Article by Jon Bauer | SAT, JUL 13, 2019, 8:00PM – 2:00AM
Article by Jon Bauer | SAT, JUL 13, 2019, 8:00PM – 2:00AM
Article by Meaghan Alfonso | Competition 3 – SUN, MAR 24 2019, 1PM
As always, the GLAS Animation Festival brings in the most creative and experimental animated shorts to its competitions. The weekend long festival lineup consists of so many artists of different ‘languages’ of animation and personalities that you are always inspired. Aside from the Shorts Competitions, the festival also holds workshops, guest speakers, and even Nickelodeon Meet-and-Greets! To give you a taste of what the showings are all about, I’ve listed and described a few of my favorites from the Sunday showing (Competition 3):
CHIMERA by Caleb Wood
After this two minute short, I’ve decided that Caleb Wood is probably one of my new favorite animators. His weaving loops are amazingly well done, and you get engulfed by this slimy totem pole of flesh. A slow camera pan up this living gruesome, breathing thing makes you appreciate what Caleb has created here. He starts out with an unknown creature’s fetus still in its’ womb, and then we follow up this fragile creature’s umbilical cord. The scene turns from something familiar into a hybrid of multiple living beasts all feeling like they share the same heart. We also can’t forget about the sound design, by David Kamp, which ties this whole animation together. I know that most of us don’t remember the sounds of being inside a live being, though we all can recognize it. The sound starts with a heartbeat, and it’s quiet, and you feel alone in this huge space. You can hear the stretching and squishing of something, then you hear multiple creatures and lungs all trying to breathe and survive together as one being.
AGOURO by David Doutel and Vasco Sa
It is easy to appreciate all of the techniques that was used to create Agouro. The layers of oil paint creates these textures in the background and sets a specific mood for the story. It is set somewhere in the mountains during a cold, harsh winter so the neutral colors are a perfect resemblance of being in such a high altitude. Each frame of animation is colored and outlined in a messy way that makes you feel uncomfortable and aggravated, but not in a negative way. It will leave you feeling as though you need to cherish the life you have.
SOLAR WALK by Réka Bucsi (Director, Writer, and Editor)
Reka Busci’s work is so unexplainably remarkable, I don’t think explaining it will even make sense. It is bizarre, yet somewhat real. Her work is such a great blend of alien and human. She starts with these 3D shapes and then it is animated in a way that it ties into introducing the ‘main’ characters and sets the story. I love how she plays with time and space, and sometimes nothing is as what it seems. It is quite meditative and relaxing as well to watch, while the sounds and colors dance in front of you. You are following along with her into this journey of the known and unknown and it is tremendously hypnotizing.
There always seems to be an ocean of aspiration in the audience at the end, while everyone claps and stares at the big screen. These short films are a must-watch if you are at all interested in animation.
If you are unable to attend the whole weekend, the GLAS Animation Festival sells day passes and tickets for individual showings. This is my second time attending the festival and each one was such a treat. To get the full experience I suggest becoming a Pass-Holder because you get to attend some events that Non-Pass-Holder’s can’t, like the Opening Night Party and Nickelodeon’s Networking Mixer! To see what artists from around the globe have created, as well as networking with people in the industry should already be enough for you to attend every year.
From the moment you pull down 5th avenue in Wynwood on a not so chilly December night you are instantly transported into a living breathing art exhibition unlike any other. From the local artists scraping for some first time recognition on the corner to the coveted photographer with 700k instagram followers who has drawn an international audience taking up space in the chic warehouse across the street, Art Basel is not an event to miss out on.
Red Dot Miami took things up a level this year, hosted in the famed Maya Studio in the heart of Wynwood Red Dot featured over 75 galleries and 500 artists in the span of four nights. From the moment you enter the sprawling studio space the bump of some trendy New York DJ can be heard playing in the background. But before you even have the time to pull your phone out and Shazam the song you are whisked away by the sheer amount of eclectic works splayed out in front of you. As you breeze through gallery after gallery with a chilled lychee martini in hand it is hard not to get swept up in the whimsicalness of an art exhibition of such grandeur size. It was hard to remember that outside of these walls we were still in the middle of Wynwood and not at some underground art show hosted in Berlin. The sheer amount of international artists featured in this exhibition was enough to take one’s breath away. From the contemporary to classic, to down right extreme there was something for everyone’s taste at Red Dot Miami. As always Art Basel has managed to blow my mind even more than the year before. If you have yet to check out Art Basel for yourself, keep an eye out for the dates for 2019’s Art Basel to be posted.
