Entries Tagged as: sound

Sound Shifts Stuff:
An Interview with Fabeku Fatunmise

July 6th, 2009, Comments (10)


I'm so thrilled to be sharing this audio interview with the wonderful musician, artist, and sound healer, Fabeku Fatunmise!

I had hoped to have this ready for the month of sound for the Creative Every Day Challenge, but because of some technical difficulties with the recording vanishing temporarily, I couldn't do it. But the recording survived (phew!) and I just know you'll love hearing about Fabeku's work with sound and how it connects with art and creativity. Magical stuff. (Click on the link below to listen right here or right-click to download.)

Click here to listen

Fabeku Creation
Creation, Fabeku Fatunmise

Cymatics: During the interview, Fabeku and I discuss the science of Cymatics, which is the study of visible sound and vibration. It's absolutely fascinating to see how sound can impact form. (Turn down the volume if you watch the video.)

There's a great video introduction to Cymatics here and above is a demonstration of how it works, with sand on an aluminum plate. What blew my mind was how sound vibrations move the sand into patterns that look like mandala shapes or turtle shells. It certainly gives me pause about the impact of sound on the body when I see it like this.

Fabeku's New Website: Fabeku has just launched his brand-spankin'-new website, Sankofa Sound and it is awesome. Really. Go check it out. The about page alone is killer! I love the music memories Fabeku shares there.

You can also learn more about sound healing and how it works, schedule a session with Fabeku (in person or distance), and purchase one of Fabeku's amazing cds or downloads. I was also quite enamored with the collection of singing bowls he has for sale, each one in the shop has a recording of the sound it makes. So cool. Oh, and there's a blog too! Fabeku is also on Twitter as @fabeku.

Free Download! Yay!: Also be sure to check out Fabeku's fabulous *free* sound healing download right here. There are ninjas involved. Yes, ninjas. Go see for yourself.

Fabeku BlueDeer
Blue Deer, Fabeku Fatunmise

 Thank you, Fabeku, for sharing your work with me and everyone here!

WTJ and Muse Cube Fun!

June 26th, 2009, Comments (21)

muse cubes

For the month of sound, I just had to mention Gretchen Wegner's fabulous Muse Cubes! Gretchen is currently working on a new set and has asked for our help.

The cubes are like two dice that you can roll any time during the day to shake things up and help move you through any stuckness you're feeling by using movment and sound. I just shook my set and got "stretch" and "sigh." Try it out. Don't you feel better?

Gretchen is looking for some feedback on the words she'll be using on the new set of cubes and has set up a short survey to get some feedback, so she can choose the best possible words. Please give your feedback on Muse Cubes here. It's quick, easy and anonymous! Thanks in advance!

I've also been playing with my copy of Wreck this Journal for Jamie Ridler's book group. I decided this was the week to take the journal in the shower and I did that yesterday with amusing results. After the shower, I decided my journal deserved it's own little towel.

wtj towel

Poor thing got washed well and I'm not sure how it's feeling about its first ever shower. I mean, it got really wet.

wtj wet

And it got scrubbed too. Even behind the ears, but especially on the "Scrub this page" page.

wtj scrub

Only problem is, one day later and my journal is still all wet. I think it's the humidity we're having and all the rain. But wait, as I type this, the sun has poked out! I want to cry I've missed the sun so much!

O.k. Just put the journal out for a little sunbathing. Hope that helps things. I'd like to take the journal along with me on my trip to NYC this weekend, but if it's going to be a big wet mess, it may miss the party. I thought about taking a hair dryer or heat gun to it or popping it in the dryer...Hmm, what do you think will work best?

Random Assortment of Sound

June 26th, 2009, Comments (6)

A random assortment of sound goodies to inspire you! Enjoy!

-Peggy Fussell sent me a link to the fabulous artwork from the Zurich Orchestra campaign from Euro RSCG, an agency in Switzerland, which is on view at the website fubiz. What a fun interplay between sound and art! This one is called "Goosebumps."

