Sound and Vision–or: Strange Fascination

Screen Shot 2018-09-23 at 8.12.18 AMVarious pictures to delight, today.

Pictures of the sounds and visions of the lives growing and roving forth. Some of which show the people responsible for the sounds which the kidlings are into these days, others of which show the kidz themselves.

MD 1The elder of the kiddiewinks is loving Marina and the Diamonds these days. Headed by Marina Diamandis, who was born in Wales in the UK (Greek dad, Welsh mom), she broke in 2009 and I think accurately describes her sound as “indie artist with pop goals”. It’sScreen Shot 2018-09-23 at 9.10.40 AM melodic in that theatrical way that’s in the tradition of glam rock (from T-Rex and Roxy Music to Elton John, Bowie and Queen). This quote from her seems appropriate:

“I created the name ‘Marina and the Diamonds‘ 5 years ago and I never envisaged a character, pop project, band or solo artist. I saw a simple group made up of many people who had the same hearts. A space for people with similar ideals who could not fit in to life’s pre-made mold. I was terribly awkward for a long time! I really craved to be part of one thing because I never felt too connected to anybody and now I feel I have that all around me.”

Diamandis describing the concept behind the stage name “Marina and the Diamonds”, 2010.

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And she (the elder of the kids) is also deep into a musical called Be More Chill, which is now off Broadway (she just enjoyed her 1st trip to NYC to see it) after a previous run Screen Shot 2018-09-23 at 8.42.52 AMin New Jersey, based on a novel. It’s about a high-tech pill that enables a sort of Faustian way for teens to finally be cool, conform etc, with predictably catastrophic results, triumphed by the one character who doesn’t “drink the Kool-Aid”, as it were. Rockin!

 

Mr. Jolly Younger Progeny (who readers of the blog & others might recall from last Screen Shot 2018-09-23 at 8.14.29 AMsummer, was at that time into electro-swing, specifically the group Caravan Palace from France; taking him last June was his first concert)…anyway, he’s currently into David Bowie as well as Queen.

And yes, their epic, legendary collaboration “Under Pressure” (in which, IMHO, they together hauled downScreen Shot 2018-09-23 at 8.21.30 AM the very cosmos to caress our souls through the speakers) can be said to be a sort of wellspring of his getting into the harder Screen Shot 2018-09-23 at 8.22.44 AMrocking of that pair.

This is all but the surface of layers of interesting as far as a ridiculously proud daddy’s meta view is concerned, because of the following: they both play instruments in school band (older on flute, younger on keyboard bass), and I’m trying to figure out if the pieces or styles of what they like to perform bear any discernable relationship(s) to what they like to hear. (So far, hard to tell…)–and secondly, because since they were 4 and 2 years old I’ve had music playing pretty much literally 24/7, all kinds.

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And it’s just such the ultimate joy to watch and listen to them and the tunes they respond to as they change. Mr. Bowie’s words again (yet again!) ring true for them (in 8th and 10th grades) just as they did when they ran in my 10th grade yearbook.

And then here’s some fun from last year’s Halloweens…ya know, catching the heck up before this one. Confession: none of us knows yet what we’re going to dress as this year! Lol

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So Recently Summer

I’ve been playing a lot over the last year or so with the camera settings on my phone camera, things like the white balance, the shutter speed and the ISO (light sensitivity). 20180805_181606 copyMostly I’ve found a lot of interest with the white balance such that mostly the blue end of the spectrum shows in pictures.

Such as in this one.

 

However, these recent shots resulted when I switched to the other extreme of filtering out the blue end instead. 20180805_183406 copy 2

 

 

 

 

 

Me and the ever-steadily-ascending kidlings. Enjoy.

K & J 818

 

 

 

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Xmas 2017!

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Ahh puppies!

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And so here are shots of MY puppies from this recent Christmas.

 

 

 

 

It naturally always begins with the Christmas eve one-gift-each tradition. She (the elder) got kitty stuff–er, rather, a calendar and a book we’ve loved in bookstores for years called “I Could Pee on This”.

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He got the puppy iteration: “I Could Chew on This” with his calendar.

 

 

 

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Per the usual, we spend the winter holiday in Phoenix, Arizona, where I grew up and where my mom still lives.

 

 

 

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A chunk of our usual extended family wasn’t there this year, which made it a little different – they were missed –  but it was lovely all the same.

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In fact next year will be the 40th xmas together with the group that couldn’t make it this time around.

This is my mom. :-)

And of course, Santa Kylen Claus!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Preliminary Portfolio

Basic images I’ve shot on film and digitally (as indicated).

TRACES OF ANTIQUITY

CAPITOLINE PiazzaThe view up to the top of Capitoline Hill in Rome, looking into the Piazza del Campidoglio (designed by Michelangelo, among others); an equestrian statue of Emperor Marcus Aurelius can be seen in front of the Palazzo Senatorio. On the other side of that building is the Roman Forum.

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A statue of Hapi, the God of the River Nile that sits next to the stairs leading to the top of Capitoline Hill.

