Monday, February 27, 2017

The Beatles: Assessing the music and recorded sound that lead to Beatlemania

We all know the Beatles, I could probably play a song and right away know that it was indeed a Beatles song, many of you could probably even sing along to the song. These Fab Four became a phenomenon almost over night. The question is why. How did 4 guys from Liverpool become a house hold name in 6 months. McLuhan states in his book that “Myth means putting on the audience, putting on one’s environment. The Beatles do this. They are a group of people who suddenly were able to put on their audience and the English language with musical effects—putting on a whole vesture, a whole time, a Zeit” The Beatles did do this. Their use of technology and a time ready to take the message where able to attract audiences and have not lost them even today 60 years later.T he use of multi-track recordings lent the Beatles a new sound never heard before. As the technology developed, they were able to experiment more and more coming up with new sounds that elevated their message and their music. Beatlemania lay in making fans producers of their own culture with machines such as tape recorders, portable record players, and instant cameras, and in allowing them to connect with one another through the burgeoning fan press. This allowed them to have McLuhan’s sense of “All-at-once-ness”  expanding their popularity not just in England but simultaneously around the world. This even today has made the Beatles not just a one hit wonder band, but a band that has transcended throughout time. 

Sunday, February 26, 2017

The work of Amélia Proulx

Voilà, Vois là
Amélia Proulx
McLuhan states that, "The interplay between the old and the new environments creates many problems and confusions. The main obstacle to a clear understanding of the effects of the new media is our deeply embedded habit of regarding all phenomena from a fixed point of view." Amélia Proulx is taking fixed point of view that most of us have on ceramics and making it musical.  During the crazing process of glazing her ceramic pieces, Amélia Proulx was inspired by the sounds produced. Expanding on this sound, she created pieces that took the sounds that most people had never heard of and made the star of the piece. Similar to McLuhan’s notion of having a fixed view, Proulx states that: "through the representation of iconic signs and various technological manipulations, my work evokes the cycles of transformation of matter and a perpetual shift of the meaning in the perception of natural phenomena. Thus, I activate ceramics in various ways to create sculptures and installations - often kinetic or sonorous- that suggest a perpetual slip of meaning in the language and in the perception of natural phenomena". Voilà, Vois là, is a piece based on the metaphor of the "fog veil:, and suggests a conflation of two time lines. The static time of hundreds of glazed porcelain drops suspended in the a structure and the combination of the liquid timeline of water particles accumulating and dripping from the porcelain drops created by the fog. This interplay between her porcelain structures and the water or sound that she produces in tandem makes her art not just transcend the normal notion of porcelain but also the environment in which it is used.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Noise in the silence

To Joy  is a song I created based off of "Ode To Joy" by Beethoven. McLuhan writes that "Theater takes place all the time, wherever one is. And art simply facilitates persuading one of this"(119). This got me thinking of the notion of hearing the same tunes in different places and how that even though you seem to get away from a sound it is still always right there. "Ode To Joy" was a random song I learned in piano class when I was little, and heard it all the time, from church to talent shows in elementary school. I have heard it so much that even though it has been years since I have played it, I still remembered how. I took layering different sounds of the same song started at different places to keep the idea that although it may sound different, there is no escaping the noise. I played each of the different tracks separately and layered them together by recording the start of the next one where I wanted to start the round. I think it gives it a kind of creepy feel, which for me reminds me how I am yet to escape the song, even now.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Reaction to Rashaad Newsome

McLuhan states that, "The interplay between the old and the new environments creates many
problems and confusions. The main obstacle to a clear understanding of the effects of the new media is our deeply embedded habit of regarding all phenomena from a fixed point of view." (69) This past week we were lucky enough to be visited by Rashaad Newsome at school. While I was unable to attend his lecture, I was able to sit down at lunch with him and talk about his art. One thing that intrigued me was his mix of media, while known for his performance pieces, Rashaad also has amazing colleague pieces, videos and sculptures. Although I have very little exposure to the vogue culture that is present in a lot of his work I found it very interesting to hear him talk about how he mixed this history with his own ideas into his final pieces. That is one thing that he stated was important in creating his work: he looks at the how history and pop culture are working together.

            Another thing that Rashaad does a very nice focus on is his work in tangent with each other. Rather then just working with one piece as a solo, he uses all of his works together. He explained that a lot of times he films the live performance to make his videos, and also uses the movement of the dancers to create sculptures of the final movement. Furthermore, in a lot of his performance pieces you can his own creations being worn or in the background as well. Using all of these elements together creates a larger even more impressive work. That notion of taking the one idea and expanding it to make a larger pieces creates more depth and meaning in the works, one that Rashaad prides himself on. 
To see some of his work: Rashaad Newsome