Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Favorite Things 2: The Hip-Hop Violinist

I don't know if Lindsey Stirling still bills herself as the 'hip-hop violinist' but whatever you call her, the girl is amazing.  When I'm feeling a little down I'll skip over to YouTube and play 'Shadows' or 'Transcendence' and invariably feel better (or at least better understood :D).  

Shadows is probably my favorite because aside from being a great melody and beautifully performed, the video is just fascinating... I love black and white, I love the injection of whimsy, and Lindsey is so cute!  If I can't be petite and adorable and graceful then I'll live vicariously through her. 

I have a violin and dabble with it from time to time - it's purely for my own enjoyment, as I have a pathologic lack of rhythm and am dangerously close to being tone deaf (hey, I'm a visual artist :D) - but I think that my experiences with the instrument enhance my appreciation for, and feed my fascination with, performers like Lindsey, Mairead Nesbitt, Bond and Natalie McMaster.  The way the violin just seems to be a part of them, their grace and beauty (and for an interesting take on beauty check out this TED talk)... well, at the risk of sounding like an utter cornball, it lifts my soul!

Lindsey has a bit of everything, if you're feeling philosophical, misunderstood, or railing at the constraints life seems to have laid on you I recommend watching Transcendence....

And don't let the 'Hip Hop' part fool you - Lindsey is clearly a member of the Geek Girl community as evidenced by this one (if you've ever played Skyrim you MUST watch it)...

Or if you are more of a Zelda fan watch this one, or a Lord of the Rings fan watch this one.  I could go on, but you get the point!  So check out Lindsey's stuff and let me know what you think in the comments!

~ Pam

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Geek Strong!!

So as usual I have no idea what to post.  Despite declaring that I wouldn't hold myself to keeping this as an 'art' blog I proceeded to do just that and though I've had a few developments in my art they haven't been really exciting enough to post (and I will save you the cruelty of posting works-in-progress that may or may not ever get completed).

Then today while listening to one of my current favorite videos on YouTube I suddenly felt inspired to post. Even if I have little useful to say I can promote others who are doing wonderful things and who I admire! I may not be Oprah, but there's no reason I can't do my own version of 'favorite things'. Since this is a blog I'll post some explanation along with it.

Today I want to share a video - this is the latest music video productions by a group that primarily do a web show about a bunch of online gamers (Called 'The Guild'). My husband and I have watched and loved their show for years, and also other things directly and indirectly related (Dr. Horrible's Singalong Blog, anything Joss Whedon, etc). Probably not coincidentally we also love Big Bang Theory - even though it's a Hollywood-ized version of geekdom. This music video is more serious than their previous ones (okay, it's got a serious theme where the others were *ahem* not so much serious at all) but awesome and entertaining nonetheless. 

As I sat to write this it occurred to me that there is probably little on my website or the persona I present with respect to my art that reveals my geeky nature. Let me just state that my bona fides are all in order - D&D, comics, online games. Been there, done that. Still doing most of it actually. I am proud of my geekdom rather than embarrassed (even when I have to get my sister to tell me what shoes are fashionably acceptable to buy :D), and it's such a part of me that I honestly don't think to mention it.

I managed to get through life with almost no bullying - I flew so low under the radar that I suspect it wasn't worthwhile. Perhaps I also had the right friends (all geeks, but strength in numbers you know), or I knew how to play the social system. Whatever the reason, I am grateful that I was so lucky - but many are not - and as heartening as it is to see Geekdom entering mainstream, a video like this that specifically addresses the issue of bullying is even more heartening.

I think my favorite segment is from 2:59 - 3:10. Jed Whedon directed this video, and apparently he is as genius as his brother Joss. The humiliation, the smugness, the pan to 'Attitude is everything', and then that look of triumph on Amy Okuda's face. Not 'I have a trophy' triumph, rather the far more realistic and important 'I've been knocked down but I will survive and I am stronger than those who taunt me' triumph.

Oh, and 2:52 of course, just because Sandeep makes me laugh my ass off!

This is simply my interpretation on a fun video dealing with a very serious theme. I'd love to hear what you think, so if you have an opinion please leave a comment!