Posts Tagged ‘Cafe Aroma’

Poet Targets Taboo Topic Tuesday Night

Sunday, July 15th, 2012

Matthew Dickman with Ed Skoog and his infant son

By Marcia E. Gawecki

“It’s called three poems and three suicides,” Matthew Dickman said matter-of-factly about the title of his upcoming poetry recital.

He’s a poet from Portland, and at the Idyllwild Arts Summer Program this week to teach an adult poetry class. On Tuesday night at 7 p.m., Matthew will read along with four other poets at the Krone Library on campus.

Matthew has firsthand experience with suicide, which is often considered a taboo subject in our culture. His older brother committed suicide, along with several of his friends who were artists.

“We often think of teens as the biggest group that commits suicide,” Matthew said. “But actually geriatric suicide is more common. When an 85-year-old grandmother quits eating, we accept that as ‘her time to go.'”

In past lectures on suicide, Matthew has asked members of the audience to stand if they have had a family member commit suicide. A few stand up. Then he asks those who had a spouse, lover or close friend commit suicide to stand. A larger group stands up. Then he asks those who have known someone from school or work who have committed suicide.

“By then, most of the audience are standing,” Matthew explained. “And those who are sitting fall into one of those groups, but are too shy to stand. Unfortunately, in our culture, it’s just a matter of time when you know of someone who has committed suicide.”

He said that his older brother was a great person, and had attempted suicide before, so it wasn’t a surprise. He recounted an experience with him in an Irish Pub in Portland:

“It got really crowded in the bar towards the end of the night and I bumped into a guy with my shoulder. It was an accident, but he grabbed me squarely on the shoulder,” Matthew recalled. “In the bar mirror, I could see the flash of a knife blade, so I tried to push him away. Within seconds, my older brother was there, shoving the guy up against the wall.”

Violence was more common than not in the working class Portland neighborhood where Matthew grew up.  His family home was a safe oasis for many kids, away from the neighborhood violence.

Matthew will teach a poetry class at Idyllwild Arts this week

At a young age, Matthew identified with a photo of the Beat Poets standing on a San Francisco street corner.

“There they were, Kerouac, Ginsberg and the rest, all standing there, not wanting to fight anyone or push drugs,” Matthew recalled. “They just wanted to change the world with their poetry.”

Later on, Matthew met Alan Ginsberg at a book signing in Portland.

“My brother handed me a bunch of Ginsberg’s books and told me to get them signed, and we’d meet up at the coffee house later,” Matthew said.

So he went, and when it came time for him to meet the Beat Poet, Matthew mentioned that his writer aunt had once worked with Ginsberg in a hospital.

“He ignored my comment, and instead asked me about my love life,” Matthew said.

He fumbled for an answer, Ginsberg signed the books and Matthew walked away.

“He was totally hitting on you, dude,” his friends said. “You should talk to him.”

When the crowd thinned out, Matthew ended up talking to Ginsberg, and invited him to join his twin brother and friends at a local coffee shop. Ginsberg was in his 70s at the time, and Matthew was 18.

“He was totally cool,” Matthew said of the experience.

They read poetry, practiced Buddhism and ate chocolates over the next few days. He said that he and Ginsberg had kept in touch by email and phone until he became sick.

“Then I never heard from him again,” Matthew said.

After his death, Matthew wrote a poem called, “I miss you, Alan Ginsberg.”

Matthew also wrote a poem about his older brother’s suicide in his first book of poetry, “All American Poem” (2008). With his twin brother, Michael, he wrote another book entitled, “50 American Plays” (2012), one for each state. In October, Matthew has another poetry book coming out entitled, “Mayaknovky’s Revolver.”

In his poetry class this week, Matthew prefers to put the suicide topic front and center so there’s no surprises. He said most of the adults who take his class come to heal from the experience.

“I don’t expect great writing,” he said. “Oftentimes, words escape you when your emotions are intense.”

But he hopes to help them turn their harrowing experience into art.

Matthew said that he met Ed Skoog, who is in charge of Poetry Workshop during the Summer Program, when he officiated at his brother’s wedding.

“Not only can Ed write poetry, but he plays a mean banjo,” Matthew laughed.

Besides teaching poetry, Matthew edits a national poetry journal, and freelances for advertising agencies. Only just recently, he said, he’s been able to support himself through his writing.

He started writing poetry when he was a sophomore in high school to impress a senior who was interested in poetry.

