Austin Peralta, son of Stacy Peralta, passed away at the age of 22 last week. Peralta’s star was on the ascent with several full lengths and innumerable live performances. Even his collaborations at such a tender age were the stuff of jazz dreams. Chick Corea, Robert Glasper, Flea and Frank Ocean have all paid their tributes and now is our time as well.
Last year on the site we celebrated his Brainfeeder release Endless Planets. In February 2011 I took my then-girlfriend, a classically trained piano player, and some of my closest friends to the album release party in Eagle Rock, Los Angeles. It was a true Brainfeeder party, a motley assortment of LA’s young weirdos and music-obsessed. You can listen to that concert in its entirety in the Soundcloud player above. It contains his hallmarks: untamed expressiveness and music theory hung, drawn, and quartered. After the concert me and the lady had a conversation.
“I don’t get it.” She said.
“What do you mean?”
“He plays out of rhythm, out of the key, changes tempos. I was never taught to do anything like that.”
“But it makes sense, right? Even when he is off the deep end, he’s still in the water.”
“Yes it makes sense.”
“That’s jazz, B. It’s not supposed to make sense until it has to, wants to, or simply does. And even then, you have to trust it will find a resolution, like all music.”
Maybe that was Peralta’s biggest gift: his technical prowess and theoretical mind were soldered into his motherboard like few other musicians. Some guys have the chops, others have the theory. He had both. His modal recognition (in simple terms, playing different scales with the musical key) on the keyboard made sense into nonsense and back again. He could collaborate with anybody, from Flying Lotus to Teebs to the jazz greats, an essential link to the past and future of jazz. This is what we are missing. This is what we will miss.
I’ve been in a super colorful mindset lately, the more cracked out the better. So obviously today’s wallpaper fits my vibe to a tee. It was created by Trevor Tarczynski, a Los Angeles based designer who’s known around town for designing some of the best show posters. For his wallpaper he took the lyrics from a song he loves, in this case the Beach Boys song I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times, and the styled them to look like the calligraphic work of Mouneer Al Shaarani. The line above says, “I guess I just wasn’t made for these times,” a lyric I’ve always thought was so incredibly poetic. It’s also pretty cool how he did the background.
The wavy effect was achieved by spraying water onto my monitor and taking some photos then work in Photoshop. I’m really happy with the results. A soft prismatic and psychedelic yet digital vibe.
A big thanks to Trevor for such a beautiful wallpaper. Check back next Wednesday for another great background.
Australian born, England based illustrator Nick Sheehy, who also goes by the alias Showchicken, popped up on my radar last night and I fell in love with his work. His work has a style reminiscent of the past, with lots of lovely cross hatching and muted colors. The details of each piece are really remarkable, you can tell Nick puts a ton of work into these. I’m also fond of his subject matter which leans heavily on the theme of nature. He expresses the tone of the work though in an sort of story book atmosphere that has a spiritual undertone. Overall his work is extremely beautiful, and if you’d like to see more click here.
Bouncing off of what Bobby posted Monday, I thought I’d share an installation where artist Troika bends light through a pretty clever use of the Fresnel lens. It is, of course, an optical illusion that make it appear as if the lightwaves (or is it particles?) are magically bending in a graceful, gothic arc. But it’s not magic, it’s science. Light actually doesn’t bend this way, even though it can be bent by gravity. Here, the light passes over a large surface of the angled lens, so when the light passes through the lens, it propigates in straight lines that intersect each other on the other side, overlapping to create the appearance of an arch. In this designboom video, Troika knows that the improbability of bending light is part of the installation’s allure, saying “even though you know it is an illusion… even though you know it is not possible, you are ready to forfeit that feeling and go with it.”
Spanish artist ARYZ makes creating street art look easy. A resident of Barcelona, ARYZ has an incredible style that he adapts to both indoor and outdoor environments. I’m personally partial to the gigantic murals he creates, which are these intensely colored pieces of bold imagery. There’s an offbeat sense of humor to what his work which I think pairs nicely with the vibrancy of the work.
I found the video below which gives a nice look into how he makes his pieces. The guy is a serious artist, don’t let his choice of tools fool you.
I don’t know much about the work of xhxix (in fact, nothing at all), only that he’s a Japanese artist. His work is done digitally, though from the looks of the pieces above I doubt you could tell. His portraits are always brightly colored with a bit of an abstract, surreal edge to them. The men portrayed have this bizarre realness, an energy that he’s able to capture quite beautifully. If you’d like to see more of his work click here.
I spent a little while this morning visiting the website of Adrian Johnson. The Liverpool-born illustrator has a massive archive of projects and over the years he’s worked with an impressive range of clients including Adidas, Paul Smith, Monocle and The New York Times. I really wanted to share some of his work with you today but out of the 72 projects on his site I really didn’t know where to even begin. Fortunately, I stumbled upon this series of prints he created called The Tear Trilogy and absolutely loved it!
Made up of a minotaur, a diver and an organ grinder, the series is a lot of fun. I love his simple use of line and his bold use of color. These four color silk screen prints are currently available to buy from his online store and more work can be seen on his main website here. Go check him out!
I was browsing Vimeo the other day when I came across this video created by the Japanese animator Tetsuka Niiyama. The short film is a great ambient piece that is just beautiful to look at. Niiyama describes it as such:
This is a CG movie that depicts saltation and growth of life in the sea using jewelry as the motif for illustrating the theme “Jewels of Sea.” It creates mystifying and attractive scenery by the ores resembling creatures of sea and its transforming refraction and reflection of light that are affected by the organic moves.
I love the mix of the organic and the mineral and the film just sucks you right in. Niiyama has a handful of other similarly beautiful videos which you can check out here.