ZKO Goosebump

-A month or two ago I linked to a video of artist, Jonas Gerard, but I thought it was worth sharing another one this month, just because of the way he reacts and interacts with music while he paints. So fun to watch!

-For more inspirational listening, check out Art of the Song, a one hour public radio program all about creative expression with a focus on music. Lots of great interviews!

-Explore the beginnings of "sound art" in Luigi Russolo's "The Art of Noises" and in this article from TATE ETC.

-I had to do a little searching to find this story again as I couldn't remember where I'd heard it first. But it was on NPR and you can read it, listen the story, and hear the music here. Very cool stuff. The story is about artist, Quinn Kiesow, who has constructed amazing music out of urban sounds. He has a songs for Los Angeles, New York, Madrid, and Barcelona all created from recordings of urban sounds in those cities. Listening to these songs may make you think differently about the sounds you hear in your own environment. There is music all around you!

Sounds to Soothe You

June 23rd, 2009, Comments (29)

stamp rain

Normally, I love the sound of rain. It's soothing, especially when I'm falling asleep. But lately, we've been getting so much rain in New England that the sound isn't as pleasing.

But it got me thinking about the sounds that soothe, the sounds that bring back pleasant memories or associations, the sounds that are like home: a fire crackling, the sound of my cat's purring, walking through dry leaves in the fall, the sound of water filling a bathtub, crickets chirping on summer nights, a distant train rumbling by, the zip-zap of corduroy pants, a spoon tinkling against the edge of a coffee mug, the beep of the hubster's car locking when he gets home, the rush of the river.

What sounds are soothing to you? Can you bring them to mind? Try taking some deep breaths, closing your eyes, and see if you can bring some of your favorite soothing sounds up in your imagination. See if it relaxes you to simply imagine them.

Perhaps even the memory of these sounds (your mother's voice, the padding of stockinged feet on the stairs, the school bus driving past) will stir something in you. How would you bring these sounds to life in words or in art?

I grew up in this town, my poetry was born between the hill and the river, it took its voice from the rain, and like the timber, it steeped itself in the forests. -Pablo Neruda

Singing in the Shower

June 16th, 2009, Comments (24)


Do you remember singing as a kid? You know, that kind of singing kids do with pure abandon? Do you ever sing like that now?

As it's the month of sound here for the Creative Every Day Challenge, I've been thinking about where and when I sing. I'm not a fabulous singer, but I do love to sing. I sing with passionate abandon in the shower and in my car and sometimes to my cats. The hubster and I are constantly making up little songs about silly things we do, like the song we made up about bagel sandwiches and another we sing about tickling toes.

My dad used to sing (horribly) to 50's songs in the car and we'd all sing songs about farts (while laughing hysterically) on long car rides. My mom used to sing us a silly song about spinach on car rides to my grandmother's house (I still totally love that song) along with the more traditional "Over the river and through the woods, to grandmother's house we go..."

In elementary school, I got a solo in the school show, singing "Who Put the Bop," which I sang in a poodle skirt my mom made for me. And I sang a few lines as an orphan in the school's production of Annie. What a thrill that was! In high school, I sang along with my casette tape player, listening to musicals like Les Mis and Phantom over and over again. And I sang and danced in the production of A Chorus Line. In college, I learned to play enough guitar that I could strum along and belt out Ani Difranco's "Both Hands." I know when I have kids some day I'll sing to them.

Songs hold so many memories for people. Some remember being told they couldn't hold a tune, others remember their parents or grandparents singing them to sleep, others remember writing songs of love and angst in their teenage years, others remember singing their own babies to sleep. What are some of your favorite singing memories?

Whether or not you believe you're a "good" singer, singing is such a wonderful release, such a powerful expression. Perhaps, even if you are shy with your voice, you can find some time this month to play full out with song. (The shower or car a great place to give it a go!)

Some fun links to share:

- In case you're curious about some of the technical aspects of singing, here's a good article about basic singing techniques.

- Peggy sent me a link to this website which I'd twittered about before and then forgotten about. It's so worth sharing here though because it's such a fabulous combination of sound and interactive animation. Gorgeous! Just move your mouse around when the music starts.

