Category Archives: Art

People of my City

I often hear complaints about Pietermaritzburg. It lacks the artistic vitality of Cape Town. It doesn’t have the balmy beaches of Durban. Joburg is where it’s happening for business. Whilst all of these are true, Maritzburg does have something that we often overlook. People. Van Gogh apparently said that there’s nothing more truly artistic than to love people. If that’s true, then Maritzburg has the potential to be an authentically artistic city.

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Filed under Art, Coffee, film, Photography, Uncategorized

Live Jazz with the Melvin Peters Quartet.

Join four of South Africa’s top jazz musicians as they celebrate our country’s rich heritage. Melvin Peters on piano, Bruce Baker on drums, Jonathan Judge on saxophone, and Ildo Nandja on double bass, will be performing the hits that have made South African jazz famous.

When: Friday, 14th March, at 7pm.
Where: Room A1 at UKZN PMB. Park at the Hex and follow the signs.
Tickets: R50. Book with Sam on email: churchontheridge.pmb@gmail.com or phone: 083 257 9059

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Filed under Art, History, Jazz, Uncategorized

Creativity doesn’t improve.

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“Presuming that there is such a thing as ‘progress’ when it comes to music, and that music is ‘better’ now than it used to be, is typical of the high self-regard of those who live in the present. It is a myth. Creativity doesn’t ‘improve.'”

These are the words of American musician and author, David Byrne (born 1952). This quote is from his new book ‘How Music Works.’ I agree with Byrne on this point. If creativity did improve then surely we wouldn’t be revisiting the old stuff with the enthusiasm that we do, whether it be music, literature, or any other art form.

Most of you are probably familiar with Byrne but don’t recognize him. Unless of course, like me, you were a Talking Heads fan in the 80’s- of which Byrne was the front man for nearly two decades. The Scottish-born grey head is still going strong. He and St.Vincent (Annie Clark -above image) have collaborated to produce a fantastic album, ‘Love this Giant‘ featuring a superb sounding 8-piece horn section. I love it. My kids love it too. They’ve already memorized the lyrics to many of the songs. My favourite track is ‘Outside of Space and Time’ – the horn section really sings on this one.

Byrne also has a blog that’s much more than a blog, it’s an encyclopedic journal. No quick visits here. Give it a go when you have lots of time. But when you do, you won’t be disappointed by this creative man’s interesting travels and perspectives on just about anything.

So whilst creativity may not improve, I’m grateful for people like Byrne and Clarke, who show it’s still around.

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Filed under Art, Music

Things I have learned in my life so far.

imageStefan Sagmeister is a famous designer/artist/marketer who has designed album covers for Lou Reed, OK Go, The Rolling Stones, David Byrne, Aerosmith and Pat Metheny. He has also produced a book entitled ‘Things I have learned in my life so far.’ In it he lists 16 things. I find it interesting that many of them fall in-line with a Christian worldview except for the dominant theme; man is at the centre. Here they are:

Complaining is silly. Either act or forget.
Thinking life will be better in the future is stupid, I have to live now.
Being not truthful works against me.
Helping other people helps me.
Organizing a charity group is surprisingly easy.
Everything I do always comes back to me.
Drugs feel great in the beginning and become a drag later on.
Over time I get used to everything and start taking it for granted.
Money does not make me happy.
Traveling alone is helpful for a new perspective on life.
Assuming is stifling.
Keeping a diary supports my personal development.
Trying to look good limits my life.
Worrying solves nothing.
Material luxuries are best enjoyed in small doeses.
Having guts always works out for me.

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Filed under Art, Design, Uncategorized, Writing

The Doctrine of the Strenuous Life.

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A great story of a great man with a great message! I’m looking forward to more good stories and comics from Ted Slampyak over at the Storytellers Workshop Inc.

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Filed under Art, History, Politics, Writing

The dust of everyday life…

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April 12, 2013 · 8:06 am

Orania, a documentary.

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This past Saturday night Sarah and I watched Orania, a 94 minute documentary directed by Tobias Lindner. Orania is a piece of private property in the middle of South Africa’s outback. Since 1991 it has been home to a small population of white Afrikaners, also referred to as Boers, who are attempting to preserve Afrikaans culture. The controversy around Orania is that people of other ethnic descent may not live or work there. The success of the documentary lies in how sensitively and sympathetically it observes and presents the lives of the people who do live there. Like all good art, the film is never preachy, but the messages are strong.

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Filed under Art, Documentary, film