Sunday, May 31, 2009

edgar mueller's other reality

edgar mueller has taken street art to a whole new level with his mega works of amazement and delight!!

look at these!!

"not real."


"the crevasse.

to see how "the crevasse" was created you should watch this.

you know you need to see more!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

i carry your heart with me

well here we are, almost out of the month in which we observe may day, (a day traditionally devoted to the celebration of pre-conjugal love and all the pleasures and tribulations that ascribe to that magical state) and i thought of a wondrous confabulation in which the other worldly qualities of artist marc chagall and writer ee cummings could be brought together in as wondrous a creative confluence as can be imagined or perpetrated in this crazy world.

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

ee cummings

those are words to sing or dance to!

Friday, May 29, 2009

wasn't i joe?

when david sylvian's album "blemish" came out, it left many of his listeners struggling to make the adjustment from their previous experience which led many to become accustomed to and then even to expect his usually lush, careful and precisely orchestrated music. blemish laid bare many of the assumptions in david's music just as david had been laid bare by life.

almost entirely a solo album with the addition of christian fennesz and derek bailey, blemish maintains high rotation here at golden fish world headquarters some six years after its release.

an excellent and insightful review of this album can be read here.

one of the highpoints of david sylvian's music for me is the track "wasn't i joe?" released a year after "blemish" but sonically and emotively connected, this song is described by one reviewer as "an electronic suite of emotional dismay, slowing like a stopping heartbeat, then growing to a techno blur, as sylvian and a sampled woman sigh lyrics to some invisible bartender."

"holding on for dear life - 'till something better comes along......"

Watch David Sylvian - Wasn't I Joe? in Music Videos  |  View More Free Videos Online at

Thursday, May 28, 2009

søren bendt's hum

one of my favourite memories from my childhood is of being invited into my grandfather's shed. filled with all kinds of woodworking and gardening tools, and the smells of oil, metal, woodshavings and the sweet tang of creosote, the shed was a magical oasis. i have never had a shed of my own although i've seen plenty that look beautiful, you know - little windows, a porch, and that all-important ingredient - bare wooden walls and roof - but i've not gone there yet.

today's short film is a cute and very clever piece about a little robot who is on a mission to make his own tool shed world a little more interesting. directed by søren bendt, it has won a slew of awards. to learn more about søren and the film visit hum's dedicated website.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme

as stunningly beautiful rich and simple, kind and gracious speaking-from-and-about-another-time-long-past songs go then "scarborough fair" surely calls to my inner english boy. could it be any more evocative of the world of four of my favourite english authors mary webb, thomas hardy, henry williamson, and richard jeffries if it were possible?

the words and images speak from an england contained within the england that is. not gone, but secreted away.

carefully contained.

preserved if you will.


"are you going to scarborough fair
parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
remember me to one who lives there
she once was a true love of mine

tell her to make me a cambric shirt
(on the side of a hill in the deep forest green)
parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
(tracing of sparrow on snowcrested brown)
without no seams nor needle work
(blankets and bedclothes the child of the mountain)
then she'll be a true love of mine
(sleeps unaware of the clarion call)

tell her to find me an acre of land
(on the side of a hill a sprinkling of leaves)
parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
(washes the grave with silvery tears)
between the salt water and the sea strands
(a soldier cleans and polishes a gun)
then she'll be a true love of mine

tell her to reap it with a sickle of leather
(war bellows blazing in scarlet battalions)
parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
(generals order their soldiers to kill)
and gather it all in a bunch of heather
(and to fight for a cause they've long ago forgotten)
then she'll be a true love of mine

are you going to scarborough fair
parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
remember me to one who lives there
she once was a true love of mine."


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

doe a deer

an old chestnut of a tune that still carries some joy and great associations but placed here in a context (and with some musical updating) that brings even more joy to it. enjoy!!!!

Monday, May 25, 2009

i never want to leave

there's something so essential in this little place where a tree wraps its roots around a beautiful pink rock. there's so much age contained in the rock and so much knowledge in the tree.

ryokan allowed himself to become a part of a similar essence . . .

