And now my personal highlights from the Museo Nacional del Prado. My favorite collection at the Prado was Francisco de Goya's Black Paintings. A few from that series are featured below: Two Old Men Eating Soup, Witches' Sabbath, and Saturn Devouring His Son. I saw more original art in my two weeks in Paris and Spain than I had in my entire life previous. I want to think being around all those masterpieces infused me with creative magic. Remains to be seen.
As fantastic luck would have it, we were in Madrid during the Salvador Dalí exhibit at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía. The Reina Sofía museum is known for a variety of works, and houses Picasso's Guernica (and yes, it was breathtaking to behold).
I saw so many pieces for the first time, and I was truly moved beyond explanation. It was so hard to resist taking photos, but after the third museum attendant snapped at me, I felt compelled to stop giving Americans a bad name and resigned myself to taking copious notes. Thanks to the internet, I was able to arrange this mini-gallery of my absolute favorites. My favorites from the Museo del Prado coming soon!
Behold: my first creations via the digital coloring book I just discovered. I may never sleep again.
My pal Alexa sent me a link to the Museum of Endangered Sounds back in August. Alexa was my assistant for a while ("An assistant to an assistant? You can't go lower!" See this post.). She must have gotten to know me quite well over the years because she knew I would absolutely adore this virtual mini-museum of sonic delights.
The museum is operated by a chap named Brendan Chilcutt and captures the sound of old technologies and electronic equipment. It is absolutely brilliant. A few of my favorites: blowing into a Nintendo video game cartridge, the America Online sign-on page (My first screennames as a pre-teen? YooHooPunk and ZachMorrisIsHot!), and an old rotary telephone.
I wish I had thought of this first! Check it out: Museum of Endangered Sounds.
If you know sound art, you know John Cage. For those who don't, Cage was an avant-garde composer who practiced a lot of what I focus on... sound for sound's sake, sounds from the non-standard use of musical instruments, noise as art, etc. He is probably most known for his piece 4'33''. To play this piece, performers sit in silence for 4 minutes and 33 seconds. The piece is whatever ambient sound the audience perceives as the performers sit still. Enjoy this performance of 4'33'' by Hollywood darling, Nicolas Cage.
Also, I spent today's lunch break on a few site improvements:
Yestereve (I just really wanted to use that word), I had the pleasure of attending Music 2.0: Tools + Tech for Musicians, Marketers, + Managers. The event was held at Microsoft's New England Research and Development Center (NERD!). Hard to rally for a three-hour meeting after working all day, but I was rewarded by a surprise reunion with my homeboy Jared Mooney who owns Dirty Water Sound and Music. I have about five pages of notes, but I realize no normal human being would be at all interested in those. So, my personal highlights:
- Ryan Spaulding, local music blogger: "You can't fix everyone else's issues. So pay it forward and build relationships." and, in referring to self-promotion: "You gotta be respectful, but you gotta be ruthless." Preach.
- Music and Youth Initiative: a nonprofit founded because of cutbacks in music education... set up these "music clubhouses" in already established youth centers that provide everything necessary to teach music... Berklee provides work study students to teach music to under-served urban youth (Pro Tools, too! awesome!). As an aside: the presenter played a video and the audio levels were low. Someone yelled out "Hold a mic up to the speaker!" I know this sounds pretentious, but... REALLY?! At a music tech conference?! You HAVE to know that would cause the worst sound ever. Right? Right.
- Indie Ambassador "empowers the music entrepreneur by providing the tools and resources necessary to build a transparent, sustainable career." I'm still not totally clear as to what that means, but it sounds like a consulting situation to help musicians actually get money for what they're doing (?). It is currently in beta; we'll see where that goes.
- Marcus Whitney of Moontoast. Super cool. "Turning fans into sustainable business." Essentially, Moontoast has tools to embed music purchasing into Facebook and other social networking sites in order to "place the buying opportunity where the fan wants to be, not where you want them to go." It can embed audio purchasing for FREE and you/Moontoast get $ at point of purchase. Nice.
- ZMX Music: you can sell your sheet music on your own page or via social media. Digital delivery means composer royalty percentages upped. Killer.
- Chris Marstall of Tourfilter: I have loved Tourfilter since its infancy. I heard of it through a pal of mine who worked with the developer (and I think there was a romantic connection there? I kept calling out her name under my breath to see if he reacted. I shouldn't have admitted that last thing.). You can choose the bands you love and Tourfilter will notify you when they're coming to town. It also has a full calendar option (which is brilliant for finding new acts when you're looking for something to do on any given evening).
Thank you, thank you to all the folks who made this event possible (namely Charles McEnerney). I am sooooo happy I forced myself to attack a 13 hour day. Hooray for Music 2.0!