Saturday, August 19, 2006

Giotto's Circle and Inspirational Vibrations


You can hear vibrations in the air with the naked ear or with the help of the Aeolian Harp. You can listen to the sounds of the ambassador of vibrations, Sun Ra.
Tune: We Travel the Spaceways by Sun Ra from Space Is The Place (Original Soundtrack)
You can hear more of Sun Ra's vibrations over at Dr Aurautheft's hideout on the mix The Saturn Myth-Science Conspiracy that features the intergalactic sounds of Sun Ra & his Arkestra
You will find vibrations in a simmering pot of stock, or in a piece of chocolate. Vibrations make up the world and connect everything. Thoughts, sound, ideas, inspiration .... vibrations.
These two paintings were up at Canvas on 9th Ave and Fulton in SF. I forgot the artist's name. These are the instruments used for playing records and cooking food and creating vibrations through circles. It was very inspiring to see the two paintings side by side and I felt that the photo of the two paintings would be at home here at Soulcocina. The record player and the oven/stove are two of the tools that I use to express myself. South African Hannes Coetzee uses similar tools to express himself. A spoon and a guitar. He works as an aloe tapper when he is not playing this unique style of guitar that he taught himself. Watch the circles and hear the vibrations he creates.
Spoon Slide Guitar

by Hannes Coetzee
Find his music on KAROO KITAAR BLUES
(Thanks to The Singleman Affair for turning our attention to this artist who is right at home here at Soul Cocina)

El Inmagrante by Joel Bergner
The first time I saw one of Joel's murals was on Balmy Alley while he was painting Un Pasado Que Aun Vive. I like the straight forward idea of this mural and the use of colors. This piece is full of vibrations and circles. The warm earth fire tones of the motherland and the cold metalic blues of Babylon.

Babylon Tune: One Step Forward by Max Romeo and The Upsetters from the War Ina Babylon LP

Resident Soul Cocina DJ Beatwalla has been expressing himself with some funky global mixes lately.

Tune: Express Yourself Mix
This is a mix of different versions of Express Yourself by Charles Wright and the Watts 103rd st Rhythm Band. The mix starts off with a reggae interpretation by Byron Lee and the Dragonaires from the Reggay Splashdown LP. This record also has a nice version of George Harison's My Sweet Lord It is cool to hear a Chinese Carribean reggae artist sing praises to Lord Krishna in a song that was origionally written by a famous British rock star.
After the Dragonaires, the mix moves into the origional version, then onto a Brazilian version called Só d'eu ver(de) from a nice little 7" record from Echo Sound System. After Echo sound System we hear Dre, Eazy and crew bust out some rhymes over the origional chopped up beat. Then after NWA we hear Charles Wright and his band do a reprise, called Express Yourself pt II of of their 1971 LP You're So Beutiful, prized for the cut What Can You Bring Me?. Then the mix returns to Echo Sound System for the dubbed out version of Só d'eu ver(de), called I Thought U Really Could

There are a lot of great artists out there in the world that have been expressing themselves in a unique reggae style outside of Jamaica. The German soundsystem Seeed has been at it far a while. Their latest album Next is good but the real Seeed sound shines brightest on New Dubby Conquerors and Music Monks
On their record label Germaican they have produced some tight riddims. And even some JA heavyweights like Sizzla, Tanya Stephens, Anthony B, Junior Kelly, and Capleton (pretty much the best in the game) have sang on this German posse's riddims.
Tune: Electric Boogie Riddim Mix
The Electric Boogie Riddim is tough a Seeed production. This mix features vocals by Kip Rich, Cecil, and Seeed.
My favorite Seed riddims are Pharaoh and Doctor's Darling, which is loosely based on Gregory isaac's Night Nurse

Tune: Doctor's Darling mix starts out with Gregory Isaac's tune Night Nurse then Sizzla rides the mix with Seed's Doctor's Darling Riddim coasting off of the origional G.I. tune, next is Michael Rose with his tune Jah Love. Then we get to hear some German fire as bobo rasta Anthony B joins Seeed on the massive cut Water Pumpee. Next is Junior Kelly with Korruption, then on to some more german vocals by Nosliw before Tanya Stephens busts out her modern classic It's a Pitty
Tune: Doctor's Darling Mix pt II Next Nando Boom drops some early reggaeton on Noche Enfermra where he sings G.I.'s melody in Spanish and chats some origional Panama fire over the beat. From JA to Germany to Central America we move on to Liverpool, England where even the Fab Four sing on the Doctor's Darling Riddim. Eleanor Reggae! Hear Kim Weston's gospel soul version of Eleanor Rigby and a bunch of other Beatle cover songs over at Moistworks. All of these sounds have come from earlier sound insperations, What do artists create? Is all art just a big collage of past ideas? Reinterpretations? A hodgepodge of previous ideas borrowed from influences and experiences. Is a new dish created by a chef just bits and pieces of past dishes combined in a new way, a gastronomic collage? Is a painting just shapes and colors rearranged on a canvas? Can Originality exist without repetition?

