Space Inspiration

So, I found a couple of exciting and beautiful videos about recent space exploration projects that really spoke to me, and I thought “Finally! Someone at NASA woke up. To capture people’s imaginations and inspire future space explorers, you need to brag about your accomplishments and demonstrate how amazing science is.

But then I realized that both of these are independent projects using public NASA footage. *sigh* I suppose this goes to show how important it is to pair up government institutions with artists and visualization people who can put their creative spin on the data being generated.

I get all misty-eyed when I hear Ann Devereaux’s voice start to crack in the Curiosity Rover video. So amazing. Be sure to watch them full-screen for the stunning vistas of Mars and the Northern Lights.

Mars Rover Curiosity from Mutant Jukebox – Music & Sound on Vimeo.

Further Up Yonder from Giacomo Sardelli on Vimeo.

Way #362 to Blow Jason’s Mind

The opening band for The Luyas visit to Ottawa was really strong. Singer/Songwriter Andre M Bluteau played a solid set of really deeply melancholic folk/pop – lyrics and voice full of pain layered on top of hauntingly uplifting piano composition. In a way his music and voice reminds me of Mojave 3’s sadder stuff. I’m keen to pick up his album when I can find it. Love discovering local talent like this. Give his set a listen!

Midway through the set, this happened:

If you look carefully, you can see the percussionist, Gabrielle Giguere (of Her Harbour) bowing an xylophone. YOU CAN DO THAT!?!?? If you look even closer, the whole band have bows in hand. The drummer’s in the back bowing the cymbals, and the stand-up bass is bowing the strings – but I’ve seen that before. Old hat. Bowing an xylophone – whaaaaaaat? It sounded fantastic. Now I have to get her album, too. On her site she talks about playing bells, clocks, and bowed crystal glasses – I can’t wait to hear it.

Self Propelled Art Show

I paid a visit last weekend (was it … oh my goodness, two weekends ago?) to Grey Area, a cool little art gallery/tattoo studio in Westboro (hidden behind a house) to take in the opening of their bicycle-themed art show. It being a small gallery, it was a small show, but what they lacked in quantity they made up for in quality.

I thought the feathered bicycle frame hung from the center of the room was particularly fun. I didn’t catch the name of the artist, but I found out that she’d cut the feathers out of old bicycle tubes. This looks great up in the air, but it’d look even better fluttering in the wind between a pair of rolling tires.

This piece by Tom Pajdlhauser also caught my eye, I love the idea of a bicycle tree. Great drawing, really dynamic style! I’d love a print!

A Flood of Music Reviews

It occurred to me the other day that although music plays an important role in my life and my creative process, I don’t really talk about it much on my website. I think music preferences are a really personal thing. Over the years I’ve gotten better at matching my friends up with music I think they’d like, but I find it really hard to talk about the music I love in a general-audience way, since the kinds of music I like are sometimes really quirky and unusual.

Case in point – one of the most intense musical experiences I’ve had this year was listening to the Montreal/Toronto art collective Yamantaka//Sonic Titans YT//ST album. It’s a mix of Chinese Opera, Psychedelia, and Rock Theatrics that’s waaaayyyy over the top, super amazing. I like the songs “Queens” and “Hoshi Neko“, but put everything aside and turn down the lights and listen to Reverse Crystal // Murder of A Spider with your full attention. A spider in the Yamantaka household goes down fighting, apparently, taking half the house with it. The song is adrenaline and layers and complexity – I just love it. It makes me feel scared and excited and powerful – and I can’t even understand the words! 🙂

I’m desperate to see them play live, (They come on stage wearing a triceratops costume) but I missed an opportunity over the summer. I expect they’ll be around again given their recent success, snagging a Polaris prize nomination and blowing everyone away at HPX2012 twice.

Draw Draw Draw

More heads. Here’s one from a bunch of recent ones that turned out alright (I discovered that simple haircuts are simpler to draw… amazing) so I threw some colour on her in photoshop.

It was definitely helpful to work a bit larger. I should draw something else for a bit – I think I need a break from haircuts.