The Tate Modern (Modigliani and Kabakov) Jan, 2018

Third time to visit the Modigliani and Kabakov exhibits at the Tate Modern. As the shows both come to the end the crowds have gotten heavier.

The Kabokov comes from the heart of the soviet era, but is situated clearly in outsider territory. Lacking in quality supplies they often made do with what they had, and possibly (it seems to me, anyway) because the lack of material inhibited fast action, they rushed headlong into conceptual art. This sometimes forced the ideas themselves to become the central focus of the work, sometimes to the extent that the work itself remains a plan or a story bereft of its physical manifestations.  They still managed to create a huge portfolio of very real, very concise artwork including large room installations, ceiling high scaffolded ladders to the angels, life-size trolley facades and a spiralling maze of Soviet pseudo folk stories.

I once again didn’t spend as much time reading as I’d have liked. The long hall needs time and several visits. The books were still off-limits.


The Modigliani on the other hand came at a time when most of the avant garde (not official, but the forefront of the time) had established a firm home in Europe. Modigliani came and absorbed everyone and everything in sight, The influence of his peers is pushed to the fore of his canvases. Portraits of the artists that reify those persons’ most salient idioms show that most clearly. His love of feminine form overshadows everything he does.


Personal reflections:

Modigliani’s overt and enthusiastic display of how his friends and cohorts helped to develop his style is something I need to welcome into my own process. I often shy away from it if I recognize it too early in the game.

I’ve been listening to this a bit, Adrian Moore’s Séquences et tropes. Maybe I’ll hear it in my own work this time.

 (cover art, as always, Adrian Moore)

Reflecting on dreams …

“It is necessary to refute the idea that the dominant ideology in our country even today is freedom and equality while racism is just an occasional departure from the norm on the part of a few bigoted extremists.”
_ MLK, Jr

Space and Finding Place

An almost interesting side note after the last dreary entry. I’ve narrowed my focus (or ‘depth of field’ if you will) to working with spatial movement in the sources I’ve already got in the mix. I’ve been pushing some sounds to the rear of the soundstage and see how others move forward and back. It’s shaping up better. I didn’t realise I was anywhere near ready for that, but it sounds like it’s the only way forward.

Much nicer day

Paper Progress

It’s not quite what it sounds like. It’s not a paper, but it’s a piece made with paper samples. Also, it hasn’t really progressed in a while. That said, I just ran across some beautiful little spectral manipulations I made a long time ago using the butcher paper, Cecilia5 and ixiQuarks. I think they’ll be replacing some of the high frequency content near the start. There are quite a few spots  there that I’m not happy with, starting with the transitions from the low, thunderous rolling sounds to when the chirps and wide-band pulse clusters (crunchy things) start accumulating.


Final? Website update

As far as design goes, I think I’ve settled. Tweaking colours will happen forever, and of course, or at least I hope, continuous additions of music. One day the integration with the music pages via BandCamp will have to be improved, but I’m hoping that means being able to adjust the Bandcamp side.

I like the frame. At first I was disappointed that it makes it more like other pages, but in the end it serves to mesh better with the average pages out there. There is also the added benefit of leaving the colour rotation relegated to the background and stabilising the page’s main cell. The colour shift is much slower and it makes the central frame seem to change, but it’s the effect of “local colour” and how it shifts perception.


Illusory upgrades

I was really excited that the new Mastering Audio course included some precision converters and finally some proper art-music quality monitors; a pair of ATC 110.
I had two orientations to the new kit, one quicky, and then a more in-depth one  today and found out that the upgrades I was most excited about wouldn’t be available for anything I was doing (yet).  The supposedly (and really, they are) god-like digital to audio converters wouldn’t be accessible to any of my composition software. I’d be shoving bits through the ProTool/AVID system. The hardware EQ and compressors won’t be routed from there, so I’m left with the only real upgrade being the speakers. Those monitors are nothing to sneeze at but I have a pair of ATC at home and they’re in the same ballgame as the new ones, and my converters are easily better than the PT/Avid. The room is, of course better than mine but it’s not enough reason to relocate the work I’m doing.

It’s still a significant step forward for the department. I think everyone is pretty excited overall. The mastering course still stands out as a great leap forward. I’ll be auditing that, as will at least two of my colleagues. We’re getting a shiny new skillset.

When the composition is done and the stems are ready, then I’ll move it into the new system.

Hurrah! Still working from home!