Article by Małgorzata Stanek
Lublin’s Old Town, a bustling historic centre, is home to many outdoor events and festivals, such as the Jagiellonian Fair in mid-August. The Old Town is lined up with ancient tenements, each with its own story to tell, they show that Lublin has always been a city of writers, poets, and artists.
At the heart of this historic quarter is the main square, the market square. Located centrally is a building known as the Crown Tribunal, dating back to the 14th century. The building has served many functions over the years. It was a town hall, then the crown tribunal. Today, it serves as a wedding palace and it’s also the entrance to the Lublin Underground Route.
The main streets fork from here. There are several entryways to the quarter: the Cracow Gate, the Trinity Gate, and the Grodzka Gate. The Cracow Gate is one of the most recognizable monuments of the city. It was a part of 14th century fortifications. It houses Lublin History Museum. The Trinity Tower is one of the highest viewing spots in the city. If you are not afraid of heights and love great panoramas, this is a good place to start hunting for great vistas of the city.
Maria Wirtemberska (15 March 1768 – 21 October 1854), was a Polish noble, writer, and philanthropist. In 1816 she published Malvina, or the Heart’s Intuition, considered Poland’s first psychological novel. [Wikipedia]
Adam Bernard Mickiewicz (24 December 1798 – 26 November 1855) was a Polish poet, dramatist, essayist, publicist, translator, professor of Slavic literature, and political activist. He is regarded as national poet in Poland, Lithuania and Belarus. A principal figure in Polish Romanticism, he is counted as one of Poland’s “Three Bards” (“Trzej Wieszcze”) and is widely regarded as Poland’s greatest poet. He is also considered one of the greatest Slavic and European poets and has been dubbed a “Slavic bard”. A leading Romantic dramatist, he has been compared in Poland and Europe to Byron and Goethe. [Wikipedia]
Julian Fałat (30 July 1853 – 9 July 1929) was one of the most prolific Polish painters of watercolor and one of the country’s foremost landscape painters as well as one of the leading Polish impressionists. [Wikipedia]
Article by Małgorzata Stanek
Still in the world, but not of the world
– Adam Mickiewicz from Dziady (“Forefather’s Eve”)
November is a month of solemn and important celebrations in Poland. November 11 is Polish Independence Day and early November is dedicated to honoring the departed. Specifically, November 2 is All Souls’ Day called Zaduszki in Polish. Zaduszki can be translated as “a day of prayer for the souls”. The eve of this holiday is known as All Saints’ Day. On these two days families visit the graves of the departed, lay flowers and light up candles. The cemeteries emanate otherworldly and solemn beauty as the sea of candles flickers as far as the eye can see. The words of Polish Romantic poet, Adam Mickiewicz from Dziady (“Forefather’s Eve”), aptly capture this atmosphere: “still in the world, but not of the world”. There are many folk traditions related to Zaduszki. It is said that on this day the spirits of our forefathers come to inhabit the world once more.
Thus, on November 2 in Lublin, an interesting annual event, now in its third year, is held. Translated roughly into English as “Souls ardently in tears”, it is an open gathering for singing traditional songs accompanying death.
The gathering is open to all, regardless of singing abilities. You are given a singing book – which you can pay for what you will – a token to help the organizers cover their costs. The songs come from traditional repertoire and speak about death and what comes after, they offer a moment to meditate on death and mortality. The lyrics are characterized by solemn beauty. There’s a distinctly poetic feel to them that sweeps you into their meditative mood.
The songs deal with a sense of paltriness of worldly things, show the departing soul saying farewell to their family, the village – they give voice to the dead. Some of the songs are prayers for them. However, the organizers say that while singing the songs, they also think about the living, to help them go through difficult moments. One of the organizers thus speaks about the songs: “They are very varied. Some talk about death in a literal way, reminding us about the decomposition which awaits us at the end; other use more delicate comparisons, focusing on the spiritual side of the process. It’s interesting that melodies which are used for these songs aren’t always as clam or sad as you might think. Frequently, we encounter dance tunes and only the lyrics remind us that it’s a song about a death. I think that this ambiguity and changeability of “moods” makes people want to get to know more songs. Every song brings in something new, even though it deals with a subject as old as death.