“She liked one of my poems, and we got to make out,” Matthew recalled. “After that, I just kept writing.”

Since then, Matthew has won many awards, and garnered national attention for his lyrical poems.

On Tuesday, July 17, Matthew will read some of his works at 7 p.m. at the Krone Library on the Idyllwild Arts campus (located at the end of Tollgate Road in Idyllwild). Like all events at Idyllwild Arts, it is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Idyllwild Arts at (951) 659-2171 or visit www.idyllwildarts.org.

Copyright 2012 Idyllwild Me. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

Berlin to Broadway: Composer Kurt Weill’s Musical Voyage

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

'Berlin to Broadway' poster

By Marcia E. Gawecki

The lights in the IAF Theatre were still on late Wednesday night. You could hear show tunes wafting from under the door, the clomping of dancing shoes, while orders were barked out throughout. These were the behind-the-scenes moments that the audience will never see. The final details of Idyllwild Arts last production of the year, “Berlin to Broadway,” being hammered out.

The 3-day show runs Friday and Saturday, May 18 & 19, at 7:30 p.m. at the IAF Theatre, and closes on Sunday, May 20, at 2 p.m.  Like all Idyllwild Arts productions, it is free and open to the public, but come early to get a good seat.

“No one does Kurt Weill anymore,” lamented Howard Shangraw, head of the Idyllwild Arts Theatre Department as he was shopping late at Fairway Supermarket one night. “I miss all of those songs from ‘The Threepenny Opera.’ You remember Mack the Knife?”

I immediately did a shark imitation with my hand. Who doesn’t love that song? But who the heck is Kurt Weill?

Like most composers, we remember their songs, but know little about their lives. Not this time, however. ‘Berlin to Broadway,’ gives us a musical glimpse into the life and genius of Kurt Weill.

A German Jew, Kurt Weill married the famous Austrian singer, Lotte Lenya. As their life in Germany became more precarious, they fled first to Paris, then the United States, where they were a success in New York and Hollywood.

Weill’s biographical journey (as told by a narrator) offers songs that have become standards in our Modern American Songbook, such as Mack the Knife, Lost in the Stars, Surabaya Johnny, September Song and My Ship, among others.

Lyricists Weill worked with include Bertolt Brecht, Alan Jay Lerner and Ira Gershwin, The student cast sings and dances excerpts from The Threepenny Opera, Happy End, Lady In The Dark, Street Scene, The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, and more.

All in all, there are more than 30 songs that are showcased in “Berlin to Broadway.”

“Not only does it demonstrate Weill’s extraordinary melodic gifts, but also his ability to transform his style to fit different environments,” Howard wrote in the program. “His music reflects both the influences around him and the moods of the times in which he lived and composed.”

Starting Friday, you’ll get the chance to know one of America’s most influential composers via “Berlin to Broadway” through songs and dances by the musical theater students. Then you’ll know why Howard liked him so much.

For more information, call (951) 659-2171 or visit www.idyllwildarts.org. The IAF Theatre is located on the Idyllwild Arts campus at 52500 Temecula Drive in Idyllwild.

Copyright 2012 Idyllwild Me. All rights reserved.

 

Music Comp Collaborates with Visual Artists

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

(from L) Kevin, Julian, Will, Nick and Corwin gather around the piano

By Marcia E. Gawecki

Last year, Kevin Sullivan’s Honor Music Composition class collaborated with student poets and a vocalist. Those lucky enough to attend “Idyllwild Arts Day in LA” heard their interpretations live (see “From Music Comp Class to March 1st Recital” Idyllwild Me blog post dated Feb. 27, 2011).

This year, however, the three songwriting students–Will, Nick and Corwin–are collaborating with three visual artists, including Josh, Zoe and Inga.

“I thought we’d mix it up a little bit,” Kevin said. “Next year, we’re thinking of working with vocal music students again.”

Although the songwriting students have been hard at work for months and have seen the pieces by the visual artists, it was still a surprise to two of the artists.

“They’re writing songs about my painting?” asked Josh, a sophomore visual artist from Taiwan.

The one they selected of Josh’s is called “Greedy,” and features a pig eating another pig while other pigs sitting around a table are watching him. The painting is hanging on Josh’s wall in his dorm room.

He said it’s a statement about the human condition, and not necessarily about anyone in particular.

“The pig doesn’t even know that he’s eating himself,” Josh laughed.

