Sequoia National Park photo contest

So this surprised me this morning.

I haven’t been in a contest or competition or vied for an award for pretty much my entire adult life. It’s not my thing. In high school, my teachers entered paintings I did in school district contests without even asking (which is indirectly related to how I got accepted in to college, what with my uninspiring academic performance). I was nominated best artist in my senior year, or something like that. My main art teacher wisely vetoed the win that most people seemed to agree was mine to have, and gave it to the school paper cartoonist instead. To teach me a lesson.

It worked.

Thank you Jerry Citrin for that. Sincerely, I thank this wonderful, inspiring man many days of my life for teaching me that lesson.

On a lark, a few weeks ago, I saw the SEKI announcement about the photo contest, and figured, what the hell, throw a couple photos in the ring, and forget about it.

For a change, that’s what I did.

A friend asked what the prize is. I don’t know. I didn’t look, and I’m not concerned. I’m sure it’s cool, whatever it is.

Mainly, I’m glad to give a little something back to SEKI NPS, a place that holds some of the universe’s most beautiful secrets. Some are easy to find. Others take work and knowledge and skill, and sometimes just a touch of fearlessness. The place that yielded this photo is unseen by probably 95% of all the parks’ visitors. Simply getting there is half the photograph.

But as with all of the secrets of the mountains and forests and deserts, the getting there is its own reward, and as long as the trees will ever stand and the water will ever move, that reward precedes, and then follows, any mere photograph we might ever take.

Morton Feldman: piano music

Pre-orders of Another Timbre’s new 5 CD set of almost all of Feldman’s piano music shipped today. I’m so excited!

I’m listening to Philip Thomas’ performance of “Triadic Memories” right now. It is wonderful.

If you ordered already, access to an uninterrupted .flac of the 90 minute piece is provided. Hence, this preview.

Buy it today, directly from Another Timbre.

Everything is Political — Art.

Look, I don’t want to make everything about politics, but, as we used to say a few decades ago, everything is political.
It matters that amid all this crap that you stay engaged with creation and art.
Last Friday, I purposefully skipped The Installation. I still haven’t watched that speech, and never will.
Instead, I went back to MY safest space, which is art, and by being engaged with that, affirmed its power and hoped-for eventual permanent triumph over anti-human values.
I bookended this pivotal weekend with art.
Friday night I learned about two new artists, and heard and saw performed some of the most strikingly fresh music I’ve heard in a while:
And last night, Monday, as part of the Monday Evening Concert series, the mounting of three of Julius Eastman’s pieces.
And I swear, nothing gives me more energy and power to fight the fuckers of regression and dismay and the champions of the death-drive than music and art and bodies in creative motion, carving out an aesthetically inclusive, morally righteous, maximally just space.
It IS political.
Fight. Stay active. Call. Protest. Listen. Support your sisters and brothers whose lives and bodies are more imperiled than your own.
But don’t forget about art and creation. It is one of our mightiest pillars. Support it. Spend some of your money on it. Support foundations and grass roots arts groups. Support arts education for children and especially children in underserved communities. Support arts education for the incarcerated. Go to your local museums. Participate in free happenings.
Before there was a country, there was the voice and the drum.