In a day where everything is a remix, some of the best pieces of art are variants of existing works.
If you recall the end of Fight Club, you’ll recall one of the most memorable rock songs to come out of the late 8o’s: ‘Where is My Mind?’ by the Pixies. It has a pretty raw sound to it, and could hardly be classified as ‘beautiful’ – until you hear Maence Cyrin’s version.
There are not too many people in this world who end up doing what they were truly born to do. But it is easy to pick out the ones who do find their perfect path. In sports: Lance Armstrong, Michael Phelps. In science: Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking. In music: Beethoven, Mozart. There are many people that reach this pinnacle of success and expertise, yet don’t quite receive household-name status. Tom Dowd is one such person.
A brilliant mind, he started out as a nuclear physicist at Columbia University and was subsequently drafted by the military to work on the Manhattan Project. But since his work there was top secret, the University did not recognize his work upon his return, so he dropped out and went into music.
The list of artists he’s produced for is impressive as it is long: Eric Clapton, Lynard Skynard, Rod Stewart, Wishbone Ash, Cream, Lulu, Chicago, The Allman Brothers Band, Joe Bonamassa, Teh J. Geils Band, Meat Loaf, Sonny & Cher, The Rascals, Willie Nelson, Diana Ross, Kenny Loggins, James Gang, Dusty Springfield, Eddie Harris, Charles Mingus, Herbie Mann, Booker T. and the MGs, The Drifters, Otis Redding, The Coasters, Bobby Darin, Aretha Franklin, Arlan Feiles, Joe Castro and Ruth Brown.
In addition to being a highly renowned producer, he was also a music engineer. Among numerous innovations in recording hardware, he invented multi-track recording which is highly regarded as the single most influential change to the music industry of the past century.
In the documentary Tom Dowd & the Language of Music, there is a scene of him working with a band in a studio. he suddenly had them all stop playing, pointed to the lead guitarist as he closed his eyes and hummed for a moment, then simply said “e-string.” The guitarist quickly tuned his instrument.
And all this professional genius goes without mentioning his personality. As noted by the people he’s worked with, this man has that natural ability to put at ease everyone in the room. He was that guy who everybody loves, always has a smile on his face.
He sits on the top with the rest of the greats. A source of Inspiration to excellence.
DJ Premier conducting classical. Crystal method playing R&B. Mark Ronson composing Jazz. Pretty Lights producing country. Skrillex singing rock.
In addition to the aforementioned headliners, the rest of the soundtrack is swelling with talent: Leann Rimes. Mos Def. The Doors. Martha Reeves. Erykah Badu. Ralph Stanley. Nas. Dap Kings. Funk Brothers. Bonobo. Berklee Symphony Orchestra. Apathy. Ziggy Modeliste. Static Revenger. Trombone Shorty. Zedd. And just like the film, you can download the soundtrack for free too on the film’s website.
Our perception of age is flawed. We think of age as a finite number. If someone is ten years old, then they have ten different years of maturing and growing. If you add one year, you will add one more year of maturity, right? Wrong. The five-year difference between a one year old and a six year old is not at all the same as the difference between a 45 year old person and a 50 year old person.
More about typography and design history than about the Helvetica typeface itself, this documentary does well to entertain and inform. Detailed and nerdy enough for design professionals to love, but still dumbed-down enough for anyone to appreciate. Great music too.
A production house in Los Angeles called Halo-8 has announced what they call “EtherFilms” – a new mode of storytelling that breaks the traditional, passive consumption model and introduces a narrative discovery where the viewer can choose to jump between story lines, media types, and extra content.
I love music. It alters your state of mind. “Music. Moves. People.” I quote my favorite Jedidiah shirt: “Music affects all mankind in one way or another. It can cause tears or laughter, pain, or joy, anger or peace, hope or dispair….but most important….it MOVES.”
That being said, I think that more important than what you listen to, is when. You wouldn’t listen to your favorite Jimmy Buffet track while trying to get pumped for teh game. Right now I’m listening to my soft-electronic-inspirational Pandora channel to help me think introspectively. ‘When’ is always a factor in listening to music whether it’s a conscious consideration or not. If your girlfriend or boyfriend dumps you, you’re going to listen to you’re ‘I’m-sad-and-I-hate-the-world-right-now’ or ‘break-stuff’ playlists. A while ago I tested my theory by playing my ‘happy’ playlist after such a break up. It worked; albeit not very well – it still altered my state of mind.
Pretty much anything looks cool in slow motion. Multiply that by 24 cameras and GE will give you an impressive new look at something that’s already fun to watch. Add some insightful music and a few interesting facts, and you’ve got a campaign worth blogging about.
I love it when two opposites are melded to create a deeper takeaway; like a kid’s toy used to create a business tool. How perfect is this: a conference table built from Legos. It says ‘curiosity and imagination of a child, but with the diligence and ingenuity of an adult.’