(from L) Kevin gestures to Julian emphasizing his point

It wasn’t the first time Josh has used a pig in his artwork. He once painted a single pig with money coming out of it years ago in China.

“They’re still writing songs about our art?” Zoe asked, as she was preparing for the SAT. “That was months ago.”

Earlier this semester, Nick went through her portfolio and picked out the photograph, which features a blended image of Isaac, a writer, and Delilah, a former visual artist.

“I took the photograph right after a fashion show,” Zoe explained. “Delilah wore heavy makeup, and it was a nice contrast to Isaac, who was shot in profile and was dressed in jeans and a T-shirt.”

Sometime this year, Zoe started cutting the photographs apart, and then weaving them together.

“It looks more like a bar code to me,” she said.”Photographs can be like math, so technical.”

“Yes, we’ve been working on these compositions for a long time now,” Kevin explained. “But they’ve gone through anywhere from 10 to 15 drafts. We also went on the USC Songwriter’s Tour, and there was Spring Break and such.”

Back at the piano in Kevin’s comp class, Will was listening to Julian, a fellow piano player, sight read his music. During most Thursday night classes, they critique each other, but tonight, Julian was adding his own comments.

The painting by Josh (shown with girlfriend Vita) features pigs devouring each other

“I asked Julian to play for us today to find out of there’s any ‘finger busters,’ in which a piano player has to twist his fingers in a weird way,” Kevin explained.

“It’s doable,” Julian said about Corwin’s version of  Josh’s painting, “Greedy.” However, he asked about the “voicing.”

Kevin explained that in jazz, “voicing” is the order of chords, and a pianist can play the same notes in many different ways, emphasizing different notes. He asked Julian to play it three different ways, which gave Corwin several options to choose from.

“You don’t want to leave it to the piano player to interpret your work, because then it will sound different each time it’s played,” Kevin explained.

After Julian played one of Will’s pieces, “Beneath the Window” for Inga’s painting, Kevin suggested that he and Julian play it again, splitting up the right and left hands.

“I wonder if there’s a way we can make it sound a little richer,” Kevin said.

“You need to write a good challenging piece. It makes it more interesting for the piano player,” Kevin added.

Nick reaches into the exposed piano keys to strum them

By the time they finished, Kevin, Will and Julian were pleased with with the results to “draft no. 11.”

“Now, it’s got a little more color and brightness, and not so grumbling,” Kevin told Will, who was nodding in agreement.

Nick wanted to show the others what he recently added to Zoe’s piece. With Will’s help, he took off the top of the piano, exposing the chords underneath.

Julian laughed. “Have you heard of ‘Macro Cosmos?'” he asked. “George Krumb had a woman shout, ‘Tora! Tora! Tora!’ into the exposed piano.”

Just for fun, Kevin repeated those words into their exposed piano keys, while Nick pushed the pedals. The result was an eerie echo.

Instead of sheet music, Nick was playing from his laptop screen. At the given moment, he reached into the piano and strummed the exposed keys. It sounded like a harp.

“It’s supposed to sound like a snake,” Nick said, pleased with the effect.

Kevin said that Janette, who will be performing their work, is interested in modern classical music, in which you do unconventional things like strum the exposed keys.

“We’re just glad that she’s willing to do this for us,” Kevin said.

Nick then demonstrated how his songwriting software plays back the song for him.

“You know instantly how it’s going to sound,” Nick said. “I can’t believe that Kevin actually sits in his room and writes all the notes out by hand. This is the 21st century!”

Just then,Kevin took over the piano and played a prelude (from sheet music that was written out by hand). It was beautiful, quiet and slow. Afterwards, there was a hushed silence among the student songwriters.

Then Nick said, “That’s why he’s our comp teacher.”

(from L) Will, Nick and Corwin embrace technology

In the next few weeks, the music comp class will finish each of their collaborations, and then present it to the visual artists and others who want to attend. In short, there will be four different views of each painting, including preludes.

The performance date hasn’t been set yet, and Kevin is scrambling to find an open spot with all of the junior and senior music recitals going on nearly every night.

Zoe, admitted that she was a little nervous.

“It’s going to be really cool,” she said. “But what can I say about my work? Sometimes, it’s just not all that deep and complicated. It’s just is.”

Josh was excited about hearing their work.

“Do you know the date yet?” he asked with a big smile. “I want to bring all of my friends!”

Will said they will likely give the musical pieces to the artists as gifts.

