Friday, January 28, 2011

life has an uncanny way

Life has an uncanny way of getting in the way of itself. For us creative folk, it's those wonderfully honest instances that generate the most profound inspiration. A few years ago, my best friend introduced me to the work of Lori McKenna. I was instantly drawn to the sincere and celebrated textures and marriage of her poetic lyrics and guitar. Lori's songs of her ordinary path about ordinary days of ordinary people paint images and stories of the realest of real life.

Lorraine, her sixth and latest album was released this week. I waited during the evening prior to the Tuesday release. Time drew closer and I waited. Anxiously. I've been an avid collector of music for more than 40 years and call it stubbornness, old age, or anal-retentive music geekness, but I'm committed to owning tangible copies of music rather than digital downloads. I need to see and hold the album cover art. I want to read the liner notes, and I sing along with the printed lyrics as I hold them in my hands. It's that sense of touch that disconnects the disconnect I personally find in this age of digital. Tuesday suddenly arrived as the hour hand marked midnight. I fell away from my standards and downloaded Lorraine that very minute and spent the next forty minutes sampling much of the album before crawling into bed for a short three hour nap.

McKenna is a remarkable artist, vocalist, poet, and wordsmith. Her words speak directly to me. They touch me and I believe in every note. Her catalog and artistry of real life is pure genius. Lorraine follows suit and could easily be her finest to date. I love this album and with and a daily rotation in my players for five straight days, each song just becomes sweeter than the listen before. Instead of offering a play by play review of each track, a select few of my favorites are "The Most, Rocket Science, All I Ever Do, You Get a Love Song, and Still Down Here".

As I normally do after hearing an album more than a half dozen times, I made the conscious extra effort to listen closer to the lyrics. I reached that stage with Lorraine during the early morning of Thursday. All I had left in me was "...My God".

Driving to the office that morning during the pre-sunrise darkness, tears rolled down my face as I deeply listened to the delicate words and sentiment in "That's How You Know". I just drove and cried. Lori paints the heartache of a dying love with the celebration of faith to find peace on the other side. "That's How You Know" reminded me of a dear friend. I know his ache and feel his darkened loneliness. Lori shares the beauty of recovery from a love loss and refinding the ability to breathe on your own. When you do, as Lori sings, "you know". "That's How You Know" is a heart-wrenching gem, centering the entire album on the delicacy of humanity and everyday life. Lorraine paints life as pure honesty, pure love, and pure sincere forgiveness. McKenna's artistry has always reached in and touched my soul. Lorraine simply caresses deeper.

And for the record, or more for the love of the art, I purchased my tangible copy of Lorraine this morning. My stubborn music geekness may now be happy, but my soul has been completely satisfied since midnight last Tuesday.

Monday, January 24, 2011

creative inspiration basics

I recently watched It Might Get Loud. With my lifelong interest in music and art, I wasn't too surprised to find this film to be so inspiring. What did surprise me however, was just how much bigger the inspiration really was.

I knew of Jack White before seeing the film, but not a great deal. Within minutes of the film, I discovered that I share some genuine creative theories with Jack regarding the marriage of technology and art.

"Technology is a big destroyer of emotion and truth.
That's the disease we have to fight in any creative field."  Jack White

I just may have to add a Jack White poster to cubicle c-3014. And another to my studio. And my kitchen. And my sock drawer, and...

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

sighting and citing the day

Winter Light, ©2011 gary
I invited 2011 with a challenge, one that would sharpen my creativity and better my skills as a photographer and life documentarian. A Passing Glimpse is my daily photoblog where I'm committed to posting at least one new image per day, taken on the day of the post. Eleven days into the year and the project and my new portfolio is enabling me to view day to day in a different light.