Gamelan Music

Great Show! I love indigenous music, and this introduced me to something I had never experienced before! The string instruments might have been my favorite. I really thought it was so interesting that no 2 bands are the same that they all have their own unique musical style, perspective and sound.

Blood Wedding

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I walked into the theater at Mira Costa College and sat down to watch “Blood Wedding”. All I knew was that it was a very famous Spanish play that had been translated, oh, and it was 3 hours long. Yeesh. It was, interesting. I think I would have enjoyed it more if it was either actually in Spanish, or possibly put on by a different troupe of performers. The plot was interesting, although I do think I got lost somewhere where a man who I think was supposed to be the moon and an old hag, who I think was supposed to be death, appeared in the woods and started more then one really long monologues.

 The story itself is what struck me. The idea of a love given up, but one that cannot be quenched, a passion that burns so much that one cannot or get the other. For them it ends tragically, passionately but tragically. She runs away with the love of her life, and that ends his, and ultimately the husband she leaves to run away with her beloved. She ends up alone, with no love, jilted or otherwise. It makes me pause, and ponder what the lesson I could take from this story is, maybe because I can relate to that certainty of love without control of the outcome. The letting go and trying to move on is what made me pause. That is my lesson from this. All of the brides heartbreak, all of the families heartache and pain, could have been avoided. If only the to lovers had been true to their feelings in the beginning, been honest with themselves, and recognized that they belonged together. If they had, they could have only destroyed themselves, or ended happily, either way the innocent parties that were most damaged in the end would have been spared all of the heartache and pain and might have been able to live the lives they were really supposed to. But that wouldn’t make a very good play I suppose.    

 

IT’S PAN TIME!

Kel’i Ross-Mau is an incredibly talented musician, and a dear friend of mine. He owns a steel drum school in carlsbad, Kainga music, travels the world with his fathers band, Fula Bula, and has moonlighted on stage with reggae greats like Groundation and Cha-Li Tuna of Jurassic 5. He plays guitar, drums, steel drum, and piano, in addition to successfully composing works of his own for the steel drum orchestra. 

For the past few years he has put on a lecture at Cal State San Marcos to view his documentary, and allow the audience a small concert and taste of what steel drum music is. The documentary guide the audience through Kel’i’s trip to Tobago and Trinidad during his time at Trinity College in 2004. In it, we see Kel’i practice and perform with “panberri” a steel drum orchestra, consisting of hundreds of locals, at the annual celebration and contest held at Carnival. Each year, Trinidad has a natioal competition for steel drum bands called, “Panorama” where hundreds of bads gather from all over the island nation to compete. Kel’i became a member of one of these groups. Not only did he become a memeber and compete, he also composed 2 original pices for the orchestra to perform, which the audience sees at the end of the film.

Throughout the film I was struck by how tightnit the community really is. The orchestra seems like a real family, with members running the whole gambit of age groups, and family and friends as a daily audience seemed like a natural and important part of practice for the group. They all appeared to be having so much FUN! Like the music was in them and playing and practicing it was just an easy and normal thing to do. I loved the sense of community that the film brought to light.

The concert after just continued in that spirit. The Kainga music school showed up almost in its entirety. There were performers of every group and ethnicity, and they just appeared to love what they were doing! 

MOPA and Matthew Brandt

As i walked through Balboa park and into MOPA, I had no idea whatI was about to experience. I love modern art, pop art, the mixed media and political projects that artists today really inspire my thinking. However, I have never been able to really connect with landscapes or photographers who simply take pictures of what I presume are random street scenes or people. I love when a peice makes you double take, makes you think and learn something. That is exactly what some of those pieces did. 

     Matthew Brants’ large piece when you first walked in immediatly struck me. I loved that you could look at it a hundred different ways, and still see and feel something new. I really liked the way that he took the photo and then added the elememt of not only destruction, but texture, by soaking them in the lake water at the spot that they were taken. As I walked further in and noticed the other artists, I couldnt help but wander back towards his work. It seemed to abstract and yet made sense at the same time. Some appearered to be looking through a window of a destroed photgraph to the peacful surroundings of a lake. But at another glance you can see the texture and distortion that the lake water created making it feel different, less peacful, more destructive. Which then got my mind roaming along the lines of, pollution, deforestation, and what all of these photographs could really mean to someone with that point of view. The artistmay not have intended it, but the thought of what different lake water could do to a negative or photo and the way the trees and serenity seemed to be dispearing rom destruction in the photographs, really got me to thinking about what destruction is really happening in those places. Are those places in danger of deforestation? What are the pollution levels out there? How many species of plants and animals are disapearing in those areas. I really like and gravitate to art thatmakes me want to go home and learn more. Image 

UFO Rough cut

I really enjoyed the rough cut. It was definitely choppy, but thought provoking and interesting at the same time.  I really like the contrast between the new footage and the old quotes, and the twilight zone-esque styling of the tv playing scenes in the desert. I didn’t realize what a huge counter culture there was out there. I would definitely like to know more about that.

Frida and I.

“Take a lover who looks at you like maybe you are magic.” -Frida Kahlo

I love that quote. Every woman, every person, in fact should feel that way about the lover in their life. I think that is why, no matter what happened between Diego and Frida, they ended up together. Physical passion is fleeting and ever-changing, but the spiritual connection, the thing that makes the physical different, that’s the magic. The cinematography in this film is what I really gravitated towards. The color, the brightness of even the most devastating moments of Fridas life helped to me to understand how she continued on in the wake of almost constant tragedy and disappointment. Her life was bright. Thats the only way I could think to describe it. So full of passion. Passion for life, for love, art family, even passion for the dramatic. The film really shows that. It shows that her art was always a piece of her, and not just in its choice of subject. The vivid color and texture and even magnitude (whether large or small) was always a reflection of who she was in that moment. And even that was changing in small ways, from exuberant school girl, full of dreams, to cripple, to lover and wife, to struggling adult successful artist and finally dying women and everything she was in between, we see all of that, her whole life, in her work. I admire that vulnerability, honesty and bravery.