In the meantime, we’ll have to wait for the Music Comp performance until a date opens up.

Tonight, however, (Wednesday, May 9) Nick and Will, will be presenting a variety of songs they’ve written for their junior recital. It starts at 7:30 p.m. at Stephens Recital Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

Copyright 2012 Idyllwild Me. All rights reserved.

 

 

Willy’s Not Going to Show Off His Abs

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

Willy Latzo and wife Ramona in workout attire

 

By Marcia E Gawecki

Willy Latzo, the 4-time Mixed Marshall Arts (MMA) Champion who now owns Idyllwild Fitness Center, isn’t going to take off his shirt.

Not now, and not this summer.

“You’ll always see me in workout sweats,” Willy said, as he was handing out flyers. “If you want to see my abs, come to one of my fights.”

OK, that just crushed my perceptions of bodybuilders, boxers and MMA champs.

Go to Venice Beach and all the bodybuilders have their shirts off. They want you to see their muscles. They want you to ooh and ahh, and maybe touch them. It’s all part of the game. Even California’s former governor showed off his sculpted abs for the media.

Willy is not going to show you his, but his wife will.

In the flyer promoting free classes with the $40 membership, Willy points to photos of his wife, Ramona, in a tank top working on her biceps.

“It’s OK for Ramona to show off her muscles because she’s a woman,” Willy explained. “But men get jealous of each other.”

OK, so Willy, who owns a fitness center, where showing off a muscular body would be an asset, is being coy. Or is he being sly as a fox?

“Even outside, you’ll always see me in sweats,” he said.

Guess it’s like the old Poker rule: “Always have more than you’re showing.”

Or just let others sing your praises.

Willy is never going to take off his shirt

Jeffrey Taylor, from Green Cafe Internet, has been working out with Willy for the past two months. He’s lost about 25 pounds, mostly from sweating from Willy’s workouts. He said that he’s not trying to build muscle, but wants a cardiovascular workout.

“I’m not seeing much improvement,” Willy told Jeffrey recently. “So I’m going to double your workouts.”

Jeffrey began to sweat. Up until now, the workouts have been challenging. They included hanging from ceiling straps, while pulling his legs up to his chest. Professional gymnasts only did those kind of feats.

Now Jeffrey is building endurance by running on a Stair Master.

“During our regular workouts, I climbed 104 flights of stairs,” Jeffrey said. “That’s like going to the top of the Empire State Building.”

A younger weight lifter at Idyllwild Fitness collapsed after walking 50 flights on the Stair Master. Jeffrey didn’t miss a beat.

“I told him that I could do double that,” he said. “I must be building endurance. I’m twice his age.”

To further build endurance, Jeffrey takes the Tuesday Salsa Cardio workouts.

“Jeffrey doesn’t like the new instructor,” Willy teased. “She makes him work!”

“You might like the Salsa Cardio or the Yoga classes,” Willy said to me. “But forget about Boot Camp or even the Kids MMA. They’re all taught by me, and they’re too tough for you right now.”

Why would I bother? He’s not going to take his shirt off.

Ramona is the only lucky one. Perhaps she can slip me a photo sometime?

Idyllwild Fitness Center, 54423 Village Center Drive (below Mountain Harvest Market in Strawberry Plaza). Call (951) 659-5000. Monthly memberships, including classes, are only $40. Drop-in day rate: $15. Hours: Monday –  Friday, 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m – 4 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Copyright 2012 Idyllwild Me. All rights reserved.

Published on: Apr 26, 2012 @ 0:09

Student Gets Real World Jazz Experience

Saturday, April 14th, 2012

Marshall Hawkins gives his jazz students real world experiences. Courtesy photo Idyllwild Arts.

By Marcia E. Gawecki

At Idyllwild Arts, some jazz students get music gigs long before they graduate from high school. American Idol heartthrob Casey Abrams, and former grads Caleb Hensinger and Jacob Scesney (who now attend Berklee College in Boston), and currently, Lake, a guitar player, have all played with Marshall Hawkins and Paul Carman at Cafe Aroma.

Jazz students have also performed at public high schools, for competitions like Spotlight and the Berklee Jazz Festival, during auditions for summer music festivals, at weddings, country clubs and other gigs throughout the year. However, Cafe Aroma remains constant.

Inigo, a junior from Brazil, played there once.

“It was a great experience playing with Marshall,” Inigo said. “I learn so much from him.”

