It started as playful banter between myself and the brilliant architect and it turned into the most powerful creative project I have been involved in to date. The light of connection shined brightly as 68 musicans created 94 original tracks as part of The White Cube Remix project. And although it is my voice that is in the "foreground," in conjunction with the "background" of ambient beauty that starts with Gurdonark's samples, this project is so very much about the creative collective that ccmixter brings together. The amount of enthusiasm, interest, delight, inspiration and good will generated from this project has been astounding.
As the remixes started coming in at the inception of the project, I was energized and alert, my breath in that constant state of almost being held as my heart stopped until it had to start again. It was the feeling of being in love; anticipation and infatuation and devotion to this process that became explosive in and of itself, proving that connection, in this case through sound and respect, is indeed a transformative light. I fell deeper and deeper and deeper in love.
And I learned through conversation with others involved, that I was not the only one experiencing this sensation. Many of us recognized that we were witnessing the emergence of something extraordinarily powerful. Those present at the RAM Galleri during the opening have shared with me that the energy contained in this project was palpable -- perhaps not comprehensible, but it was as tangible as light itself.
With my friends and colleagues, we have tried to analyze the experience; what about The White Cube Remix created this unique sensation that we could only attempt to describe, its potentency and vibrancy quite unique We recognized that we were witnessing the idealism of the sharing culture movement in action as the ideas and music flowed between us.
People were thinking about the intentions of the exhibition itself -- to explode/implode the white cube, and what that meant. People expressed how they were inspired by a phrase or specific notion expressed in the white cube poem. People shared that they were simply excited to think that their music would be playing in an art gallery far far away from where they lived and that, in itself, was just so cool! Most importantly, people were clearly thinking, clearly inspired on a personal level by the creative opportunity presented by this project.
Perhaps it was the inclusive nature of this project. The criteria to have one's song played in the gallery was quite simple: the remix had to contain either (or both) of the samples created by Gurdonark or me and it had to be uploaded to ccmixter by December 7. We preferred uploads with an attribution-only license as an expression of our support for sharing culture, and to facilitate future use of the material (we intend to release The White Cube Remix), but that was not required to be part of the sonic installation. As a collaborative work, TWC Remix strikes me as being unique as it is a collection of complete works versus the result of a myriad of individuals contributing "parts" to a whole. It is a "whole" created by an amalgamation of other "wholes." Each mix is like a self-sufficient cell, that when combined with other cells, creates an organism quite distinct from its cellular structure.
On of the goals of The White Cube Remix was to demonstrate how an open, international collective of artists could not only transform traditional notions of what it means to experience a gallery space, but what it means to be part of an international community whose reach, through technological advances, becomes both broader and closer. ccMixter is an outstanding example of how technology brings people together through a creative process into relationship. It is a light that traverses space and time.
I am still trying to fully understand The White Cube Remix. I have been infused with inspiration, awe and gratitude for being part of something that provided not only an exquisite creative opportunity, but the chance to enter into new relationships, and explore existing relationships, which is really what it's ultimately all about -- being connected in light and love.
* * *
Special thanks to Professor Rolf Gerstlauer, the curator of RAM Galleri's 20th anniversary exhibition, for opening the window to the white cube and inviting us in. Special thanks to Robert Nunnally (Gurdonark) for being a most splendid partner in this project, and an ongoing inspiration through the many beautiful ways in which he expresses himself. Special thanks to Per Teglestrom (St. Paul) for attending The White Cube Remix opening, Special thanks to Emily Richards and Jason Brock for bringing the enthusiastic support of ArtisTech into this project, and supplying resources and manpower where needed. Special thanks to Kristine Fresvig and Eli of the RAM Galleri for inviting us into the space. Special thanks to Erik and Inger and our other Norwegian friends who helped make The White Cube Remix happen.
And most importantly, special thanks to the ccmixter community that demonstrates on a daily basis the beauty of creative sharing.
The White Cube Remix project opened at RAM Galleri. I have been overwhelmed with love for this project, what it represents, the people involved. Playful banter turned into the most significant creative work I have been involved in to date.
My partner, Gurdonark (Robert Nunnally) and I created a blog to describe and track The White Cube Remix project. You can fine it here.
Bob wrote eloquently about his experience of the opening on his blog here.
My dear friend, St. Paul (Per Teglestrom) wrote about his first-hand experience of going to Oslo to the opening here. (And he includes pictures too!)
RAM Galleri posted the video of the opening on its blip.tv page here.
* * *
Today is also my 20th wedding anniversary. H. broke the rule and gave me a sparkling gift anyway. We drank martnis and had a lovely meal together. Next weekend, we will go to Cambria together for a romantic getaway.
