Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year!

Happy new year, everyone!

A bit of news - I'm moving the blog to my tumblr account.

I wanted to keep this blog updated on a regular basis but I have failed to do so. On tumblr, I find it easier to do so with it's formatting.

You can find me on tumblr at A Noise Severe.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Bit of an Update

There is so much I want to write about: the new music released this year, the art I hope to create, and the awesome stuff I find online. I've just been having a hard time keeping up with posting and I'm sure it's because I've been working all summer. Hopefully I can better maintain my blog once the fall semester kicks in. So, the summer wasn't as productive as I had hoped, but I should have a little time for the studio right before classes start.

Not to much planned before Fall '11 starts, but I am heading up North to check out the college that Riley has been accepted to for his Masters degree. I've never traveled very far up north, so it should be an interesting road trip. This past year especially has made me realize I have hardly traveled anywhere (the farthest I've been up north was PA, and the furthest out "west" was TN), so this is rather exciting.

I hope to update with a music related entry soon, so I should post soon. I've also created accounts on other sites (such as Tumblr) and I should be able to announce them and link to this blog soon.

Thanks for reading! That was slightly mundane.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Incredible Art [of the Week]

My artwork is based on the lovely forms in nature that can be viewed under a microscope. Having found another artist that accomplishes something similar in such a beautiful way, I just have to share.

Luke Jerram is an insanely talented glass artist who draws his inspiration from microbiology, mainly viruses. The results are nothing short of extraordinary. Take his sculpture of the H1N1 Virus for example. He took this dangerous virus and created something beautiful.

Same thing goes for his sculpture of HIV, a very powerful piece. In his words: "The sculptures of HIV were made as objects to hold, to contemplate the impact of the disease upon humanity."

Absolutely gorgeous work. Please check out the rest of his gallery here.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Irish Adventure

My 10 day excursion to Ireland mostly kept me on the eastern side of the country. It was am experience I will never forget, and it has really awakened the wanderlust in me.

It was the first time I had ever been on a plane, and only the 2nd foreign country I had been to (Mexico was my first, Cozumel to be specific). After the 8 hour plane ride, I arrived at Dublin Airport, where I met up with Riley, who had studied abroad in Ireland this past semester. We had 10 days to explore and enjoy being in Ireland.

We took a train back to Maynooth, the town in which Riley had been staying, from Connolly Station. Once I got my luggage taken care of, I was treated to my first Irish breakfast, and it was extremely delicious. The food in Ireland is great. I hardly found anything to be overly processed and everything was so fresh.

My accommodations were located on the South Campus of NUI Maynooth, in a beautiful historic building. It was a very lovely room, as well as the whole building, and I enjoyed staying there.

First couple of days were spent exploring Dublin, since it was only 30 minutes away by train. First place we went to was Phoenix Park, and since it was inside the large reserve, the Dublin Zoo. We also visited Trinity College, where we got to view the Book of Kells, something I've wanted to see for a long time. We went to many shops, and enjoyed walking around the city, and stopped by Dublin Castle and went into the National Gallery of Ireland, where I was able to experience my first Caravaggio painting in person.

During his semester there, Riley's favorite place he visited was Howth, a fishing town north of Dublin. There are nature walks that wrap around the peninsula where Howth is located, and ever since he explored the trails, he had been eager for me to arrive so that I may explore with him.

We he took me there, we arrived in the late morning, and walked through the little town in order to reach where the nature trails began. Right away, we were looking out from sheer cliffs over the Irish Sea. The weather was patchy, as per usual in Ireland. We took a route off of the beaten path and had lunch atop a small rocky mountain.

Walking along the edge of the steep cliff side, we began occasionally, and carefully, venturing down among the rocks to explore. After some time, I noticed an extremely large tidepool, and given my love and enthusiasm for marine life, the notion of trying to climb down to it was too enticing. Riley and I tried to evaluate how treacherous of a climb down we had before us, much less the climb back up. However, we decided to take the risk.

Once we cautiously climbed down, I was able to investigate the beautiful tide pool that I had seen from a distance. Since we climbed all the way down, we figured we would explore among the rocks at the water's level. I climbed around to discover a sea cave, and it sure was a breathtaking discovery. We made our way over to it. It was shallow, but still nonetheless interesting. We explored the trail until it began to get late, and planned to return later in the week to investigate another area.

