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Nik Beat at Free Times Cafe - live & uncut

direct link: Nik Beat at Free Times Cafe - live and uncut

An evening of Nik Beat and Friends at the Free Times Cafe in Toronto, Canada on September 16, 2011. An uncut set playing in real time, we see Nik at his disarmingly charming best between beautiful songs and poems. This is as close as it gets to being there. We adore you Nik! Enjoy the show!

Nik sings some of his new recorded songs and poetry from his book, "The Tyranny of Love." Joining him are Michael Ratt, Pat Kelly, Michael MarianJoani Paige, and Willie Anicic .

From Seraphim Editions, the publisher of his book of poetry, "The Tyranny of Love": "Born in 1956, Nik Beat (née Michael Barry) toiled in the rock and roll field for a number of years until he quit and took the moniker Nik Beat. This native Torontonian has for the past 20 years been a writer/poet published in numerous anthologies. He has been profiled on Much Music and TVO's Imprint as well as in an upcoming CBC radio appearance. He currently hosts the HOWL spoken word radio show on CIUT 89.5 FM. He lives in the quiet doldrums of the famous Beaches area, where he not only commandeers a Words and Music show at the Renaissance Café but is also an accomplished collage artist."

The Free Times Cafe performance videoed and edited by me, Brenda Clews.
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Nik Beat's voice, to my ear, is softer, richer, more modulated than ever. Perhaps mellowed is the word.  Like the heart beats in the vocal chords, irradiating songs with feelings, feelings that connect us all. In the clip, he's singing emotional textures -that move us the way birdsong in the trees moves us. My video is a set of his atand is uncut, only a filter of strong contrasts added....I love the sound track. He's in top form. Really fine set, so glad I taped it. It's open in another browser window as I listen for the 20th time to the track!

William Leighton wrote: "Very well done. Loved the simplicity of it and the refrain from constant motion. Nik definitely is a pilgrim on a journey and he invites people to hear from those travels. What we believe is paramount to who we become and where we end up and the heart is the compass of that journey. Truth does lie at the end of the journey for us all though. Travel safely and wisely."

Good Night Girl was awesome, as Willie Anicic said, and many of us mentioned how that song played in our minds for days afterwards. A beautiful paean to his beloved Linda Mercer, who passed away this year.

I wanted Nik to see the set uncut before I did anything (well, except the filter I added), but he liked it and said to go ahead and make it public, which I did. Watch like you're sitting at a table with a drink listening. It's dark and your friends are with you. Enjoy!

_
ps I linked Nik to a Google search on his name since he's all over the place. :)


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Figurative Notations

Figurative Notations. Photograph, or still from video.

Working on Tangled Garden, bit by bit, and eventually the videopoem will be done. It's been forever, but forging slowly ahead.


I uploaded a huge version -click on it- very theatrical!

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G+ Widget


Cool!

You can get it here: widgetsplus/


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Wear White Paint for the Moon -reading at CENtRAL


direct link: Wear White Paint for the Moon (*this video is subtitled* -after you hit play, hover your mouse over the CC in the playbar, when it turns red, the subtitle file is loaded and you can read along with the prosepoem if you wish- red is on; black is off)

This reading of my prosepoem, Wear White Paint for the Moon, took place at the CENtRAL last night, a pub in Mirvish Village in Toronto, and while I wasn't particularly happy with it, I did have enormous fun making the video, and quite like it now.

With tripod on camera, the angle was unchangeable. I layered multiple tracks of the same clip with lots of filters and then pulled in some footage I had shot of the full moon last August. The moon is quite bouncy in parts, and yet matches the words in those parts, which I found delightfully synchronous.

The background of moon and clouds was my wild imagination at home when I was editing the video. While it would have been wonderful to encase the poets that night in a stage set of lunar light and wispy cloud moon veils, alas, no, we stood on a small stage with a screen behind us. The scenery is a product of the magic of film editing.

I spent hours making detailed by-the-second subtitles for this video so you can read the words while you listen, if you like, and have Google translate into another language if that is better for you.

Background music - 'Satellite Two,' by Professor Kliq, from his album on Jamendo, "Athene's Theory of Everything: The Original Soundtrack."





