Nine Times Four and What Happens To Trees When They Die

#60 – Tuesday May 8th

A short list of what captures my attentions: art, music, language, and roaming around the outdoors. The order of my focus can change in a moment, or be sustained indefinitely, and it’s the endless combinations of these interactions which provide the source material for my work. So on that note, four explorations that caught my attention last week, in no particular order.

1. Music – “The Great Animal Orchestra” by Bernie Krause.  Bernie Krause and cohort Paul Beaver pioneered the introduction of the synthesizer into pop music. Beaver& Krause not only released five albums of their own music, most notably “In a Wild Sanctuary” (1968) which incorporated natural soundscapes into their music, Beaver & Krause provided synthesizer and soundscapes for many movies including Apocalypse Now, and performed as session musicians for bands including The Doors, Stevie Wonder and George Harrison. After Paul Beaver passed away in 1975, Krause dedicated his life to recording the natural soundscapes of truly wild places, and for the past 40 years has done just that. In 2009 Bernie Krause gave a talk  at the California Academy of Sciences on his life and work, and while it leans toward the academic, Bernie is a fascinating guy, and the lecture features many of his biophony recordings, which are absolutely amazing.

2. Art.  Hyperallergic – Sensitive to Art & its Discontents. is an irreverent look behind the hype curtain of the art world. Based in Brooklyn, the New York centric content is expected, but I’ve found Hyperalergic a refreshing alternative to the usual art mumbo jumbo.

3. Language. One can find a plethora of cultural curators posting selections of noteworthy and interesting tidbits all over the web, but I’ve found myself constantly returning to see what’s up at Brain Pickings. Maria Popova is the engine behind Brain Pickings and writes for Wired UK, The Atlantic, and Design Observer. I think Ms. Popova says it best, as quoted from the “about” link on the site. “Brain Pickings is a human-powered discovery engine for interestingness, culling and curating cross-disciplinary curiosity-quenchers, and separating the signal from the noise to bring you things you didn’t know you were interested in until you are”. Lots about books, writing, the arts, in other words . . . language.

4. Roaming around the outdoors. This time, an afternoon spent on Mt Kendrick, just west of Flagstaff. Many of the pine trees that blanket the San Francisco Peaks have fallen due to drought, fire, and bark beetle infestation. Three details of downed trees, still beautiful in their demise.

Thanks for reading.


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