- The next Art Picnic teleclass is happening tomorrow evening at 8pm EST and I'd love to "see" you there! Check out all the details and sign up here.

Wrecking My Journal, The Catnip Version

June 13th, 2009, Comments (20)

Here's the next installment of me talking about Keri Smith's Wreck this Journal for Jamie Ridler's fabulous book group. I don't know that I'll do a video every week, but I felt like this idea, featuring my big orange boy kitty, Tabbers,  definitely had to be captured in video. Hehe.

At the end of the journal, there's a place to list other ways you could wreck your journal. I'd written things like: throw your journal from a moving car and play fetch with a dog. And then I saw Jessie's super cute video of her playing fetch with her dogs with her journal! Since I don't have a dog at home to play fetch with, I decided to use another idea from the list: put catnip on the journal and let one of my cats attack it. The other kitties were sleeping elsewhere, but Tabbers is the cat who loves the nip the most, so I asked him if he'd be willing to help me out. He agreed. I only wish I'd caught the massive face push he gave me in thanks right after I stopped the video. Ah well. Enjoy!


Featured Creative Every Day Challenge Participants!

June 12th, 2009, Comments (11)

I love featuring fabulous Creative Every Day Challenge participants here to give you all a glimpse into some of the wonderful things happening in our large group. I hope you enjoy the wonderful creations below!

Sax in the Country

The fabulous photo above is from the incredibly sexy mama, artist, and blogger, Karen Mowrey. Karen was inspired to do her TGI Bench Monday self-portrait with her saxophone, in response to the sound theme this month. This image just kills me. So cool!

Heart Senses by Emily Long

Close the eyes
Still and listen
Open the senses of the heart
Smell the green
Washed clean by falling rain
Smell the soil
Warmed by beams of sun
Feel the air caress the skin
Cool shadows
Hot sun
Feel them play across the face
Hear the heartbeat within
Let it slow
Hear it match its rhythm
To the pulsing of the Earth
Taste the love that dwells within
Taste the joy so deep
Hear the footsteps of the ages
Steps that were, are, and will be yet
Hear the voice of all that is

The poem above was written by Emily Long of Healing Pages, a blog filled with heartfelt poetry. Emily also recently wrote a poem in response to my painting, Listening, called Listen Deep (which I loved!)

featured sue

The beautiful mandala above is Fairyland Pentagram Mandala by Sue O'Kieffe of the blog, Sacred Circle Mandalas. The colors in this piece sing Spring to me!

featured studiovee

This art journal spread above was created by Verna of the blog, Studio Vee, in response to a prompt from Ali Edwards. It's all about the things that make Verna happy. What a lovely thing to play with in your journal!

Kitty Duet! Last, but certainly not least, I want to point you in the direction of this post from Janice of the blog, Postcards from Wildwood. The post itself is hilarious, but the recording Janice put together in response to the sound theme...oh my, it may just be one of my favorite responses to a Creative Every Day Challenge theme ever!! It's flippin fantastic! So, please go over there straight away and check out Janice and her cat Oliver's earth-shattering duet based on Rossini’s famous Duetto buffo di due gatti (Comic duet for two cats). And then you can come back and thank me for making your day by sending you over there. :-)

Wishing you all a wonderfully creative weekend!

Close Your Eyes and Create

June 11th, 2009, Comments (12)

Creating to music can be a wonderful thing. It can be especially interesting when you allow yourself to be moved by the music, to respond to what you hear.

The following exercise is a wonderful way play with sound and creating intuitively. I share a similar exercise in the Art Picnic workshops and the next one is coming up Wednesday, June 17th, 8pm EST. Get all the details and sign up here! I would love to create with you!

I've set this post up, so that you can use the song here (if you're reading this in rss or email, click through to the blog to listen) or use your own music.

sketchbook hummingbirds

The Exercise: Have a pen and piece of paper ready and get into a comfortable position. Take a few deep breaths to center and ground yourself, then begin the music. Let the music play for a moment, then put pen to paper and close your eyes. As the music plays, let your pen move freely across the paper. Move it in response to the music and let your hand move whichever way it wants to go. Don't think about the end result, just let go.

