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Posts Tagged ‘Sunday Music’

GC Myers-- On the Dock smWhat a time, what a time…

Watching the news it seems like we live in a time of chaos, in days and nights of division and anger.  To a certain extent I believe that’s true.  But for the majority of us– and I believe this includes people of every color, ethnicity and religion– we simply want to live a hassle-free life, one without rancor and hatred.  One where we can be ourselves as we wish ourselves to be and move through our days without fear.

One where chaos is a distant thing that doesn’t find its way to our guts.

Can we get to that point?  I believe we can.

How? That I don’t know.  Perhaps it to be found at first in small ways, in acts of kindness and tolerance towards others.  In not rushing to judgments and showing empathy.

It can’t hurt.

The painting at the top is in my upcoming show, Contact,  at the West End Gallery, opening July 22.  It’s an 8″ by 24″ canvas that is titled On the Dock.  There’s something very pacifying in this piece, something that definitely reminds me of the great Otis Redding classic, (Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay.  I have heard this song literally thousands of time and it never gets old for me.  It’s always calming and that is something I need these days.

It’s hard to believe that Otis Redding was only 26 when he cut this track not long before his death.  His life may have been short but he gave us so much to enjoy.  So, give a listen and have a peaceful Sunday.

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Civil War Soldier DageurrotypeMemorial Day weekend.  I’m no historical anthropologist so I can’t be completely certain when I say that I don’t believe there is any one group of people on this planet who have not been touched by war in some significant way. The history of this world has been written in the bloody ink of war.

A few years back, when I began doing genealogy for the families of my wife and myself, I was surprised at the many, many generations in each line who had taken part in the wars of their times, putting their lives aside to give so much of themselves– in some cases, their very lives– for causes that often might have been mere abstractions to them.

Part of me is proud that these people have answered the call to be a small part in something bigger.  But another part of me is simply sad to think that they were called on to give so much in  order to satisfy or deny the baser motives of those in power.  War has usually been about greed and acquisition, nationalistic pride or ethnic and religious hatred– in each instance proposed with the greatest conviction and certainty by the leaders of each side of the cause.

And on Memorial Day, we remember the people who actually fulfilled the pleas of these leaders, be they right or wrong.  These citizens did what they were asked and what they felt was necessary in their time and place.  And I have nothing but respect for that.

For today’s image, I chose the daguerreotype of the Civil War soldier at the top because there was something in him that seemed to show the sacrifice of war.  Maybe it’s the steely stare of his eyes.  Or maybe it was his belt that is cinched in to what looks to be a ridiculously tiny diameter, showing how emaciated he appears to be.  I’m not exactly sure but there is something in him that seems contemporary, less dated.

And for today’s Sunday musical selection, I have chosen the song Ben McCulloch from Steve Earle.  It tells the story of two brothers who enlist in the Confederate Army in the Civil War and discover the hard realities of war as they serve under General McCulloch, who was a real person who died in battle in 1862.  The chorus probably echos the sentiments of many soldiers through time for their commanding officers as they face overwhelming odds.

So have a great Sunday and a Memorial Day filled with some appreciation of what the day really encompasses.

 

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GC Myers Mothers Day 1994 smI thought I would take the opportunity on this Mother’s Day, to dedicate this week’s Sunday music to my late mom.  It’s hard for me to believe but later this year will mark twenty years since she passed away after a short but brutal battle with cancer. Needless to say, I miss her very much and wish she could have seen the things that came in the years after she died, such as the great-grandkids she never got to dote on.

For my parts, she never lived to see my work hanging in a gallery or museum, never got to see how it has grown over the years.  Looking at two large pieces on easels next to me at this moment, I realize that there is a whole different world of mine she never got to witness.

But I think she would be pleased to know that things worked out okay, that I found something to ease my mind and give me something of a purpose.  I would hope she would like the work I’ve done.  I know she liked the earliest pieces, the only ones she would know, like the piece at the top which was one of my earliest efforts in early 1994, long before I had experienced any kind of creative breakthrough,  It was gift to her on Mother’s Day of that year and it hangs in my studio now, always reminding me of her.

So, for this bit of Sunday music, I thought I would play one of the songs I know to be a favorite of hers.  She always loved Eddy Arnold‘s voice and I have specific memories of this song coming from our old stereo console.  The title,  Make the World Go Away, just seemed to fit Mom so well.  For that matter, looking at the alternative world that surrounds me here in the studio, I guess it fits me as well. I am my mother’s child, after all.

Have a good Mother’s Day.

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white-zombie-movie-poster-1932-1020199092Been battling a cold the last few days with all that comes with it– filled sinuses, sore throat, throbbing headaches and a now constant rattling cough that echos around my chest.  Nothing unusual, just one of those despicable three or four day affairs of misery we all go through every so often.

