i colori brillanti di Burano

Out in the Venetian Lagoon, around 4 miles north of Venezia,  lies the tiny island of Burano or rather the archipelago of four islands connected by bridges, with a population of just over 2,500 people.

While the nearby island of Murano is known for its centuries’ old glass-making craft, Burano boasts a reputation for lace-making. But the more fascinating feature of this little Italian island is the vivid vibrant colors of its brightly painted houses. 

The buoyant, brilliant colors of Burano seem straight out of a surrealist painter’s dream. Certainly, every proverbial crayon in the box has had a chance to shine here!

Here are a few from many photos I took during my last trip there a short while back. These are untouched and unfiltered and only two have been mildly rotated to straighten them. Like most places in Italy, Burano is yet another effortlessly photogenic one.

The hues of Fall will soon descend in the northern hemisphere as another September seeps in today. Here’re some more colors to warm up the cooler seasons.

(Click on any photo to start the slideshow but please do not download. These are for viewing purposes only. If you need to use a photo please email me at gipsygeek at gmail dot com for permission.)

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Masquerades

Venice carnival "Masked Man". Photo by Maddy SJ for Nomad 9 Design. Featured in https://gipsygeek.wordpress.com © 2015. Maddy SJ. All rights reserved. All images appearing in https://gipsygeek.wordpress.com web site are the exclusive property of Maddy SJ/The Gipsy Geek and are protected under the United States and International Copyright laws. The images may not be reproduced, copied, transmitted or manipulated without the written permission of Maddy SJ. Use of any image as the basis for another photographic concept or illustration (digital, artist rendering or alike) is a violation of the United States and International Copyright laws. All images are copyrighted. Email gipsygeek@gmail.com

The Venice Carnival is currently on. A spectacular splash of color and splendor, costumes and masks, masquerade balls and parades and parties on the streets and waterways, inside grand villas and palaces – it is a custom dating from the 12th century. There are several different types of Venetian masks, each type with its own purpose and symbolism. A mask for every occasion, for every personality-type, giving concrete form and literal manifestations to the masks people wear in everyday life…….

Venice Carnival - Masked Man© 2015. Maddy SJ. All rights reserved. All images appearing in https://gipsygeek.wordpress.com web site are the exclusive property of Maddy SJ/The Gipsy Geek and are protected under the United States and International Copyright laws. The images may not be reproduced, copied, transmitted or manipulated without the written permission of Maddy SJ. Use of any image as the basis for another photographic concept or illustration (digital, artist rendering or alike) is a violation of the United States and International Copyright laws. All images are copyrighted. Email gipsygeek@gmail.com

Venetian Masks © 2015. Maddy SJ. All rights reserved. All images appearing in https://gipsygeek.wordpress.com web site are the exclusive property of Maddy SJ/The Gipsy Geek and are protected under the United States and International Copyright laws.

Venice Carnival St Marco Square © 2015. Maddy SJ. All rights reserved. All images appearing on the website https://gipsygeek.wordpress.com are the exclusive property of Maddy SJ/The Gipsy Geek and are protected under the United States and International Copyright laws. The images may not be reproduced, copied, transmitted or manipulated without the written permission of Maddy SJ. Use of any image as the basis for another photographic concept or illustration (digital, artist rendering or alike) is a violation of the United States and International Copyright laws. All images are copyrighted. Email gipsygeek@gmail.com

Venice Carnival St Marco Square © 2015. Maddy SJ. All rights reserved. All images appearing on the website https://gipsygeek.wordpress.com are the exclusive property of Maddy SJ/The Gipsy Geek and are protected under the United States and International Copyright laws. The images may not be reproduced, copied, transmitted or manipulated without the written permission of Maddy SJ. Use of any image as the basis for another photographic concept or illustration (digital, artist rendering or alike) is a violation of the United States and International Copyright laws. All images are copyrighted. Email gipsygeek@gmail.com“The closing years of life are like a masquerade party, when the masks are dropped.” – Arthur Schopenhauer

 

Note: © 2015. Maddy SJ. All rights reserved. All images appearing on the website https://gipsygeek.wordpress.com  are the exclusive property of Maddy SJ/The Gipsy Geek and are protected under the United States and International Copyright laws.
The images may not be reproduced, copied, transmitted or manipulated without the written permission of Maddy SJ. Use of any image as the basis for another photographic concept or illustration (digital, artist rendering or alike) is a violation of the United States and International Copyright laws. All images are copyrighted. Email gipsygeek@gmail.com


 

 

 

Suddenly September

New York, September 15, 2013. It seems September slithered in all too soon, and summer passed by e’er so quickly. But amidst the incipience of the tender-crisp Autumn air that wisps in hesitantly unto the city streets and parks this week, it gives me great pleasure to announce that a new exciting world music project is afoot, and it needs the help of those who like exploring new cultural soundscapes and landscapes. 