You can do this for the whole music piece or just for 30 seconds, depending on how much time you have to play with. Letting the drawing go for the whole song can be a wonderful exercise, but do as much as you can.

When the music has stopped, take a deep cleansing breath and open your eyes. Take a moment to look at what you've scribbled. Do you see anything there? Maybe a face? A monster? A house? A fish? Or maybe a tree? Whatever you see there, take a moment to bring it out. You can color it in or just make it more clear. The image here is an example of what happened when I developed the image with colored pencil.

Often the symbols that pop up through an exercise like this relate to something going on in our lives or have some kind of message for us. Sometimes they don't. But either way, it's fun to play with. You could do some journal writing or dialoguing with the symbols that come up for you and see what they have to say or develop your doodle further with some paint.

This is a fabulous way to get started if you're feeling particularly stuck creatively. It takes all the pressure off of performing (your eyes are closed, so what can you do?) and allows a more intuitive response to come forward. Plus, it's just fun!

p.s. The fabulous Jamie has written about her experience of turning business meetings into Art Picnics right here. So cool! Love that idea!

p.p.s. Christine at BlissChick has posted a great interview with me at her blog, which you can check out over here.

p.p.p.s. (That's way too many p's! Be sure to stop by tomorrow for the featured Creative Every Day Challenge Participants post!! I've got some wonderful work to share with you!)

Click below to expand post and view music player.


Art in Silence and Sound

June 9th, 2009, Comments (25)

intuitiveart eucspine

This is the latest piece I did for the intuitive painting class I took. It was a bit more time consuming than the others because before painting, I collaged the 15"x20" surface with collage. I then stenciled in the eucalyptus shape I've been working with and started exploring it's similarities to a spine shape again. I'm loving the layered look.

As it is the month of sound, I've been more aware of what the sounds that surround me each day and the things I listen to as I create. I said in this post that I'd share some of what I listen to, so I'll do that here.

In the case of the piece above, I had a Harry Potter movie on while I did the collaging part. I like to work intuitively as I collage, and having movies on will distract my talky-talky-mind enough that I can move in a different space while I work. (A new to me movie might have distracted me too much, but this one worked well.) The following day, I started working on the painting and realized in the middle of it, that I wasn't listening to anything. I usually cue up some music or a podcast to paint to, but in this case I guess I wanted silence. I put some final touches on it the next day while listening to a Craftcast podcast.

What I choose to listen to when creating, depends a great deal on what I'm working on and my mood in the moment, but if you're one who loves to have something to listen to while you work, here are some of my favorite things to work to:

Podcasts: I love me some podcasts!! Great fun, informative, often inspiring, sometimes funny. I love a good story and podcasts are a great way to hear the stories of many different people. Here's a sampling of the podcasts I've been listening to lately:

  • -NPR's Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me: Super funny and smart news/quiz show
  • -Craftcast, Crafty Pod, and Craft Sanity: Interviews with creative people in all different mediums.
  • -TED talks: Incredibly inspirational talks on a wide variety of topics (I usually have to sit down to watch these as there's a visual element to most of them.)
  • -An Illustrated Life with Danny Gregory: Interviews with illustrators whose work is in his latest book. Lots of great discussion on process.
  • -Tranquility du Jour: Interviews from yoga teacher and author, Kimberly Wilson. Check out her fabulous interviews with Goddess Leonie and Jennifer Lee.
  • (and so many more.)

Music: A wide range. I love my iTunes dj function which mixes up my music to provide such nutty combinations as: George Michael, Ani Difranco, Pearl Jam, a lesson in Greek, and Weird Al. I just looked to see what was coming up in the rotation: Counting Crows, Radiohead, Indigo Girls, and Yo-Yo Ma. Hehe.

But seriously, if you haven't checked out Pandora yet, get your butt over there now and try it. You simply type in a song or artist you enjoy listening to and it creates playlists of similar music for you. You can tell it what you like and don't like and you may find some new music there. I enjoy writing to their new age/ambient music station.