But, oddly enough, I have had a couple of very productive days in the studio.  I think sometimes my painting is best done when I don’t  ( or in this case, can’t) think too much about it and instead fall into a kind of trance where it is all instinct.  A weird kind of unfocused concentration that is all about constantly moving ahead with little distraction or thought.

Like a zombie relentlessly searching for fresh brains.

Zombie painter.

Which is a convenient segue into this week’s Sunday music selection.  Maintaining the zombie theme, I thought I’d bring out something from The Zombies, the 60’s British Invasion band who had really nice string of hits that have all survived well over the years and stand as iconic remnants of that era.  Songs like She’s Not There, Tell Her No and this week’s song, Time of the Season.  Anyone of a certain age who hears this opening bass and drum line will no doubt have the lines What’s your name?/Who’s your daddy?/ Is he rich. is he rich like me?  immediately running through their mind.

Zombie mind control, that’s what it is.  So enjoy a little of it and have a great Sunday.  I have fresh brains to find.  Well, a fresh canvas to smear stuff on.  Paint, brains–whatever.

PS:  Please use the zombie grip that is depicted on the old movie poster at the top  ( White Zombie— Bela Lugosi– 1932) with great care.  Remember, with great power comes great responsibility.

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Ball of Confusion- Artist Jerry Thompson

Ball of Confusion- Artist Jerry Thompson

Hard to believe it’s March first.  With the snow falling and the cold temperatures, it definitely looks to be following the old adage where it comes in like a lion.  I am hoping the lamb is not too far away but this year, who knows?  We might be saying the same thing for April.

Crazy world.  Which brings me to this Sunday’s musical interlude.  I’ve been doing this blog for about 6 1/2 years now (which is hard to believe, as well) and have played a lot of different music over that time.  But for some unknown reason, the one and only Temptations have never made an appearance.  How I could have waited so long is beyond me but I will fix it today.

For many folks, the music of the Temptations could well be the soundtrack of the 60’s and 70’s.  Motown at its very best.  If you grew up in that time frame, their music most likely was part of your life in some way.   My Girl, Just My Imagination, Papa Was a Rolling Stone, Ain’t Too Proud to Beg, and on and on.  I mean, come on!

So today, with another blast of winter weather confusing this corner of the world and the rest of the world in a constant state of chaos, I thought I’d share the tempting Temptations’ Ball of Confusion.  If the world is indeed going to hell as some fear, at least let it go with a beat laid down by the Funk Brothers, Motown’s incredible band of  musicians who performed the music on this and so many other immortal hits.  Have a great Sunday!

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 GC Myers- The Song We Carry smIt’s a gray winter morning and what better way to shake off the cold blahs this Sunday than with a little flamenco guitar music.  I am featuring a performance by guitar master Juan Martin of a piece titled Rumba Nostalgica that has a little heat to warm any old bones.

I was talking with someone at the Little Gems opening the other night who commented on the fact that I often show guitarists in my work.  I explained about how I thought the shape of the guitar and the way the player cradled it had a very sensual feel, something very emotional in the way the player’s hands almost stroked the instrument to create its music. Its form and the inherent emotional weight it carried made it a wonderful subject.

I think you’ll see this if you watch the hands of Juan Martin in this performance video.  I myself love watching acoustic stringed instruments being played– everything is right there for you to behold.  The movement of the hands.  The snap of the strings. The rhythm of the two hands working to create something quite extraordinary.

Take a look and just enjoy the moment.  Hope the rest of your Sunday is as bright…

 

 

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GC Myers- Storms Are on the OceanI’ve been working recently on some very small pieces for the upcoming Little Gems show at the West End Gallery in Corning.  I’ve mentioned here before that this particular show is always  a sentimental favorite of mine as it was in this show that I first publicly showed my work twenty years ago.  It represents the first step on to the path that I now follow and that makes it special for me.  Plus I enjoy working in the smaller scale for a bit.  It allows for easily easing back into older themes and forward into newer ones.

One of these pieces that just finished yesterday is shown here at the top.  It’s a 4″ by 6″ painting that I call Storms Are on the Ocean.  I haven’t done a boat painting in some time and thought the smaller format would be the perfect opportunity to re-visit the theme.  I am always drawn to the motion in these pieces and the billow of the sail.  It reminds me of a fable or a dream in some way that I find appealing.

I thought this would be the perfect match for this week’s Sunday morning music which is the song after which this painting is titled.  It’s The Storms Are on the Ocean, a song first done by the legendary Carter Family back in the late 20’s.  This version is from June Carter Cash‘s last album, Wildwood Flower, which was released in the year, 2003, after her death.  Like the final recordings of her husband, the great Johnny Cash, this album shows her in a fragile state of health which adds greatly to the emotional impact of the songs.

It definitely comes through on this lovely song with its haunting chorus:
The storms are on the ocean
The heavens may cease to be
This world may lose its motion, love
If I prove false to thee

Enjoy and have a great Sunday.

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