Light the Night, Tracey Chattaway

Stumbled on a beautiful song, Light the Night by Tracey Chattaway. She composes wonderful, lush, cinematic soundscapes.The textures and layers to this joyous progression are sublime. I’ve been listening to it in the evenings frequently to unwind from an intense day. Sometimes I listen to a double dose when I need it. There some inspiring and highly motivational parts to this song. It’s a sweet instrumental that makes you feel like the night is indeed lighted. Well done Tracey Chattaway.

Particle Fever

I saw a great documentary on Netflix yesterday called Particle Fever about the Large Hadron Collider built by the venerable CERN. It’s a super interesting look at literally the biggest machine humans have ever made by the institution that birthed the Web. It’s truly a remarkable feat and one that has had the entire field of physics in unified rapture. The movie speaks to both the theoretical and experimental camps of physicists who come together around the LHC to determine the existence of the Higgs particle. The thresholds in the data determine if the new particle discovery will lead us into one of two different theoretical directions in physics: supersymmetry or multiverse. The ending climaxed with the measurement presentation of the new particles and what it means to the Higgs Boson reality and the post-standard model world of physics. Peter Higgs was shown in the movie as the results were presented, and the outcome was celebrated, not for its conclusiveness, but rather its validation that we are just beginning to scratch the surface of “everything.” It was amazing to see that moment documented. Peter Higgs cried, and it was very moving. Check out the trailer below, and watch it on Netflix if you’re a subscriber.

 

Beardyman

Beardyman has been hailed by the BBC as a “King of Sound, Ruler of Beats” for his amazing skills at beat boxing, looping, and general music making. When I was living in London, I heard of the legend of Beardyman from an agent while working out of the Topspin office at William Morris in Soho. I quickly realized why the “legendary” status was bestowed on Beardyman when I saw videos of him performing and heard his tracks. Beardyman  released his album in 2011, “I Done an Album,” which I thought was a wonderful work of art in sound and hilarity. The funny clips in between tracks made me crack up and the cross-genre tracks showed Beardyman’s diverse skills as a master of sound. I couldn’t find an embed of the album to post, but . It has may levels with a variety of styles and genres. A video for one of his tracks, Vampire Skank, is below. The song starts with a skit and then goes into some heavy wup wup wup dubstep with an ironic twist. I got a lot out of that track in 2011.

What really motivated me to post about him today was the Beardyman TED talk video embedded below. It shows the genius and skills of Beardyman and speaks to what can be achieved when the technology is good enough to represent precisely what’s going on his mind. #MadRespect for Beardyman.

 

A video of one of my favorite Beardyman tracks, Vampire Skank (warning: heavy dubstep mid-way through). Devilishly cheeky.

 

Tokio Aoyama

If you ever find yourself able to attend an exhibit for Tokio Aoyama, I would do everything possible to see his art in person.

In the spring of 2012, I was lucky enough to stumble into the Hoxton Gallery in Shoreditch on the way to get my groceries at the Organic Grocer on Kingsland Road. My old London neighborhood at that intersection and the general area near the Shoreditch Triangle can be magical in the art and culture it bestows to everyone on a daily and whimsical basis. Passing by the gallery, I saw glimpses of mega cool in his paintings set in a great vibe, and it pulled me inside. I glided into a procession around the bricked arch Hoxton Gallery soaking in the great art.

Tokio’s paintings have musical themes to them and have rich exacting styles. They feel like surrealist expressions in vivid fantasy settings with jazz, soul, hip-hop, rock, funk, all sorts of musical grooves. Some are mellow, others are adventurous, and when looking close at each painting you can get a strong sense of Tokio’s genius, skillz, depth, and values. His work is truly awe inspiring, and I would welcome a chance to bring him to California as I feel many in the US and especially California would appreciate. I had a chance to talk to him, and he was nothing but gracious, humble, and a genuine bad-ass human being. If there was anyone I would give a proper #madrespect salute to, it would be Tokio Aoyama.

Tokio Aoyama

 

Tokio returned to the Hoxton Gallery for another exhibit called Loop in August 2013. They describe him well:

World-acclaimed, Japanese-born painter Tokio Aoyama creates beautiful, dizzyingly surreal paintings marrying pop culture with the symbolism of modern and traditional Japan. Music is always at the heart of Aoyama’s paintings. Although not a musician himself, Tokio has engaged in various collaborations and friendships with the members of the world-wide music scene, including the ‘Live Painting’ series. The ‘LooP’ exhibits feature numerous heads of the icons of the music world embodied in the psychedelic, mythological landscape of his mystifying paintings.

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11593939454_2f5be14b04Those were the best my iPhone 4 at the time could do. Here are some more from across the web.

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Those above pics are from Sam Woolfes post about Tokio’s art and exhibit. Go check out his post for a great montage of Tokio’s art. If you could see his paintings up close, you’ll immediately appreciate the precision of his touch, and then stepping back you’ll soak in all the great grooves and the incredible spirit of his imagination. 

 

 

 

 

My ass and Murderball

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged, but I have a burning desire to share a rather interesting experience that’s too long to twitter about. Last night, I arrived in Austin for the the SXSW festival a day ahead of my Topspin homies. I landed, checked in, and went out to my only event of the night, the Facebook party at Pangea. My good friend, Grant Davis aka VJ Culture, was hired to do the video art, and he invited me to join him as his guest.

After catching up with Grant, I used the night to network with fellow SXSW Interactive festival goers and get some scoop of what Facebook is up to with music. I was satisfied with the evening and ready to leave around half past midnight. I went to the men’s room for one last pit stop, and since all the heads were taken, I went to the handicapped stall. It was the only one available, and I was feeling safe so I didn’t bother to lock the door. I’m minding and doing my own business when I feel someone pinch my ass. I turned around and was like, wtf, ready to unleash the fury on my molester. My rage immediately dissipated to shame as I looked back and then down to my perpetrator in his wheel chair. Since I’m a person who gets extremely angry when non-handicapped people park in handicapped spaces, I immediately got his point or rather his pinch to be more precise, and I felt awful. Prepared to receive a verbal spanking on handicapped bathroom protocol, I noticed he was smiling mischievously and clearly having some fun with me. In a similar flash of changing emotions, I began to recognize my stall mate. It was Mark Zupan from Murderball. The intense awkwardness of the moment was diffused, and I began to vociferously profess my admiration of Murderball and especially Mark’s role in it. This is Mark in the movie poster.

If you haven’t seen it, please Netflix or seek it out NOW. It’s one of the most inspiring documentaries I’ve ever seen. It’s about the story of quadriplegic men who have found a renewed sense of purpose and life by playing wheel chair rugby. The story of Mark Zupan is particularly inspiring given the grace and tenacity in which he deals with his challenges, and the content of his character shines brightly in the movie. He’s a natural leader, mentor to new quadripiligecs, and one of the fiercest competitors to ever play organized sports. His story along with those of the other players will leave you with a renewed sense of hope and determination. It’s a wonderful tale of the human condition as the players and coach seek victory as a team and in their own unique, individual ways.

Check out the trailer to this amazing documentary:

Thanks Mark for the letting me be the butt of your joke last night. I’m just glad I got a chance to express my appreciation for you sharing your story and being such a wonderful inspiration to us all.