This new project is called “Planetary Coalition.”

Alex Skolnick Planetary Coalition

(1) What is “Planetary Coalition?”

Conceptualized by versatile guitarist and writer Alex Skolnick, Planetary Coalition is an ethnically flavored collective of diverse musicians from all over the world. Its mission is to tie together the virtuosity of jazz, the power of metal and the passion of the musical styles of Gypsy, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Indian, Asian, African, Latin and other indigenous lands. Through the universal language of music, Planetary Coalition intends to bridge the gap between different cultures, increase ecological awareness and explore the threads that connect musical expression with regional identity.

But there’s more, as people from all over the world can participate, either by being directly involved in the project as supporters or producers, and/or by sending in essays, artwork, postcards etc. It is open to all. I’ll let the man himself explain in detail:

(2) What are some of the sounds and textures of Planetary Coalition?

Besides Skolnick, other global musicians will include several well-known instrumentalists from different regions of the world. These will include, for the first CD, artists from Mexico, Turkey, Argentina, Iraq, China, Cuba, India, Ghana, Ireland, Palestine, the Canadian Arctic, and other places. The following video gives an idea of only some of the sounds and “feel” of the project. (And yes, the piece “Sleeping Gypsy” is composed for yours truly as outlined in an earlier post on this blog). There is a separate video (available for participants only) which explains the process of composition of the tune.

(3) How can I participate in the production as well as experience of Planetary Coalition?

To be a participant and get personal access to the artists and to the creative process, go to the project on ArtistShare.com http://artistshare.com/v4/projects/experience/325/439/1/6

You can participate at various levels up to being an Executive Producer.

As well, as explained in the Welcome Video, you can participate in other ways by mailing in your letters, essays, experiences, photographs, artwork, which will be included in the final multi-media presentation.

Tune in for updates at http://planetarycoalition.com/  or follow us on Twitter and Facebook, as seen on that site.

Depending on the participation level, you can have access to the artists through in-depth interviews, videos made especially for you, or direct personal contact with them in the recording studio, during their music sessions, VIP access to their shows, personalized music lessons and much more. Each level explains what the participant can get access to, including credit listing in the final CD of the project.

There are many short films and mini-documentaries that are regularly sent out to participants – some outlining great world music inspirations, others’ on the composers’ creative processes. This one is a trailer of the music writing process of the project creator, showing a tiny glimpse of a mini-series.

For those curious to know more about Sklonick and his background, you can read his memoir “Geek to Guitar Hero,” which as outlined by many amazon reviewers is very inspiring and revealing, whether you are a musician or not. The story of a shy, awkward, geeky kid of Ivy League parents who ended up being, to quote Guitar World Magazine editor-in-chief Brad Tolisnki, “one of the most remarkable guitarists in hard rock history.” Few (and especially his metal fans who often see the “rock star” persona) know that in his private life, he is an avid classical and world music listener, and his mornings almost exclusively begin with Bach, Mozart, Debussy et al playing in the background, while his evenings are filled with jazz and world music. He is also a long time avid book reader, with Vonnegut, Hesse, David Foster Wallace, Chuck Klosterman, Dan Gilbert and many, many others practically spilling out of the shelves of his Brooklyn home.

Many of the intimate views participants will get through Artistshare include the behind the scenes glimpses into the lives of the musicians involved in the project.

*

Planetary Coalition Alex Skolnick

Planetary Coalition represents a global collective of musicians, listeners, artists, architects, ecologists, researchers, writers and everyday citizens coming together for the sake of our own planet Earth.

We hope you’ll join us! Also, spread the word around to friends you think may be interested.

*

(p.s If there is a glitch in the project link on artishare and it takes you to Maria Schneider’s project instead, click of the Planetary Coalition project videos on the sidebar. http://artistshare.com/v4/Projects/Experience/325/439/1)

*

Bonjour from Paris

Paris. France. April 9, 2013. I have been travelling through various cities in Europe since mid-March, both for work and rest. This post is written from my current city – Paris;  sitting right next to the steps of Square Caulaincourt, Rue Lamarck, Montmartre. 

montmartre steps

While in later posts, I shall post pictures from the travels, today marks the first death anniversary of my father, who passed away due to a sudden swift heart attack last year.  Youthful, hyper-active and conspicuously full of life – he remained that way right up till the very end – bursting with frank, undiplomatic outspoken chutzpah, never afraid to call a spade a spade, and  so vibrant that friends, neighbours and his loved ones still miss his vivacity and near-comical foot-in-mouth well-intended but bluntly-phrased verbal gaffes even today.

