Artist Highlight – Shambhu

Shambhu released Soothe CD in February this year
Shambhu released Soothe CD in February this year

In today’s modern world, people are feeling more disconnected and stressed than ever. Shambhu transforms the stillness and silence of meditation into calming sounds. An acclaimed guitarist and composer, Shambhu delivers a deeply soulful and self-reflective experience with his third studio album, Soothe, was released on  February 1, 2017.

Shambhu recorded his new CD, “SOOTHE,” at Magic Cottage Studios (Lagunitas, CA) with producer Todd Boston. Artists featured on the CD include Shambhu on acoustic and electric guitars, Michael Manring on bass, Jeff Haynes on percussion, Frank Martin on piano, Paul McCandless on reeds, Premik Russell Tubbs on soprano sax and wind synth, George Brooks on soprano sax, Ravichandra Kulur on bansuri flute, Kristin Hoffmann on vocals, and Gurumurthy V on tabla.

As noted album reviewer, John Apice, states in his stellar review: “At first, unfamiliar ears will find this particular tune of Shambhu’s too dreamy. Upon closer listen it will reveal subtle instrumental nuances that weave equally beautifully as Reverberi, Morricone, and Kaemphert had — through every measure. This at least, is my interpretation and where I believe the greatness of Shambhu could possibly lie. If it becomes true, he would occupy quite a respectable space beside these musicians. “Time Travel,” has a sprightlier guitar — similar in nature to Pat Metheny — and the horns are smooth as silk. The strum of the acoustic guitars is Kaemphert in nature. But overall, the style is brilliantly developed by Shambhu – who plays acoustic and electric guitars, adds voice, tosses in a 6-string ukulele, e-sitar and e-pads.”

John Apice goes on to say: “The title track “Soothe,” opens with pristine and pensive acoustic guitar. At times this kind of music is similar to passages performed by The Moody Blues at their height. However, Shambhu is not just offering a sample, but an entire piece with female vocals just under the surface, soaring benevolently. The tone is similar to acoustic guitar master Leo Kottke and is intricately beautiful in the same way as many of his classic instrumentals.”  Full Article

Shambhu invites you into his “Soothe” sound scapes of perfect harmony. He provides an energetic field that is conducive for a deep meeting with your Self, a space and a time conducive to integrate your ID with your Higher Self. His spiritual music of Soothe, his knowledge of meditation, and expertise in harmonizing energies allows you to shed the stresses of every day life. Join him on this spiritual journey to get in tune again with Gaia Nature and your own Nature from a spiritual sense. Feel as mellow as though you were sitting on the beach in Maui, right in the heart of NYC or where ever you are burdened with a hectic schedule.

As a successful business man Shambhu (Neil) Vineberg knows all about the pressures of dealing with time, traffic, presentations, deadlines, family commitment, investments, health and changes in politics and trends. To stay calm and balanced Shambhu began at a very young age to learn how to meditate. He now will share his ability to harmonize his energy body with you to allow you to benefit from his many years of studying and practicing the spiritual teachings of the Sri Chinmoy, Jack Kornfield, and many more.

The Shambhu Harmonics allows you to breathe deep, let go of everyday stressors, smoothe out the wrinkles of the many challenges you face and allows you guilt free “me time” guiding you back to you centered self. Come join us and experience the harmony that is created when like-minded people join together and focus on peace and harmony. Give your heart and mind a tune-up on a cell level.  The next Shambhu Harmonics event will be held in San Diego on May 23rd at the Pilgrimage Yoga.  You may also enjoy his upcoming concerts at a variety of San Diego wineries.

To buy the CD visit Amazon, Itunes or your favorite store. It is also available on Spotify, or purchase it right on Shambhu’s store.

 

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At C’era Una Volta, a romantic night of Italian Food and Opera in Alameda this Sunday, February 19, 2017

Clarissa Lyons by Marielle Hayes
Clarissa Lyons by Marielle Hayes

Why don’t you create one of the most romantic follow ups for your successful Valentine’s effort and bring your loved one to one of the most romantic settings in the Bay Area.  The quaint family atmosphere with amazing art by a word famous artist, whose paintings hang in the San Francisco Opera as well as all over Europe, is complimented by fantastic food, impeccable services which allows you to make your sweet heart feel like a princess or queen, or prince or king as the case maybe.   Being served by people who take pride in giving you a genuine old-world pleasure will create long term happy memories for you both. And if you have been married for along time, you may want to bring your grand children and introduce them to opera in a way that will open up their hearts to the finer things in life.

In 2014 Open Tables voted C’era Una Volta the Best Bay Area Italian restaurant.  It is located on 1332 Park Street, in Alameda and offers parking in the rear of the building.

