Since no one hacked into my computer to read the stories I wasn’t submitting or peered through my living room window in the hopes of finding some insecure writer slugging it out with her laptop, the only way I was going to participate in a live reading series was if I bum-rushed the stage. Or started my own.
Artists in Conversation:
Your art may have a lot a meaning for the queer community. This is one kind of success. Just as queer folk don’t devour strictly queer fare, neither should your art feed only the queer set. You will get further, faster, if you have something to say to the broader audience.
The gut contains more neurotransmitters than the brain. Food is information, not just calories. When I was feeding my gut with crappy Sour Patch Kids and Big Gulps, I was sending a message to my brain to feel like crap, too. When I started treating my belly with the same care as my brain, powerful productivity changes happened.
When I wrote this piece, I was still making music with a band called Leaves. I always felt like the guys in Leaves played this song beautifully, but the band broke up before we had a chance to record it. Since then I recorded this song a few different times with a few different bands.
I wrote this song the night before an audition for a play addressing crime in Chicago. I was driving home and began to think about what to write. I didn’t know anything about crime in my city, so I began to pray and ask God His perspective on this seemingly hopeless issue.
“Death & Taxes” was originally written for Black Umbrella Brigade (a rock band I’m in). Our singer wanted a danceable, instrumental song, so I brought in this idea for an angular funk jam. It was too hip for the room, though, and we never performed it.
This song has the usual rock and roll theme: trying to get through to a woman. This song has a minor-key, quiet-loud-quiet flavor and some lyrics in Spanish. My mother's family is from Puerto Rico. Spanish phonology can be very forgiving when writing lyrics. Lots of attractive vowels.
The hardest part about writing and arranging for a larger ensemble is deciding when to employ every instrument, which produces a huge sound, and when to value dynamics through the utilization of only a few instruments.
As a saxophonist, I have always loved the challenge of expressing moods, emotions and feelings with out using words. Bending the pitch of the notes, vibrato, false fingerings can all help shade the saxophone's notes, but heart and feeling is always king.
The initial elements of this tune came together my first Thanksgiving out of college; I was playing chords on an upright Kimball piano in my grandmother’s living room in Oak Park, Illinois. The title reflects that time of year when we were always in Chicago.
Music is an intention. It is thought directed toward manifesting the essence of an experience. Meditating upon music is like meditating on a symbol: it can often inspire other forms to arise in the mind and dip into a wealth of information associated with that symbol.
I'd been thinking about "Mystic" awhile before presenting it to the band. I wanted to record it while the song was very fresh, so its innocent and searching qualities remained intact. To this end we didn't perform it live until after it was recorded.
I believe that few people who consider themselves musicians are really interested in performing for a living. I attribute this to the pervasive myth that there is no value in music as a profession. Too often musicians will play for exposure or for free or for the price of admission without any guarantee.
Although his design work has made him one of the most sought-after sound designers in the city, Nick Keenan has also become something of a guru for arts organizations looking to expand or improve their web presence.
In 2008, a series of events unfolded that eventually led me to the artistic opportunity of a lifetime. I'm a teacher at Columbia College Chicago and until recently, the Artist in Residence at the Oak Park Police Department. Competition for traditional residencies is fierce and wanting to find meaningful work that interested me, I thought about how to use my art to contribute to my community.
Well everyone it was a great and extremely hot summer, and unfortunately it’s coming to an end. Your band has played at a music fest or two, you’ve sold some art at a few craft fairs or your film premiered at a film festival, all and all it has been a very busy and very productive summer.
The Chicago Park District offers arts programming in two forms: cultural events and instructional programs. Carol J. Mayer discusses the CPD's Arts Partners in Residence Program as well as other opportunities for artists in Chicago's parks and explains how you can get involved.
As cities and communities make plans for economic development and poverty alleviation in the aftermath of the Great Recession, there is growing interest in how public and private investments in the arts and cultural initiatives can develop human capital, promote economic development, and create vibrant communities, especially in low-wealth areas.
Jeremy Lemos has established himself as a genuine creative force in both music-making, concert sound and recording over the last decade and more. He speaks with CAR Music Researcher Bill MacKay about the importance of doing quality work, making connections naturally, finding your voice as an artist, and following your instincts in pursuing your art practice.
“Writing is, for the most part, laborious and slow. The mind travels faster than the pen; consequently, writing becomes a question of learning to take occasional wing shots, bringing down the bird of thought as it flashes by.