San Francisco artist Nick Akerman was the one who first got me wondering about the sources of creativity. Is all art just a collage of the past? We would think about the vibrations of life that inspire originality and strive to present our own interpretations of the feeling of the vibrations in our own way. Simple and clean with skill, like Giotto's circle. Or spontaneous, offbeat, offkiltered and off centered, like the melodies and rythmes of Thelonious Monk and the far out sounds of Sun Ra.The perfect plate design, contrived and thoughtout verses the sauce and berries that fell from the heavens.

Nick and Christene are always crossing borders with there art with the incorporation of food, music, nature, intergalactic imaginary worlds, beauty, love, timelessness, urban jungles, and curiosity to create a unique view on life.



Tune: Pharoah Riddim Mix is another Seeed production on Germaican Records This mix features Tanya Stephens, Seeed, and Sizzla Kalonji Sizzla is CRAZY! Seems like he puts out a new song every day, and most of them are top quality. Kalonji is a cool name. It means nigella seed in Hindi which is a smooth dark black spice that is sometimes called black cumin seed or black onion seed (but it is actually neither of these). Kalonji is one of the five spices found in the bengali spice mix called panch phoran, which I like to use in a turka for dal. Sizzla Kalonji is one of the five artists that ride the Pharoah Riddim on this mix. Kalonji Sativa is also widely used in ayurvada. With a food name, Sizzla Kalonji is right at home here at Soul Cocina.

Another European group influenced by Jamaican music is Dusminguet. They also have a huge Latin American influence and a Middle Eastern feel in their music.
Tune: Mi Arte by Dusminguet from the Postrof cd

Melaaz uses great classic dancehall riddim and samples to complement her wicked flow on this song.
Tune: De Père En Paix

I picked up some nice Spanish Dancehall Lps in Barcelona a few years ago. Some of my favorites were from Daddy Maza
Tune: Rumores 2002 ft.Marcos Funktan from theRumores 2002 album by Daddy maza
Tune: Spanish Bandaloo with daddy Maza alongside the chatting of Jahnkonoo from the Fiebre Amarilla album


Tune: Reggae Fadolin by Massilia Sound System from their appropriately titled cd Parla Patois

There are hundreds of groups from around the globe (to cover in future posts here at the Soul Cocina) that play reggae music in thir own unique style. Many artists and chefs influenced by each other. Learning from each other, drawing circles.

This is how I expressed myself at a recent Soul Cocina meal.












I had planned on crusting the swordfish with epazote, but my favorite little herb stand at the Ferry Plaza farmers market in San Francisco hooked me up with some fresh papalo. Many sources said that it is best served raw and that it tastes like cilantro, but the flavor came through nicely seared onto the fish. It has a unique peppery, buttery flavor and to me resembles watercress or arugala more than cilantro.I served the fish with gazpacho made from heirloom tomatos at the height of their season, along with avacado slices, sea salt and extra virgin olive oil. The olive oil is a cold pressed pungent olive oil that tasted sweet next to the crispy papalo leaves. The garlic chive flower is edible, and has a light, fresh garlic flavor, perfect for this dish. I bought the garlic chive flowers from the same stand at the farmers market.
Some shoppers pick out the best of Knoll Farms 7 dozen cases of figs they brought to the market last week.

I found some champagne grapes at the farmers market too. I served the figs and champagne grapes with honey and wine like the Romans used to do. It made for a decadent Soul Cocina brunch.

There was a stall at the Ferry Plaza farmers Market that was selling "ginger blossoms". I had never seen these before so I had to take some home. I thought this pink "ginger blossom" was the part of the ginger plant where the root meets the stem, but then I found some in Japan town and I learned that it actually comes from a different variety of ginger that has a root that is not edible, but the "bud" that grows out above ground from under the soil before the flower blossoms is a delicacy in China and Japan where it is called miaga and it tastes like floral and spicy like ginger. I used these miaga buds to garnish one of the Indian curries I made with ginger root, tumeric root, and Gobi and later I bought some to pickle along with young ginger in my homemade plum vinegar from Santa Rosa plums. I also used miago to garnish young ginger creme brulee last week.

Local SF pundit, wiseman, and socialite Rana Mukerji (the son of a master of Indian gastronomy) even gave his wink of approval after tasting the gobi with ginger blossom. Or maybe his wink was for the circles and vibrations in the champagne.

Is this art?

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