In fact, during that Cafe Aroma gig, Marshall threw Inigo a curve ball.

“We’re playing ‘Caravan,’ which had a 4/4 tempo,” Inigo explained. “He looks straight at his bass and says 6/8.”

Inigo wasn’t expecting that, and immediately had to speed up the tempo. He said later it was a good “real world” experience.

It also showed how intimately connected jazz players are. Sometimes, Inigo said, they only speak with their eyes.

For instance, at his Junior Recital at Stephens Recital Hall on Monday, April 9, Inigo said that the drummer had missed a tempo change, and the bass player stared at him, and he quickly recovered.

Oftentimes, jazz students play at Cafe Aroma in Idyllwild. Sachmo art by Marcia Gawecki.

“It happens all the time,” Inigo said “At school gigs, we are constantly looking at each other for cues.”

Inigo has eight more performances to go before the end of the school year in June.

“Last year, Caleb, a horn player, told me to accept all requests for being an accompanist,” Inigo said. “He said that you’ll learn something new from each one.”

So Inigo said “yes” to nine other students this year, including Randy, Kat, Walker, Tyler, Alex, Ken, Nick (vocal), Tiffany and Katy (who left the school).

He said he doesn’t always like their music choices or how they play them, but welcomes each new experience.

“Sometimes, I get to play some of my favorite jazz standards,” he said.

For his April 9 recital, Inigo’s play list included: Straight, No Chaser; Four on Six; Nica’s Dream; How My Heart Sings and Impressions.

In June, Inigo is going to Bangkok, Thailand, for the first time, with his girlfriend, Tierra, a Musical Theatre grad, who lives there. For three weeks, he’s going to play at the Maple Hotel, which is owned by her family.

(from left) Jacob and Caleb. Caleb advised Inigo to accept all student recital requests.

“Tierra said that Thai people are crazy about Boss Nova (Brazilian music), so I’ll be playing guitar and singing in Portuguese,” Inigo said. “I’m an average singer.”

When he returns to Sao Paolo, Brazil for the rest of the summer, Inigo will likely get his regular gig back. It’s at a small bar called O Barsinho, where he accompanies a singer.

“Alicia Santas is about 30 years old, beautiful and really nice,” Inigo said.

When Alicia first met him, she asked him what type of music that he listened to.

“I knew all of the songs that she liked,” he said. “So she said, ‘Perfect!’ and hired me on the spot.”

But when Alicia’s onstage, she’s all professional.

“She just turns around and announces the name of the song, and expects me to know it,” Inigo said. “I’ve been lucky so far.”

Their song set generally remains the same, but once when the crowd asked for an encore, Inigo was sweating bullets.

“I was just hoping that she’d request a song that I knew,” he said.

As it turns out, an audience member requested a song that he knew. This summer, he’ll keep building up his repertoire of songs.

Inigo said all of these performances at Idyllwild Arts and at Cafe Aroma in Idyllwild, at the Maple Hotel in Bangkok and at the O Barsinho in Sao Paolo, all help him build his confidence and gain ‘real world’ experiences as a musician.

“When you play, you’ve got to make it look easy,” he said.

He quoted famous jazz bass player Charles Mingus who said, “Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple , awesomely simple, that’s creativity.”

To view Inigo’s April 9 jazz recital, and others, check out the U Stream link on the Idyllwild Arts web site, www.idyllwildarts.org.

Mark your calendars for the next Idyllwild Arts Jazz Concert on Tuesday, May 22 in the IAF Theatre.

Copyright 2012 Idyllwild Me. All rights reserved.

 

 

Closet Installation Defines Art Student’s Life

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

Kevin plans to be part of an installation for his senior art show

By Marcia E. Gawecki

For his senior art show at Idyllwild Arts on April 20, Kevin is exposing a part of himself. In fact, he’s going to be part of an ongoing installation.

He’s showing some large, abstract paintings, but his installation showcases an unusual closet along with some track music that he mixed himself.

“Both of my parents work in the fashion industry, so it would be natural for me to follow in their footsteps,” said Kevin, who is from Korea. “It’s been a struggle for me deciding between fashion and art.”

Kevin is a 4-year senior, which means he attended Idyllwild Arts from his freshman to his senior year.

In Kevin’s closet installation, he’s selected only black and white clothes.

“It’s kind of a statement about human growth,” Kevin explained.