Riley made several friends during the semester, and one of them, Cathal, invited us to stay at his house in Kilkenny. We took the bus to Kilkenny, which took almost 5 hours with all of the stops, and Cathal met up with us. Since he lives in Kilkenny, he was able to show us around. First, he took us to Kilkenny Castle, where we had a self-guided tour. There was an art gallery in the castle, and the current show was quite interesting and we spent a fair bit of time in there looking at everything. The exhibition was by Vera Klute (I wasn't allowed to take pictures, but I found a Facebook gallery page from a reception here), and it was called Blindganger. The show mostly focused on the human body, representing the mechanical aspects of the body as metaphors for social activity. The works were all different media, yet cohesive, and I enjoyed being able to experience it.

The next day in Kilkenny, we visited the 100 foot Round Tower, the only Viking-age watchtower still open to the public in Ireland. The steep climp up wooden ladders was rewarded with a beautiful view of Kilkenny and the surrounding area. We also toured a few other historic buildings and I was also able to visit a couple of pottery shops and ceramic studios.

We departed that afternoon to head back to Maynooth, and made plans to revisit Howth on our last full day in Ireland. First thing in the morning, however, we visited Maynooth castle, which was built around 1200 AD. Upon arriving back in Howth, we explored part of the the trail we did not cover the first time we were there. The particular trail we wanted to finish is the home of a stone-age monolithic structure called Aideen's Grave, a portal tomb. Visiting something so ancient was unforgettable.

We wrapped up our last day in Howth and went back to Maynooth to prepare for our early flight back home the next morning.

Ireland is such a beautiful country. Even thing was lush and green, and the vast fields all smelled of sweet clover. This journey was captivating and makes me long to travel more, and I absolutely want to return to Ireland when I can.

To see more pictures from my journey, you can view my Ireland 2011 set on Flickr.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Music You Should Get [of the Week]

After all, it's up for free download.

The Gathering released a new song off of their (still to be announced) 10th studio album. The track is called "Heroes For Ghosts", and the song captures elements from the old Gathering's music (prior to former lead singer Anneke van Giersbergen's departure) and well as incorporating the style that developed with current lead singer Silje Wergeland.

One of the main reasons I love The Gathering is because of how mellow and beautiful their brand of rock is. The music atmospherical, and I'm transported to a very creative place when I listen to their music, and that is why they are one of best bands I listen to. After all, they are the band responsible for my blog's name. You can download the new song straight from The Gathering - for free, and I whole-heartedly recommend it, and also that you check out at least one of their many previous albums.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Long-Needed Update

I'm not doing so hot with maintaining this blog. I always end up neglecting it. Life is so beautiful and interesting and I just want to share it.

Well, the end of the semester went well, and I am pleased to announce that I passed my first graduate review and had a very positive response to my work. I want to take better pictures soon, but here are a couple for now:

In other news, I will departing on my long anticipated trip to Ireland in the next couple of days, and I hope I will have lots to share. The only foreign country I have been to prior to this is Mexico, so it's a brand new experience.

New musical experiences include Chromeo and the new Within Temptation and Leaves` Eyes albums. I would like to review the new albums, so here is hoping I will actually do it in the near future.

I also hope to start journaling on a daily basis. A professor suggested it to me, and if I produce anything good, I'm sure I will be sharing.

Other than that, I've been looking at a lot of interesting things online, and I will hopefully post some of the things I found by this weekend.

Monday, April 4, 2011

NCECA 2011

Last week I went to my first NCECA ever. This year it was in Tampa, and we made our long journey to Florida via university transportation, which was a huge van that unfortunately had no storage compartments. After the very long drive, we arrived in Tampa at about 4:00 PM and we had an hour to set our booth up and everything worked out great. Now it was time to enjoy being social with other artists like us.

The 1st day, Wednesday, was really humid and some of us used the morning to travel around to some of the different NCECA exhibitions, and then I managed the booth, talked with students interested in our programs, and met a lot of people. Later in the afternoon, my friends and former professor from undergrad arrived and I was able to meet up and talk with them for a while.