This weekend there is a fundraiser that provides world class opera singers performances, a four course meal, and the first glass of wine for the small price of  a $95 per person of which $45 will given to the James Toland Vocal Arts programs.  The program cultivates and supports talents who aspire a professional career as vocal performers.

The Artists
Clarissa Lyons – rising star soprano

She will make her Metropolitan Opera debut as Karolka in Janáček’s Jenůfa in October of 2016 and will sing Countess Ceprano in Verdi’s Rigoletto in January and April 2017.

Clarissa Lyons by Marielle Hayes
Clarissa Lyons by Marielle Hayes

Ms. Lyons was vocal fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center in both 2011 and 2012.  Highlights from those residencies include performances Ravel’s Trois Poemes de Stephane Mallarmé, Prokofiev’s Ugly Duckling, Chausson’s Chanson Perpetuelle, Monteverdi’s Lamento d’Arianna, and excerpts of Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride with Susan Graham and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. She and pianist Bretton Brown have appeared in recital at Opera America’s National Opera Center, the WMP Concert Hall in New York City, and the Sunset Center in Carmel, California in the Winner’s Recital for the Carmel Music Society. Ms. Lyons has appeared as a soloist with the UC Berkeley University Chorus, with the Vermont Philharmonic, and San Francisco Choral Society at Davies Symphony Hall in their performance of Mendelssohn’s  Elijah featuring Rod Gilfry.  More

Arnold Livingston Geis – rising star Tenor

Arnold Livingston Geis, tenor, is a Los Angeles based musician and performer originally from Washington State. Geis began his career in Southern California as a church soloist. In 2013 marked Geis’ first season as a chorister in Los Angeles Opera’s performances of Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman. He has since performed on the Dorothy Chandler stage in favorites such as Carmen, La Traviata, and Billy Budd.

Geis  sings with the Los Angeles Master Chorale, an opportunity that has lead him to appear at the Walt Disney Concert Hall as a soloist in Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, and Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis. Geis’ most recent stage credits include Cavaliere Belfiore in Il viaggio a Reims, Chevalier in Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites, Laurie Lawrence in Little Women, and Ferrando in Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte.

He is honored to have worked under the esteemed conductors Gustavo Dudamel, Michael Tilson Thomas, James Conlon, and Grant Gershon. An active session singer, Geis’ voice can be heard in recent blockbusters such as After Earth, Maze Runner, Godzilla, The Rise of the Planet of the Apes, 50 Shades of Grey, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. He holds a BM in vocal performance from Biola University and graduated with his MM in vocal arts from The University of Southern California.

Clara Osowski – Mezzo Soprano

Clara Osowski’s recently completed the Vancouver International Song Institute, the International Workshop on the songs of Edvard Grieg in Bergen, Norway, and traveled to Tours, France to attend the Académie Francis Poulenc. She was also featured in the 2014 Baldwin-Wallace Art Song Festival, in Berea, Ohio and competed in the 2014 International Vocal Competition in s’Hertogenbosch, Netherlands. In 2015, she was the only American to reach the finals of the Das Lied competition under the direction of Thomas Quasthoff in Berlin, Germany. This past October Clara was a finalist in the Liederkranz Foundation in New York City. Numerous festivals have introduced Clara to a number of international artists and art-song masters, including Graham Johnson, Felicity Lott, Francois Le Roux, Julius Drake, Irwin Gage, and Richard Stokes.

Clara Osokowski at the Indiana State Contemporary Music Festival
Clara Osokowski at the Indiana State Contemporary Music Festival

James Kallembach’s Songs on Letters of John and Abigail Adams with the Lydian Quartet on the occasion of the Adams’ 250th wedding anniversary at their historic home in Quincy, Massachusetts, and Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with the Bel Canto Chorus of Milwaukee. In addition to her solo work, she participates in a number of ensembles, including Consortium Carissimi, Lumina Women’s Ensemble, the Rose Ensemble and Seraphic Fire.  More

Austin Siebert

Baritone-Austin Siebert just completed the Merola Opera Program and performed the roles of Mr. Gobineau in Menotti’s The Medium and Marco in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi. Siebert also covered Dr. Malatesta in Donizetti’s Don Pasquale. Additional recent engagements include outreach with the Dallas Opera as Belcore in Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore, Mustafá in Rossini’s L’italiana in Algeri with Seagle Music Colony, and the German General in Kevin Puts’ Silent Night with Fort Worth Opera Festival. Austin recently earned a Master of Music Degree in Vocal Performance at the University of North Texas, where he was seen as Dappertutto/Coppélius in Offenbach’s Les contes d’Hoffmann, Pritschitsch in Lehár’s Die lustige Witwe, and the title role in Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd. Mr. Siebert received his bachelors from Northwestern University and is a native of Shelbyville, IN.