Kevin had difficulty deciding between art and fashion as a major

For example, white clothes would identify him as a baby, while black clothes would show him in old age. As the track music changes, Kevin plans to change clothes.

“I have to practice a lot to get it right,” he said with a smile.

Kevin also has some large, abstract paintings that together form a butterfly.

A few months back, Kevin got some encouraging words from Idyllwild Arts alum and street artist, Shepard Fairey. In fact, there’s a photo of the two of them on the Idyllwild Arts web site.

When he visited Idyllwild Arts on Feb 10, Shepard gave a lecture and held a Master Class for the visual artists (See “Welcome Back” Idyllwild Me post dated Feb. 16, 2012).

“He said that he liked my stuff, especially the figurative paintings,” Kevin said. “But he encouraged me to use different materials and take risks.”

(from L) Kevin and Cynthia before Shepard Fairey's art

Perhaps Kevin is taking Shepard’s recommendations to heart as he “performs” his closet installation on Friday, April 20 in the Parks Exhibition Center.

Also showing that evening are Visual Art seniors Bella, SoYe and Mia. Like all Idyllwild Arts events, Senior Show II is free and open to the public.

For more information about student art events at the Parks Exhibition Center on the Idyllwild Arts campus, visit www.idyllwildarts.org or call Mallory Cremin at (951) 659-2171, ext. 2251.

Copyright 2012 Idyllwild Me. All rights reserved.

 

New Music: Dramatic Shift for Students

Monday, April 9th, 2012

Orchestra students (file photo) have mixed feelings about New Music

By Marcia E. Gawecki

Students from the Idyllwild Arts Orchestra will take a dramatic shift from their classical music repertoire to New Music for their next concerts on April 28-29. Some of them like New Music because it’s so different, while others don’t like it as much.

“We don’t just listen to songs written by dead people,” chided Peter Askim, music director and composer-in-residence at Idyllwild Arts (see New Music post on Idyllwild Me dated May 7, 2010).

He’s used to their resistance.

“When I told Peter that I didn’t like New Music, he said that it was because I didn’t understand it,” said Rong, a cello player.

“I like it because it tells a story,” said Meng, a double bass player, from Beijing, who also plays the cello and piano. “But it can be hard to play sometimes.”

Meng, a double bass player, says New Music tells a story

Mostly because there’s no CDs they can listen to, and it’s not posted on You Tube.

Rong said that this next concert is particularly hard for the three percussionists. Dixin, a violin player, agreed.

“They have to play so many instruments,” Dixin said. “It’s really amazing!”

For the New Music concerts each year, Peter also helps promote the new works by emerging and established composers. Richard Thompson, voted among the Top 20 best guitarists by Rolling Stone magazine, will be performing “Interviews with Ghosts” on his guitar.

Also Chen Yi will be performing “Tone Poem,” a piece commissioned by the student orchestra and the Richard P. Wilson Fund for New Music.

Three composers from So Orchestra will be performing individual works, including “Oblique Music” by Jason Tretuing, “Credo in US” by John Cage and “Music for Pieces of Wood,” by Steve Reich.

Also on the docket is Peter’s brand-new piece, “Elsewhere.”

Dixin said Peter Askim's "Elsewhere" is kind of quiet and slow

“It’s kind of quiet and slow,” explained Dixin. “But I like it.”

Andrew Leeson, a staff member in Creative Writing, has called Peter “The Master of the Dramatic Pause.” (See “Askim’s New Music Revealed” on  Idyllwild Me posted Nov. 11, 2011).

Jo, another bass player, said that the New Music they’re performing with Richard Thompson sound more like Rock n’ Roll.

“He was knighted, you know,” she said.

Many in Idyllwild may remember Thompson’s “Cabaret of Souls” that was performed with the Idyllwild Arts Orchestra last year.

The New Music concerts will be held on Saturday, April 28 at the IAF Theatre on campus and on Sunday, April 29, at 4 p.m. in The Barnsdall Gallery Theatre in Hollywood. The Idyllwild concert is free and open to the public, while the LA concert is a fundraiser and Pre-sale tickets range from $1o to $20, and a little more on the show day.

For tickets, visit www.bgttix.com or call (323) 644-6272. For Pre-Sale tickets and more details on the New Music concert, visit www.idyllwildarts.org. There are several videos of Richard Thompson singing and playing his guitar, including one from 1952.

Copyright 2012 Idyllwild Me. All rights reserved.

