Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Prince of Whales

Minke Whale Composite
Bryant Austin's amazing imagination is trumped only by his ambition to create the most intricate of portraits through communicating with our ancient oceanic geniuses. Whales are the largest mammals on this planet. They reside in our deepest depths, yet still surface to breathe the same air we do. It's mind-boggling to think that we puny homosapiens take in the same fresh O2 as the gentle giants of the sea. And sadly, we are the polluters of air, water, and dirt - the most basic combinations vital for all life to continue on. Why are we still considered the stewards of such a unique planet when we are the only multi-celled organism acting like bacteria? Hell, we can't even treat our own species with respect, kindness and love. So if the harsh reality we've concocted is to continue, without real wholesale change, how are we to deal with the pains and maltreatment that the rest of the natural world face? Are we our own worst enemy? It feels better to think about those who are still in it for the rest of the animal kingdom, because it seems to me that humans are the most inhumane and devilishly selfish creatures on Earth.

Bryant Austin in with the Geniuses. 
A saving grace within this conundrum may just be the man mentioned above. Bryant Austin is the fearless photographer who reaches out to the whales as fellow sentient beings. What he is able to do and how he is able to communicate is both intimate and haunting. He has mentioned how these encounters are based on mutual trust. These majestic and profound creatures are perhaps indicative of true grace and intelligence far beyond the reaches that we pretend to know.

Oceanographer Sylvia A. Earle says in her foreword to Austin's photo book, Beautiful Whale, "As an ambassador from the ocean - and to the ocean - Bryant Austin is not only a source of inspiration. He is cause for hope." That feeling of hope can be further aided via the Marine Mammal Conservation Through the Arts. This marine conservation non-profit's mission is to leverage the arts through media as a means of influencing positive changes - from public perception to policy. Bryant Austin is the founder and photographer who helped reveal the increased dangers and unshakable vision of a world that continues to hunt whales. Due to the response of those inspired by such efforts, MMCTA relaunched as Studio Cosmos.

An immense thanks goes out to all those who attempt and succeed at conserving the natural wonders that our planet is so blessed to encompass. I feel utterly inspired when I see Mr. Austin's work - both in a creative way and one that encourages me to become engaged in the oceans and its many lifeforms. Below is an NPR interview with Bryant. I trust that his images and words will do more to inform us while showcasing the raw awesomeness of a fellow resident of Earth. Enjoy this interview. I hope his work pushes people to become creative conservationists. All of us benefit in a world filled with immense nature and wondrous creatures. Be aware of more than just yourself.

We are NOT Alone.



P.S. I encourage you all to hit the hyper link on Bryant Austin. It's ultra-informative in terms of the process and his inspiration. What an amazing feat to be so close to the most intelligent beings.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Red Tail Ring

Perhaps more so than ever great folk music is being made, it just doesn't get the listening audience it deserves. American music is amazing, you just have to investigate beyond the top 40 lists and MTV garbage. Thanks to the musicians who crave the art of the song and the quality care it takes to craft true songs, we are lead to such newly minted music steeped in tradition. Red Tail Ring is folk with 'old time roots & new time sounds'. It's likely that this duo's knack for songwriting has them well on their way to telling stories to the masses that matter. Dare I say they are tapping into the magic of Gillian and David. I sure hope their twang and harmony are given a chance to saturate your porch. It's hard not to like something like this. They sound like summer and feel like history in its current state. Two voices, a guitar and a fiddle sure creates a sound that is both fierce and delicate. Thanks to all of the working musicians who remain unplugged. Body Like a Bell can be found on their latest Earthwork Music release, The Heart's Swift Foot.

These Michiganders will be plucking their stuff throughout the Great Lakes. If you're fortunate to live along their route I suggest you lend them your ears. Here are tour dates for Red Tail Ring.


Sunday, June 2, 2013

Radio Silence tribute to Buddy Holly

Buddy Holly tribute, June 16th, be there or be square!

Radio Silence is hosting a tribute celebration of Buddy Holly at Public Works on June 16th. The event will  begin with a reading from rock critic Greil Marcus. Thao Nguyen, of The Get Down Stay Down and Eleanor Friedberger will be performing live. There will be food trucks, a cash bar and DJ sets in addition to the live performances. Things get under way at 7:00 pm on Erie street in San Francisco.

Radio Silence is a progressive nonprofit with a volunteer staff. The creative forces within Radio Silence focus on the importance of literature and music and their connection to our culture and youth. All proceeds and donations from this event will support charity. Portions of the revenue are used to buy books and musical instruments for bay area kids. It doesn't get much better than a live benefit paying homage to a pillar of rock and roll with the aim of helping our next generation of writers and musicians. This a happen'n event for Father's Day, enjoy.