Wear White Paint for the Moon is a poem that represents jump starting a drained engine. This poem was originally written in response to a prompt at the now defunct Big Tent Poetry. One of the hardest pieces I've ever written due to a writer's block. So I used a technique. While walking on dark streets staring at the moon, I spoke into the 'voice memo' on my iPhone about the moon and later transcribed it. From that jumble, I wrote the poem (Yeats wrote all of his poems this way -prose first, from which he crafted his brilliant poems). You can read the original prose passage and responses by the Big Tent community of poets (who I miss) here: The Blocked Poet Strips Herself. Further, getting myself to the venue on Saturday night to read was very difficult, and I have to admit, I was into my 2nd large 'Creemore ale on tap' by the time I got up to read. :giggles:
_

Further note on the subtitles: Once I learned how to make a subtitle file, no matter how time-consuming, I promised I would do this for all my future videopoems. It's not just the languages (Google offers translation into 25 languages), but I also have received complaint that watching a video with a voiceover of poetry, which is condensed, rarified language, packed with meaning in sparse phrases, is too difficult without the text. This way, the viewer has a choice to watch with, or without. It's the perfect solution!

If the subtitle file is not working, please let me know. If you don't like it, hover your mouse over the CC in the playbar until the CC turns black (red is on; black is off), and then the text is gone. Thanks!


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Recent Poetry Recordings

Some months ago I created a Google Sites site, Poetry Recordings of Brenda Clews, to host .mp3s of recent poetry recordings. The poems are all available to read as well -that's important.

The hosting site was so that I could post the recordings here, at Rubies in Crystal, as I compose them, and when I have enough I will create an album at Jamendo. While I used to upload recordings-in-progress to SoundClick or SoundCloud, I tired of the limitations of those music sites, and created a website for this purpose instead.

Today I spent some hours creating a usable interface for these recordings of recent poetry at my hosting site. The site is unlisted, invisible to search engines, but is public- and findable, if you have the link.

Below is a screen shot of the site. Click to go to the site.





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The Wall at Moving Poems

Thank you, Dave Bonta, for featuring The Wall at Moving Poems on September 7th!

Yes, I embedded his webpage in my blog post. And, not only is the videopoem playable here, but I just left a thank you note for him via this embedded page and it appeared over there simultaneously. Personally, I think it's very cool.

(If you have an email subscription or are on an RSS feed like Google Reader or whatever, you'll have to click in to the post to see this beauty.)


Moving Poems




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Joani Paige at Free Times Cafe


direct link: Joani Paige at Free Times Cafe

Joani Paige, singing "So Fine," with Willie Anicic on harmonica near the end, and Pat Kelly on percussion (not in camera range) at Free Times Cafe on September 16, 2011.

Brenda Clews: camera and video editing. Yes, I took my camera and then spent the greater part of the weekend video editing.

You'll see that around 3:39min, the mask is apparent. The musician leans down out of it and into the light. If you didn't recognize the masking all the way through, you would at that point. It is obvious. I left it in to show the artifice in the art.

Here is a photograph showing my Final Cut filters, and you can see I manually keyed in the lights, their opacities, which took forever. To make sure that you see Joani throughout, I created another layer of her track and masked it. In the photograph, you can see there is yet another track where Willie is also masked.

A theme of masks seems to be running through my work, and this type of masking is yet another dimension to it.

A mask that lets you see the person who is being masked.


click on image for larger size
_
Colors courtesy of Free Footage on Vimeo, with thanks.

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On Dancing Masked in the Tangled Garden

Look, perhaps I am outrageous, but at my age, seriously. I can do anything. Besides, I'm masked. And, anyway, my daughter was chaperoning me.

From a video shoot in High Park in June.

All this will be obscured in a long videopoem of three nature poems that is 22 minuters long that I may finish one day.



An early version of the central poem in Tangled Garden.

The little prancing figure in the background is what I would like to re-do, and I have footage, just so much work. And either re-recording the soundtrack or cleaning it up, so much work. It's been sitting on my hard drive for months. I'm trying to get back to it by giving myself just one small task to do. Last night I cleaned up the poetry track you hear here, which took hours, but should I record it again, or, if you know me, another dozen times before I pick one reading. The emotion in each of the readings of the poems in the full videopoem is where I'd like them to be - do I go with imperfect because it has the passion? Since I'm stalled, that's my inclination at the moment.


direct link: In the Hands of the Garden Gods (a poem I wrote at 27).