 

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Norah Jones will release her new CD, Day Breaks, on October 7th, 2016.

Norah Jones will release her new CD on October 7th, 2016
Norah Jones will release her new CD on October 7th, 2016

Norah Jones has announced the October 7 global release of Day Breaks (Blue Note Records), her stunning sixth solo album which is a kindred spirit to the singer’s breakout debut Come Away With Me and finds the 9-time GRAMMY-winner returning to the piano and her roots. The album features jazz luminaries including her Blue Note label mates saxophonist Wayne Shorter, organist Dr. Lonnie Smith, and drummer Brian Blade on a 12-song set that presents 9 new originals alongside covers of songs by Horace Silver, Duke Ellington and Neil Young.

“This new album, Day Breaks, feels full circle because I’m going back to my early influences,” says Norah. “After the first record, I drifted away from the piano a little bit. I still played it, but was more inspired to write on guitar. I really loved playing piano on this record.”

Born March 30, 1979, in New York City, Norah Jones, the daughter of Ravi Shankar quietly grew up in Texas with her mother. While she always found the music of Billie Holiday and Bill Evans both intriguing and comforting, she didn’t really explore jazz until attending Dallas’ Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. During high school, Jones won the Down Beat Student Music Awards for Best Jazz Vocalist and Best Original Composition in 1996, and earned a second Best Jazz Vocalist award in 1997.

Learn more about Norah Jones at Blue Note.

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Rolando Morales September 2016 Calendar

Rolando Morales Trio at Pairings Cellars
Rolando Morales Trio at Pairings Cellars

Hola, Mi Gente!

The year is flying by like a ghost.  Are we already entering the last quarter?  Did we really lose so many?  Are these events really happening?

Throughout it all, I continue to perform my private and public shows throughout La Bahia and beyond, endeavoring to create good, positive feelings by sharing my music and passion.  I feel grateful to still be doing so as frequently as I do.  

September brings more of these blended opportunities, so please join me when you can!  I’m looking forward to some great private wine country events and playing for a repeat client that should bring in around 1,500 people.  

Publicly, I’m looking forward to Saturday Sept 10 from 8-11pm, when a new version of my Trio performs at Pairings Cellars, the brand new Pleasanton night spot.  We’ll have the great Brazilian drummer Celso Alberti; the deeply grooving bassist Dewayne Pate; and I’ll lead the way on guitar, guitar synth and voice.  Free!  Details below.

For those of you keeping score, after months away, I’m also returning to Barone’s Restaurant on Saturday Sept 17,also in Pleasanton.  Details below.

I’m also very happy to be contributing to the annual fund raiser put on by my beautiful friends at Sionfonds to benefit the children and their families in Haiti.  These people really do exceptional work, have big hearts and start it all from right here in Oakland.  The party happens on Sunday Sept 25 from 4-8pm at Venga Paella in Oakland.  It’s a great night out with authentic paella dinners, sangria and other libations, Haitian crafts, and I’ll be providing the musical sound track.  I urge you to click on their site to learn more and make your reservations. www.sionfonds.org.  You can also reserve here:  http://www.pingg.com/rsvp/pk8a76g22yq3zbkhp.   

There’s much more happening in your new Calendar, so check it out and say “Hola!”  See you at the show!

Ciao,

Rolando 

LAST PUBLIC PERFORMANCE FOR SEPTEMBER 2016

Friday Sept 2, Don Pico’s Mexican Bistro, 461 El Camino Real, San Bruno, 6 to 9 pm.  After almost a month away, Rolando returns to the place The Examiner and Independent have proclaimed has the “Best Seafood and Best Mexican Food” anywhere, on solo guitar and voice in the Restaurant Room.  Call (650) 589-1163www.donpicosbistro.com.

Sunday Sept 4, Maria, Maria Cantina, 1470 North Broadway, Walnut Creek, approx 2-5pm.  Rolando returns for the Maria, Maria Tardeada series.  Enjoy a Mexican brunch outdoors and Rolando performing on the newly renovated front patio on solo guitar and voice by the creek.  He may be joined by flautist Bob Harrison.  www.mariamariarestaurants.com(925) 946-1010.

Saturday Sept 10, Pairings Cellars, 310 Main Street, Pleasanton CA 94566, 8-11pm.  Rolando returns to this new, exciting social hotspot in downtown Pleasanton.  This new wine bar features fine wines, tapas and the Rolando Morales Trio, this time featuring from Brazil, the superb drummer from Steve Winwood and Airto, the great Celso Alberti; bassist from Arturo Sandoval, Robben Ford and so many more, the great Dewayne Pate; and Rolando Morales leading the way on guitar, guitar synth and voice.  Free! www.pairingscellars.com(925) 398-8846.