"in my youth i put aside my studies
and i aspired to be a saint.
living austerely as a mendicant monk,
i wandered here and there for many springs.
finally i returned home to settle under a craggy peak.
i live peacefully in a grass hut,
listening to the birds for music.
clouds are my best neighbors.
below a pure spring where i refresh body and mind;
above, towering pines and oaks that provide shade and brushwood.
free, so free, day after day --
i never want to leave!"

you might like to visit my other blog "flow"

Sunday, May 24, 2009

after long silence

i love to visit reya's blog every day for her very cool photography and her deep and real insights into human nature and the experiencing of life. yesterday morning i read a piece by her on the benefits of middle age.

her writing obviously got me thinking. so there i was edging a garden bed out front of my home and a song came into my head called "after long silence". english majors reading this will say "hey, that's not a song, that's a poem by yeats" and you're right. but i have heard it rendered by cleo laine the great british jazz singer and that's what i heard in my head. but why that song? so i looked up the lyrics / poem and here's what you see.

after long silence

speech after long silence; it is right,
all other lovers being estranged or dead,
unfriendly lamplight hid under its shade,
the curtains drawn upon unfriendly night,
that we descant and yet again descant
upon the supreme theme of art and song:
bodily decrepitude is wisdom; young
we loved each other and were ignorant.

william butler yeats (from "the winding stair and other poems" 1933)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

little red riding hood - reinterpreted

tomas nilsson has some cool stuff over at his website. this video is a keeper!!

Slagsmålsklubben - Sponsored by destiny from Tomas Nilsson on Vimeo.

Friday, May 22, 2009

light lane

getting back on the bicycle after a long winter of splitting my travel method between quick, dry, warm, comfy rides in my buddy dave's honda fit in the morning and the eight km walk home has been a bit of a challenge. even with the walk, personal fitness tends to slide after a few months and so the journey back to real fitness has been a sore and at times ugly road but it's gradually coming back.

getting used to sharing a roadway with cars and trucks and buses has also been a bit of a learning curve. it's funny to think that i've ridden this route hundreds and hundreds of times but it still takes a while to get used to thinking like a vehicle on a road filled with other larger vehicles that are sometimes driven by (shall we say) unhappy people. the route i take has no bicycle lane. instead i rely on the highway traffic act which suggests that a cyclist has an area one metre from the curb that they may inhabit.

cyclists always look for an edge in dealing with the weather, roadspace, equipment, appearance so you're likely to see the odd piece written by me that looks at some of those needs.

today i'd like to share a novel idea for protecting the space nominally referred to as a "bicycle lane". originally shared by the good people over at dustbowl, this cool idea is making the rounds of cyclists for whom stepping into a car just 'cause it's cold, wet, dark or whatever just isn't an option.

(click on the image to enlarge it so you can read it!!)

i think that this has some potential although it's terribly expensive and honestly, most bike lanes i frequent quickly become parking spots making cycling them something of a waste of time. still, it's nice to see people thinking a little bit beyond the single white line and stencilled cyclist model.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

trillium wood

the trillium is this province's official flower. it's appearance in the nearby woods is a brief event that is the herald of late spring. the trillium has a lot of very interesting features, one of which is that it is spread by the work of ants and mice. "trillium seeds have a fleshy organ called an elaiosome that attracts ants. the ants take the seeds to their nest, where they eat the elaiosomes and put the seeds in their garbage, where they can be protected until they germinate. they also get the added bonus of growing in a medium made richer by the ant garbage." (wikipedia)
what i do know is that they grow in profusion in our woods and make for a very beautiful show at a time when nature is just beginning to flex its green muscles. on my walk i came across a few little clusters . . . after which i found some larger gatherings . . .
and then when i had walked as far east as i could i turned and looked back and saw that the woods were in fact filled with these tiny three-petalled beauties! but my favourite was this slightly past its prime becoming pink-petalled rendering of a trillium that was all on its own in a distant corner . . .

