“Open” is how I feel when I am “in the zone” which is a phrase used a lot by jazz artists who improvise. Both terms are used by practitioners of meditation and free diving as well and it turns out they are talking about the same thing. When free diving the experience is closer to removing inhibition as you lose your fear of being submerged underwater when you are an air breathing mammal doing an activity that is directly defying death, and blatantly going against your innate nature of self preservation. As soon as the fear is gone, you can free dive to your max potential. I remember taking college classes in jazz improvisation (4 semesters worth) and in class, people did some of their worst improvising since they were under pressure, being graded, being watched by their fellow students and their professor during a morning class to make it that much worse. The very same people on the band stand at a live gig at 3AM after some drinks and dancing on their breaks could improvise like Coltrane. This is because they were blocked by their fear, stress and racing thoughts rather than letting go. What do all these disparate things have in common you ask? All of them and several more activities have been measured by EEG to create alpha waves in the brain. This neurological state is what artists of all stripes would call “in the zone” and it requires that you are “open” and that your racing rational thoughts are turned off. Another name for this state of mind is a “flow state” of consciousness.
Imagine for a minute that you had a portable DJ setup, a complete PA sound system with banging subwoofers, and a complete night club style lighting rig, but rather than having to tote a truck load of flight cases, racks, trusses, stands, gig bags and crates full of cables to be hooked up, it was all self contained in a tiny popup cube that was on a small trailer, could be driven and dropped off anywhere, the top popped up, and full lighting, sound and dj booth were prewired and immediately ready to go. Well that is the vision that created the Rhino Cube.
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I was asked by James Webb to perform at the next Beach Party event Saturday March 14, 2009. This is an all day event starting around 11:00AM and running until dark or later. My timeslot is between noon and 2:30PM EST. I am very much looking forward to this event, since it and the series of beach parties that it belongs to, are the real deal. The DJ lineup includes Redvoid (yours truly), Kevin Julian, Mooj, Pascal V., DJ Q, J. Webb, DJ Chang, DJ Jon, Ian, Von and possibly others not on the flyer. The main idea behind the beach party series is to provide people a chance to hear real electronica during the day, on the beach, in the sun rather than in a smoky club, late at night while giving the DJs a platform to spin the material that they value the most without concern for a particular club, promoter or event telling them what they can and cannot do. This is a welcome change of pace since here in Florida, we have beautiful weather that we Floridians often don’t take enough time to enjoy, and this format creates a kind of South Beach vibe like you might find during WMC, which I will be talking more about in the coming weeks. Since its only two more weeks until WMC now, consider this your warm up event to get yourself in the mood for South Beach.
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When I was a Fine Arts major at USF, my love of music became a love of all arts and creative endeavors. Fine Arts students were issued a “fine arts pass” that had a bunch of unpunched numbers on it, that could be used to get into a fixed list of fine art events that semester for free, each number corresponding with a specific event. The College of Fine Arts people who put this plan together knew we were college students with the interest but without the money to attend, and this was like their way of subsidizing our creative growth, which I really appreciated in retrospect. Even then I took that pass for everything it was worth. I originally went to art shows for the free food and wine, (again because I was the quintessential starving artist myself at this time) and quickly got hooked on the content. This was coincidentally how I got interested in wine, which I will discuss another time. I had a decent amount of raw drawing talent that had only been partially developed, so after attending some art shows, I wanted to try to go to the next level if only for my own personal reasons, so I took VC1. (Visual Concepts I the college of fine arts equivalent to ENC1101 Freshman English). I figured it would be a fun blow off course, where I would learn a thing or two, but instead found it to be immersive, challenging and really beneficial to my artistic eye. Developing my visual art side I realized much later only helped me in my musical creativity, because it allowed me to see the creative process from another angle, where some parts are easier to access and others more difficult, like how several different computer operating systems will have largely the same features and functions but one function will be much more apparent in one OS than in the others which helps you locate it easier in yours.
From 1:00am to 4:00am EST tonight, redvoid and thee dj q will be on Zentrip Radio on wmnf 88.5fm community sponsored radio in Tampa, FL. Tonight’s show will feature a live Ableton dj set by dj q, and the fm broadcast debut of redvoid’s better daze mix cd. Call into the show and comment on the air.
The term minimalism is commonly misunderstood, and often maligned. In its truest sense, minimalism was an art movement, a form of architecture, and then finally a form of music, specifically Classical or art music. Recently this label has also been applied to electronica as well, and many questions seem to arise from the use of this term, which probably needs some clarification.
The best way to think of minimalism in the broadest sense, is as a series of concepts or ideas. Ideas drive many things, and in creative endeavors, ideas become design principles, guides or even sometimes arbitrary rule sets used to steer the process. The Mies Van Der Rohe quote “less is more” gets thrown around, and did stem from the Bauhaus architecture and design movement so it is legitimately part of the true definition of minimalism, but it is possibly not clear enough to those who do not intuitively understand it at face value. Another way to say this is “doing the more with less”, as in create the most function from the least amount of form. I like to use the term “Occam’s Razor” which fundamentally means “economy of means” or what we could all just call plain simple.