Chris Botti, Master Musician

Over the past several years, I’ve had the pleasure of attending many Chris Botti concerts. I’ve seen him play small jazz clubs and in huge arenas with Sting. The man knows how to play a trumpet (another great understatement of this blog). Most recently, we ran into each other at the Ram’s Head in Annapolis, MD.

That’s him on the left. I’m the knucklehead on the right. Anyway, Chris has a sound all his own. His original works vary from punchy to subtle, giving him an opportunity to show his vast range of talent. He’s also a nice guy who takes the time to meet his fans, sign CD’s, and have a few words with those who attend his shows. Thus, he’s a real professional who deserves all the accolades he gets. Play on!

Published in: on October 23, 2008 at 1:40 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Creating Atmosphere, Part V

There’s more to atmosphere than moody old churches and damp ruins. At this time of the year, there is the fall foliage which signals the change of seasons, the coming of winter, and the harvest parties that have more elegant names to dress them up.

The photo to the left was taken looking down from a stretch of Route 6 in northern Pennsylvania. This vista has it’s own atmosphere, one that would do well in any story, fiction or not. Some views along this road seem hardly changed since the days of Daniel Boone. Now that’s an early American atmospheric setting if ever there was one.

It’s good to get out and see nature whenever you can. Living in a metropolitan area deprives people of the expansiveness of the areas beyond the metroplex. At the same time, I spend many months on a small Caribbean isle that has neither the lush green of the tropics nor the seasonal rotation of northern climes. Thus, a scene like the one at left is a real treat.

Get out and see something. It will enrich your life, calm your nerves, and do wonders for your karma.

Published in: on October 12, 2008 at 8:06 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Practicing Your Craft

While walking through New York City, I came upon this man painting a street scene.

What impresses me most about people like this is that they are out there practicing their craft. It’s not easy to set your creative self to work every day. Things like self-doubt, criticism, and the necessity of paying the bills often get in the way. Nonetheless, you have to get out there and do what it is that makes you an artist. For me this means writing pieces that I know aren’t always my best or even good enough to be seen by the public. Still, practice does make perfect, or at least better.

So, I’m taking the fountain pen and paper out just now and getting to work.

Published in: on October 6, 2008 at 1:45 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Brilliant Photography

Regular readers of this blog will know that I’ve mentioned a few great photographers. I also post those old-time panoramic shots. Well, I came across this fellow Arnaud Frich. His website is His photography is brilliant, both literally and figuratively.

In the first place, he photographs cathedrals, palaces, and open spaces with stunning clarity. His perspectives are interesting and insightful. He used panoramic cameras as well as others and the work shown on his website is consistently impressive. I particularly enjoyed his church interiors. He captures the weight and light of these structures as well as the sense of place that they impose upon the visitor. This is a photographic challenge few practioners of the craft are capable of achieving.

So pay his sight a visit. I’m sure you will be impressed.

Published in: on October 5, 2008 at 3:08 pm  Leave a Comment  
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