Friday, August 22, 2014

MetamorFace

I was working on some ideas for an album cover. The following visual snippets are the result of my forays into texture “art” using photo-based imagery. Any perceived pareidolic occurrences are purely subjective.







Saturday, August 2, 2014

Sucking Satans Cock

Bill Hicks coined the phrase, or at least popularized it. I think it's such an accurate summation of the current state of affairs. Have I personally done such a thing? Well yes, but purely in the metaphoric sense. My entire existence has been the so-called "sucking" of one proverbial "cock" or another (be it state, religion, meme, culture, politics, business etc...) trying to satiate the voracious demands of one demon or another. I'm not exempt from bowing down before an idol (on my knees most of the time it seems). We all do it whether we acknowledge it or not. And by the way, I'm writing this because I'm just as culpable of the transgressions I'm about to accuse other people of, so bear with me as I'm excoriating myself more than any one else.

Hence the exploits of 'Energy in Action,' a campaign by the CAPP who's self-described objective is "to be a positive force in elevating the level of discussion on energy with the firm belief that educated energy customers, and policy makers, make good choices". Actually they don't have any real  'public' objective as far as I can tell let alone educating energy consumers or policy makers. They do post serious articles with headlines like "Oil and Gas as Part of Our Future" and "Canada’s oil sands industry will provide a secure source of energy, reduce its impact on the environment and provide economic benefits to society while developing this globally significant resource".

Yup. To preface this all I have to say that oil in the province of Alberta is big business. Oil has infused a ridiculous amount of money into the economy and it's agents have done an amazing job of convincing the general public of its necessity. Don't believe me. Check out this little thing called Google Maps. No really, check it out. This is a partial snap-shot of the landscape of an absolutely beautiful and once pristine wilderness quite literally "raped" by human exploitation.







This is what's visible from the publicly accessible Google Maps! Want a more intimate and closer look as to the effects of big oil, well, check out the "Petropolis" a documentary by filmmaker Peter Mettler showcasing the environmental devastation caused by this world's biggest and ever-expanding industry.



So yeah, in light of all of this, what do the fine chaps form the Canadian Association of Petrolium Producers do? Well they promote big oil, but, they also go around to local schools and proselytize the good news. And, just so you're aware of what the good news consists of, it consists of promoting the building a few bird houses as well as the planting of several trees along the way.  Hurrah! We're saved! Humanity will surely enter the new millennium unscathed.



Nah, I'm just kidding.

By the way, you can download the Oils Sands App today!!!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Steve Earle on NPR with a Christgau Edited Book Crammed Neatly in the Unassuming Background

Soooooooo, I was watching this performance of Steve Earle's on NPR Music Desk and, in the midst of the token Led Zeppelin and Elliot Smith discs hastily yet reverently crammed into the background fixtures of the broadcast set I noticed a familiar spine of a book that I recognized but never read actually read. Yes, in the midst of this smorgasbordian altar of acceptable "cool" memorabilia I happened to catch a glimpse of a collection of music essays edited by, none other than, famous music critic Robert Christgau (I've circled it for you skeptic neatherals).

My wife (then fiance) gave me this book as a present on my birthday some years ago (it was 2007, I think I was 27). I really had no interest in reading it. Apart from David Byrne listed on the back cover, I had no idea who the other thirty eight contributing authors were. And, more importantly, I didn't care. The back-page paragraph read "Featuring insightful writing on hip-hop, rock, pop, R&B, jazz, folk and more." Wow, Boring.

Then why did I recognize the book's spine from such a distance? Well, the superficial answer would be that I remembered it because of it's intriguing cover design. This is actually true. I kid you not, I was able to recognize the book amidst the extremely colourful and crammed background of the NPR broadcast. It stuck out. But more importantly, Christgau's association with the publication brought it clearer into my periphery.




I first noticed Christgau because of his power of negativity. (This is the guy who gave Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" a 'B'). This guy hates so many records that most reviewers like that I started to pay attention to him. It's not that I think that everything contrarian is good, it's just that I believe there's more substance to someone who's really invested in something giving an honest opinion of his impressions (be they right or wrong) that's so refreshing.

As of writing this entry, I have not yet read any of Christgau's reviews/essays. Perhaps one day I will. Perhaps not. I respect his honestly and candour. Honesty is all that keeps integrity in art (or science) afloat. Bury it or idolize it.

By the way, do check out Steve Earle's performance and NPR in general. This is stuff worth following!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Improv Jazz

You've heard of the 100 Hour Film Fest. Well, have you heard of the 15 Minute Jazz Improvisation / Album Design Challenge? If such a thing existed, it would probably look and sound a lot like this.

https://soundcloud.com/ihordawidiuk/jazz-improv

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Halls of Sky

The brand new full length Halls of Sky will be out September 2nd on Oxide Tones. Available in digipack format or as a digital download for $0 or more. This record was recorded back in the autumn of 2012 and has been finished since last summer. It feels great to finally have it see the light of day.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Fringe Party

This is my most political post ever. Mainly because it features a trailer for a documentary about fringe political parties in Canada and contains some of my original score. The piece is truncated so this really is just a small preview to whet the proverbial 'whistle' (whatever that might mean). Brought to you by the producers of The Scene: An Exploration of Music in Toronto, this feature documentary provides an inside look at political outsiders in Canadian federal politics.