The group gathered in the cemetery filled with ancient graves – the resting places of people who came before us and are a part of the history of every day. The singing began right after dark. The voices carried above the lit-up graves, resonating with honesty and the sombre mood of the moment.
Even if your own individual singing isn’t particularly good, the group’s shared voice sweeps you away and your voice melts into the others. You distinctly feel a part of a community, it is a strongly shared experience. The organizers highlight that it is an important aspect. One of the initiators of the event recalls that he had to sing such songs alone on the occasion of one funeral he attended and that it’s really difficult because one singer focuses all the ritual tension on him or herself. For this reason, community is important. Moreover, the group of attendees increases every year and the sense that singing gathering rather than a concert becomes stronger every year – say the organizers. And even if your singing might not be the best, when it joins the others, what in the end comes through is one voice, singing as one, in honor of the dead. It’s a strongly reflective and moving experience.
Article by Natalie Wiser
Based on the 2007 movie directed by Adrienne Shelly, enter a small town the deep south, where our heroine Jenna is stuck in a bad marriage, working overtime at a diner, and just found out she is pregnant. The one thing that keeps her going is her gift of baking pies. She can take any problem in her life and turn it into a delicious dessert that everyone loves. With the help of her coworkers at the diner, she is determined to win the national pie competition and get enough money for her and her new baby as a last attempt at happiness. However, she faces many challenges along the way, including a doctor who is new in town.
My take: this musical is exactly what you would expect in a musical. It’s fun, it’s heartwarming, and the songs will keep your toe tapping through the whole show. While it could be overly-cheesy at times, it still didn’t fail to make me laugh along with the characters and feel what they were feeling. What I liked most was that characters were well-written and real. They were dealing with real challenges that others in the audience might be facing.
The cast at SHN Golden Gate Theatre was extremely talented. Although I wish I was able to see Sara perform it herself, Christine Dwyer gave her own unique take on Jenna and performed flawlessly. My favorite character was Dawn, who was played by Jessie Shelton. Even though she had only one solo song, she sounded incredible. Not to mention she made it seem like she was a true American Revolution enthusiast.
Article by Natalie Wiser
If you’re looking to be amazed by raw talent, real music, and lots of witty banter, be sure not to miss the musical duo of EVAN + ZANE! featuring Evan Rachel Wood, actress in the HBO series Westworld and movie musical Across the Universe, and Zane Carney, guitarist for John Mayer, U2, Spider-Man on Broadway, and more.
On Monday (October 29, 2018), EVAN + ZANE came through my city of San Francisco and performed at the Great American Music Hall. I will say I was a bit tired and worn down from a tough workday. Fortunately, this show turned my whole mood around.
It was my first time at the venue, which has such a unique and intimate charm as a music venue. Evan + Zane simply walked onstage: no introduction or opening acts. As they welcomed the crowd, they jumped right into the music immediately afterward. Their set was Halloween themed and they covered lots of spooky Halloween favorites.
One of my favorite aspects about their set was that the first half was heavy on long guitar interludes. Zane is absolutely incredible! I wasn’t as familiar with him before the show and I was astounded on how fast his fingers move. He is brilliant and was nice enough to give us a mini music theory lesson on parallel minor chords. You could tell how passionate and knowledgeable he was about his craft.
Evan was equally amazing. She sounded like a 1920’s jazz club singer mixed with Gwen Stefani. I knew of her as an actress on Westworld and quickly realized she is just as good of a singer as she is an actress! Truly a double-threat. What I enjoyed most about Evan’s performance is that she took on the persona of the singer of each song they covered. While she kept her own personal flair, she really sounded like Dolores O’Riordan from the Cranberries when they covered “Zombie.”
My favorite aspect about this whole event is that Evan + Zane were so real and down to earth. They decided to throw in a last-minute song after the first half just for fun, and they still sounded amazing! The audience cheered for an encore and they told us that they played all of the songs they knew already. We got to hear them sight-read “Creep” by Radiohead, which again was still incredible. Oftentimes, I feel that concerts these days can be so artificial and focus more on the show than the music. This concert definitely was not that.
Overall it was a fantastic show. I hope they come back to San Francisco soon. Make sure you are able to check them out next time they come to your city!