* * *
This has been an extraordinary day. I am too busy at work to write properly about it. And I need to process the power of The White Cube Remix as well as the depth of celebrating my love.
It was dark already. T. was driving home from school, observing the speed limit as she always does since getting her first speeding ticket earlier in the year. Suddenly, Lucky dashed under her wheel and she could not stop in time to avoid hitting him. The people who belonged to Lucky do not speak English. Fortunately, a neighbor was there who was able to translate. T. called me, almost hysterical. My heart was in my throat when I heard her voice, but I was soon relieved when I heard she had hit a dog and had not been in some kind of terrible accident where she or any other people were hurt. I rushed to meet her. The family and neighbors were on the street. A young man was huddled over the body of the dog, sobbing. I took the dog and the mother in my car and drove to the veterinary hospital. The son, a young woman who at first I believed to be his sister, but later began to think was his girlfriend, and an older man followed in a separate car. The mother did not speak English. I have been to this partciular vet hospital a lot lately as my cat had an injury that required a number of visits. The lady at the front desk recognized me. She discussed treatment options with the family, including euthanasia. They called their father in Guatamala. They decided to treat the dog. The estimated cost was approximately $1000. The vet required a $500 deposit. They had no money. T. offered to pay, but as she does not have a checking account or her own credit card, of course, I paid the deposit. The young man, after ignoring us all evening, finally thanked us for our kindness. His gesture made T. well up, tears streaming down her face as she expressed how sorry she was for what happened. He could see that she is just a young girl, but did not have the grace or compassion to offer any words of comfort to her, or to even accept responsibility for the fact that his dog was let out, at night, on a busy street, without a leash. T. and I left, grateful to get home and into our pajamas, with our cats and our comfort. I called to follow up with the vet. I learned that Lucky did not make it. I became incredibly sad about the whole evening. I would not have minded spending $500 if Lucky lived, but somehow feel awful on so many levels that he died. In theory, I support being compassionate and strive to model that for my children; I thought nothing in the moment of trying to help. But now, I just feel irritable and depressed.
The ladies of ccMixter are rockin' it in this episode of The Mixin' Kitchen. While the voices of the ladies are regularly picked up and mixed up, the majority of the remixers/producers at ccMixter are men. However, lately, the ladies have been cuttin' loose and beaking out to make a strong presence as producers.
You can listen at ccMixter by clicking here or listen via itunes (just search for ccMixter).
The response of the ccMixter community has me reeling. Mixters seem absolutely thrilled to be a part of this sonic installation, and the enthusiasim, the inspiration this project seems to have generated makes me giddy. The mixes so far are gorgeous. I feel like I'm in love!
Ghosts and vampires, shadow and shiver A chill in the air that makes you quiver. Disembodied voices, tinkling keys — these are the sounds of Halloween. So come into my kitchen, with your bag full of sweets And lets enjoy some tricks and treats
Evening derailed by cat urgency, not quite emergency. Had to take Jack to the vet. I was there for about two hours. At least I read a good book. But now I am covered with cat hair and I am wearing a black t-shirt. I left my cell phone at home. Then Haskel, very chivalrously, visited me at the vet and brought me my phone. Just in time too. Jack was done with his treatment. The cat carrier is very large (another story) and Jack is hefty so I let Haskel take Jack with him in his car. The vet suggested putting Jack on a diet, but that is impractical as we are a three cat household, much to the chagrin of my mother-in-law who despises cats, and the dismay of many of our friends who happen to be allergic to cats. Besides, Jack's heft contributes to his charm.
This a song written by Narva9 (Yvonne). She offered it to me to sing. I was not satsified just doing it as an a capella to upload to ccMixter. I was compelled to do a mix. So I did. Meanwhile, rslane who I sampled on saxophone, asked if he could re-do the sax part. Jurgen Hermann also offered to re-do sax parts. Thus, this song may be updated in the near future.
I was out last night and did not get in until everyone else in my household had fallen asleep. This morning, as I checked in with S. about what everyone did last night, she told me that her father read her a bedtime story, just like when she was a little girl. "What did daddy read to you," I asked. "The Metamorphosis," she replied. "Kafka?," I responded. "Yes. Kafka."
The latest espisode of The Mixin' Kitchen is now up. (Somehow I was remiss in not posting episode 4). As the fire raged in southern California at the time I was curating the show, I could not escape, the heat and power of fire and all that implies. Best wishes for those who were victims of the recent blazes.
