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22 February 2012

Music is a universal language

I have…mIxeD FeeLINngS about the TED or TED-like format. As one commenter noted about the presenter in the video I’m about to show you: “This´╗┐ guy is just stroking his psychological egoism on stage.” Indeed, that’s a criticism that can be levied against many of the presenters at these things. Ego is death, and too many of these conferences focus on great, attention-getting presentations without providing a holistic picture or prioritizing what in the world needs doing NOW.

In short: Too much sales pitch. — Not enough context.

That said, they’re usually inspiring — and we live in a world where inspiration is sometimes in short supply. So, without further adieu, an example of how music makes things possible and how it is, indeed, the universal language.

Posted by Alec Hanley Bemis  

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12 January 2012

I aspire to take photos that have not been taken

I aspire to take photographs that belie this quote from Geoff Dyer‘s unique & inspiring book on photography, The Ongoing Moment:

    That’s what this book is trying to do also: to find out what certain things look like when they’ve been photographed and how having been photographed changes them. Often it turns out that when things have been photographed they look like other photographs, either ones that have already been taken or ones that are waiting to be taken.

I aspire to take photos that have never been photographed before. For the most part, I don’t think the images hit the mark; rather I just end end up having fun with my cell phone… (Not a bad thing!)

But rather than mull on that, let’s linger a second on Dyer. Perhaps “unique” does a disservice to his talents. Many creative people are praised as being unique, but he actually deserves the adjective. See, too, his book But Beautiful: A Book About Jazz. I find myself purchasing it (or almost purchasing it) as a spontaneous gift for various friends & associates & new acquaintances at least once a year.

Dyer writes books that have never been written before. My hallowed view of the people who make photographs that have never been photographed before extends to people who are able to write books that have never been written before. More snaps after the jump…

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17 January 2011

The power of a song, pt. 2

This one, sung by James Blake, but written by Feist.

People praise him for his combination of dubstep with evocative emotional chords rather than mere sound effects. But the underlying material don’t hurt. The thing is Feist too, understands the power of a song. Ergo this cover of Little Wing’s “Look at What the Light Did Now” which I’ve been meaning to share for awhile, from her documentary of the same name, in which she sings the song with it’s author present. (The film’s theme are the collaborative relationships which made her stardom even possible.)

The smartest artists realize that the line between what they make and what they create with others is so thin as to be non-existant — and that embracing that reality, and the collaborators themselves, is what will make them truly shine.

Like the light. No limit to love. Blah blah blah you say? Well, “Fuck You.” Twice. The best music is part of a continuum not a beginning or an end.

See what I’m talking about after the jump.
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