Stoneman (cairn), Dawson Pass, Continental Divide, [ click photo for next . . . ]
Glacier National Park (IX.24.2007)
On the road in the Northwest of America.
FOUR MINIATURES ON ART
(1) In all Art, the primary criteria of what is good, right and beautiful
are not to be found just in philosophy and aesthetics, but rather in a life
devoted to the diligent observation of Nature. Once artists no longer
live by the seasons, the four directions, no longer know the winds,
birds and flowers, their work will eventually come to refer only to
itself, or, at best, merely to other art. Such work denies itself the guiding,
nurturing, and sustaining resonance with the symphony of natural
sounds and forms that surrounds us.
(2) The silent joy of making things instantly vanishes if unforced,
unselfconscious anonymity is lost. The deer in the meadow are always
uneasy about someone surreptitiously looking on from a distance.
(3) The only thing we can know for sure about creativity is perhaps
what it is not, or what blocks it. Fear, greed, jealousy:—as easy to spot
as weeds in the summer garden. But the source of the seed? One looks
up to the heavens and is brought down to Earth, clear blue skies in all
(4) The most creative of all acts is that of bringing people together in
new, unknown ways. It is also the most difficult. What could be more
necessary than this?
THREE MINIATURES ON SOUND
(1) The 2nd-hand artificial sounds of electronic recordings and
instruments corrupt the ear just as assuredly as the oil-refinery colors of
suburban lawns and hybrid flowerbeds corrupt the eye. Edges must be
made sharper, colors made ever-louder and more saturated, and forms
made ever-more confined to tight rows marching to the square boxes of
a 4/4 beat. Start with the facts of corruption. Children now take a new
instrument out of the case for the first time, already eager for recording
contracts, instructed by teachers who tune their guitars by machine,
teachers who are unable to hear a true 4th by ear, who cannot sense the
difference between a living tempo and a computer’s dead and dry click
track. May the Muses have mercy upon us.
(2) Odds are, that twenty years from now, when you ask a current user
of earbuds and iPods about the music they used to listen to back then,
they’ll say, “What did you say?”
(3) Once walking the land has become a nearly extinct species of
movement, the atrophy, and then loss, of a deeply rooted sense of rhythm
will inevitably soon follow. Poets will compose lines that miss all the beats,
lines without cadence, that never pause to rest, and that have forgotten
all about pulse, tempo and heart beat, and, most especially, the necessary
breath of silence.
Featured gallery, 100 MINIATURES, a set of 100 black & white photographs. ONE image. ONE idea. ONE new way of looking . . .100 MINIATURES—online gallery
Each miniature is a kind of meditation on one idea & one image;
Each lasts 30 seconds; They play in random order;
The music is my BOREA Mix,
for hand-played ePecussion Orchestra.
[ mouse over for controls / lower right fro full-screen ]
All Photographs & texts by Cliff Crego © 1998-2016 picture-poems.com