Article by Miranda Caravalho
Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana – MACLA is a squat building on the tail end of the SOFA District in San Jose that’s painted in shades of steel grey and fluorescent pink. In the first half of the building you’d find the headquarters for MACLA’s programs, from which over 30,000 children, families and young adult get indispensable experience in visual, performing and literary art. But if you go past the first set of doors and onto the second, you’ll find MACLA’s studio with their current solo exhibition: Carlos Rólon’s Classic Tracks: Migrating Rhythms.
Enter the room. It’s not big, but it’s very open, with white walls and vaulted ceilings. But most of the white has been covered up by a mosaic of vinyl record covers, affixed to the wall in lines of faces and names that tower up to make a barricade. They’re mostly Spanish artists. Perhaps you recognize some of these album.
The room can be easily experienced in about twenty minutes. You can circle slowly around the murals and the checkerboard walls of record covers, or maybe stand in strange reverence in front of the sculpture made from working speakers. Or maybe you stray to the back of the exhibit and discover the small party that awaits there.
It’s a traditional travel cart with a spinning disco ball hanging from the woven roof and casting moving fish scales of light across the walls. And below that, embedded into the wood of the cart, is a turntable. There are more covers in small shelves, Ray Barretto, Roberto Blades, and De Todo Un Poco. It’s a weird intimacy, as if you’ve broken into someone’s house for the sole purpose of leafing through their music collection. Eventually you find the record that’s already placed on the turntable – Prince’s Purple Rain.
Play it. Turn it to side B and put it on the blank space in between “When Dove’s Cry” and “I Would Die 4 You”. With such a small space the music fills the room in a massive wave of sound. Others might stop to look, and some might even twist their faces slightly at the sudden noise. Or maybe you’re alone, just you and Prince.
I hope thats the case. I hope you’re alone with the music as your eyes drift again across the towering walls of album covers. These are the songs and artists brought from the culture of migrating immigrants. Every album has countless memories stuck to them like ghosts. A record that may mean nothing to you may have been someone’s first dance at their wedding. It could’ve been what their mother sang to them as a child, or what they heard through a open window as they left their home for the very last time.
When you’re immigrating you’re leaving everything you’ve ever known behind. But the things you’re able to take with you – your music, your clothes, your food and your language – that becomes the type of home that lives in your blood.
My grandmother is a first generation immigrant that spent time as an infant in a Japanese internment camp. Her parents refused to teach her or her siblings Japanese, and when their radio was on it was almost always playing country-western music. With the politics of the time they thought it would be best to keep their heads down and make a new life for themselves.
But when I was a child, she used to take me to the annual Cherry Blossom Festival held in San Jose, where I’d eat shaved ice and pet the dogs under clouds of pink petals. And even now she still makes inari sushi better than any restaurant I’ve ever been to. It’s impossible to miss – she’s definitely held onto something.
And what about you? Do you remember the meals your family made, the ones you learned to make yourself and for your loved ones? Think about the words you spoke to each other, the ones of sorrow and joy, and the stories told to you at night when you couldn’t sleep. And maybe it was a rainy morning, or starry night, or a warm afternoon like the one it was right now – but there was music, wasn’t there. Whether it was a radio or the tinny headphones of an old walkman, it was there and it left a shadow on your heart.
That’s not what’s playing now, though. Right now the synth of Prince is fading, and before the next track starts you lift the needle and put it back in its place. And with nothing else to explore you walk back out into the day, the words that song in your head making your mouth shift into long-lost shapes.
Article by Khatija Hussain | Photos by Jessie Hammans
After the Storm is written by Ademola Adeniji and directed by Sally Barnard, the show was held at Willesden Green Library Performance Space from Friday-Sunday, 5-7 October.
After the war, the hardworking men and women in England return to work and try to live normally but with the aftermath of the war, it is hard for those to recover. A time where racism is high and the men and women taken from their homes (the colonised countries) to fight in the war are mistreated just because of the colour of their skin.
After the storm portrays the life of a young man Okoli Madu, mainly known as Madu, returns from war in 1919 from the western front. He served in the British army as a paramedic in the great war, using his knowledge and resources to heal the wounded soldiers. Madu returns to live with his sister Joke, she charges him £1 per month for rent, he is astonished but is willing to pay once he gets a job.