You can listen via iTunes or at ccMixter.org: http://ccmixter.org/playlist/browse/5635
TrattoriaContadina in North Beach. Nice, quiet, neighborly. White linen tablecloth, dry red wine, a waiter who smiles and the right amount of garlic. The four of us chatting amicably as we tasted everything, except for S. who was not hungry. The fog mist and fortune cookie parables leading us down the street. We were met by a friendly woman who shared her history. Inquiries at City Lights; I suggested John Irving, and Water for Elephants and the french book with hedgehog in the title, finally settling on the staff choice of the book with the illustration of the doves on the cover that left me breathless when I finished reading it, but of course, I cannot remember the title, or the author, only the feeling of having been swept away in a world of language and image that was deep and moving, and fulfilling to read.
My fortune: The Mystic Ray finds that you are sensitive, with master mind and organization powers analytical and can see both sides of a question. Keen sense of humor. Good money sense, diplomatic. . .
H. lost his keys. While he went into the hotel to see if they were found, I pulled his luggage out of the trunk of the car and started rummaging through in the hopes I might find them in a pocket somewhere. An elderly, toothless man, putting quarters in the parking meter, cheerfully started asking me a number of questions, his voice soft and accent thick so some where misunderstood: "You going now? . . .Why you go now? . . .Where you live? . . .It is hot there. . .Here it is very cold. . .You going now?"
Treated to tequila and dinner with our dearest family friends who happened to be staying down the road in Pismo. An early morning walk along the shore with S., collecting sand dollars -- one for each of us. The pelicans majestically floated above in perfect formation the grace of their flight surprising. The friendly fruit vendor who gladly packed up fruits and artichokes and beans for us, but looked as if he could easily knife us if we threatened his brother. Across the street, a building advertised a vaudeville show. The sand dunes peaked above the view point, between the houses weathered and faded. Accompanied home by hawks, soaring above the vineyards, inviting inspiration.
Today was my youngest daughter's birthday. We started the day early, waking S. up so she would have sufficient time to shower, dress and practice before her band concert. She played bass. Before we left for the show, she opened her birthday gifts which included clothing, a new drum pedal, a cow bell and tambourine for her drum kit, and a gift certificate to a local used cd store. We arrived at the show which was held at the Knitting Factory. It was packed. My father, brother and mother-in-law showed up to offer their support. S.'s band was surprisingly terrific, everyone playing with a high level of competence and mastery unexpected for kids their age. Despite the fact that S. did not smile the entire time she played, she claims she enjoyed herself. After the show, we all went out for brunch at a deli where we ordered way too much food so my brother took it all home with him. My husband and I dropped our girls off at the local vintage clothing store's weekly $1 parking lot store where they did a bit of scrounging. We then drove back home, checked in for a moment, and decided to go see the new Harry Potter movie which ultimately left me with the same feeling as the book did when I read it. I bought S. a new pair of boots. After the movie, we went back to my mother-in-laws to meet up with my sister-in-law and nieces, all of us walking to the local vegan Thai restaurant where we had a delicious feast in honor of S.'s birthday. Back at my mother-in-laws, we had cupcakes and ice cream. (S. requested a clown cone for her birthday.) Finally, we came home. My husband is in bed. The girls are watching a movie. I completed registration forms as my older daughter, T. has registration and orientation for school tomorrow. I listened to music. I wrote this blog post. S. came in to give me a hug and a kiss and to tell me she had a good day. It was a good day, a nice day, busy in a relaxed way sort of day, spent with the family. It was lovely.
The latest episode of The Mixin’ Kitchen is now up! “Tell Me” features mixes of words spoken or whispered, announcing to the world the intent of a message, the cadence and rhythm carrying the meaning, melody superfluous as the speaker sets for the images in poetry or prose. This episode includes just a handful of the hundreds of wonderful spoken word mixes in the ccMixter archive.
Post-garden party. Old friends, and older friends congregated with new. Those who were here enjoyed an abundance of food and sunshine. The cats unusually social. Children running around the house grasping cookies. Many guests never appeared due to sickness, and forgetfulness, leaving us with way too much food. My disappointment drowned during the late evening after party with the lingering few in candlelight with dry red wine amidst our laughter, reminding me how happy I am to be with those who choose to be with me.
While the day was clearly a success, every one's enjoyment of each other clear as people stayed, my desire to entertain any time soon has been purged, despite my natural inclination to host.
