Month: June 2010

Who IS that guy? If you lived here, you’d know.

Amzie Adams (photographer/”politician”/sculptor/musician/filmmaker/poet) is a French Quarter fixture. I met him for the first time several years ago when I was working in Jackson Square, as he was/is good friends with my boss over there. Many ‘Quarter Rats’ (established French Quarter residents) don’t know what to think of him, however he’s just as much a part of this city as the jazz, the streetcars, Ruthie the Duck Lady, or red beans & rice on a Monday. He’s part of the backdrop we’ve all been woven into, a functional character akin to seeing Mickey Mouse at Disney World – without the paycheck, with less clothes, and probably a little more frightening to little kids and their suburban parents.

So check out the instrument he has in this photo (taken 6/27/10). He stopped by our moving sale this past Saturday, and wanted to show K.D. (my wife) his new upright bass. He built it out of an old wooden dresser. The strings are weed-whacker line, and it sounds just like, well, a bass! Apparently he had purchased a new (traditional) upright, then liked the sound of his own better so he sold it and gigs around with the axe you see here.

You can read more about Amzie Adams here:
All Amzie All The Time
New Orleans Art by Amzie Adams

Thank you – For Increasing My Courage To Fail!

That’s my epiphany of the day.

I need to take bigger risks without minding so much if I fail at them. It’s hard because, quite frankly, I do mind. I think it’s important to be in a place where you can fail ‘safely’. This all stems from the idea of academic competition and not letting your weaknesses show. Today, for example, I was struggling with a particular aspect of written formatting that I probably should have learned years and years ago (and maybe I did), so I had to muster the courage to just say to a professor, “Wait a sec. I really don’t know”. I risked looking like an idiot, and I’m happy I did because I walked away knowing the answer.

Sometimes I forget that ignorance is okay if its mixed with curiosity and the ambition to change. The other part of me just smacks myself on the head for not knowing. I’m reminded that the largest proponent of a successful education is the desire to self-educate. That’s more than half the battle. The rest is just having access to resources and knowing how to use them.

And now back to writing and listening…

Spirit of Tibet, UK Tour – Authentic Traditional Tibetan Songs & Dances

I’m reposting this video from one of my favorite blogs, Tibet Music World. I love this blog, because it integrates tradition with pop music.

They posted this video from the Spirit of Tibet UK Tour that’s happening right now in Colchester, UK at the Mercury Theatre. This performance is by the World Harmonious Theatre Group, composed of young artists who are trying to preserve the Tibetan culture of performing arts.

Field Advocacy Swap: Lobbying for Music Education & Ethnomusicology

For many years I’ve learned to advocate for the field of music education. The concept of advocacy seemed so important even, that it became a main proponent of my first degree program. Early on through my mentors and professors, I learned which educational buzz words to use in conversation with educational stakeholders so that if the dreaded topics come up: Why is music education important in today’s society? Why should music be part of the core curriculum and not extra-curricular? Why does every child need a music education? … then I’d be armed with the right answers, which would change depending on the political, economic, and social climate of my surroundings. In essence, I became a lobbyist for music education. I think it’s a great thing.