Glass Fixer Knows About Film Crashes

Friday, April 6th, 2012

A cracked windshield can obstruct a driver's view

By Marcia E. Gawecki

In 2005, Doug Shelby, owner of Shelby Auto Glass in Hemet, got a call from one of the film students at Idyllwild Arts. The teenager was thinking of putting a car crash in his short film, and he wanted to know about breaking windshield glass.

Doug doesn’t remember who it was, but likely it could have been Alexis Echavarria, who won the “Audience Choice Award” for “18 Minutes,” a short film about the last 18 minutes of sunlight on earth.

The 16-year-old student died before the screening at ShortFest 2009 in Palm Springs, but a student award has been set up in his name.

In one of the scenes in “18 Minutes,” a young couple pauses on the street for a moment to kiss, while another car hits them head on. The teenage girl goes through the windshield, while the teenage boy survives. A dramatic scene ensues, showing the boy picking her up and cradling her in his arms, just moments before the world ends.

“I don’t think a head-on collision at low speeds, with one car parked would cause someone to go through the windshield,” said Doug. “Windshields are too tough now.”

In 'The Vow,' a woman goes through the windshield and gets amnesia

Doug explained that most car windshields are made of two panes of glass with a thin layer of plastic in between. That combination of glass and plastic is super strong, and makes it hard for anything to go through it, especially a person.

“You would have to be traveling about 90 mph straight into a brick wall to go through the windshield,” Doug said.

But teenage filmmakers are not the only ones who don’t get the windshield thing right.

A few weeks ago, Doug and his wife, Debi, went to see “The Vow,” a true love story about a married couple who get into a car crash. It’s the same premise. The two park momentarily at a stop sign to kiss, and then are rear-ended by a 14-wheeler. The woman, played by Rachael McAdams, goes through the windshield and survives, but gets amnesia.

“I leaned over and said to my wife, ‘That would never happen,'” Doug said.

Too bad director Michael Sucsy didn’t have Doug on the set to advise them about the realities of windshield glass.

Doug just shrugged and said, “That’s Hollywood!”

Many windshields crack in Idyllwild due to the weather

Shelby Glass is located at the bottom of the hill in Valle Vista/Hemet. Doug’s son works in their mobile unit that services Idyllwild businesses, including Idyllwild Arts.

“Shelby Glass is the best,” said Tucker McIntyre, head of Transportation at Idyllwild Arts. “We’ve used them for years because they’re reasonable and they come up to us for no extra charge.”

Shelby’s free mobile service covers Idyllwild, Beaumont, Banning, Hemet, and San Jacinto, among other cities.

For more information on Shelby Glass, contact (888) 298-7125, (951) 927-9810 or visit shelbyautoglass.com. The shop is located at 45457 Hwy. 74 in Hemet.

And to view Alexis Echavarria’s ’18 Minutes,’ visit www.alexisechavarria.com. (Video takes some time to download, so please be patient).

Copyright 2012 Idyllwild Me. All rights reserved.

 

 

Geisha Focus at Senior Art Show II

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

Bella working on her geisha sculptures

By Marcia E. Gawecki

Always fashionable, Bella, a senior Visual Artist at Idyllwild Arts, was looking a little tired. Which is rare for students on their 2-week Spring Break. There was no time for Bella to go shopping or sight-see. In fact, she never left Idyllwild.

“My senior show is coming up, and I must be ready,” she said.

Along with five other senior Visual Artists, Bella will be showcasing her work at the Parks Exhibition Center on Friday, April 20 (as part of the second senior class art show. The first one opens this Friday night.)

Bella, who has already been accepted to a fashion college in England, is focusing her small ceramic sculptures on the societal role of the Japanese geisha. Some are kneeling in kimonos, and are headless. Only one is standing tall.

“They are obeying the roles of the geisha,” Bella explained about the headless geishas. “There are many limitations.”

The prettiest geisha isn't always the top geisha, Bella said.

Bella has studied geishas a bit. She said most people know about geishas from the popular American movie, “Memoirs of a Geisha” (2005).

“The lead actress wasn’t even Japanese,” said Bella. “She’s Chinese.”

Geishas are traditional female Japanese entertainers, whose various skills include singing, dancing and performing classical music. As portrayed in the movie, geishas could also be quite theatrical and egomaniacs.

According to various web sites, there was a significant decline in geishas during WWII because many women had to work in factories, and most of the teahouses and bars shut down.