The final poem in of the three is one I posted here when I wrote it in 2006: Slipstream, oh the Tangled Garden, and I'm using the recording I made back then, too.

Anyway, the only way to get a major piece of creative work done, I find, is to take it in 'baby steps.' Rather than thinking a crazy week of no sleep or cooked meals, which no-one wants obviously and hasn't motivated me, I am thinking, 'clean up the poetry soundtrack,' 'fix the filters on the whole footage that you've mapped out.' 'Then start picking what footage to use in the background,' and where (some sections don't need it). Yadda, yadda.

When I finish it I am going to have to subtitle it too, groan, more work. The poems are so dense, the imagery quite rich, and sometimes I let Catherine Corelli's amazing singing drown my voice, that the viewer having access to the text is almost crucial.

I am such a perfectionist - probably you are too. Everything is the absolute best I can make it, given my limitations in training and equipment. That's how it is.
_
Music, 'First Night (Lilith's Seduction)' from Catherine Corelli's album, 'Seraphic Tears': http://www.jamendo.com/en/album/79547

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The Falling Room, June24th Show

Delighted Joe Halder included a poem of mine, Drumbeat, in his show, 'The Falling Room,' which aired on CFBU 103.7FM on June 24, 2011. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole hour long show, an interesting blend of musicians, each quite amazing in their own right. The show is available for download here:

http://www.esnips.com/web/The FallingRoom

The Mysterious Poufs (independent), Brenda Clews (independent Canadian Acoustic Artist/Poet), Rain Tree Crow (former members of 1980’s group Japan), Kraftwerk (everyone knows Kraftwerk), Hypnotech 3 (Canadian Soundscape/Ambient group) and Alvin Lucier (acoustic artist).


www.esnips.com
The Falling Room - The Falling Room -Most Recent Shows


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A One Minute Videopoem (with some lines from): Dale Favier's 'Mask'

direct link to videopoem: Mask. Best to watch fullscreen if you can.

"...the mask was exactly what she was searching for, exactly 
what she needed: a face threaded over her face, a light 
threaded over her light. 

You speak, and the mask begins to speak, 
and the listening takes fire."

Dale Favier: Mask (link to his original blog post).

 Slipping away, between
 restraints.

Voices, performance, video, Brenda Clews.
_
Dale just had a book of poetry published, 'Opening the World, and while the lines I've quoted aren't from his book, the video is a celebration of Dale's poetry, with its brilliances and depths.


Foraging around my remaining hard drives, I came across a 17 second clip from a dance practice a few months ago that I still find intriguing. In it, I wrap my face in fabric, making a mask.

Starting with that clip, I copied, layered, lengthened - basically played. Then I added a minibit of the thunderstorm you saw in The Wall, looping some footage of lightning flashing through a tree. Last night, on my iPhone, I recorded the poem over and over. Today I imported the tracks into GarageBand and decided the use them all -as a background, a sort of chorus, a room full of people where you might feel the need to wear a mask. But the voices are reciting Dale's poem and my little ending. Then I picked one of those voices to dominate the reading. I hope it works to your ear. At about a minute, it's possibly my shortest videopoem. I enjoyed moving between colour and black and white and layering the figure. All in all, while making this videopoem took far longer than I anticipated, I'm happy with it. And sure do hope Dale likes it, too.
_
Update, Sept 12th. Dale posted Mask at his blog, and wrote that I made this mask:
...riffing on a blog post of mine. Amazing.

It's one of the deepest pleasures, having someone take your work and make something new with it. Art to me is nothing more nor less than conversation. I have no interest in making objects, per se: I only want to talk to people: to them and through them and with them and by them.

Elves began it, of course, waking trees up and teaching them to speak and learn their tree-talk. They always wished to talk to everything, the old Elves did."
I'll include my comment here, too:

We all inspire each other. I love the word, resonate, and that's what it is. Bachelard, in The Poetics of Space, says the poetic image enters us, our consciousness, our psyches, and resonates in all the depths, and I've always felt that was it, that's what happens. A pebble dropped in a deep well. A tuning fork reverberating. That's how your images in that piece of writing were for me.