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

robert e. carter on self-cultivation

thirty-three years ago i stood and threw beer-bottles at a door. well past what could be called inebriated, i was engaged in something that i look back on with a degree of detachment but which i can recall with considerable clarity.

the person living behind the door opened it. a bearded man with a soft voice spoke to me. he invited me to stop throwing bottles at his door. then he invited me in to drink tea with him and to hear his poetry.

this man it turns out was bob carter, the master of the college in which i was living. i hadn't officially met him until that point. but sitting on his couch, drinking his tea, listening to his poetry, an awakening of sorts took place. i was drawn to see myself for what i had done and then for what i was. that he did this without anger, without malice, but with genuine kindness is a lesson that i apply to my own dealings with students whose learning and being curve has not reached a point of refinement.

here is robert speaking on self-cultivation. the idea that a person can refine their spiritual self through concerted and virtuous work.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


less is more unless you are named "more" which is what today's short film is entitled. released ten years ago (1999) "more" was understandably nominated for an academy award. the film deals with the dilemma of work, success, and happiness and how to reconcile yourself to their disconnectedness, their mutually exclusive features or how to reconcile the three states into one. "more tells the story of an inventor who lives in a drab, colorless world. day by day, he toils away in a harsh, dehumanizing job, his only savior being the memories of the bliss of childhood. but at night, he works secretly on an invention that could help him relive those memories and spread their joy to everyone in his despair-filled life."

when he finishes his invention, it changes the way people look at the world. but success also changes him, for with it, he loses an important part of himself. directed by mark osborne, also famous for his work on "spongebob squarepants" and "kung fu panda", here is "more".

what good films are capable of providing -

Monday, May 18, 2009

scion iq concept car

as a non-driver, i'm intrigued by cars that somehow appeal through their appearance and then more recently through their engineered sensitivity to the environment. finding cars that are wicked to look at while carrying a limited degree of guilt about them is not that simple. of course beauty is in the eye of the beholder so designs that thrill me are not necessarily everyone's piece of cake. take for example the scion iq concept car, revealed at the new york international auto show a little while back.

photograph by: reuters/eric thayer, reuters

photograph by: richard drew/associated press

photograph by john marshall mantel for the new york times

if your curiousity is piqued then nip over to this lovely gallery of iq concept photographs.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

into the heart of things

the nearby woodlot is a place filled with magic. if you step carefully and move with care then you are invited to share in all sorts of wonderful and lovely moments and experiences.

through the portal . . . and into a blessing of blossoms . . . and when i look at these tiny perfect little blossoms, whose fragility and softness are like a song, i think of tagore's line in his poem "my song" . . . "my song will sit in the pupils of your eyes, and will carry your sight into the heart of things".

you might like to visit my other blog "flow"

Saturday, May 16, 2009

fleet foxes live inside the grand palais

a while back i featured a stunning video of the fleet foxes' song white winter hymnal. it was for me an introduction to the fleet foxes' beautiful harmonies and other worldly musical renderings. i'm really happy to share this incredible film shot in the grand palais. you can read the full-story of the creation of both this music and the film here.

but really, it's the music that arrives through these musicians that speaks the clearest.

Fleet Foxes - A Take Away Show from La Blogotheque on Vimeo.

Friday, May 15, 2009

morning comes early

waking to a tree in bud against a blue dawn sky . . .

"i am a dance—play up, there! the fit is whirling me fast!

i am the ever-laughing—it is new moon and twilight . . .

elements merge in the night—ships make tacks in the dreams...

i swear they are all beautiful;

every one that sleeps is beautiful—everything in the dim light is beautiful"

walt whitman (from "the sleepers")

you might like to visit my other blog over at flow.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

josef hoflehner's black and white world

josef hoflehner's photography leaves me breathless. entirely black and white, it captures the grey scale in all its glory with soft, muted edges, delicate shadows, and a clear sense of beauty. natural and manmade subject matter are treated with equal care and reverence. fog and mist abounds.

these are a few of my favourites.

biwako sticks, japan.

pensacola beach, florida.

unplugged. iceland.

unleashed in the east.

dauphin beach fence. alabama.

my favourite works are contained in his shorelines portfolio and in his snowscapes portfolio. however, his work spans the globe and you might like to wander through the hundreds of incredible images he has assembled.

here are josef's portfolios. if you'd like to read and see what he's up to then you really should nip over to his blog.