Geishas start out as apprentices or maiko, and learn their craft from established geishas.

“The most beautiful geisha isn’t necessarily the most high-ranking geisha,” explained Bella.

She pointed to her standing geisha sculpture, that hadn’t even been painted yet.

Some of her geisha sculptures will remain headless

“She is the most noticable,” Bella said. “But another one could be more beautiful.”

Beautiful, educated, and cultured, geishas inhabit another reality.

Bella said that she identified with geishas a bit, but didn’t elaborate. She also didn’t want her picture taken because she wasn’t wearing any makeup. Yet, this is the same girl who sported a neon pink wig to her junior show. Will she be wearing a full kimono on April 20?

Regardless, Bella’s six ceramic geishas will be on display during Senior Show II, at 6 p.m. on Friday, April 20 at the Parks Exhibition Center on campus. Like all Idyllwild Arts events, it is free and open to the public. However, don’t miss the Senior Show I this Friday, April 6 at 6 p.m.!

For more information, call the Parks Exhibition Center at (951) 659-2171, ext. 2251.

Copyright 2012 Idyllwild Me. All right reserved.

Student ‘Green Team’ Focuses on Recycling, Growth

Friday, March 30th, 2012

Devin worked on a garlic farm for a week

By Marcia E. Gawecki

“It’s not easy being green,” sang Kermit the frog from The Muppets.

Students from the ‘Green Team’ at Idyllwild Arts can identify. The ideas they plan to propose for their school will take time and effort, but the payoff will be well worth it.

Four of them, including Devin, Alex, Michelle and Katherine, recently attended the ‘Green Schools National Conference’ in Denver with faculty member Shannon Jacobs. They wanted to help their school become more eco-friendly.

During their All-School meeting on Friday, March 9, the group presented a 5-minute video they had created about the experience.

Devin, an Interdisciplinary Arts (IM) major, was the one who interviewed many attendees on camera. They didn’t just interview students, but families and older people as well.

“Why is the environment important to you?” Devin asked.

“Because we live in it,” one student said.

“It’s the only thing that we have left,” quipped another.

An older woman said that it was an important for her to hand over the earth in a good state to her children.

“We need to give a beautiful gift to them,” she said.

The video also showed B-roll of the breakout sessions, lectures, and some new environmental products.

“They also shot about five minutes of Michelle eating french fries,” teased Isaac, a friend of Michelle’s, a dance major.

She said that she enjoyed the conference because of all of the ideas presented there. The Green Team is currently looking over many of them, including growing a garden.

The Green Team hopes to grow garlic and sell to local merchants, such as Cafe Aroma

Devin said they’re considering growing garlic, and maybe selling it to Idyllwild merchants, such as Cafe Aroma at a reduced price.

“I worked on a garlic farm for a week, and its surprisingly easy to grow,” Devin said.

The Green Team is also looking into hosting a guest lecture series to learn more about recycling and the environment. They’ve heard there are groups in town, such as Sustainable Idyllwild, that perhaps they can collaborate with.

Although most of these ideas are still in the planning stages, the Green Team actively searches out new ideas from other students and the faculty. Brian D. Cohen, the school’s headmaster, is a strong proponent of recycling and saving energy.

Just this year, the academy’s cafeteria saw a big change. Signs went up about food waste, and they even weighed the garbage cans to prove it.

Then there was an effort to help save water and energy by not using food trays, but carrying your dishes to the table. Once finished, everyone was encouraged to scrape their plates and separate them into bins.

Just the act of standing over a trash can and scraping away your leftovers made students aware of what was being wasted.

“I started gaining more weight because I didn’t want to throw any food away,” said one van driver.

Everyone is encouraged to ask for less portions, and those who want more must go through the line a second time.

Besides the cafeteria, the offices got a change with energy efficient lighting. They’re the kind of lights that come on automatically, and shut off after you leave. That way, no one is walking into a dark bathroom or hallway.

(from L) Michelle, who attended the Denver conference, and her friend, Becky

“They detect motion, so they’re not going to shut off after a few minutes,” explained Angela, the school’s receptionist.

She said she likes the new improvements, and its nice to know they’re saving energy.

Another idea the Green Team are considering is healthy vending, which means healthy alternatives in the vending machines and in the school’s bookstore.

He encouraged everyone to check out their Facebook page called, “Idyllwild Greenies.”

Copyright 2012 Idyllwild Me. All rights reserved.