Spring Equinox at the Malibu Wright Ranch

OK, this has taken forever to get to because these are the most complex assortment of clips I’ve shot. Furthermore, after I shot them, I was told people didn’t want them posted because it was a personal and private ceremony. Well, with some regrets, I can’t help myself. I also haven’t figured out the best presentation for the “sensitive” material, so it’s just a composite grid of the ceremony, and you can’t really hear any thing except the chant we all did. It’s enormous too; an unwieldy 58MB. Keep in mind that at actual size, the widest ones here are nearly 3-1/2 feet wide. That’s as big as Flash can handle; 2880 pixels square.

Fortunately, some of the others are quite breathtaking and not nearly as huge.


Indian Spring Equinox Ceremony

SpringEquinoxCeremony Click on image to load 58.1MB file.


Malibu Canyon Sunset

Malibu Canyon SunsetClick on image to load 3.5MB file.


On Top of the World Over Malibu Canyon

On Top Of The WorldClick on image to load 9.8MB file.


Malibu Coast at Dusk

Malibu Coast Dusk

Click on image to load 15.4MB file.


Malibu Coast View

Malibu Coast ViewClick on image to load 3.6MB file.


Malibu Shores

Malibu ShoresClick on image to load 2.2MB file.


Taking photos of the Malibu Coast

Taking Photos of the CoastClick on image to load 12MB file.



Santa Monica Night Coast

SM Night ViewClick on image to load 11.5MB file.


Wright Ranch HouseI find this one to be rather interesting; it has more cubist character than most of the other works. It’s a house they’re building that’s been under construction forever.Wright Ranch House

Click on image to load 5.8MB file.


Mt. Pinos 3 Row Torqued Panorama

Well, this proves that without much activity happening when you shoot video, you might as well be shooting stills. As I assembled the video clips, I began to realize that the lens and tripod were distorting the images so they didn’t fit together. I could actually skew the video itself, which would probably take forever to process, but it was just as interesting to layer and overlap them.

mtpinos3rowtorquetower.jpg

Click on image to load 5.5MB file.

Mt. Pinos is an amazing place. The highest mountain in the range at the southern edge of California’s Central Valley, just outside of Frazier Park, you can’t help be be deeply moved by the views, the peacefulness of the place (in good weather, at least) — or the high altitude!

Japanese Garden’s Running Brook

Some new video collages here. These were shot at the beautiful Japanese Garden next to the (ugh!) DWP water reclamation plant in Balboa Park in Van Nuys.

The first is more of an experimental mandala-esque view of the brook.

Running Brook 1

Click on image to load 2.4MB Flash file

Running Brook 1

The second is just a longer view of the brook in a simpler form.

Running Brook 2

Click on image to load 3.9MB flash file

Running Brook 2

I guess I need to either;

1) get a cable release for the camera, if I can control the video button with it

or

2) spend the time to trim the small shakes that happen when I start and stop the camera

They seem to quake and vibrate, like the earth in California, or perhaps to breathe…

The park is near two airports too, so you hear the planes drown out the running water in the first one.

Lexicon of Extended Vocal Techniques

Many years ago, a group of singers that included Warren Burt, Deborah Kavasch, Ann Chase, Philip Larson, Edwin Harkins, and Linda Vickerman at the Center for Music Experiment and related research at UC San Diego recorded a Lexicon of Extended Vocal Techniques. This includes various harmonic singing techniques, fries, shakes, clicks, and a host of things that would make the ministry of funny noises proud. The lexicon was issued on tape, and I’ve been working on turning them into samples.

I digitized the various sounds from the tape and have chopped them up into short sound bites, then put them on CDs. I ended up with over 200 separate sound files, and since CDs can only have 99 tracks, they have to go on 3 CDs, even though the size of the audio files would all usually fit on one CD.

I know, I know; singers who can master these techniques would scoff at having them on samples, but I guess it’s part of the labor-intensive lazy man’s digital revolution. So it’s a work in progress; I don’t have commercial aspirations for the samples, especially since I didn’t create the original lexicon, but I do hope it will provide a rich tapestry of “choral” possibilities for experimentation and composition.

If anyone knows any of the original singers, I wonder if they’d be interested in doing anything else with the Lexicon, which as far as I know, is the only resource of its type.

Broken Toe

So the doctor at LA County Hospital was giving me advice about my broken toe and how to take care of it.  He looked like a death-metal rocker dude in a lab coat; long scraggly hair, beard, tattoos, rings and all. He was nice though, and used lots of big vocabulary words to prove that he really was a doctor. Then when I said I’d love it if I could get a copy of the X-ray, he went and printed two out for me.

Broken Toe 1

Broken Toe 2

Then he said he was gonna show me how to “buddy tape” the toe. I wasn’t so sure it wasn’t some new S&M thing people around LA were into these days. I knew I shouldn’t have watched the first season of “Californication.”