This morning I had a long talk with my mother – my parents had eloped and got married in their 20s and remained married till his death.  My mother had a Ph.D in Philosophy with a minor in Mathematics, and my father a Ph.D. in Geology with a minor in Physics. Definitely not the most diplomatic nor quiet person around, he complemented my mother’s calm, logical Spock-like reserve.  I have to hand it to my parents though – that in all the years I know them – I never saw them have fights – no screaming drama, no loud vulgar expletives; no vindictive arguing, no throwing things – none of that; none at all. The occasional short argument for sure, which was usually over things related to infrastructure – such as a broken plumbing fixture, a fridge door accidentally left open too long – and that sort of thing – but never, never the bitter, screaming, shouting matches that I have sadly heard some of my friends say they witnessed among their own parents.

My father certainly loved my mother a lot – although he was self-centred and not a great planner. My mother loved him in her own deep and quiet ways. They had very different personalities, he a scientist/musician who went to work in management later, with a past in athletics and the arts and a straightforward candor; she a composed, complex woman who loved books and solitude, and had studied philosophy & mathematics only because due to the sexist Victorian attitude of her own father she’d been deeply disappointed for life that she was not allowed to enter Medical school despite acing in her school board exams…..

But somehow they made it work – first out of love and the rush of romance in their early years, next for their two children and raising a family; and finally out of the bond and habit that form in couples who have spent several decades together, and no longer can think of other options, but have become more like best friends. She still remains the calmest woman I have known – stoic, pragmatic and perhaps a tad too emotionally reserved. Drama and hysteria are as alien to her nature as the color blue to the planet Mars.  

My father – on the other hand – was warm, gregarious, accident-prone, dramatic – a bit of a braggart – but a heart that was almost naive in a somewhat childish way of guileless goodness, and a simple, uncomplicated way of thinking. I realize now that I was raised by a math-whiz mother who was like a female Mr. Spock – a Ms. Spock, and a father who was a lot like Captain Haddock (from Tintin) minus the swearing and drinking. (He was a teetotaler, as alcoholic drinks gave him non-stop hiccups – much like me – except I can manage a good glass of wine, and an occasional cocktail, but anything else, including aerated drinks sets off those damned and comical hiccups.)

My father playing his Stradivarius. My first memories of him, perhaps even from the womb, are of him playing his violin. The Dad with the Strad. When I visited my parents in 2009 I made them tell me their entire story of love, courtship, elopement, marriage, trials, tribulations, togetherness. And it was beautiful how happy and excited they got as they narrated their tale full of plot twists and turns. He had wooed my mother by fiddling music for her when he first met her some fifty years ago. It was love at first sight, he said.

My father playing his Stradivarius. My first memories of him, perhaps even from the womb, are of him playing his violin. The Dad with the Strad. When I visited my parents in 2009 I made them tell me their entire story of love, courtship, elopement, marriage, trials, tribulations, togetherness. And it was beautiful how happy and excited they got as they narrated their tale full of plot twists and turns. He had wooed my mother by fiddling music for her when he first met her some fifty years ago. It was love at first sight, he said.

On the night of his death, I was attending a concert by Anoushka Shankar in New York City – whose father’s music had been introduced to me at a young age by my own father. On the first anniversary of his death – I am enclosing this mesmerizing concert – the one she played at Lyon, France. It was her exploration of the Indian gypsy roots of Spanish Flamenco music. Unquestioningly one of the most elegant, exotic and beautiful series of compositions I have ever listened to.

Lyon – a city not far from the one from where I am writing this…..

To a rainy evening in Paris, the timeless winding streets of Montmartre,  to flickering lights against a wet dark Spring sky, to love and loss, to friends and family, to life and travel; to new beginnings and forever-goodbyes……..

To closure and to letting go.

To memories – which can never be forgotten. And to the seeds from whence we come from – before we disperse like nomads into the sands of time or scatter like dandelion clocks unto the winds of change……….

*

Related post:

“In memory of my Dad’s birthday”

And still my sitar gently weeps.”

and “The Four Mothers”

Parallel Lives

Split Screen : A love story featuring 3 cities

JW Griffiths’ quirky little film is shot entirely on the Nokia N8 mobile phone. It is the winner of the Nokia Shorts competition 2011. Two citizens from opposite ends of the Atlantic. At which common point will they meet, if at all? Shades of the “Griffin and Sabine” trilogy,   but in a more contemporary and refreshingly simple, concise manner.

