such as photos and notes.
FIFTY24SF Gallery in association with Upper Playground Films - The Run Up
Soto’s love of graffiti and letters has also rubbed off on his larger paintings, many of which carry long flowing sentences and phrases. The bubble cloud, a graffiti staple often plays a prominent role in his work, as do spray splatters, drips and buffed areas.
Battle For Twin Palms
Like so many of us who grew up in the 80’s Soto spent his childhood watching science fiction movies and playing with Star Wars figures. Childhood nostalgia is just one theme that is apparent in almost all Soto’s work, as is L.A with its sprawling urban landscape. Soto’s paintings are often clouded in an ominous smog where clusters of organic tendrils dual with retro robots in dark visions of the future. These paintings usually depict conflicts between man and nature where profound visions, fears and themes of love, lust, and hope are visualised using a distinct colour palette.
Environmental issues also take precedent for Soto, his paintings exude a tension between man and nature, but it is not all doom and gloom flower bouquets and cacti thrive amidst the ominous skulls as man tries to harness the power of nature.
A New Hope Emerges
In Soto’s most recent series of paintings the dry arid landscape and a palette of browns, yellows and greens has given way to a frozen ice age of cool blues and greys. Soto’s family of characters are still there but have adapted to their environment from retro robots to furry cubes. It seems that starting a family of his own has drawn Soto’s attention to an uncertain future of the world more so than ever, and current affairs such as global warming have become stronger influences then ever in his work.
In his spare time Soto likes to spend time with his family, nurture his ever-growing cacti farm and look for aliens in the sky, we are just glad that his free time is influencing his work and vice versa.
Check him out here…
Wednesday, 16 April 2008
The modular synthesizer mashes up shades of Tron, laser hockey and classic Moogs using open-source reacTivision software and an under-the-hood camera to track blocks that, when added, rotated or moved, combine to produce beeps, whoops and soaring synth lines.
The reacTable's developers say it is the latest in an emerging wave of "tangible music interfaces,"
The instrument was developed by a team of digital luthiers under the direction of Dr. Sergi Jordà. The "Interactive Sonic Systems" team is working in the Music Technology Group within the Audiovisual Institute at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona Spain. Its main activities concentrate on the design of new musical interfaces, such as tangible music instruments and musical applications for mobile devices.
The reacTable intends to be:
collaborative: several performers (locally or remotely)
intuitive: zero manual, zero instructions
sonically challenging and interesting
learnable and masterable (even for children)
suitable for novices (installations) and advanced electronic musicians (concerts)
The reacTable hardware is based on a translucent, round multi-touch surface. A camera situated beneath the table, continuously analyzes the surface, tracking the player's finger tips and the nature, position and orientation of physical objects that are distributed on its surface. These objects represent the components of a classic modular synthesizer, the players interact by moving these objects, changing their distance, orientation and the relation to each other. These actions directly control the topological structure and parameters of the sound synthesizer. A projector, also from underneath the table, draws dynamic animations on its surface, providing a visual feedback of the state, the activity and the main characteristics of the sounds produced by the audio synthesizer.
More info here…
The reacTable, is wowing festival audiences after it was hand-picked by Björk for use on the singer's summer tour.
The reacTable gets a workout during Björk's June performance of "Pluto" at the Glastonbury Festival in England.
ReacTable is not yet available to mere mortal musicians -- but when Björk comes knocking, you don't say no.
The singer particularly liked the visual feedback that lets the audience see how the reacTable makes music.
Bjork has always been into people who come up with something totally fresh, and she really enjoys bringing out things that people haven't seen before and giving a platform to really new ideas.
RWC loves Bjork and the reacTable.
Tuesday, 15 April 2008
We raised a fair bit of cash, which will go towards paying off our initial set-up costs. We are a non-profit organisation and any cash made will be channelled straight back into bringing over artists from the UK as well as organising projects locally. The main reason for doing what we are doing is to promote and educate the public to the benefits of Art & Design within the island whilst having a lot of fun and Saturday night was a lot of fun. We are also all about creating opportunities for people like us to do the projects they want to do.