Sunday Sept 11, Maria, Maria Cantina, 1470 North Broadway, Walnut Creek, approx 2-5pm.  Enjoy a Mexican brunch and Rolando performing on the newly renovated front patio on solo guitar and voice by the creek.  If it’s too hot, it will be indoors.   He may be joined by Bob Harrison on flute.   www.mariamariarestaurants.com,   (925) 946-1010.

Tuesday Sept 13, Maria, Maria Cantina, 710 Camino Ramon Road, Danville CA, approx 6-9pm.  Rolando returns to Carlos Santana’s most elegant restaurant for Taco Tuesday.  $1 tacos, baby!  And Rolando on solo guitar and voice with his diverse repertoire performing out on the patio by the fire pits.  (925) 820-2366.  See www.mariamariarestaurants.com.

Friday Sept 16, Don Pico’s Mexican Bistro, 461 El Camino Real, San Bruno, 6 to 9 pm.   Celebrate 16 de Septiembre, Mexican Independence Day with Rolando  as returns on solo guitar and voice in the intimate Restaurant Room.  (650) 589-1163 and see www.donpicosbistro.com.

Saturday Sept 17, Barone’s Restaurant, 475 St. John St., Pleasanton CA, approx 7:30-10:30pm.   Rolando returns to one of Pleasanton’s premier dining establishments.  Enjoy exquisite meals, libations and Rolando’s vast repertoire in the Cocktail Lounge for a great night out.  See www.baronespleasanton.com(925) 426-0987.

Sunday Sept 18, Maria, Maria Cantina, 1470 North Broadway, Walnut Creek, approx 2-5pm.  Enjoy a Mexican brunch at Carlos Santana’s lively cantina and Rolando performing on the newly renovated front patio on solo guitar and voice by the creek. He may be joined by Bob Harrison on flute.   www.mariamariarestaurants.com,   (925) 946-1010.

Friday Sept 23, Don Pico’s Mexican Bistro, 461 El Camino Real, San Bruno, 6-9 pm.  Rolando  returns on solo guitar and voice, now in the intimate Restaurant Room.  Call (650) 589-1163 and www.donpicosbistro.com.

Sunday Sept 25, “Sionfonds for Haiti Presents: Party & Fund Raiser to Support Children & Their Families in Haiti,” Venga Paella, 229 Brush Street (at 3rd St.), Oakland 4 to 8pm.  Rolando lends a hand to some dear friends in their mission to provide education, nutrition, job training, community improvements and health care to rural Haitian families.  Enjoy a great party at this cool Oakland spot that will serve up a splendid paella dinner and drinks.  Bring a friend and meet smart, fun, caring people while Rolando Morales provides live entertainment on solo guitar and voice.  Bid for unique local and Haitian crafts and amazing services you’ll want, such as Haitian crafts, catered dinners with live music (by me!) and more!  $45 includes dinner.  www.sionfonds.org.  Reserve here: http://www.pingg.com/rsvp/pk8a76g22yq3zbkhp

Tuesday Sept 27, Maria, Maria Cantina, 1470 North Broadway, Walnut Creek, approx. 6-9pm.  Rolando returns to Carlos Santana’s Walnut Creek restaurant for Taco Tuesday.  $1 tacos, baby!  Enjoy Rolando on solo guitar and voice with his huge repertoire and big sound out on the front patio.  See www.mariamariarestaurants.com, or call (925) 946-1010.

Friday Sept 30, Don Pico’s Mexican Bistro, 461 El Camino Real, San Bruno, 6-9 pm.   Rolando  returns on solo guitar and voice, now in the intimate Restaurant Room.  Call (650) 589-1163 and www.donpicosbistro.com.

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Beverly Reiser creates new art collection: Contemplative Reflections

Beverly Reiser - On and On the tears must fall
Beverly Reiser – On and On the tears must fall

Beverly Reiser has been a prolific artist who has been exhibited all around the world.  For the past year she has started in a a new medium, pastels. We hope you enjoy her latest collection.

interactive multimedia installations using sound, video, and computer graphics:

ARTIST / CO-DEVELOPER

Vital Journey / Virtual Heart: a walk-in interactive multimedia installation for Exploration Place, a children’s science museum in Kansas, which takes children on a virtual journey through the human circulatory system, lungs and brain. Visitors complete the oxygen/carbon dioxide exchange using life-size video capture and interactive game technology. In collaboration with Gyroscope, Inc., and Vivid Group opened in April, 2000

 

ARTIST

private_loves/public_opera: A walk-in video “garden” with website which collects love stories, allows you to add your own love story. The web site is athttp://www.ylem.org/private_loves/public_opera/, San Francisco, Art Institute, Walter McBean Gallery, San Francisco, CA Dec.- Jan. 1996-1997, a collaboration with Barbara Lee

ARTIST

Que Viva Tu Recuerdo: Altars And Offerings for the Days of the Dead

An altar/ installation dedicated to the memory of Remedios Varo, Oakland Museum, CA, Oct. -Nov 1995, a collaboration with Lucia Grossburger Morales

 

Under the name of LIFE ON A SLICE:

( These are collaborations with Hans Reiser, Bill Fleming and Kimberley Edwards.)