Cafe Press Pulls My Product

Hire Me! Thank the Academy.

So, I updated some of the artwork on my Closet Thespians line, and then the next day got an email from Cafe Press:

“We recently learned that your CafePress.com account contains material which may not be in compliance with our policies. Specifically, designing, manufacturing, marketing and/or selling products that may infringe the rights of a third party, including, copyrights (e.g., an image of a television cartoon character), trademarks (e.g., the logo of a company), “rights in gross” (e.g., the exclusive right of the U.S. Olympic Committee to use the “Olympic Rings”), and rights of privacy and publicity (e.g., a photo of a celebrity) are prohibited.”

“Accordingly, we have set the content that we believe to be questionable to “pending status” which disables said content from being displayed in your shop or purchased by the public.”

I’d waited until I could take the photo of the statue myself so I didn’t violate any copyright holders. Well, I guess it’s time to investigate other companies with similar offerings to Cafe Press or maybe (god forbid!) I’ll have to get some printed up myself and distribute them in person.

Kevin at MASH TV Filming Site

MASH Preview

This video collage was shot at the MASH TV filming site north of Malibu.

To view this effectively, drag your browser window very wide – wider than your monitor – and scroll back and forth or move the window to view the different parts of it. The wider you make it, the taller the vertical display area will become. Click on the preview image to load it (9.1MB Shockwave file).

My girlfriend Emmy

Emmy

So here I am holding an Emmy for Graphic Design. Apparently it was only given for a couple of years. It felt nice. I’d like to have you think I won it, but that isn’t the case…yet. “I’d like to thank Kevin and Matt McCarthy, my mother and father for their support and encouragement, and of course, Apple Computer… who still haven’t figured out how to include a substantial DVD burner in their computers that will last for more than a couple of months but make a fun computer none-the-less.”

Cubist Arthur

Another Cubist Arthur Shot

This clip has not yet been rated.

A therapist I know assured me this concludes that I’m certifiable.

In reference to the work, I’d like to quote Steven Soderbergh’s film, Sex, Lies, and Videotape; “All I could think about this past weekend was garbage, literally garbage. I started obsessing over what happens to all the garbage, I mean, what happens to all of it, we have to run out of space eventually, don’t we? This happened to me before when that barge with all the garbage was stranded, because nobody would accept it. I don’t know what started it this time.” The context of that statement in his film is not unlike that of this piece.

Intimacy, Attention, Commodification, and Privatization

It’s often said that most people are more willing to talk about their sex lives than money, but I’d venture that an even more private part of their lives might be their morning grooming routine. Often not fully awake, your attention is directed to various bodily minutia in a self-critical or narcissistic manner. What better way to convey the mental state and way of seeing than through cubism?

I initially chose the music because the upbeat part of the song was running through my head; “Woke up, got out of bed, dragged a comb across my head…” but once I’d laid the sound in, I found it gave the piece a much darker overtone, and am not entirely sure I’m content with the marriage of sound and image. Combining works by different artists offers the danger of either piece overshadowing the other, contextually or qualitatively, and the intention of the Beatles lyrics catapulted the piece into a wholly different realm of interpretation. Would I blow my mind out in a car? Filmic expectation leads you to expect that something will happen with that razor. Hitchcock and Spielberg have left us with dark expectations when razors are shown on screen. Perhaps the only other realm of our lives where the intimacy of grooming is violated is in advertising. By association, wrapped in a robe or towel and vulnerable, you may be subconsciously susceptible to suggestion. Viewing this, you might be led to expect a product recommendation, but I’m afraid you won’t find one. The mundane becomes surreal, and then the surreal becomes mundane again.

This overly revealing cubist video collage of me includes flossing, brushing, shaving, moisturizing, brushing, kissing, zipping, my tongue, fingers, navel, and sitali pranayam. Not to mention The Beatles, A Day in the Life.

It’s long; 10 minutes. If you can sit through it all, the zippers begin and end the whole deal, and you’ll hear the music loop then. Flash can’t seem to quite manage playing all the clips at full speed.

It’s BIG too. 35MB. Click on the screenshot above to view it.

Schillinger Blog Starting Up

So one of my long-time dreams is to see the Schillinger System of Musical Composition get applied within current computer music systems. It’s obviously well-suited to it, but somehow no one has ever put the pieces together. It seems like a place where I have some expertise that no one else seems to have. So if I don’t do it, nobody may.

I also have been interested in computer-human interaction design within music software for ages, but haven’t acquired the professional experience yet. Curtis Roads told me it was a field that was open for me to dominate as an expert if I wanted, so I’m starting up this blog to try to get the ball rolling.  I’ve done some research in the area, but haven’t undertaken a, um, “concerted effort” to move forward with it.

Visit the blog and jump in with suggestions.