Posts Tagged ‘Glen Hansard’


“There is a time in the life of every boy when he for the first time takes the backward view of life. Perhaps that is the moment when he crosses the line into manhood. The boy is walking through the street of his town. He is thinking of the future and of the figure he will cut in the world. Ambitions and regrets awake within him. Suddenly something happens; he stops under a tree and waits as for a voice calling his name. Ghosts of old things creep into his consciousness; the voices outside of himself whisper a message concerning the limitations of life. From being quite sure of himself and his future he becomes not at all sure. If he be an imaginative boy a door is torn open and for the first time he looks out upon the world, seeing, as though they marched in procession before him, the countless figures of men who before his time have come out of nothingness into the world, lived their lives and again disappeared into nothingness. The sadness of sophistication has come to the boy. With a little gasp he sees himself as merely a leaf blown by the wind through the streets of his village. He knows that in spite of all the stout talk of his fellows he must live and die in uncertainty, a thing blown by the winds, a thing destined like corn to wilt in the sun.”

― Sherwood Anderson, Winesburg, Ohio

“Suddenly something happens; he stops under a tree and waits as for a voice calling his name.

I’ve only read bits and pieces of the writings of Sherwood Anderson but the paragraph above always knocks me out. It feels like he was somehow following me from his distant past and witnessed me stopping under ten thousand trees through the years, waiting for that voice to call out my name. He saw the uncertainty that marks my living days and saw my early recognition of our mortality, that those living days must someday end.

I want to say that I like this bit of prose simply because it’s a beautiful piece of writing but even now, my own uncertainty won’t allow that. How do I know what is good or beautiful?

It just feels that way to me because it comes so close to the bone, leaving me cut to the core.

Maybe that’s the definition of beauty.

Who the hell knows?

Anyway, just wanted to share it today along with a song from Glen Hansard that has that same close to the bone feel. Here’s his Say It To Me Now from the film, Once. The small painting at the top bears that same title, not by accident, and is at the West End Gallery. Have a good day.

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Sometimes you give birth to something or you’re part of a team that gives birth to an idea, and it grows and has a whole life of its own, and you feel grateful. It’s just so humbling.

–Glen Hansard


I understand the type of gratitude that singer/songwriter Glen Hansard is describing above. He was talking, I believe, about the life of Once, the movie that he, along with Markéta Irglová, starred in and wrote and performed the songs that made this little low budget film a hit in 2007. It then went on to be adapted for a stage production on Broadway in 2012. It was a hit there as well, winning 8 Tony awards.

Once— as an album, a movie and a play– definitely took on a life of its own and Hansard’s gratitude is understandable.

I know that feeling for myself, albeit on a much smaller scale. Every artist, I think, hopes their work will have meaning that reaches out to people in a way that it affects them deeply but that hope alone doesn’t make it happen. There is something beyond the intention and control of the artist.

That outcome is not predictable. It is a convergence of the work, time, tone, and the emotional perception of the person taking in the work.

In short, it is a small miracle.

To have a work go beyond my own understanding of it, to generate meaning that I never saw in it, and to become a real part of someone’s life is a certainly a wonder of sorts. And for me, there is nothing more gratifying than to be associated in any small way with such an occurrence.

I also feel humbled because, and I don’t know if this makes sense, it makes me feel my own smallness in the larger aspect of the work. I realize then that I only play a small part in whatever alchemy creates the miracle of art.

Hmm. Something to think about as we head into Thanksgiving.

Here’s Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová peforming the Academy Award winning song Falling Slowly from Once.





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Busy this morning getting ready for two events–this coming Saturday’s Gallery Talk at the West End Gallery followed quickly in the next week by the opening of my Icons & Exiles exhibit at the Octagon Art Gallery at the historic Patterson Library.

There’s actually a lot to do for both events, even the Gallery Talk where you might think that I just show up and talk. Sometimes it sure seems that way. But I do try to organize my thoughts, to establish some sort of theme that kicks off the thing in a positive way. And for me, that is work.

So, today I am showing a piece, The Attuning, that has only been shown once. It had been in a gallery’s flat files for many years and I do not think and I do not think was ever shown fully presented in mat and frame. It probably only came out of the file a few times over the years. It appeared on their website and its colors appeared a little severe to my eye. That was how I judged the piece for all those years. It became a lesser piece for me.

But when I saw the actual piece again for the first time in six years, I realized how wrong my judgement had been. Yes, they were strong colors. But my original photo editing had skewed it away from its reality. The actual painting felt so much different than the image I had seen online. It was, in fact, much more nuanced and subtle than I had been seeing it in my mind through the years.

I saw it in the way I no doubt saw it when it was created.

I have reedited the image and it feels closer now to the reality of the painting. Glad it was able to change my mind.

That brings us to the music for this Sunday morning. It is When Your Mind’s Made Up from Irish singer/songwriter Glen Hansard. This is from Once, the 2007 film that Hansard starred in and for which he won an Oscar for his songwriting. It was later turned into a hit Broadway musical. This song was my favorite from the film, where it was performed with a backing band in a recording studio. There, the song built and built with the band coming to a large crescendo. I came across this live performance with just Glen Hansard and thought that it couldn’t possibly match the version with the band.

I was very wrong. Glad it was able to change my mind.

Give a listen and have a good day. Hope to see you next Saturday at the West End Gallery for the Gallery Talk beginning at 1 PM. Check out yesterday’s blog entry to see the painting you could win there. Plus, a few other things that I’m not going to discuss here.

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GC Myers Time Comes Together 2006Valentine’s Day.

It would be easy to go on and on about the day and the meaning of love but sometimes words just do not do the subject justice.

So I will keep it short today and share a poem from the Nobel Peace Prize winning Turkish poet, Nazim Hikmet, along with this Sunday’s musical selection, a cover of Bruce Springsteen‘s Drive All Night from Glenn Hansard (best known for his songs from the film and stage production Once) with backing vocals from Eddie Vedder.  A very good cover of one of my favorite songs from The River album of 1980.

Have a good Valentine’s Day…


I love you
like dipping bread into salt and eating
Like waking up at night with high fever
and drinking water, with the tap in my mouth
Like unwrapping the heavy box from the postman
with no clue what it is
fluttering, happy, doubtful
I love you
like flying over the sea in a plane for the first time
Like something moves inside me
when it gets dark softly in Istanbul
I love you
Like thanking God that we live.

Nazim Hikmet

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OnceYesterday I wrote about a personal commitment in my work.  It actually set off a bit of a word association when the other night I saw a few minutes of a film I hadn’t seen in many years , The Commitments, the story of an Irish band that plays old school rhythm and blues.  It’s a nice film with a lot of humor but the part that caught my eye was seeing the band’s guitarist and realizing it was Glen Hansard who starred in and wrote most of the music for the Irish film, Once, a couple of years ago. He won an Oscar for his songwriting on the film.  Even though it isn’t a film I would necessarily urge everyone to see there was something about Once that I really found engaging even though I can’t really define it.  Maybe it’s just the affability of the characters.  I found myself really rooting for the two main characters and liking the music as well.

 Now the word association comes with the following clip from the film where the two main characters have rented a recording studio to record a demo with a back up band assembled  from street musicians .  The technician at the studio hasn’t much interest in them as they start.  They play the song, When Your Mind’s Made Up, building layers of sound and tempo with each refrain.  What I like about this scene is the technician’s recognition as they play that this was something real, something authentic built on their commitment to the music.  I’ve seen that look when someone has underestimated you then realizes there is more than meets the eye.  

Anyway, take a look and give a listen…

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