ARTIST / CO-DEVELOPER:

VOICE GARDEN: LABYRINTH OF LOVE, LABYRINTH OF DESIRE, an interactive multimedia CD-ROM

 

Come, Human, spin in my Web! – A ride thru an A.I.’s persona

An A.I. sends an invitation out to Humans to visit the “web”. If they take up the invite, they adventure into either the “Cerebral Cathedral” or the ” Feral Forest”. Eventually they arrive at one of four possible endings having altered their own “data structure” or the environment.

 

Temple of the Goddesses – A virtual sacred space.

As the visitor moves thru the shrine complex they are engaged in various episodes (depending on the visitors response ) by goddesses Venus, Nemesis, the Psychedelic Cyber Pagan, etc. There are four possible endings with numerous episodes along the way.

 

The Phosphorescent Samurai and the Geisha Snail A surrealistic fable

Two inter-species mutants start on their ‘hero’s journey’ and, depending on choices made by the viewer along the way, are transformed accordingly. There is a final revelation unique to each of the eight possible endings.

HEART THEATER, Exploration Place, Wichita, Kansas opens April, 2000

PRIVATE_LOVES / PUBLIC_OPERA, San Francisco Art Institute, Walter McBean Gallery, San Francisco, CA

Dec.- Jan. 1996-1997

2DO FESTIVAL INTERNACIONAL DE VIDEO Y ARTES ELECTRONICAS, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1996

INTEGRATED HEMISPERES: Woman/Art /Technology, Blasthaus, San Francisco, CA, May – June 1996

BURNING MAN FESTIVAL, South of Market Arts Center, San Francisco, Aug. 1995, 1996, 1998

INTERACTIVE COMMUNITIES, SIGGRAPH 95 Conference , Los Angeles, 1995

JUPITER AND THE COMETS, a program/event produced by the

Center for Extreme Ultraviolet Astophysics, 1994

THE UBIQUITOUS ART ZONE, the ACM’s Multimedia ’94 Conference, San Francisco, Ca, USA, Oct. 1994

PLEASE TOUCH ! , VIDEO SCULPTURE, Regional Center for the Arts,

Bedford Gallery, Walnut Creek, CA, Jan, 1994

THE INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCE, INTERACT ’93, conference of ACM’s SIG Computer Human Interface and INTERACT ( European ), Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 1993

LIFE ON A SLICE, tour of German University Art galleries, Feb.-May, 1992

SIGGRAPH ART SHOW ’92, Chicago, July, 1992

IMAGES DU FUTUR ’92, LA CITE DES ARTS ET NOUVELLES TECHNOLOGIES DU MONTREAL, Canada

TOMMOROW’S REALITIES: HYPERMEDIA, SIGGRAPH, Las Vegas, 1991

INTERACTIVE ART, Center for Extreme Ultraviolet Astrophysics, NASA, U.C. Berkeley

AMERICAN LIGHT ART, Takashimaya, Tokyo, Japan, 1989-90

NEO-NEON, One Market Plaza, Art Programs Inc., San Francisco, 1987

EXPANDED VISION: NEW TECHNOLOGIES IN ART, Jack Gallery, New York City, 1985

interviews, articles, & books:

Art & Technology at the Mining Co. web site, featured artist in Mindscapes on 11/06/97

LEONARDO, ( the cover of) Journal of the International Society for Arts Sciences and Technology, MIT Press, Vol. 29 #1, 1996

Microsoft’s magazine, feature: Art on the Internet: Rare Birds in Cyberspace, by Dominic Gates, http://home.microsoft.com/reading/features.asp, Feb. 26,1997

INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM OF ELECTRONIC ARTS ’96, CD ROM produced & distributed by MultiArtDisc, Eindhoven, Netherlands, 1996

ARTWEEK, article on art & technology by Barbara Fisher, Jan., 1996

 SIGGRAPH ’95 MULTIMEDIA CD-ROM, a publication of the ACM ‘s SIGGRAPH, 1995

COMPUTERS & GRAPHICS , Pergamom Press , and the IEEE’s COMPUTER GRAPHICS ,Special supplement joint issue edited by Carl Machover, “Aesthetic Considerations Unique to Interactive Multimedia” , May,1995

NEW SCIENTIST, “Netropolis”, “An Elephant Dancing” by Claire Neesham, April,1994

ARTISTS DATABASE CD-ROM , Project Intercommunication Center, Tokyo, 1993,1994,

ART IN THE ELECTRONIC AGE, by Frank Popper, pub. by Harry N. Abrams,1992, Paris, France