.

Director: JW Griffiths
Producer: Kurban Kassam
Director of Photography: Christopher Moon
Editor: Marianne Kuopanportti 
Sound Design: Mauricio d’Orey
Music composed by: Lennert Busch

Tambourine Time

.

July 2, 2011. Here I go a-wandering somewhere in Montreal or Quebec City or Toronto and the roads and towns in between southern Ontario’s wine country. Through streets and crowds, familiar smells, ancient whispers, new sounds, the beats of the Jazz Festival in Montreal, the cheers on Canada Day in Toronto, and a song that for some reason always stirs that old wanderlust inside my gipsy heart. And reignites that vagabond whimsy buried inside: subdued through months of practiced stoicism and yet, stirring once in a while amidst summer heat and long amaranthine warm night skies, forgotten lyrics and the sheer abandon of tumbling, intoxicating melodies. 

And here I go a-wandering though poignant Paris, the labyrinthine streets of Venice, the merchants’ markets in exotic, overwhelming India and through the dazzling colors of Burano, the snow-capped mountains of Salzburg, the inexhaustible energy of New York City and pensive train rides along the ocean of the Pacific North-West……and I find a release to this restlessness, to a searching mind that is never satiated…..looking forward to the surprises around an unexplored corner, the fractal geometry of a new tree to marvel at, and at times, recalling the sheer exhaustion of working through the night at the studio and the nebulous state of heavy eyes and tired arms in the soft haze of the break of dawn.

And the resonance of rich memories and an inspired frenzy to learn and love, to live and laugh – permeates through the lyrics…..

Oh, Dylan! Whence from do such thoughts find way to your fingertips…?

Then take me disappearin’ through the smoke rings of my mind
Down the foggy ruins of time, far past the frozen leaves
The haunted, frightened trees, out to the windy beach
Far from the twisted reach of crazy sorrow
Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free
Silhouetted by the sea, circled by the circus sands
With all memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves
Let me forget about today until tomorrow.

Tambourine Man – Bob Dylan

Hey ! Mr Tambourine Man, play a song for me
I’m not sleepy and there is no place I’m going to
Hey ! Mr Tambourine Man, play a song for me
In the jingle jangle morning I’ll come followin’ you.
Though I know that evenin’s empire has returned into sand
Vanished from my hand
Left me blindly here to stand but still not sleeping
My weariness amazes me, I’m branded on my feet
I have no one to meet
And the ancient empty street’s too dead for dreaming.

Hey ! Mr Tambourine Man, play a song for me
I’m not sleepy and there is no place I’m going to
Hey ! Mr Tambourine Man, play a song for me
In the jingle jangle morning I’ll come followin’ you.

Take me on a trip upon your magic swirlin’ ship
My senses have been stripped, my hands can’t feel to grip
My toes too numb to step, wait only for my boot heels
To be wanderin’
I’m ready to go anywhere, I’m ready for to fade
Into my own parade, cast your dancing spell my way
I promise to go under it.

Hey ! Mr Tambourine Man, play a song for me
I’m not sleepy and there is no place I’m going to
Hey ! Mr Tambourine Man, play a song for me
In the jingle jangle morning I’ll come followin’ you.

Though you might hear laughin’, spinnin’ swingin’ madly across the sun
It’s not aimed at anyone, it’s just escapin’ on the run
And but for the sky there are no fences facin’
And if you hear vague traces of skippin’ reels of rhyme
To your tambourine in time, it’s just a ragged clown behind
I wouldn’t pay it any mind, it’s just a shadow you’re
Seein’ that he’s chasing.

Hey ! Mr Tambourine Man, play a song for me
I’m not sleepy and there is no place I’m going to
Hey ! Mr Tambourine Man, play a song for me
In the jingle jangle morning I’ll come followin’ you.

Then take me disappearin’ through the smoke rings of my mind
Down the foggy ruins of time, far past the frozen leaves
The haunted, frightened trees, out to the windy beach
Far from the twisted reach of crazy sorrow
Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free
Silhouetted by the sea, circled by the circus sands
With all memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves
Let me forget about today until tomorrow.

Hey ! Mr Tambourine Man, play a song for me
I’m not sleepy and there is no place I’m going to
Hey ! Mr Tambourine Man, play a song for me
In the jingle jangle morning I’ll come followin’ you.