20/40 Adagio

I remember the first guitar I ever touched…I was about 9 or 10 years old and my parents had an old one that more or less suddenly appeared in the house. It had a classical body, half the strings were nylon, half weren’t, the high B string was the wrong gauge, the case was made out of cardboard. Continue reading

19/40 Amnesty Interntional

I recently held an album release party at Vancouver Live Sound to celebrate the release of my new album, Scorpius Rising. As a part of the event, I invited Amnesty International to come and give a presentation on their work. As some Inner Listeners may know, Samar Oriental Dance Ensemble performed for the Amnesty International fundraiser at The Fan Club in Vancouver on August 28th, 2013. Continue reading

17/40 Co-Creation

In my last post I likened the artist to shaman, the traveller who undertakes the journey to The Other World, her art being the receipt of her inner experience which she shares with the community or society whom she serves. I think the analogy still stands, though some recent research on my part regarding shamans indicates that one of the defining characters of shamans is that they must not have their experiences in the so-called “alert, problem solving mode of consciousness”. Continue reading

16/40 Brief Eye Contact With the Shaman

In recent conversations with thinkers and painters about the difference in societal reactions to art between Europe, Asia, and North America the conversation came around to the role of the artist within a society or culture. This also relates to questions about the value of art, and all the related questions: what is art? Is art dead? Is there such a thing as art for art’s sake? Continue reading

14/40 Heisenberg’s Receipt

There are many times in conversations with colleagues where an idea comes up that is a challenge in any creative endeavour: when is it “done”? This evening, I attended a book signing with a friend, and during the Q&AA (Questions and Attempted Answers) the question came up around editing, e.g. when can you stop editing and call something done? Continue reading

13/40 Why Beauty

I was recently at my friend and colleague Liam MacDonald’s house for a rehearsal. We are playing with the great Iraqi oud player Serwan Yamolky, who was accompanied by his friend of many years Vahey Zacharian. These 2 musicians belong to possibly the last generation of those musicians that enjoyed a golden age of Arabic music that culminated in the work of the great Um Koulthoum and Abdel Wahab. Both in their 70’s, they bring a centre of gravity to their musical expression which is rare in this day and age, and this was a powerful experience. Continue reading