 

 

ROME Cap BaluStats copyTwo of the pagan statues that line the roofs of the buildings that frame the Piazza del Campidoglio.

 

ROME Forum Tmpl1 copyColumns in the Roman Forum remaining from the 2,000 year old temple of Antoninus & Faustina; on the extreme right can be seen the church that was built inside to”reclaim” the building from its “pagan” past; the Church of San Lorenzo in Miranda.

 

Swiss Guards

 

 

Two of the Swiss Guard at the gates of St. Peter’s.

 

 

 

VATICAN Pinecone

The “Pigna”; the 15 foot bronze sculpture of a pinecone that sat in front of the Old St. Peter’s Bascilica for 1,000 years before the St. Peter’s that we’re all familiar with was built. This was what a thousand years of Christian pilgrims and top dogs saw as they entered the “capital” of Christianity for a milennium. It’s now in the Vatican musuems courtyard.

 

Sfera con Augustus

Also in the Vatican museums courtyard are these two sculptures: one, the head of a colossal statue of Augustus, carved 2,000 years ago, the other, “Sfera con sfera”, decidedly 20th century.

 

THE FOREST

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In the Berkeley Hills after a night of rain, 2016.

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Virtual Reality 1: Muzik…Non Stop

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Ahh, yes.

Music.

There’s a recent author (must look this up!…update: Jennifer Sessions) who described the experience of being a SCC 222 1parent as “having a piece of yourself in someone else’s body.” ~ crxn to: “your heart running around in somebody else’s body.”

Just so, indeed!

And music, one of my favorite things, has presented an occasion that illustrates this through my little ‘uns. (Though–as the saying goes–not to little anymore.)

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I consciously connected to music when I was about 16, but coverFmy intertwining with music occurred later, beginning a little before I turned 18. Certainly within a few years I became intricately lost in it to the point that I realized the truism once stated by Mike Manumission (host of a big club in Ibiza) that “if you keep finding that you’re the last one at the party, that’s a sign you should be the one throwing the Beatles-Revolver-Sessions-2party.” This has over the years taken the form of working sales for an underground music label and dance 2002_04_17_DSCN0903_Qool copymusic distribution company, DJing, producing and hosting musically based events (nightclubs), composing and producing music and being a music journalist.

Even though I’ve made music, I’ve done so with no musical training or practice on a traditional instrument as such.

And so watching my kids both engage with music through school is just the sort of thing, IMHO, that parenting is about. That is, adding to the traits, strengths, etc that your kids SCC 222 2inherited from you with things you didn’t get or have the benefit of. In my view, this works best when it isn’t forced on them, and so it is that both kids have independently chosen to participate in music and carry on with it. Big yay!

It’s like watching a part of yourself do the thing, or maybe closer to a VR experience of the thing they’re doing since the thing they’re doing is thing beyond your own actual experience. It’s the thing you would be doing, could be doing but for circumstances. The beauty of  it is that your extensions–they get to do it, are doing it and that’s just why kids exist–are had at all.

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In short, it’s quite thrilling, life-affirming and great to see, for instance, my kid in the sort of all-school concert like I did some days ago and at which these pictures were taken.

She’s 13, now, and has been playing flute for two years. They sounded genuinely terrific.

 

 

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Some Art

 

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An artist friend of mine turned me on to an amazing mobile app several months ago that allows drawing and picture creation within a series of what you might call the parameters of digital visual rendering. I’ll explain more in another post, but for now, here are some recent things I’ve done, in two categories: Shape Ruminations and The Grid.

You really need to click on the images to see them large to see what they have to offer.

I.   Shape Ruminations

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II.   The Grid…

 

Chakras and more

Other

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01/03/2017 · 2:41 pm

90!

JD n books.jpgToday, December 20 here in 2016 my dad turns 90.

Ninety frikken years old! That’s crazy! And kinda really great too, of course.

So I thought I’d showcase some pix of the old guy.

He’s dedicated much of his life to the doing and teaching of art. I admire that. And I’m JD at WHEEL STDNTS.jpgproud of him for it.

So along with that and in the general interest of longevity and of his making it that long here on planet Earth and what he’s weathered (in the last 15 years: a heart attack, broken hips, a minor stroke and this year a major one, which he unbelievably bounced substantially back from… to say nothing of also living through Nazi bombing of England in WW-II & a harsh Catholic school education, his own stint in the army immediately after the war ended, decades of the vagueries of art sales, a black widow bite and the ups and downs of almost a century of temper tantrums and human rights rollbacks and degradations by political conservatives & the intolerant on both sides of the pond)–I offer up a WooHoo! and a happy birthday to him, born lo those many years ago on December 20, 1926.

Now for the nifty pix

The earliest picture I have of him, he was 13 when it was taken, visting, apparently, Shakespeare’s hometown. The girl to his left (on the right of the pic) is his older sister Winifred (she passed away about almost a year ago).

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Seven years later, he was in the British Army, stationed in Egypt; he’s the tall one.

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This is how I best remember him (and had the best interactions with him).

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But…we do all age, of course, and this is a more recent shot, from a few years ago, taken by my nephew.

Happy personal anniverary dude!

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