to purchase his works then artnet has a dedicated page.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

oslim the human beatbox

my son and i just watched and listened to this guy. i've got nothing to say beyond this guy's skills are outrageous!

and here's his equally talented beatbox buddie "daichi"!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

efterklang returns - again

efterklang have appeared on this blog before. here and here. i love that their music appears to come out of nowhere. it has a feel of the northern hemisphere. it is simple and yet also rich and filled with emotion. details that might be overlooked in a lush environment rise up and capture the imagination. like little patches of colour in winter.

the overall effect is of gentleness, spontaneity, kindness, happiness, creativity.

comprised of simple elements that collectively form a rich tapestry - efterklang apears here through the miracle of two short films generously hosted by dailymotion through a collection of short films of musicians called "the take away shows".

the first is entitled "echo wave". the director nate chan says, "with such a large band, literally what is the most obvious way to get intimate? throw them into the smallest room of the venue (the kitchen at bottom of the hill) and let them squeeze every little note out. fortunately for us, efterklang was in a very giving mood and offered a new song, echo wave." here 'tis.

the second is entitled "mirador". the same director (nate chan) says, "when I got word that efterklang was about to embark on their first us tour, it was as if the sky had opened up and heaven was coming down on earth with horns; a choir, and the crazy danish running around the streets of san francisco! i was full of anticipation and curious to find out how they would handle a stripped down version of their own songs."

Monday, May 11, 2009

the world is wet today

on friday i rode home through a torrential downpour that included a heavy hailstorm! my back and arms had red marks where the hail had hit hard enough to leave a mark. a guy looking out his window called out to me as i rode past - "least you've got your helmet on" - which was a good point because i would have been in a lot more pain had i not! the hail was just slightly smaller than marbles.

when i got home i found my boy and my girl on the front porch watching it all come down. yes, they're my children! i find proofs like that everyday!!

all that aside, in the ranks of emotive aristocracy, the effect of rain on me would be placed well near the top of the pyramid. i love its smell, its feeling on my skin, its sounds, its appearance in pools and puddles, the effect it has of drawing me to its edge while sitting or standing comfortably inside a shelter. right at the very edge of the falling rain. there's metaphor inside that.

i love the rich sensual straightforward writing of raymond foss. here's his reflection on rain.

a spring rain

the world is wet today
luxurious, damp, drenched
drops hug the leaves,
anoint the still budded lilac blossoms
before their blooming
rich purple and plum
made richer by their watery skin
new leaves under the weight
droplets heavy, hanging
bowing the white pine needles
undersides exposed to drink
drink in the morning
hushed in the rain
temperature near the dewpoint
sprouts of just planted flowers
eager from the parched soil
new puddles bloom too
on the ground, the driveway
collect and gather
without the smell of summer rain yet
tears splash and spread
silent shimmers, heralds, messengers
in the spring rain

Sunday, May 10, 2009

mother's day

this is my little bruvver and i. a very long time ago.

"a mother's love liberates". maya angelou

thankyou for having us mum!!

happy mother's day to mums everywhere!!!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

blaine brownell - change in the material world

one of the key features of the world we are welcoming is the arrival of materials that are going to bring about a positive change in how we build and design objects. if (like myself) you are intrigued by what is happening out there that will soon become commonplace but stil has a lot of that 'wow' factor about it then you really need to know about blaine brownell.

in the talk you get to hear today, blaine discusses such cool new products as sphelar, a solar material made of a matrix of black spheres that allows light to be captured from all angles, not just from the angle of incidence. what's extremely exciting about it to me is that it'’s flexible, and can be made into wearable clothing, like a jacket that can power your mobile phone.

another amazing material is photovol glass, which is transparent, but provides shade and most amazingly it generates power!

cabot corporation is making a superinsulator called nanogel - which is the lightest human substance on earth. believe it or not, it’'s 99% air, 1% quartz, and can be used to fill polycarbonate sheets - this means that windows can be translucent, but also highly insulating, which means that having windows no longer means the same as having heat leaks.

here's blaine describing the status quo and how it needs to and will change as a result of the incredible diversity of materials that are being created each and every week.

if you want to know more then go here and sign up for blaine's newsletter in which a new product that will change this world is profiled each and every week.

