Tag Archives: asheville

Making Things Happen: Now Featured by WeAreJUXT

Making Things Happen by rsmithing
Making Things Happen, a photo by rsmithing on Flickr.

Two things I’ve been doing lately: travelling and listening to Beats Antique (often simultaneously). The music is, for me, a perfect mood-setter: stimulating, forward moving, and compelling without lyrics. I saw the band twice in 2012, and captured this image of Zoe Jakes at a gig in Asheville, NC. This snapshot makes the perfect foreground for this vista from above the clouds off Florida’s Gulf Coast, brought together via iPhone with the masks & textures of Photoforge2.

Update 3/3: Now Featured by WeAreJUXT

JUXT LogoBig thanks to the folks at WeAreJUXT for including this image in their weekly showcase! This is the second image of mine featured there (here’s the first) and I’m totally flattered, since they constantly and consistently highlight such great creations with insights from their creators (and I’m not just saying that because I’m there). You should definitely check out the whole JUXT site. Here’s what I say about this image over there:

My favorite art is the kind that gets the viewer to consider things in new ways. I believe that’s the most exciting thing about sharing creativity: the opportunity for a mind-expanding experience. That can happen for me through words, music, or with visual art as in the works of my favorite artists, Salvador Dalí and Jerry Uelsmann. The story behind this image is that I was on a business trip last month and happened to be in the air at just the right time to capture a glorious sunrise from above the clouds. I knew I wanted to remember the moment, but didn’t know what form that would take. This week, the vision hit me: a dancer amid the clouds with selective lighting and textures was what I wanted to make happen. I instantly thought of this silhouette image I shot last year at a show by one of my favorite bands, Beats Antique, which happen to be on heavy rotation during my recent travels. The mysterious form in the foreground is the troupe’s Zoe Jakes as shown backlit from behind a screen with exotic costume accents. The spell-casting pose along with textures, layer modes and and masking in Photoforge2 makes the mind-expansion thing happen.

Belief in the One True Power: Foto Fridays

Belief in the One True Power

Belief in the One True Power
Click for full-size at 500px

Here’s a photomontage I did recently using my iPhone and some choice apps. I was visiting the Grove Arcade in Asheville, NC a few weeks ago and noticed the sunlight looking interesting around this stairwell, so I snapped a black & white with Hipstamatic. Later in the week a gnarled tree trunk in my neighborhood caught my attention, so I snapped that.

Click to see the ingredients at Flickr

I knew I wanted to do something with the tree and the stairwell, but it looked incomplete when editing just those in Photoforge2, so I snapped a candle that happened to be burning when I was working on this. Finally, I added some texture with the TtV Photo Studio app, then some magic from the universe… and there we go.

But What Does it Mean?

The title of this image is from a lyric in a song by one of my favorite bands, The Deftones, titled, “Pink Cellphone.” It’s an airy, dark, and experimental-sounding track – qualities also applicable to this image, so I thought it was an appropriate fit. It’s not my intent to promote any belief an any kind of power whatsoever. I just like the sound of the song and the pairing with the image.

If there is any one true power as far as this kind of thing goes, it’s the brilliant photomontage work of Jerry Uelsmann. If you like my humble creation here, definitely check out his stuff. This piece in particular reflects my appreciation for his art.

Thanks to Mitzi Rice, who suggested this image for blog fodder over at Instagram. Check out her blog, Mit Lear Moments.

What do you think? Ever made a photomontage? Do you see a connection between visual art and music? Let us hear from you in the comments.

Beats Antique in Photos

Zoe Jakes of Beats Antique in Sihlouette, backlit in front of a screen onstage.

Zoe Jakes of Beats Antique – silhouette

This weekend I caught one of my favorite bands these days, Beats Antique, in concert for the second time this year at the Orange Peel in Asheville, NC.

Flyer, ticket and marquee of Beats Antique gig at The Orange Peel in Asheville, NC

Flyer, ticket and marquee of Beats Antique gig at The Orange Peel in Asheville, NC

As I’ve mentioned previously, their music is a perfect blend of exotic Eastern sounds, modern electronica, and of course… killer beats.

Zoe Jakes of Beats Antique Dancing at the beginning of a performance

Zoe Jakes of Beats Antique dancing at the beginning of the show.

These are some choice photos from the gig I took and edited via iPhone, using apps like Photoforge2 and Hipstamatic to boost the atmosphere.

Beats Antique performing onstage, in black & white.

Beats Antique: Sidecar Tommy Cappel (left), Zoe Jakes (center), David Satori (right)

Full disclosure: their PR team, The Confluence Group, emailed me asking if I’d be willing to post something about the show, which I probably would have done anyway. I’m just flattered to have been asked and am happy to promote a great act.

Zoe Jakes of Beats Antique in atmospheric lighting

Zoe Jakes of Beats Antique in atmospheric lighting

Click on any of these to see at full size, along with more Beats Antique photos I’ve taken.

Zoe in costume with antlers and flowing dress

Zoe in costume with antlers and flowing dress

Pick up the band’s music at iTunesAmazon or direct from the group on their Bandcamp page.

Chandelier at Beats Antique Gig

This chandelier was part of the band’s stage gear. I like chandeliers.

See also: Beats Antique tour dates. Definitely a fun show worth checking out if they come near your town.

David Satori in a duck mask

David Satori, in the spirit of duck, in full duck mask gear. Things get crazy toward gig’s end.

Beats Antique links: Official Site | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Soundcloud | YouTube Store
Either a Kracken, or a giant squid

Always in touch with the animal world, the band unleashed the Kraken for an encore.

What do you think? Do you take photos at concerts & edit them later? What do you think of Beats Antique? Is there a similar band worth checking out? Let us hear from you in the comments.

Real Talent: Jamie Laval

Jamie Laval Sitting

Jamie Laval Sitting, foot tapping, violinning. Click for full size.

It’s a funny thing, talent. For those who have it in abundance, especially in the arts, that’s about it. So, you’re a child prodigy writing symphonies as a teen? Yep, gonna’ die before 40. Brilliant painter? Yeah, cuttin’ yer ear off, no doubt.

But this past weekend, I had the unique experience of  attending a private concert at the home of friends to enjoy the music of Mr. Jamie Laval. Not only does he play a mean fiddle (or violin, depending on the style of music), but he manages to operate all four limbs in perfect sync to sound the beat. And not only does he achieve all that, but between tunes he illustrates the scene with wonderful detail, giving us a deeper appreciation of the material. And not only all that, but he also is a friendly, articulate guy who, by my humble estimation, has his act together. At least enough to wow everyone in attendance on this evening. From his official bio:

ONE OF THE premier Celtic violinists on the international music scene today, Jamie Laval creates rapt audiences with his intensely passionate performances of traditional music of Scotland, Ireland, Brittany and Quebec, rendered with hints of classical refinement and ethnic music from around the world. Jamie has also collaborated on numerous television, film, and CD recordings, including Dave Matthews’ Some Devil, Warner Bros. Pictures’ Wild America, and recent live performances include the NBC Today Show, as well as a private appearance for Her Majesty the Queen.

Definitely get in touch with him if you own an Irish pub, appreciate four-limbed rhythm & fiddle, or if you just want a CD. Jamie is talented, and is the real deal.


Photos by me, using Hipstamatic Nashville HipstaPak & Noir post-processing 

Jamie Laval Standing

Jamie Laval Standing. Click for full size.

 

Have you ever attended a house concert? Do you play an instrument? When is the last time you heard a song and it transported you to another time and place? Let us hear from you in the comments!