All posts tagged: music

Interview: Yasushi Koyama, cuteness and nature in Finnish and Japanese aesthetics

Japanese sculptor Yasushi Koyama lives in Helsinki, Finland and exhibits frequently in the local galleries. In this interview, he ponders the aesthetics behind his cute wooden sculptures. The artist brings the two artistic worlds together in his deep knowledge of both Finnish and Japanese cultures. One of his revelations connects to an idea of etic (or ethic), a general belief that influences people’s behavior and attitudes. Firstindigo&Lifestyle: When did you move to Finland, and how did you decide to go there to study? Yasushi Koyama: I moved to Finland in Autumn 2007 to study Fine arts in Saimaa University of Applied Sciences in Imatra. In 2006, I met Finnish printmaker Tuula Moilanen and took her art courses in Kyoto Japan. She was a good teacher and gave me some advice for Finnish education and art school. Then I decided to come to Finland to study. Firstindigo&Lifestyle: What is the best part of having two cultures to live in and with? YK: The best part is to have another viewpoint beyond one culture. In addition, in my own artwork Finnish culture …

Aimee Lee about sound, art books and hanji

Aimee Lee is an artist, papermaker, writer, and the leading hanji researcher and practitioner in the United States. With paper, she makes thread, sculpture, books, drawings, prints, garments, and installations. Aimee Lee’s background as a performing artist and musician carries traces of paper as sets and costumes. Her installations are artistic research on paper and sound. She has pursued a career with traditional Korean hanji, coming up with new aesthetic concerns and techniques for her artistic practice.  As a scholar, she is author of award-winning book, Hanji Unfurled (The Legacy Press). Firstindigo&Lifestyle: You are a musician, a performer with live violin. How did you start creating performances onsite, including your own installations, manifesting set designs and creating costumes? Did everything start with music? Aimee Lee: My early aspirations were to become a concert violinist, but I learned in college that I was not serious enough to devote the requisite hours of practice and study. However, I still loved music and wanted to stay close to musicians, so I continued to play and my first jobs were in music administration—bringing music …

Director Simen Braathen discusses ARCTIC SUPERSTAR

Norwegian documentary film director and advertising professional, Simen Braathen introduced his new doc ARCTIC SUPESTAR to audiences in New York City last week. His documentary about a Sámi rapper SlinCraze had the screening and a concert by the rapper at the United Nations as part of the Forum on Indigenous Issues. The film opened the Films From North program at the Tromsø International Film Festival earlier this year receiving a well-deserved welcome. US VICE Magazine described it as “one of the best music documentaries” of 2016. Firstindigo&Lifestyle: How did you start doing documentary films originally, did you plan on becoming a director as a career choice, or did it just happen? Simen Braathen: ARCTIC SUPERSTAR is my debut film and it was something I stumbled into 4 years ago. I was working in advertising in New York at the time and as a side project, photographer Martin Johansen and I wanted to make a photo exhibition that portrayed Norwegian rappers and the places they represent. You know, instead of reppin’ Brooklyn, Bronx or Compton, you would have …

Anri Sala’s musical mystery

“Anri Sala: Answer Me” -exhibition, which will be on display at the New Museum until April 10th, 2016, features multichannel audio and video installations. In his recent works, Albanian artist Anri Sala has interpreted musical compositions, classical works so to speak, with experiments that are structured into video and sound installations. The monumentally compound works navigate through the limits of our perception; mapping the sound and the spatial, and investigating the sound in the architectural spaces. This experiment transformed New Museum floors into symphonic areas of soundful meaning, leaving room for small encounters. Anri Sala’s often political works have tested the boundaries of sound and language in our construction of cultural realities. From cultural point of view, his works seem to investigate contexts that are outside the dominant aspects of reality. Or the realities are rather revealed through the layering of world of sounds. We have adopted a notion that the words create the meaning in our cultural communication. Yet, as Sala with his approaches has shown, it is possible to challenge this definition further …

Video of the week: Sephardic Music & Traditions with Flory Jagoda & Susan Gaeta

Exited about this video. Sephardic music and traditions have been carried on from one generation to the next by women storytellers and performers. Flory Jagoda and Susan Gaeta performed together on March 2013 in Maryland, where this video was recorded. Flory Jagoda tells a story about her family in Europe, going back to family photos, and including her own career as a musician. She started learning from her own grandmother, who sang her folk songs in Ladino. Jagoda is a leader of the revival of Ladino language by song. Vocalist/guitarist Susan Gaeta is an important member of new generation performers exploring a rich variety of Sephardic music.

Artist Spotlight: Daniella Rabbani

Daniella Rabbani, actress, singer,  and a new yorker is currently producing and starring in #GYMSHORTS, a series of Web Shorts. Daniella graduated from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts with a focus on acting for television. She also studied at The Stella Adler Studio of Acting.   Firstindigo&Lifestyle: What productions/premieres did you do recently?    DANIELLA RABBANI: THE GOLDEN LAND, THE OFF BROADWAY MUSICAL I WAS IN THIS PAST FALL WAS NOMINATED FOR A DRAMA DESK! I GOT TO DRESS UP AND GO TO THE NOMINEE RECEPTION AND THE AWARD CEREMONY. IT WAS SO FUN!  I’M CURRENTLY PRODUCING AND STARRING IN #GYMSHORTS ABOUT THE FUNNY THINGS THAT HAPPEN AT THE GYM. IT’S AWESOME. I GET TO DO BE REALLY GOOFY WITH SOME OF THE FUNNIEST ACTORS I KNOW AND PUMP IRON WITH TRAINERS LIKE BRETT HOEBEL FROM THE BIGGEST LOSER. IT’S HYSTERICAL. Firstindigo&Lifestyle: Who are your greatest mentors and idols?  DR: I’VE BEEN VERY BLESSED IN MY LIFE TO HAVE SEASONED  PROFESSIONALS, MASTERS AT WHAT THEY DO, TAKE ME UNDER THEIR WING. I …

Paula Jaakkola’s music with wings

Exporting music and arts to different parts of the world belong to cultural heritage. Arts are sustainable and renewable part of culture. Some artists choose to live in another country to gain inspiration, to start a new career, and desiring to make it there. Each story is different. Finnish musician, singer, songwriter and composer Paula Jaakkola has lived in New York City since 1999. She is a graduate from the University of Helsinki’s Musicology program in 1999, and from The New School in 2002 where she studied jazz vocals. Recently Paula was in Finland recording her new album. Paula, how has the recording experience been so far? PJ: The first recording sessions in Finland this past December were fun and inspiring. We started with 3 songs of mine. The musicians Ape Anttila, Jaska Lukkarinen and Marzi Nyman are extremely talented artists and I am fortunate that they are excited to play my music. The recordings continue this spring in Finland and in New York so there is still a lot to be done. What other …

Jason Carter builds bridges through Music

I interviewed Jason Carter, a Harp guitar adventurer, who was born in UK, is a World citizen and celebrating his birthday this week. Jason has exiting new adventures coming up. And just a bit about the World peace too. Happy birthday, Jason, hoping it is a good one! I remember our collaboration in 2000 in Helsinki with our ‘Landscape/Innerscape’ -performance project. It was great fun. Seems that we both have been doing creative projects for a while and traveled quite a bit since. WOW, was it really THAT long ago??? I remember it well, it was my first trip to Finland, so very memorable. I am 43 today, time to start thinking about growing up. After all, it is the thought that counts.. What are the most recent places you visited to perform? How did you build bridges through music between cultures and people? What do you think about the carbon footprints and travel miles? This idea of making the world a better place through music is fantastic. The most recent places have been Saudi …