“Stravinsky is waiting…”

I love this video clip. It is of a moment when Julian Bream has maneuvered himself into a meeting with Stravinsky. As you can see, one had to catch Stravinsky whenever and wherever one could, and Bream takes what opportunity he could find.

The apparent psycho-emotional dynamics of this meeting are also interesting. Bream, who is undoubtedly a master musician, is still nervous and desirous of approval from someone of such eminence as Stravinsky. And Stravinsky gives some “story” of always being too busy in order to not commit anything. But then he shows real interest in Bream’s playing. Kudos to Bream for being so bold.

Vintage psychedelia by Ryan Larkin

Two more psychedelic classics from animator Ryan Larkin. As I watch these pieces I can’t help but think how wonderful it is that Larkin turned his amazing artistic talents to the hard work of animation. I wish more artists would do so.

Walking (1968)

Street Musique (1975)

These films bring back many vague but good memories of the aesthetics of my youth, that is, I seem to remember the cool, funky, colorful, and exploratory art of the late sixties and early seventies that these films exemplify. I miss that period, but I also am glad we have moved on. I am also reminded that Larkin did these films by hand: each frame is an actual drawing or painting on paper or canvas—no computers, no cgi, just one photograph taken for every 1/24 of a second of finished film.

>Bluegrass time capsule

>This is a clip from a film on American bluegrass culture – its music, its dance, and the people who created it. I love being able to find gems like this.

Here is the blurb about this piece:

Way back in 1964, New York filmmaker, David Hoffman was headed down with his new 16mm hand help camera (weight 49 lbs!) to spend three weeks driving the backcountry around Madison County, North Carolina, in the center of Appalachia, with the 82 year old founder of the pioneer Asheville Mountain Music and Dance Festival, Bascom Lamar Lunsford. The resulting film, “Bluegrass Roots” lets you hear and experience the hard scrabbling, dirt road real people sounds that dominated the back country of the southern mountains 40 years ago. It presents a string of the most extraordinary singers, players and dancers the BlueGrass Mountains had to offer. Many later became famous. Some were never heard from again. Most of the songs are classics, including Lunsford’s own tune, “Mountain Dew.” This scene was filmed at Bascom’s home with a local dance group came to dance in Bascom’s living room.

When this film aired on Public Television in 1965, TV Guide gave it a full-page positive review, because Americans had never seen a documentary on the roots of Bluegrass and Country music. Today, the dirt roads and the moonshine counties are largely modernized, and Bluegrass Roots, stands as a record of a uniquely talented group of people at a time just before the coming of television, changed them.

More can be found at the film’s official web site.