Friday, July 10, 2009

Events | New York :: Juana Molina at Summerstage, July 8

The Argentinian singer, songwriter and actress Juana Molina performed at Summerstage; I was really captivated by the, for me unfamiliar, music of the Argentian performer. Her hypnotic sounds integrates melodic lyrics with ambient and electronic music. Quite a discovery....

Events | New York :: Matisyahu at Summerstage on July 9

New York is a melting pot of cultures: the American Hasidic Jewish musician Matisyahu is certainly an example of blending sounds and themes coming from completely different cultures. The themes of his lyrics are from traditional Haisidic Jewish teachings mixed with reggae, rock and hip hop sounds; it is quite an unusual mix, considering that often Matisyahu (Matthew Paul Miller) alternates Hebrew and Yiddish words with English. He performed at the SummerStage after the progressive rock band Umphrey's McGee.

The Central Park outdoor theatre was crowded and enthusiastic fans were dancing at Matisyahu relentless beat. Although quite different from my memories of concerts of "classic" Jamaican reggae music filled with dreadlocks and Rastafarian beliefs, the energy was there, as my bluried snapshots suggest...

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Camminando | Pilgrimage at the Hudson River Art Trail :: 2. Cedar Grove

On Sunday I crossed the Hudson River at Rip Van Winkle Bridge for the second stop of my pilgrimage: Cedar Grove, Thomas Cole's home in the village of Catskill. Of a lesser spectacular tone than Olana, Cedar Grove presents a more intimate landscape and architectural design. The house and the garden were quite simple, in contrast with the extravagance of Frederic Church's estate.
I learned that Thomas Cole was born in 1801 in Northwestern England and emigrated with his family to the United States in 1818. Cole discovered the wilderness and beauty of the Catskill while hunting (he was 24 year old). He was primarily self-taught, but often worked with members of the Philadelphia Academy, and later became a fellow.
Cole painted The Course of Empire a five-part series of paintings in the years 1833-36, symbolizing how urbanesism will destroy the bucolic beauty and in Cole became Church's mentor.

Cole died on February 1848 in the west bedroom of Cedar Grove.

And a few photos from my pilgrimage...

Monday, July 6, 2009

Camminando | Pilgrimage at the Hudson River Art Trail :: 1. Olana

Perhaps inspired by rivisiting the Luis Bunuel's masterpiece "La Voie Lactée" , on Independence Day I started my own pilgrimage --- at the Hudson River School of Painting places.

When I started Sun Farm in 1999 I was of course aw
are of the XIX art history of the Hudson Valley. The views of the landscape, the sky, the meadows, the mountains, the clouds and dramatic changes of light portrayed by the Hudson School artists were probably in my subconscious, but deliberately I did not want to immerse myself in the same places which inspired that glorious art. Perhaps I was afraid of being influenced in my own work of recording similar landscape framing the views in time.
After thousands of photos and hundred of hours of video recording I am finally ready for the pilgrimage. I had a great start at Olana, Frederic Church's estate, Olana, overlooking the river with the spectacular views of the Catskills mountains. It was the time the sun was setting on Independence Day ---perhaps the first real summer day in the region, this year hit by so many major precipitations.

the Sun setting behind the Catskills

The Sun Setting...

...and the Moon rising

cedar fences curve in the garden outside Church's home