The body under your healing fingers, or the feline curl of your cat, or your pulse against her pulse just under her ear, or Ahab, or the slant of light. And then the mask, a face threaded with light, that reverberated deeply. In the videopoem the mask of echoes, reflections, multiples, resonated into Burkas, and bandages, and even how shy I am in rooms of people and how I want to cover myself. Then how our forms themselves are moments, chrysalises, weavings of electricity and earth as the elements move through us, masks for our spirits. The tree that I open and close with and have underneath the room throughout the video, shudders with lightning.

_
While I'm copying in comments from other sites here, it's easier for me to collect them this way, I'll add another exchange from Facebook (before it disappears in the endless streaming wall):


Ann Marcaida Love it! I think not only of personas, but also of wounded veterans and the recent face transplant patients. Very timely work. I should also add that I love the rich fabric that decorate your stage.



Brenda Clews Thank you, Ann... yes, I found the footage -it was a 17sec clip- strange, too. What was I doing? I became not-me in that fabric I wrapped around my head, peering out a Burka-like gap. 
It reminded me of everything you've mentioned, and women who wear the 'full veil,' are buried alive in fabric, and oh, head wounds, surgeries, so many things. Something ominous in that head-wrapping, like taking on the strange incantations of an Ancient Egyptian mummy.

But also the mundane - our own daily masks. In a room full of people, the way I made the layered sound track, I disappear into a mask of sorts, too. The clip reminded me of situations in which my shyness was painful.

  

Then, to wrap this with another layer of potential meaning, Dale's poetry brings the transcendance into the moving-image, into the video, and I sought to have that paradox evident. An entrapment that is a release. The light is luminescent, like the beautiful lines of poetry.

The woman who hid herself, became herself. The woman who gave up her ego, found release. Reminds me a little of a great book I have been really influenced by, The Woman Who Pretended to Be Who She Was became herself.

And sometimes our masks are Masks of God or the Divine. Dale's lines point in that direction for me.

So, between the visual imagery as it moves through its minute of time, I had hoped many divergent and paradoxical aspects of the mask, to paraphrase Dale's lines, like 'threaded light over her face' would emerge in the viewer's imagination.



Perhaps this videopoem has been mulling in my subconscious,
I made this photopoem out of some stills from that footage a few months ago.

Just a couple more comments over at Facebook that I wanted to keep but can't transfer to a comment here without losing the urls, of having the laborious task of linking them again:


  • Brenda Clews Facebook will not make YouTube videos a live link. Puts hands on hips, shakes finger at The Book of Faces.
    September 11 at 10:38pm · 

  • Brenda Clews Oh, but The Book of Faces *will* make it a live link in a comment! Go figure.
    http://youtu.be/dq85uul9V4Q


    www.youtube.com
    ‎"...the mask was exactly what she was searching for, exactly what she needed: a...See More


    September 11 at 10:40pm ·  · 

  • Stirling Davenport I really like the voices in this one so much. Makes a very interesting melange of words.
    September 11 at 11:38pm ·  ·  1 person

  • Brenda Clews You know, Stirling, I do these videos off in my own little corner and have no idea if anything resonates.... so I am especially appreciative of your sensitive response to the track of voices, one voice reading the same lines over and over, all put together so it became a party of voices, which I really did work on for far too long. :) Thank you, thank you. ♥
    September 11 at 11:55pm ·  ·  1 person

  • Pierre-Marie Cœdes Very surrealistic Brenda, impressive and awesome to look at and listen to. So much excitement in your creations. Thank you for sharing ♥♥♥
    September 12 at 9:02am · 

  • Brenda Clews Pierre-Marie, what a sweet comment, thank you! ♥♥ I enjoy layering my videopoems with images that are echoes and reflections and multiples. :) Life is like this, in the unity we are, when I think of you, for instance, I have a welatschuung of your music, comments, photos of the incredible home you grew up in, photos (at least as a presence) on Barbara's trips to France, a nexus of different types of images, sonic or visual or thoughtful. This is my approach in videopoems with whatever images I'm working with. I'm a little uncomfortable using myself as subject matter, but, hey, I don't charge modelling fees, so I'm free to myself! ::laughing:: But it's most fun when it's finished! So glad you came and saw my bit of weekend madness!!!!!!


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