LEONARDO, Journal of the International Society for Arts Sciences and Technology,

San Francisco, CA, Jan, 1994

TECH-NATION, interview by Dr. Moira Gunn , National Public Radio, Aug, 1993

GD3D, GRAPHIC DESIGN IN THE THIRD DIMENSION, Ken & Leigh Cato, published by Graphic Sha, Tokyo, 1992

VERBUM, JOURNAL OF COMPUTER AESTHETICS, San Diego, CA, Dec. 1991

LET THERE BE NEON !, Vol. II, by Rudi Stern, NY,NY, 1991

CONTEMPORARY NEON, by Rudi Stern, NY, NY, 1992

NEW YORK TIMES, Business Section 3, The New Hollywood, Sept. 1991

COMPUTER GRAPHICS, Magazine of the I.E.E.E., Art in Virtual Reality, May, 1992

CYBER ARTS, published by Harper- Freeman, ed. by Linda Jacobson, Summer ,1992

offices & awards:

President of Ylem/ Artists Using Science And Technology , PO box 749, Orinda, CA, 94563, 1985-1999

Advisory Board, International Society for the Arts, Sciences, and Technology, San Francisco, CA, 1989-2000

Currently Chair of the Advisory Board

MicroTimes Magazine on it’s “MicroTimes 100”, their list of 100 people who’ve had a significant influence

on the computer industry, Dec., 1995

designer / co-founder / director (until 1999)

Ylem’s Art on the Edge, an art gallery on the world wide web: http://www.ylem.org/

External Advisory Panel member to Xerox PARC Artist-in Residence Program, 1993

Honorary Distinction in Interactive Art, PRIX ARS ELECTRONICA, Linz, Austria, 1992

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Artist Highlight: Laurent Mercier

Laurent Mercier and John Lee Hooker, Jr.
Laurent Mercier and John Lee Hooker, Jr.

Laurent Mercier was born in France in 1967. He spends a good part of his childhood on the road with his parents who are working in the music industry. Later he studies at the « école nationale supérieure des Beaux-arts » in Paris. He started his career as an independent multimedia artist, organizing collective exhibitions. He also worked with the publishing firm, Association for the Development of Multimedia Literature.

He exhibits regularly at the Galerie Donguy, 57 rue de la Roquette, in Paris. He organizes collective exhibitions from the artist action group created by Michel Journiac. He takes part in events on the subject of the artist condition and status in the society, in institutions like Unesco.

He joins Jacques Donguy in his publishing structure “Association for the Development of Multimedia Literature.”

He eventually created his own school “Studio Mercier” where he trains CG Artists, who are working currently in international production studios. He created his own production studio Callicore which allows him to provide services to musicians without any of the restraints often found in major media conglomerates.  Laurent Mercier, in short, has devoted his life to break through boundaries and to bring genuine, true art and freedom to his creations counter-balancing the boredom of what he calls “the cultural dictatorship of corporate media”.

Now with his own company, Callicore, he is in charge of all aspects of its projects, from pre-production to post-production, and retains a relatively independent and free nature. It is working out well for Laurent Mercier and his artist clients.  They won a Webby Award with John Lee Hooker, Jr. with the animated music video ”Blues ain’t Nothin’ but a Pimp” and expanded Callicore’s service offer with music production and music publishing.  More than a collaboration, John Lee Hooker Jr and Laurent Mercier developed the strong bond of a real brotherhood. Among the many illustrious artists co-produced by Laurent Mercier are a variety of projects with John Lee Hooker jr, Arrested Development, Carbon Silicon,The buzzcocks, The Meteors, The Washington Dead Cats, Marky Ramones Blitzkrieg, We Are The Fury, CAKE, Brian Setzer, Lee Rocker, Clinic Rodéo, Dr Feelgood and recently Iggy Pop.

Iggy Pop’s rendition of the classic “La Vie en Rose.”

At Callicore Studios, Laurent Mercier is the producer, director, CG artist, who collaborates with Marius Legrand, producer, lead animator, and are supported by their production assistant Anaelle Majidate.

Washington Dead Cats fun video of a groovy nightmare blues song.

One of the first collaborations between Mercier and Xavier Semens, who joined Callicore in 2006, was the animated video for Phantom Rider, a song from the 2007 album, Hymn for the Hellbound, by the British psychobilly group The Meteors. That same year, Callicore produced an animated video for Sound of a Gun, by the British punk band The Buzzcocks (the initial video was considered too violent for broadcast television, and a second, less violent version was released).

