Music on my wall

Me vs. saxophone

Bass isn’t the first instrument I tried playing. My cherished dream has always been to learn playing saxophone. There is hardly a person in the world who would argue that this is one of the most incredible-sounding instruments existing 🙂 And also one of the most challenging… Believe it or not, but I spent the first few weeks trying to produce a more or a less audible sound from this obstinate shiny tube that seemed to resist my best efforts 🙂 Finally, I got so exhausted and desperate that I quit saxophone and decided to pick a less tricky instrument instead. I believe you need to be born with special talent and a double dose of persistence to handle it. And although I failed to become a famous saxophonist, jazz remains my greatest passion and I still have time to get famous playing bass 🙂

When sounds gain color

One of the things I enjoy most except music is painting. I mean, watching it, not doing it 🙂 I have dozens of pictures decorating my apartment and I never mind hanging a few more. Some of them are painted by my friends (I happen to know a couple of artists), some are bought at various fairs, garage sales and souvenir shops. But there is one I adore most of all. It’s a portrait by modern artist Leonid Afremov depicting a man playing saxophone. I’m not sure whether we see just a street musician or a famous saxophonist here, but the manner of painting is definitely worth taking a closer look at the canvas! There are three things that caught my eye when I first saw this painting:

  1. While the artist depicts the musician using a neutral palette, the background is filled with a scattering of vibrant colors – passionate red, glowing yellow, fresh green and fluorescent blue…
  2. These colors also seem to fly out of the tube as if the saxophonist was blowing them out together with his solo!
  3. His very silhouette gradually merges together with those motley specks of paint and we eventually find ourselves in the middle of this colorful cloud of brush strokes (or symphony notes?), carried away by the beauty of the music we can’t hear, but can see.

I think this canvas is an amazing example of how two different types of art can translate into each other! There are many more portraits of famous musicians on Leonid Afremov’s site painted in a similar manner. If you like this one, you should really check them out!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drums aren’t just about rattling and crashing :)

Today I want to tell you about an absolutely cool instrument I first saw when I was on a vacation in Thai. It’s called hang drum or space drum. Basically, it’s just an UFO-shaped piece of steel divided into several sections that will easily fit into your lap. But there is much more to it than you would expect! The hang is notable for its long, melodious ringing sound that can be pitched based on what section of the drum you strike. With a certain degree of practice, you can learn to produce incredibly beautiful tunes that will sound amazing even if they are very simple. Just check it out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nHE7u40plD0. Of course, playing the space drum is not as simple as it looks. You need to get the hang (pun intended 🙂 of a special technique and remember the position of the notes if you want to feel comfortable while improvising. But if you do, you’ll be a welcomed guest at any music party! 🙂 The hang commonly costs about $1,000, so it’s rather affordable. In the video, you can see that the girl also uses ankle bells – another cool instrument that you can start playing right away even if you have never dealt with music before 🙂

Hi guys!

My name is Jason Cloud, I’m 25 and I’m here to make some new friends. I just moved to New York and although it’s a huge megapolis with thousands of people rubbing shoulders with you in the crowd every day, it’s really hard to find somebody to confide in. I guess it’s the problem of all big cities. I never felt so lonely back in the suburbs. And I would gladly return there, but I just can’t blow the chance of playing at Birdland! Can you imagine that our set was actually squeezed between the club’s old residents? Oh, I forgot to say that I play bass and although I actually studied economics, this eventually became my means of earning a living 🙂 Well, I don’t complain. I like being a musician better than sitting at the bank counter 🙂 Hope our band’s premiere will go smooth next Wednesday!