Monday, January 4, 2016

Book and Music Recommendations



Joey Alexander - Photographer not known


It's here. A new year.  I read somewhere just last week a comment by an  artist who was saying they try to get a fast-production start to the year which allows them to do all the promotion, paperwork, photography etc. that crops up as you start presenting work.  Great idea.

Next month I am dealing with an issue I've had since I was 18 years old.  I badly injured one of my knees playing basketball while still in high school and I'm finally having a knee replacement.  Ouch!  So with this in mind I got back into the studio yesterday after a long holiday break to try and make some work before this event.

When I don't work it doesn't take very long for me to begin to get uncomfortable.  "Starting" anything is always more difficult for me than finishing something.  Thank goodness for leftovers, bits and pieces, years of production.  Working as I do currently all of these things are laying there ready to be manipulated, cut apart, re-connected and assembled.  So I jumped in and amazingly I'm ready to start attaching things together.

As I worked I was thinking about a book I read last month....actually I listened to this one.  Hold Still by Sally Mann.  Mann is a photographer who gained fame in the 1990's ( I think) after exhibiting a series of photos of her nude children.  She is a wonderful photographer and an excellent writer who allows you into her life and the life of her family in this book.  I mention this book because dispite the amount of success she has had and the recognition she has received, she shares that she still gets very nervous when she completes one series and is put in the position of starting over.  Perhaps there is some comfort in knowing this about such an accomplished person.

The second book is one I have mentioned before, Creativity Beyond Compare by Forrest Kinney.  The subtitle is Creating by Inspiration, Not Expectation.  Love that.  Kinney is a composer and musician so there are many references to music but don't be put off by that.  It's a really wonderful book on creativity.  This book came to mind last night as I watched a piece on CBS Sixty Minutes about a 12 year old jazz-piano prodogy named Joey Alexander.  Jazz is his groove and man, he has IT (talent) in abundance.

Part of the interview involved Wynton Marsalis who leads the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.  Marsalis was clearly taken with Alexander and the discussion was about the level at which that this boy performs.  Alexander isn't considered great for a 12 year old, Marsalis says he is great for any age.  This is a talent that he was born with but discovered and fostered by his parents as they worked to deal with his high energy.    Here is a link to the interview: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/60-minutes-overtime-12-year-old-jazz-prodigy-joey-alexander/   Be sure and watch/listen to the video: Joey Alexander plays Ma Blues...amazing.  The little fellow is adorable and is having a great time playing with this seasoned group of musicians who are loving him.  He has an album titled My Favorite Things.  I downloaded it and it's "cool man".
Enjoy!


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