Callicore created the animated video for Blues Ain’t Nothin’ But a Pimp, a song from John Lee Hooker, Jr.’s Grammy Award-winning album, All Odds Against Me. The video portrays Hooker as a comic book character, “Bluesman”, who plays in clubs at night and cleans up the streets during the day. The video was a Webby Award honoree in the Special FX/Motion Graphics category in 2009. An image from the video was featured on the album’s cover.

In 2008, Callicore produced its first video for Carbon/Silicon, a band founded by Mick Jones, the former guitarist for The Clash, and bass player Tony James. In 2010, the studio produced the video for hip-hop group Arrested Development’s Bloody, as well as for When We Were Angels by Marky Ramone’s Blitzkrieg, a project of former Ramones drummer, Marky Ramone.[2]

In 2011, Callicore created the video for Cake’s Long Time, a track from the band’s comeback album, Showroom of Compassion. In an interview with Cake singer John McCrea, Mercier said the gloomy mood of the video, which follows the plight of a man and his monkey imprisoned in a dystopian world, was inspired directly by Cake’s music, which reminds him of “melancholy things.” McCrea was impressed by the video’s general movement and choreography, which he suggested are often lacking in music videos, and appreciated how Mercier perceived the non-humorous side of Cake’s music.

Callicore produced and directed videos for artists such as Brian Setzer, Lee Rocker, Eagle-Eye Cherry and Dr. Feelgood, from 2011 to 2013. The studio has continued its collaboration with John Lee Hooker, Jr., with several videos featuring the “Bluesman” character created for Blues Ain’t Nothin’ But a Pimp.

You can learn more about Laurent Mercier via his website, wiki, and facebook page.

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Artist Highlight – Tony Bennett

Tony Bennett Happy Birthday
Tony Bennett Happy Birthday

“We aren’t likely to see a recording career like this again.”
— The New York Times

“…his voice is still a technical marvel, and no one else on Earth can make a lyric written eight decades ago sound as natural as a conversation at a coffee shop.”
— New York Magazine

Happy Birthday Tony Bennett

No one else in popular American music has recorded for so long and at such a high level of excellence as Tony Bennett. In the last ten years alone he has sold ten million records. The essence of his longevity and high artistic achievement was imbued in him in his loving childhood home in the Astoria section of Queens where he was born on August 3, 1926. His father died when Tony was 10 and his mother, Anna, raised Tony and his older brother and sister, John and Mary, in a home surrounded by loving relatives who were Tony’s first fans filling him with encouragement and optimism. He attended the High School of Industrial Arts in Manhattan, where he continued nurturing his two passions, singing and painting. From the radio he developed a love of music, hearing Bing Crosby, Louis Armstrong, and James Durante.

As a teenager Tony sang while waiting on tables, and then enlisted in the Army during World War II. While in Europe he performed with military bands. He later had vocal studies at the American Theatre Wing School. The first time Bennett sang in a nightclub was in 1946 when he sat in with trombonist Tyree Glenn at the Shangri-La in Astoria. Bennett’s big break came in 1949 when comedian Bob Hope noticed him working with Pearl Bailey in Greenwich Village in New York City. As Bennett recalls, “Bob Hope came down to check out my act. He liked my singing so much that after the show he came back to see me in my dressing room and said, ‘Come on kid, you’re going to come to the Paramount and sing with me.’ But first he told me he didn’t care for my stage name (Joe Bari) and asked me what my real name was. I told him, ‘My name is Anthony Dominick Benedetto’ and he said, ‘We’ll call you Tony Bennett.’ And that’s how it happened. A new Americanized name—the start of a wonderful career and a glorious adventure that has continued for over 60 years.”

With millions of records sold worldwide and platinum and gold albums to his credit, Bennett has received seventeen Grammy Awards—including a 1995 Grammy for Record of the Year for his “MTV Unplugged” CD, which introduced this American master to a whole new generation—and the Grammy Lifetime Award. His 2007 prime-time special, “Tony Bennett: An American Classic,” won seven Emmy Awards. His initial successes came via a string of Columbia singles in the early 1950’s, including such chart-toppers as “Because of You,” “Rags to Riches,” and a remake of Hank Williams “Cold, Cold Heart.” He had 24 songs in the Top 40, including “I Wanna Be Around,” “The Good Life,” “Who Can I Turn To (When Nobody Needs Me)” and his signature song, “I Left My Heart In San Francisco,” which garnered him two Grammy Awards.

Tony Bennett is one of a handful of artists to have new albums charting in the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, and now in the first two decades of the 21st century. He has introduced a multitude of songs into the Great American Songbook that have since become standards for pop music. He has toured the world to sold out audiences with rave reviews whenever he performs. Bennett re-signed with Columbia Records in 1986 and released the critically acclaimed The Art of Excellence. Since his 1991 show-stopping performance at the Grammy Awards of “When Do The Bells Ring For Me,” from his Astoria album, he has received a string of Grammy Awards for releases including Stepping Out, Perfectly Frank, and MTV Unplugged.