"Ride" the latest episode of The Mixin' Kitchen, is now available through the ccMixter podcast channel. Featuring mixes that get you places! Ride, drive, bump, cars, trains and busses. Perfect for listening to when you are on your way! Just search ccMixter on iTunes if you are not already a subscriber or check it out at ccMixter's featured playlist page: http://ccmixter.org/view/media/playlists
My elder teenage daughter, T., has been spending the summer hanging out with a co-ed group of friends, and seems to be having the time of her life. There is one young man in the bunch, D., who has been around a bit more frequently than some of the others. He plays guitar. The other day, he was serenading T. and her friend in our garden. (Originally, they were sitting in the front, but my husband, thinking that appeared unseemly in our fairly conservativeneighborhood, asked that I move them inside.) D. is actually quite an accomplished guitar player, and he is seriously into classic rock, idolizing, over all others, Eric Clapton. My husband, who is a fantastic guitarist appreciates that about the boy.
Yesterday, a group of teenagers were meant to meet T. at our house to take a two mile walk to another girl's house. Only D. showed up to escort T. My husband insisted the young man come into our house to say hello, and not just have T. disappear with him. D. came in, shook my husband's hand, and D. and T. went off alone together.
After they left, my husband started huffing and puffing, formulating all kinds of nefarious fantasies of what kind of intentions this young man might have for our beautiful daughter. As he stomped around the kitchen while I was cutting watermelon, he started shaking his head and his finger. "Yep," he tries anything, my husband said, "I will challenge him to a play off and then I will wipe the floor with that boy!" "Of course," he added, "I can only do that because the kid is into Eric Clapton . . . if he was into YngwieMalmsteen, I would be toast."
Independence Day has a lot of meaning for me. My mother died on July 2, 1984 and her funeral was on July 4 - so that day is always a day of rememberance. As a family, we celebrated 4th of July together, often going to the beach to watch fireworks, and usually in the company of close friends. My dad would go to one of the unincorporated cities nearby where he could buy fireworks -- sparklers and poppers -- and we would set them off in the street in front of our house. As a girl with a lot of compunction, I was a bit timid as I did not want to become a poster child of the dangers of fireworks! Nevertheless, I would gamely hold my little sparkler as far in front of my body as far as I could, drawing gilttering, spark and smoke circles in the air for others to decipher before the smoke dissipated. To our delight, my dad was brave and set off the fancier fireworks in the street. All of us, including my mother, would watch from the curb, clapping our hands as the fireworks shot colorful stars into the air that fell toward the ground like broken fairies, until they disappeared into the night.
As my mother had been seriously ill for a long time, I often thought of her passing as a day of independence -- she was finally freed from her pain and suffering. After her funeral, I took all of her medications and burned them in the bar b que. I even wrote a song about it. . .although I am not sure what happened to that song. I cannot believe that this year is 25 years. She has been gone now for more than half of my life.
"Lovely", in and of itself, is such a lovely word. Melodious and expressive by its combination of vowels and consonants alone. But the sentiment of "lovely" just tickles me, alluding to something delicious, delightful, touching, pretty. It is one of my favorite words. I use it liberally, peppering my speech with "lovely," as a delicate spice and an emphatic superlative. I love when men use the word "lovely." I know many women who readily release "lovely" from their lips. But when I hear it from a man, I actually feel the sensations associated with that promising sound.
Spring in the garden, Dusk falls and the night blooming jasmine bursts with fragrance. Suddenly I want to check on the newly planted blooms and my new friends. All is thriving in the warmth of this new season. I watch the jays taunt in evening song and cacophany The cats nonplussed and disinterested. A star, or is it a planet, becomes visible as the evening sky darkens Brightening in reflections of other stars, oh so far away. The light continues to fade. Noctural pests begin their scavenging I am bit.
It is official -- I am addicted to ccMixter.org, a shared music site where musicians from all over the world create colloborative pieces under the Creative Commons license. Artists upload tracks which are then available to remixers who invariably do something magical with the source material. The talent pool is vast and varied. Additionally, there is a kind community of artists who provide feedback and support. It's totally awesome. I can be found here: http://ccmixter.org/people/SackJo22 where my acapella vocal tracks are posted, along with links to remixes.
I'm thinking about going into therapy so I can unabashedly talk about myself. I have strong enough narcissistic tendencies that I would enjoy that tremendously. According to Freud, I am perfectly healthy as I work and love just fine. I do not believe I am totally neurotic. I have sufficient self-awareness to understand that in most situations, people are generally more interested in talking about themselves than talking about me; thus, I do try to refrain from unfettered "me-isms" when I'm in social situations. However, the desire to talk about myself is ever present and growing as I listen more and more to others talk about themselves. Sometimes I feel like I could burst with myself. I think the only way to satisfy this need may be to seek the services of a professional.
I uploaded two new demo mixes on my myspace page -- www.myspace.com/mrsjoseph39skitchen. I get so jazzed when I make something new -- just the accomplishment of finishing a project. Quite satisfying, indeed.