Madu tries to find a job, but is shunned away as his paperwork is not accepted in the United Kingdom – although he was bought by the British from his country to take part in the war. He is told to come back the next week to find a job. It has been three months and Madu owes Joke £3. He leaves her home to eat in a café but is refused service because of the colour of his skin.
Angry at the treatment he has received since the war ended, Madu and his brother Kofe decide to write to the government about the racial injustice and vile treatments black people have been receiving in London. Kofe says to his brother “The colour of our skin was not an issue during the war”.
Riots have started, by white men and women who believe they have unfair treatment and that the “other” people have been taking their jobs. Madu and Kofe campaign for their people and want justice and equality and to be acknowledged that they took part in the war for the British army. But with the struggles they face, will they get the justice they fight for?
The actors’ performances were groundbreakingly fantastic, excellent and touching. Madu’s character, the main lead bought so much depth to each scene and the expressions of hurt, anger and despair was portrayed beautifully. It made me believe and understand what it would be like to be in his shoes. Joke and Kofe’s characters were exceptional, the actors never once broke out of their role, when interacting with the crowd for one scene, I felt I was talking to the characters themselves and that I was part of the delegation. Waja, is a wounded soldier who has been kept in the hospital as he sees painful memories of his fallen soldiers. His character was played so beautifully, the hurt and torment the actor portrayed was extraordinary. From the judge, to the actors who played the rioters, each actor bought something unique to each role, I felt remorse and sorrow for the characters suffering, yet could understand each emotion they portrayed. A brilliant performance by an outstanding cast.
I was moved and loved the performance, I came again for the Sunday show and surprisingly got to play a small part when the recruiter shouted, “Next!” and looked at me in the crowd. It was frightening but exciting to be part of something amazing.
Ademola Adeniji was inspired to write his play by his research on the 1919 riots and the aspect and treatment of black people after the war. The play has been part of a Brent museum exhibition that showcases through January to October. After the Storm is the last part of this project. Learning through the Arts has more upcoming projects soon.
This play brings an important message that needs to be heard. It opens our eyes that racism and the terrible treatment needs to be changed and something has to be done, even today racism is an ongoing problem and needs to be stopped.
Article by Jon Bauer
In a castle in the San Fernando Valley lies the lair of music icon Gary Numan. Outside is an enormous statue of a dragon, inside a St. Bernard (almost as large) greets you on arrival. He’s a new addition to the family – a rescue pup, and huge. The lord of this manor could be as outwardly intimidating as this entire set-up, but he’s a humble presence. Notorious for hits such as ‘Are ‘Friends’ Electric?’ and ‘Cars’, Numan’s early career was too often misconstrued, tainted by a sometimes fraught relationship with the media and challenged by the hostility of the music industry at the time, still deeply committed as it was to the guitar, bass, drums approach of old. Numan, however, stuck to his guns, outlasted his naysayers, and became renowned not just as a pioneer but as an institution. Today, with a career that has spanned nearly four decades, his approach to electronic music remains an inspiration to artists across genres and eras, from stadium goliaths such as Depeche Mode, Prince and Nine Inch Nails to alternative heroes such as Beck, Damon Albarn and Marilyn Manson. Even Kanye West owes him a debt and David Bowie once credited him with ‘ writing two of the finest songs’ in British music. It’s no surprise he recently received the Ivor Novello Award for Inspiration.
Named after a skateboard movie from an 80’s skate film, Los Angeles band Nightmare Air emphasizes sonic momentum, during both live performances and in the studio.
Nightmare Air’s Dave Dupuis, a veteran of L.A. shoegazers Film School (Beggars Banquet Records), and Swaan Miller, whose stark acoustic album on Important Records melted hearts and faces everywhere, meticulously layer boy-girl harmonies, pulsing pop synths, psych noise loops and glam soaked walls of guitars. Add to that Detroit heavy hitter Jimmy Lucido on the drums (The Strays / TVT records) in their combined years of touring, these road veterans have supported heavyweights from Smashing Pumpkins to the The Jesus and Mary Chain. Headlining clubs and playing festivals around the world Nightmare Air have shared stages with The Kills, The Dandy Warhols, Teenage Fanclub, Cat Power, The Black Lips, The Soft Moon, No Age, The Wedding Present, The Buzzcocks, Ringo Deathstarr, Fishbone, The Cult and many more.