Friday, May 8, 2009

nils udo - redefining nature

"to design with flowers.
to paint with the clouds.
to write with water.
to record the wind of may or
the path of a falling leaf.
to work on a storm. to anticipate a glacier.
to arrange water and light....
to take in a forest or a prairie....

to open up the living,
three dimensional spaces of nature.
with the slightest possible intervention, to electrify and transform the spaces of nature
into the spaces of art..."

these are the words of nils udo. nils works with nature . when i say "works with" it is really more of a manipulation, a readdressing of the properties of nature and applying them to an aesthetic that essentially redefines the purpose of the natural materials that he uses in his work, while also drawing attention to their natural and beautiful properties. his work has much in common with that of andy goldsworthy but to me, it has a softer presence about it.

"waterhouse". spruce trunks, birch branches, willow switches and lawn plantings.

"untitled". brookbed, bindweed blossoms.

rameaux de douglas.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

the spring of joy: mary webb

longtime golden fish readers will know that one of my favourite authors is the english writer mary webb. among her writing is a beautiful collection entitled "the spring of joy". a collection of heartfelt love letters to nature, "the spring of joy" makes for a gentle reminder to enjoy the simple places, to be aware of the little moments and details, for it is easy to experience them in totality but more fulfilling to enjoy them in their most intimate setting.

from her book "the spring of joy" . . . "if you will go out on some june morning, before the earliest bee comes droning by, when the stripes of sunrise lie right across the awakening earth, you will know the fascination of shadows. on such a day they are almost as blue as chicory. as a child, i remember standing awe-stricken at the strange beauty of a well-known field in the magic of a june dawn. it had a line of tall trees in its eastern hedge, and if you watched while the sun rose, you saw what had been a wide, grey expanse suddenly spanned by swart, prostrate giants. perhaps the memory of such fresh delights, like dew in the flower-cup of life, may linger even after the flower is gathered. quite early on a summer morning, if you look down an ugly street in a busy town, you will scarcely know it. the rows of houses have ceased to look dull, and have become the opposing camps of light and darkness; the street is a tessellated pavement of blue and yellow; the bush that looks so pathetically inadequate by day throws quite a forest of obscurity and becomes mysterious. the shadow of a tree upon any house blesses it, weaving with its cool, hypnotic gestures a soothing quiet; but the place, of all human habitations, where it best loves to linger is a village street. there each life is framed in garden and orchard; companies of spirit-shapes go trembling up and down the humble walls and roofs all day from the multitude of surrounding leaves; in the highway the sunshine sleeps by the shadow of an ivied wall--disturbed only once in an hour, and then simply turning in its sleep. if those other shades, the troubles of life, have become too dense and shouldered out the light, so that the sick imagination sees them as crouching beasts of prey, a pilgrimage to such a tranquil place in lilac time may help to set things right again. the slightly blurred colours of reflections--water-shadows--are more vivid than reality, as if water were a brighter medium than air; what they lose in strength of outline through the motion of the current, they gain in dreamy charm. were ever forget-me-nots half so blue as those that gaze skyward from clear water? did you know all the sweetness of flushed wild-rose faces until you saw them sleeping in a stream? some spell lies on rivers where willows bend over them and transfuse them with tender green, with depths of swaying leaf-reflections, lighter in the centre, where the over-hanging tracery shows the sky, very dark at the sides, where the grassy banks are steep and the leaves thick. coming round a curve, you stop with a sudden intake of the breath, dazzled by a blaze of glory. there stands on the bank and there lies in the flood a tree of beaten gold, gently moving against the sky, gently quivering in the water, flinging largess of its yellow money into the vistaed gold of its reflection. the sun makes each leaf transparent, and the whole picture is ardent as the face of some angel of a flaming star. as the spirit strives to gather some of the beauty, it longs to be less finite, less bounded; it desires an infinite future in which to reflect universal loveliness."

oh my!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

in the quieter moments . . .

one of the lovelier features of the magical profession i belong to is to be able to take my class into the woods. there's running and yelling and discoveries and trips and stumbles and ... well you know, it's magic!!

in the quieter moments there are little places like these . . .