Posts Tagged ‘Yo-Yo Ma’

GC Myers- Ascending BirdI’ve been looking for a title for this new painting, an 18″ by 18″ canvas, for a week or so now.  A lot of things come to mind and I thought I had it for a while.  Then I was listening to some music and one of the songs just hit me.

It was Ascending Bird, a traditional Persian folk melody, played by the Silk Road Ensemble which is a large and loosely knit group ofmusicians, including the great Yo-Yo Ma, who hail from along that fabled route and play many of the traditional instruments. The Silk Road was the network of  ancient routes that traders used in linking the East and West over the centuries, from China through the Middle East to the Mediterranean. Both goods and ideas moved along the Silk Road.

This song is the Persian version of the Phoenix myth, of a bird who flies higher and higher toward the sun until it is engulfed in flames.  It then rises from the ashes as a new creature.

And that’s kind of how I see this painting.  The paths moving from dark to light signify a transformative journey and the Red Tree appears as a Phoenix-like figure emerging from a hillock bursting from a treed hillside.  The Red Tree almost seems to ready to take flight.  I see it as a moment of realization and redefinition.

Here is the Silk Road Ensemble with Y0-Yo Ma performing Ascending Bird.  The version here is a shorter one but has the dynamic punch that struck me.  You can hear a longer version here. Give a listen and have a great Sunday.

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Pablo Picasso- Self Portrait 1907

Pablo Picasso- Self Portrait 1907

I am really busy this morning with the last details of preparation for the upcoming Kada Gallery show.  I am a little hectic but felt compelled to put something up on the blog out of a sense of obligation to the regimen that has been formed over the six years that I have been writing this blog.  I always feel somewhat guilty if I miss more than a day.   Five years ago, I shared a video of  female portraits throughout the art of last 500 years that was put together by video enthusiast Philip Scott Johnson.  It was a well done assemblage with portraits morphing from one to another and was immensely popular  with over 14 million views on YouTube.

I came across another of his morph films, this time featuring the portraits of Pablo Picasso.  I thought I would share this short but interesting film today.

I sometimes think that Picasso’s immense worldwide fame, especially around the 60’s and 70’s, kept me from fully appreciating his work.  I never thought of him as an artistic inspiration for my own work but over time I have found that his work almost always captures my attention when I come across it.   There is usually something in it that has that sense of rightness I often struggle to explain here.   I have become, more and more,  a fan of his work over the years.

Take a look at the film and see for yourself in this great little film that features the laying of Yo-Yo Ma.


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I thought today would be a good day for a little music and a chance to express my admiration for Yo Yo Ma.  There’s not much to dislike about Yo Yo Ma.  His virtuosity on the cello is evident.  His affability and down to earth nature shines through in interviews, as does his humor.  His ability to move easily in many forms of music, not just the sometimes remote world of classical music,  speaks to his creative inquisitiveness.  He has collaborated a number of times on projects with other world class musicians to create beautiful new music that is beyond the dead composers, though great they may be.

In short, he can do little wrong in my eyes.

He has a new collaboration out recently.  Called the Goat Rodeo Sessions, it combines his cello with the fiddling of Stuart Duncan, the upright bass of Edgar Meyer and the incredible mandolin playing of Chris Thile.  It’s a great fusion of these acoustic elements into a unique blend of Americana.  Just damn good stuff.

Here’s Attaboy.  There’s also a video of the bluegrass inspired Here and Heaven available. 

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It’s a slow day waking up and I don’t have a lot to say.  I felt like hearing a quiet song this morning and came across The Wexford Carol, an 11th century Irish carol from Yo Yo Ma and Allison Krauss.  It’s a beautiful song that flows slowly and evocatively along.

I chose this older piece from several years back to accompany it.  The title, Night Flow, seems to fit and I could almost hear the distant sound of the pipes and strings when I looked at it.


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Women in Art

WomenInArtA friend sent me a link to this video yesterday, called Women in Art.  It’s extraordinarily well known on YouTube, having something like 9 million views.  I, of course, had never heard of it.

It is a montage of famous portrait paintings of women through the centuries morphing from one to the next.  The creator of this video, Phillip Scott Johnson, did a great job of choosing and arranging the subjects, earning him an award for his creativity from YouTube. The accompanying Bach piece performed on the cello  by Yo-Yo Ma fits beautifully.  Makes for a nice Sunday morning viewing.

If you would like to identify any of the paintings used in the video, click on the group of six paintings above and you’ll be taken to a website that identifies each.  Enjoy…

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