Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Berlin Horse: Brian Eno and Malcolm Le Grice

Saturday, July 9th, 2011

Brian Eno’s earliest publicly available recorded work is the soundtrack to Malcolm Le Grice’s Berlin Horse (1970). Berlin Horse was Malcolm Le Grice’s first full-length experiment with the manipulation of film images, for which he combined a sixteen millimeter black-and-white film of his own footage showing nothing but a horse being lunged with fragments of The Burning Barn (1900) by the important British film pioneer Cecil Milton Hepworth.—from More Dark Than Shark

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YellowFever Live at the Whitney

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

YellowFever is a duo from Texas; while I was checking out the Dan Graham show they came in to play one of the Friday Night “Live At The Whitney” concerts; I had to watch from above the stage on the balcony because the space was packed and the museum guards wouldn’t let me draw while standing on the stairwell.

YellowFever 1

YellowFever 2

People lining up at the Whitney entrance:

Whitney Entrance YellowFever

Whitney ArtOMat

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Bastille Day Drawings

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

During a bicycle ride through TriBeCa today, I came across some Bastille Day festivities on West Broadway, where a large crowd had gathered to play petanque on a sand court set up for that purpose in the street.  There was a brass band playing music and a petanque tournament was in progress when I arrived, in front of the Cercle Rouge Brasserie, a French Bistro that is apparently named after the 1970 movie, Le Cercle Rouge.

Bastille Day 3This Petanque player’s energy was an amazing thing to behold; my drawing does not fully convey the intensity of his focus as he took his position to make his shots.  The other players were much younger than him, mostly college kids, jostling each other and laughing, their energy loose and scattered by comparison.  This man became completely rooted to the ground when he lined up to shoot:  his gaze penetrating and precise as he bent slightly at the waist, his right hand poised for a moment like a discus thrower in an olympiad.  I could almost feel the line of force radiating out from his face across the court.  He was good, too:  his boule frequently landed within an inch or two of the jack.  After finishing a round, he would take a drag off of a little cigarillo before casting the circle for the next shot, saying nothing the whole time.  Petanque, I recently discovered, actually means anchored feet.

Bastille Day 6On 10th Avenue and 20th Street, right on the edge of the Chelsea Art District, this accordionist was busking on the corner, his back turned towards the avenue, facing the parking garage that sits nearby.  I noticed him as much for his outfit as his music:  he wore a helmet modeled after a Star Wars character the entire time that he was playing.  He would not remove the helmet even to wipe his face (it was a bit warm outside), but instead would deftly lift the mask partially away and run his hand underneath:  I wondered if perhaps he was trying to conceal his identity.  At one point he began playing a Philip Glass theme that I recognized, then segued abruptly into La Marseillaise and the theme from Star Wars.  He was still there when I rode by again an hour later, groups of art tourists walking by tossing money into his open case.Bastille Day 4

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Alex Simon Group at Ceol

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

I heard the Alex Simon Group playing “Gypsy Jazz” last night at Ceol, my favorite Irish Pub, on Smith Street in Brooklyn.  Their version of  “Bouncing Around,” (first recorded by Django Reinhardt) is one of the best I’ve heard; their guitars even resemble the Maccaferi that Django liked to play:

Guitar Player Alex Simonguitar player ted


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Nicole Hale in Brooklyn

Monday, June 15th, 2009

Nicole Hale

This quick sketch in my pocket Moleskine notebook does not do justice to the voice and music of this beautiful songbird that recently arrived in New York City from Arizona.  I found Nicole Hale playing her accordion and singing in Cobble Hill on Warren and Court Street in front of the Community Bookstore today.  When I came back about an hour later with my large sketchbook, hoping to get a better drawing done and hear some more great music, I was too late:  she’d already moved on, just in time to miss a heavy downpour of rain.  I did get a nice CD recording of her playing both guitar and accordion; Nicole’s website is at:

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