Michael Garfield – How To Live in the Future: 10,000 Breaks & My Lark For Zuvuya

01 August 2009

10,000 Breaks & My Lark For Zuvuya

> MusicBefore we dive into the paintings, I'd like to invite you to dive into my latest album: Quixote's Lark For Zuvuya, a live recording of my recent opening set at Quixote's in Denver for Zuvuya (the acoustic side project of Zilla's Michael Travis & Jamie Janover, with Xander Greene on acoustic guitar). Being invited to play in support of these fantastic musicians was a tremendous honor, and I had no choice but to seriously step up my game for their audience. Which was easy enough, because it was already a very significant day (marking my little brother's 10th birthday, as well as the transformation of a very long and difficult romantic relationship into something more nameless and profound)...this recording captures one of my most energetic and passionate performances ever, as well as the debut of several new live looping arrangements for older songs. You can download it for free here – or name your price for the music, if you're in a generous mood.

For those of you who were there, thanks so much for your patience in getting this online! For those of you who weren't, check it out! The performance swerved from swinging balladry to acoustic guitar techno to spark-shooting instrumental etudes...and it's yours as a gift of appreciation for your time and attention. So please, download it and enjoy!

> Imagery
FYI, I'm having a liquidation sale f some of my earlier paintings, which have been discounted 30% - 50% from their original asking prices. If you've been waiting for this apparently seasonal event to roll back around so you and your buds can scoop up some affordable original work, have at it! You love art; I love health insurance. Let's play "win-win." Here's the list of available paintings (at facebook and at myspace). And now, onto the new work...

2009 07 24 10KLF (Everyone Orchestra) - 18x24
Certify Electrify

I got into my virgin 10,000 Lakes Festival last week, a delicious gathering in upstate Minnesota held on permanent festival grounds (flushing toilets and shaded camping = major luxury). I was granted entry on journalistic assignment for GratefulWeb.com (my extensive festival write-up coming soon) and spent most of the weekend taking pictures and notes, but found some time to paint for some of my favorite artists. The Everyone Orchestra show was spectacular – with Dominic Lalli of Big Gigantic on saxophone and Steve Kimock on electric guitar, and conductor Matt Butler's energy was higher than I've ever seen. The show was a benefit for The Rex Foundation, founded by the Grateful Dead, which was raising money to buy instruments for local music programs – check them out and offer support if you can.

As for the painting...I've been getting more and more into intricately preparing backgrounds with cross-color fades and metallic spraypaint. In this case, I got so carried away with the background that this piece was an exercise in leaving it visible behind my penwork. The result was a perceptual paradox in which foreground objects appear to be behind background objects, like those trick rooms you look into through a viewfinder and kids appear taller than adults. Entirely unintentional. The guy who bought this one named it...he was on a "certify" kick that night.

available - 2009 07 23 & 24 10KLF (Wilco, Steve Kimock Crazy Engine) - 18x24
Swimming In Words

I'd never seen Wilco before and wasn't expecting much...but they rocked my socks half off. That Nels Cline was wailing on the electric guitar – but unlike fellow headliners Widespread Panic, Wilco's lead lines were integrated into a jangly wall of sound, instead of pushing the rest of the band into the background. And that's my style; I prefer band-as-explosive-organism to band-with-a-badass-hired-gun. I set up in the concrete beach of a general admission area down front for this one, which was kind of foolish. It was a high traffic area but TOO high traffic. One girl spilled an entire new beer all over the place and very nearly destroyed my book of prints; I got bumped into a lot; it wasn't especially visible to anyone but the river of people, and difficult for anyone to actually stop and watch. It was much easier to finish this during Steve Kimock's set, although I was baking in the midday sun the entire time for that one. Regardless, I consider this one a successful experiment in laying down a complex monochromatic background beforehand and spending the "live time" pulling out details and creating many layers from one. It reminds me of what it must be like to live in the naked Logos, deeper than space and time, swimming through the fundamental language of reality.

available - 2009 07 23 & 24 10KLF (Garaj Mahal & Boombox) - 18x24
A Wall Of Windows

I had the honor of painting onstage during Garaj Mahal for this one...if you don't know Garaj Mahal, make it a point to and you'll know what I mean. Every member of this jazzfunk supergroup is a master of his own instrument, and two of them (Fareed Haque on guitar and Kai Eckhart on bass) are actually music professors for most of the year. This band is their recreational project, which gives the music a playfulness and spontaneity rare even among jam bands. And of course, I love painting for Boombox whenever possible. Another experiment in dualtone backgrounds with gold spray. Looking through a fan coral at the evening's first stars, or the reef's reproductive bloom...

2009 07 05 & 24 Rothbury Festival & 10KLF (EOTO, Shpongle, Alex B, Big Gigantic & Big Gigantic) - 18x24
10,000 Breaks Vestibule

I had started this one at Rothbury, painting as an unofficial member of the ReSOurce Center's IAMU visionary art gallery next to the Tripoli Stage. But I was pretty distracted by other things that weekend and didn't have the opportunity to lay the finishing touches until 10K, which was just fine: I had another opportunity to paint for Big Gigantic's heady mix of live drums and saxophone with killer laptop production, which is always a treat. It was weird to be (to my knowledge) the only itinerant sidestage live painter at this festival, but I got a lot of welcome appreciation for it when I set up in the entryway to the event's Saloon Stage (the only permanent indoor venue I've ever seen at a festival – very cool). Thus the title (again, courtesy of the buyer).

available - 2009 07 31 Beaumont Club (Nick Steady, Mixed Method, Galactic Soul Tribe, Clandestine) - 18x24
Bassdream
I can't seem to shake those ferns! This one "happened" at Cicada Rhythm's Sunshine Bassdream, a lovely two-stage mini-rave in downtown Kansas City, where I set up outside in the glorious and unseasonably cool evening air and listened to great local live electronic hybrid acts and uptempo DJs until the wee hours. My friend David Titterington, a truly amazing visionary painter who puts my work to freakin' shame, was in town from Japan, and I enjoyed having him around to offer his painterly advice. The first time I ever started one of these pieces with an intricate background from scratch at the show, which was messy but fun. And even though I didn't know where I was going with it at the time, it does seem to have captured both the "summer" and "bass" vibes of the event with fidelity. I'm sure watching Planet Earth's "Grasslands" episode the night before had something to do with that. :)

> Writing
I've been a busy writer this summer. Here are some recent essays for your reading pleasure, as well as a few solid little interviews:

Vivid Journal – "Michael Garfield: Exposed!"
(...in which they ask me about my artistic process and how I've braided together art and music and writing in my life.)

MusicAndSpirituality.com – Interview w/ Michael Garfield
(...in which I contribute to an ENORMOUS survey of music visionaries by offering my own interpretation of the spiritual significance of music.)

D/Visible Magazine – "Biomimicry: Breathing New Life Into Design"
(...in which I introduce the emergent field of biomimicry, which seeks to solve human design problems with nature's own pre-existing solutions.)

Colorado Music Board – "Field Guide To Colorado's Live Artists: Kenzie Page"

(...in which I interview one of Boulder's newest live painters for my ongoing comprehensive survey of Colorado's insane live art scene.)

Colorado Music Board – "Sonic Bloom Festival In Pictures"
(...in which I share a very tiny slice of a very lovely weekend at one of the most beautiful venues in the world.)

Colorado Music Board – "Luke Redfield's Folk Mysticism And Mystic Folk"

(...in which I review recordings by my friend, legendary nomad-meditator-troubadour Luke Redfield, who demonstrates that spirituality knows no genre.)


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