Shouts out to oneofakind who played four hours of down-tempo beats mostly from the entire Mowax back catalogue. Blinding! He looked like he was having a blast too, I’ve not really seen oneofakind beat matching and scratching like a lunatic for four hours before, for us this just re-enforces the fact that he can rock any party he wants too at the drop of a hat. Thanks again.
If anyone didn’t pick up the piece they really really wanted don’t be shy, come and tell us as we are up for commissions.
Rahsaan Roland Kirk, live in London at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club, from "Sound??" 1966, HEAVY!!!!
Preferring to lead his own groups, Rahsaan Roland Kirk rarely performed as a sideman, although he did record with arranger Quincy Jones (search youtube for Rahsaan Roland Kirk and Pedal Up, which has a Quincy Jones intro, it’s amazing), Roy Haynes and had especially notable stints with Charles Mingus. He played the lead flute and solo on Jones' Soul Bossa Nova, a song popularized in the Austin Powers films.
His playing was generally rooted in soul jazz or hard bop, but Kirk's knowledge of jazz history allowed him to draw on many elements of the music's history, from ragtime to swing and free jazz. Kirk also regularly explored classical and pop music by composers such as Smokey Robinson or Burt Bacharach as well as his beloved Duke Ellington, John Coltrane and the other classics of jazz.
His main instrument was the tenor saxophone, supplemented by other saxes, and contrasted with the lighter sound of the flute. At times he would play a number of these horns at once, harmonising with himself, or hold a note endlessly by using circular breathing, or play the flute through his nose. All this, plus the fact that many of instruments were exotic or even home-made gave him a reputation as a vaudeville showman but the music, even with two or three saxophones in his mouth at once, was intricate, powerful jazz with a strong feeling for the blues.
Kirk was also very political, using the stage to talk on black history, civil rights and other issues, which he was always capable of tipping over into high comedy. Genius.
Rahsaan Roland Kirk was also blind, he went blind at an early age due to poor medical treatment.
Stevie Wonder – Superstition (live on Sesame Street)
It doesn't get much better than this....Seven minutes of genius on a kids TV show, just watch that kid rock out at the start. The RWC crew are going mental for this video. Too too good, if only kids TV was still this good.
Blind from infancy, Wonder signed with Motown Records as a pre-adolescent at age twelve, and continues to perform and record for the label to this day. He has nine U.S. number-one hits to his name and album sales totaling more than 100 million units. Wonder has recorded several critically acclaimed albums and hit singles, and writes and produces songs for many of his label mates and outside artists as well. A multi-instrumentalist, Wonder plays the piano, synthesizer, talk box, harmonica, congas, drums, bongos, bass guitar, organ, melodica, and clarinet.In his early career, he was best known for his harmonica work, but today he is better known for his keyboard skills.Lead Singer of The Supremes, Diana Ross, once called Wonder, "Motowns musical genius."
Raul Midon – State Of Mind live on Jools Holland
Midón was born prematurely in a rural hospital in Embudo, New Mexico to parents of Argentine and African American descent. His father was a dancer from Argentina. Midón and his twin brother Marco (now a NASA engineer) were blinded as infants after spending time in an incubator without adequate eye protection. The sounds of music became integral to Midón's life around age 4, when his father introduced him to the drum. Midón became an avid music lover and learned how to play the guitar while performing in rigorous educational programs, first at a school for the blind and then an elite Santa Fe academy while completing his last two years of high school. Midón then attended the University of Miami, which he selected for its prestigious jazz curriculum. Raul Midon can also drop the dopest vocal trumpet ever. Genius.
Ray Charles - Georgia on my Mind, absolutely beautiful.
When he was six Charles began to go blind. He finally became totally blind by the age of seven. Charles never knew exactly why he lost his sight, though there are sources which suggest his blindness was due to glaucoma. He attended school at the St. Augustine School for the Deaf and the Blind in St. Augustine, Florida. He also learned how to write music and play various musical instruments. While he was there, his mother died followed by his father two years later.
Before he left school, Charles began working as a musician in many bands that played in various styles, including jazz and, in Tampa “with a hillbilly band called The Florida Playboys."
There’s too much to write about Ray Charles but trust us when we say he was a genius.