Thursday, June 16, 2011

Brochure: Franklin Classical School

Here’s a very recently-designed 4-panel brochure for the fine scholars at Franklin Classical School.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Lark Ascending

Ninety years ago today saw the premiere of this stunningly beautiful work for orchestra and solo violin by perhaps the twentieth century’s greatest composer. Ralph Vaughan Williams was inspired to compose The Lark Ascending by George Meredith's 122-line poem of the same title. Vaughan Williams first wrote the piece for violin and piano in 1914, but work on the second and more familiar orchestral version was interrupted by World War I. In fact, in a somewhat humorous episode, the composer was actually arrested on suspicion of espionage after he had been seen jotting down what someone took to be a secret code (actually musical notations for the work here considered) while observing a large troop embarkation across the English Channel at the war’s outbreak. (My own artistic endeavors have caused similar run-ins with the authorities on at least one occasion, so I can relate, though that's another story for another time.)

The dream-like beauty of the music really speaks for itself, and its accessibility makes it one of the most popular pieces of classical music around (especially in England, not surprisingly). For my part, I’m intrigued by the way it somewhat paradoxically evokes both Olde England and (by prominent use of the pentatonic scale) the Orient.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Steal Like and Artist, and Other Sound Advice

Dang, the last several weeks have just been crazy. Seeing that life, for the time being, continues to prevent me from posting much of anything of my own devising, I’ll redouble my efforts to at least, with some regularity, point out the notable contributions of others.

Blogger Austin Kleon has some really valuable insights to share in his recent post HOW TO STEAL LIKE AN ARTIST (AND 9 OTHER THINGS NOBODY TOLD ME). In the course of this thoughtful treatise he challenges a number of myths that I also have taken aim at (or at least intend to take aim at, when I find time and opportunity for a clear shot). These would especially include what I like to lampoon as The Cult of the Artiste, referring to the modern image of the artist as a radical, bohemian purveyor of strident originality, inherently superior to the rest of us mere mortals.