The Language of Light pt 2

This new video of mine is a tribute to the magic of sunlight and its mysterious language. Nearly all of images in which light is the subject were recorded in my apartment after work during the early evening. My apartment is special in that way, because of the glorious warm light that comes in between the branches of my neighbors redwood tree, through my window, and dances along my walls. I believe that there are messages inside the movement of the light, as if it’s telling a story or singing a song.

I recorded the music for this video in Ableton Live. I chose chimes with delay and reverb because I felt it went well with the bokeh-like effect of the light artifacts. I’m using an acoustic guitar for several other layers of the tune as well, and the synth stabs are Reason. TR-808 drum machine with triplet timing. Thanks for clicking!

Late Afternoon Light Artifacts

I have been extremely fascinated by digital photography for years. In the time I have been capturing digital images I have gone through trends in what I am hunting down or searching for, visually. I have been interested in late night long exposures, close-ups of paint, cracked textures and blackout portraits to name a few of these trends. At some point down the line I realized that everything is about light. Light is what activates the magic in a photo. So I decided that I would focus on light as a subject. This video contains a few video samples of just that, and I created the soundtrack using Ableton Live.

Reflections About Kenneth Harding Jr.

On Saturday, July 16 2011 a man was shot and killed by officers of the San Francisco Police Department in the Bayview district.  At the time I heard the news I was DJing at Radio Bar in Oakland.  A friend of mine who had come out to support me shared the news via a text message from a third party, “SFPD just shot and killed a 19 y/o 10 times in bayview for fare evasion. People in Bayview started hurling bottles at the pigs. Ralley now at 24th mission. Pass it on! Fare evasion is not cause for capital punishment!”  Upon hearing the news my first reaction was to think, “How awful!”  At the same time, my gut instinct was to desire additional information regarding the incident.  In two shakes of a lamb’s tail my friend would vanish into the night to participate in the aftermath of the incident with some of his anarchist friends, which apparently involved a protest.  The protest would be ignited by perceived injustice and further exacerbated by anarchist principles of lawlessness and civilian oppression, ironically organized by middle class white kids.  Glass bottles were hurled at SFPD.  Trash cans were set aflame.  Family-owned store windows were vandalized.  In the name of justice, anarchy ensued.

The following morning I went onto YouTube to watch the 19-year-old man, Kenneth Harding Jr., die on the sidewalk in a pool of his own blood right there on my computer screen.  The video depicted the post-shots-fired scene.  Mr. Harding squirmed as the blood spilled out of his body.  A large crowd circled around him as he eventually stopped moving.  People were screaming at SFPD demanding answers.  Eventually an ambulance arrived and took Harding to SF General, and he was pronounced dead at 7pm.  I was shocked by this video.  It made me feel immense sympathy for Harding.  I also felt an increasingly impatient desire to get more of the story behind this incident.

The only stories I could find online at the time were 140 character reactions alleging that this man had been gunned down for evading a MUNI fare inspection.  

For those unfamiliar to San Francisco, MUNI is our public transportation artery.  About 95% of inner city public transportation is covered by MUNI.  The fare to ride is $2 and this allows passage on any MUNI vehicle for a few hours as stated by your transfer (proof of payment ticket).  So the reports were all saying that Kenneth Harding Jr. was gunned down for evading MUNI authorities upon a fare inspection.  When approached by MUNI fare inspectors, it is standard operating procedure to proof of payment.  If the passenger cannot present proof of payment, a ticket may be issued.  In order for a ticket to be issued, a ticketless passenger must present the fare inspector with identification.

Getting back to the Harding shooting, I kept thinking to myself, “Why on earth would the SFPD shoot and kill a man for simply running away from a MUNI fare violation?”  I was extremely skeptical to believe that this was the real story.  Upon further investigation, I found some additional information regarding the incident.  Apparently Mr. Harding was in violation of parole and was also a suspect in a shooting in which a pregnant teen was murdered up in Seattle, WA.  There are also reports that Harding had fired the first shot at SFPD after they were called in by MUNI authorities.  SFPD possesses an audio tape of the entire incident and they are reporting that this tape proves that the first shots were fired by Harding. This already changes everything. Does it not?

While it seems nearly impossible to remain un-biased in a situation, I deeply believe that there is great value in thinking a bit before hastily choosing sides in a situation in which there is a lack of information present. If you’re going to take to the streets for a cause, research it a bit first. At the same time, this was a gruesome scene and it’s very sad that this young man died that day.

Read the article for yourself and tell me what’s on your mind:

Updated July 20, 2011:

The Mix Tape Cabinet

Track Blending by andywarthol
The jukebox above contains a variety of mixes that I have put together over the last two years or so, with the exception being the Makeout Mix. A quick breakdown of each of these compilations:

Everythings Okay

Lately it just seems like things are unstable.  The economy is still in turmoil.  Unemployment is still at 9.6%.  People are pinching pennies.  War rages on in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and now in Yemen.  Here in the U.S., many are upset with Obama, or so it seems.  There are real problems in the world, and here at home.  And yet I can’t help but to think of dear Jens Lekman when he says, “…but it’s hard to stay mad when there’s so much beauty.”  That’s what this mix is about.  Each track on this compilation is a back rub.  It’s to say that everything will be okay.  It’s mostly a rockier, band-driven compilation, though there are a few tracks that are more electronic.

Rachel Rotten

Rachel Rotten is an adult film actress.  I made this compilation because I was dating a girl who resembled Rachel.   She is a new-wave, dark-wave, synthpop lover so I decided to focus mostly on music that suited her tastes, though I do also branch out into some down-tempo and experimental.  There are also several tracks here that would be considered more emo, or indiepop-esque.

Iscipil Rotala

The first half of this mix is more concerned with IDM.  Then I very cleverly segway into tech haus and minimal.  Honestly this is one of my finer mixes.  Please download this.

Angel Heart Waves

A lot of electronica and indie on this mix.  Belle and Sebastien, John Maus, Broadcast, Figurine, Bobby & Blumm and Erlend Øye are a few of the artists featured.  A lot of sweet sentiments going on.  It’s playful, whimsical, and nostalgic.  I created the mix for a friend of mine in Florida.

Ambient Landscapes

The name says it all; it’s an ambient music compilation.  It’s definitely a more sophisticated sound and experimental in nature.  It’s not necessarily beatless ambient music.  It’s more work music for me than fall-asleep-to music.  It’s actually one of my most downloaded submissions on SoundCloud.

Glitch House Mix

The glitch house mix is also sophisticated, in my opinion.  It’s stripped down dance music that has been very carefully tailored for a more minimal approach.  This is some of the coolest stuff I’ve ever heard.

The Makeout Mix (2003)

Wow, 2003 seems like such a long time ago.  I recorded this mix back in college from vinyl onto MiniDisc.  There are some moments of brilliance, even if it’s a shorter mix.  The combination of Boards of Canada and Chris Isaak in this mix is quite striking and definitely worth a listen.

Selected Shoegaze

This is probably my least electronic mix, though it does contain some electronic music.  I’m trying to give reverb a voice with this mix, and it show it off to all the boys and girls.