In the new millennium, Bennett’s artistry and popularity was higher than ever. In 2006, the year of his 80th birthday, his Duets: An American Classic was released. The album—which included performances with Paul McCartney, Elton John, Barbra Streisand, Bono, and others—won three Grammy Awards and went on to be one of the best selling CDs of the year and Tony’s career. Bennett’s first Duets album also inspired the Rob Marshall-directed television special Tony Bennett: An American Classic which won seven Emmys making it the most honored program at the 2007 Emmy Awards.

In celebration of his 85th birthday in 2011, the release of Bennett’s highly anticipated Duets II featured Tony performing with a new roster of celebrated artists including the late Amy Winehouse (her last recording was their duet of “Body and Soul”), Michael Bublé, Aretha Franklin, Josh Groban, Lady Gaga, John Mayer, and many others. Duets II debuted at #1 on the Billboard Album charts, making Tony the only artist at the age of 85 to achieve this in the history of recorded music. Bennett won two Grammys for Duets II in the 2012 Grammy ceremony and this year marked the 50th Anniversary of the recording and release of his signature song, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.” A documentary entitled THE ZEN OF BENNETT, which was created and conceived by Danny Bennett, Tony’s son and manager, was premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2012. At the end of 2012, Bennett also authored his fourth book, the New York Times bestseller, LIFE IS A GIFT, which highlights his personal philosophies learned throughout his life and career.

Tony Bennett became a Kennedy Center Honoree in 2005, was named an NEA Jazz Master in January of 2006, a Citizen of the World award from the United Nations and a Billboard Magazine Century Award in honor of his outstanding contributions to music. Tony Bennett is a dedicated painter whose interest in art began as a child. He continues to paint every day, even as he tours internationally. He has exhibited his work in galleries around the world. The United Nations has commissioned him for two paintings, including one for their 50th anniversary. His original painting, “Homage to Hockney,” is on permanent display at the Butler Institute of American Art and the landmark National Arts Club in New York is home to Tony’s painting “Boy on Sailboat, Sydney Bay.” Three of his paintings are part of the Smithsonian Museums permanent collections including his portrait of his friend Duke Ellington that became part of the National Portrait Gallery’s collection in 2009.

Throughout his career, Tony Bennett has always put his heart and time into humanitarian concerns. He has raised millions of dollars for the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, which established a research fund in his name. His original paintings each year grace the cover of the American Cancer Society’s annual holiday greeting card, proceeds from which are earmarked for cancer research. He is active in environmental concerns and social justice. He marched with Dr. King in the historical Selma to Montgomery Civil Rights movement and the Martin Luther King Center in Atlanta bestowed upon him their “Salute to Greatness Award” for his efforts in fighting racial discrimination.

In 1999, Tony Bennett, with his wife Susan Benedetto, a former public school teacher, founded Exploring the Arts (ETA) to strengthen the role of the arts in public high school education. ETA connects private funders, individual artists, and cultural institutions to Partner Schools to achieve greater equality of resources and opportunity for youth of all means and backgrounds. ETA programs are designed to help school principals and teachers sustain the arts in the face of budget cuts and better leverage the arts to strengthen student learning and engagement. ETA’s first endeavor was the establishment of Frank Sinatra School of the Arts (FSSA), a public high school founded in 2001 by Tony and Susan in partnership with the NYC Department of Education. FSSA is housed in a newly constructed building in Tony’s hometown of Astoria, Queens. Its state of the art facilities include visual art studios and a gallery, black box theatres and a stagecraft workshop, dance studios, choral and orchestral classrooms, an 800-seat concert hall, a multi-media technology lab, and a rooftop performance garden. All students major in Dance, Theatre, Film, Fine Art, Vocal or Instrumental Music. FSSA also offers a rigorous academic curriculum and holds one of the highest graduation and college enrollment rates for NYC public high schools. ETA continued beyond its commitment to FSSA to expand their support and to date, ETA currently partners with 17 public high schools—14 in all five boroughs of New York City and 3 schools located in East Los Angeles.

Today Tony Bennett’s artistry and accomplishments are applauded here at home and all over the world from people from 12 to 90 years old. Recently former President Bill Clinton observed, “Now in his seventh decade of singing, Tony Bennett has somehow kept his unique voice, with its beauty and range, its strength and style, and still in perfect pitch. But as talented as he is, Tony’s most impressive quality is his giving spirit!”

zenofbennett.com

Help Tony Bennett, on his birthday to keep giving he gift of Art. exploringthearts.org

Enjoy this amazing show of this incredible life.  It is long and so, so rich.

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