Audiobooks: A new love of mine. I'm a tad obsessed with Jim Dale's readings of the Harry Potter series. I listen to it all the time. I didn't think I'd like listening to audiobooks, as I'm not too good with audio learning, but I gave the first HP audiobook a try because my friend Jim recommended it to me (thanks, Jim!) and I got completely hooked! Maybe it helped that I'd already read the series, I'm not sure. But since then I've listened to a few more audiobooks, and enjoyed them. Martha Beck's reading of her book Steering by Starlight is particularly fantastic. 

T.V.: When I asked the question, "What do you listen to when you create?" on Twitter, a few people mentioned mindless t.v. and most seemed ashamed of it. I say, whatever works! I haven't done much creating in front of the tv lately, but there are times when I enjoy having mindless television shows on in the background. Like I mentioned before, mindless t.v. can often distract that monkey mind part of your brain, so that you can create from a more intuitive place.

Television itself isn't evil. It's all about moderation and consciously choosing what you watch. Sometimes, shows will inspire me to create. I absolutely love Project Runway for example and often draw while I watch it (it starts up again in August!) and I'm totally enjoying So You Think You Can Dance at the moment.

Silence: Sometimes, I get overloaded with sound and I need a break from it all. Even in silence there is some sound: Cars passing outside, rain tapping the windows, my cat snoring in the corner, the buzz of the fridge, the sound of a paintbrush moving across the canvas.

When I take a bath, I often bring things with me: books, sketchbook, pen, etc, but I rarely dip into them. By the time in get in the bath, all I want to do is sit in silence and soak. And that is more than enough.

If you didn't pipe in on the post where I asked about what you listen to while you create, I'd love to hear about your favorite podcasts, music, audiobooks, and shows to create to!

What Do You Listen to When You Create?

June 4th, 2009, Comments (18)

I put up a question on Twitter (I'm @leah_art on Twitter) yesterday asking, "What do you listen to when you create? Music, Podcast, Silence?" Here are some of the responses I got:

  1. Apple82Apple my favorite CD's
  2. Jim DoranJimDoran Jazz, Pirates of the Caribbean.
  3. Susan Altonladymisssusan Music or (saddly) the tv
  4. Olivia Brownobrown Sometime (usu) silence, occasionally mindless television, rarely music. Great question!
  5. Amy Crawleyacrawley I listen to music-instrumental/classical or a mix of rock/pop/bombastic when in the studio; depends on my mood & mood of the artwk
  6. Amy Crawleyacrawley Tho' sometimes I do like to create in silence.
  7. Nevada Gutierrezkaleidoplex Lately, I've been listening to the electronica music television channel when I'm working on my mixed-media projects
  8. Deborah Koff-Chapin TouchSoul Silence when I draw; Music when I color. News when I clean.
  9. Alexis Pierre-Louisalexispl what I listen to in the studio depends on my mood: sometimes it's music, sometimes it's silence
  10. Emily LongERLong8502 Silence usually, occasionally instrumental music. People talking/singing tend to interrupt my flow & scatter my focus.
  11. Mike CullenOoffAhh Nothing helps the creative process like Philip Glass!
  12. Kira CampoT_C_P i usually check with my inner muse to see what she's up for : )
  13. Bridgette G Millsbgmillsart I listen to NPR programs like This American LIfe or music
  14. HiroBogaHiroBoga Silence when I'm writing. Music when I'm creating book covers or drawing or cooking.

Good stuff! For me it all depends on the mood. But I tend to listen to a variety of music, audiobooks, or podcasts while painting. Sometimes silence. Sometimes mindless t.v. If I'm writing, I can't have on anything with words, so then I might just have silence or turn on something instrumental. Lately, I've been enjoying writing to the New Age Ambient station on Pandora. Today I put it on a Radiohead station to work to. I could go on and on about the things I listen to, but first, I'd love to hear from you:

What do you listen to when you create? Is your art impacted by what you listen to?