On Thursday we saw some terrible weather. I mean, torrential downpours and fierce lightning that caused a bit of damage across Florida. I ran around a bit exploring with Tiffany and Symon (friends from undergrad), and we stopped by the cup sale, which was amazing.

Friday's weather was perfect. Walked around the exhibitions some more and a couple of lectures. The first one called "The Art of Drinking" which I was pleased to find out included raku, and then a talk about how to make the most out of promotional media. After that, Tiffany, Symon, and I sat on a floating dock outside the conference center so we could enjoy the weather until Tiffany had to go to her scheduled critique. Later, we three, our friend Patty, and Doug Gray (my former professor and now friend) all went to Ybor City, which was just a 10 minute trolly ride away.

Click for Photo Gallery on Flickr.

Despite the bad weather that blew through, I thoroughly enjoyed NCECA and would love to go to next year's. It's all the way in Seattle, so we shall see if I can manage to get out there.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Music You Should Get [of the Week]

In the recent few months, I have become a huge fan of electronic music with tribal elements. This started with Fever Ray (the solo project of The Knife's Karin Dreijer Andersson), and I have ever since been addicted ever since.

Fast forward to the most recent artist I discovered that fits in this ethereal category: Glasser.

Cameron Mesirow, AKA Glasser creates her primeval sounding music with many electronic synths and other modded instruments, thus blending the futuristic into her primitive, tribal sound.

You can see a bit of her process here:

Her debut album Ring leads you on a celestial journey. She incorporates gossamer melodies with deep, earthy drums, and creates a beautiful otherworldly sound. I highly recommend the album, and I consider her one of the best new artists to emerge last year.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Incredible Art [of the Week]

My fellow ceramics grads and BFA's visited the Mint Museum of Craft and Design a couple of weeks ago to view their exhibition, Contemporary British Studio Ceramics: The Grainer Collection. Unfortunately, we were only able to to take photographs in their permanent collection. The Ceramics exhibition was pretty amazing to look at and I'm glad we were able to make the trip up to see it.

In the permanent collection of contemporary art, they have a large and amazing glass section. Immediately my attention was grabbed by a giant installation by Danny Lane and I wandered up to the fascinating glass wave.

If all goes as planned, I will hopefully be able to share art that I find and inspires me each week, as well as updates on my current work.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Adele - 21 - Review

Perhaps one of the most talked about albums of the year thus far is Adele's new album entitled 21. The London-born singer/songwriter's music can best be described as a heart-wrenching variety of jazz and soul.

The songs on 21 cover various situations on the common theme of heartbreak, but do so in such a headstrong style with powerhouse vocals to match. Adele possesses the raw and rare talent to capture pure emotion within her vocals, a skill that is sorely lacking in most popular music artists today. This particular genre of music is unfamiliar territory for me, so I'm not sure what it could possibly be comparable to. However, I do know that Adele is a very welcome talent to the popular music industry.

It's her timeless sound that has drawn me to her music. The thick, jazzy drumbeats of the first track ("Rolling in the Deep") hooks in the listener somewhere in between the tambourine, her effortlessly climbing vocals, and the layered chorus. This powerful intro is quickly followed by the saucy "Rumour Has It", definitely one of the highlights on the album. The jazzy percussion and vocals speak about that all too familiar notion of gossip in a vengeful, sassy flavor.

Perhaps one of Adele's best features on this album is creating heart-wrenching ballads of loves lost, but keeping one's head up in hope and remaining dignified. It's done in a beautiful way, whether it be accompanied by a lonesome piano, soaring bluesy vocals, a sorrowful and exposed ballad, or the most heart-wrenching song on the album, "Someone Like You", a song of love lost to another, but wishing them a happy life.

Adele creates amazing up-beat melodies as well, such as the incredible, and my current favorite, "Set Fire To the Rain". Her voice swirls with her music and lyrics, creating a fiery atmospheric experience. This kind of effect is difficult to achieve, and is something that makes true music such a powerful force.

The album is a cohesive whole - a gorgeous showcase of true talent. I highly recommend this album no matter what your preferred taste may be. Adele's voice and unique compositions make this album a must listen.