Category Archives: Music

Thoughts and opinions on music and how it can inspire.

Empty Chair’s New Single is Out!

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A while ago I created a video with the help from a friend, about Creativity in the Middle East. In the video there was a band that I talked to about the challenges they faced being creative in the Middle East and what obstacles they had to overcome to get their music out there. A few days ago Empty Chair released their very first single and I am excited to say that it is quite good! I’ve watched them live a few times, and they have always rocked the audience. Not only by how they played each song, but the interaction they had with each audience member. Always eager to please and take suggestions, be it song suggestions, or constructive criticism. They have worked very hard and it is obvious the love they have for what they do is what drives them to create music that touches peoples souls.

One thing that captures me are the lyrics. What I love about this song is how I can relate to it, and I’m sure most people can as well. It starts out with Kamal singing

“Sitting here alone
In a cold dark room
Wishing you were here
To ease the pain”

Haven’t we all felt this way at least once in our lives? And yes, I am not ashamed to admit it! The loneliness of not having someone there to ease our pain, to make us feel as if everything will be alright in time gets to each one of us.

“It hurts too much
To just sit and stare
At a scattered memory
At an empty chair”

One reason I love the lyrics above is because of the smart way they integrated the name of their band, Empty Chair, into the song, and made it make sense! I fell in love with this song because it hits home for a lot of people. So many people experience the pain they are describing in their lyrics, that it connects us all together. Makes us feel as if we are not alone. The feeling they put into playing their instruments and the way the song is sung makes you feel as though they have experienced  the heart ache, and pain of losing someone and by doing so, they connect with their audience in such a magical way. What better way is there to to relate to your audience but by singing about something you have experienced and what others can relate to.

Empty Chair definitely has a gift. Not only with the way they play their instruments, with passion and intensity, but their lead singer, Kamal Shbeir, sings from his heart, and it doesn’t help that he has a one of a kind, husky voice that captures the women in the audience! They bring something different to Amman, and now that they have released their fist single, I can say that they are stepping up and proving to everyone that they really are made to be stars.

Congratulations Empty Chair, on a single that not only makes a person experience different emotions, from sadness, to hopefulness, but for proving that with hard work, determination, and dedication, anyone can live their dream.

 

Dinosaurs & Astronauts

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A few days ago I received a message on Facebook asking me to check out a Facebook page called Dinosaurs & Astronauts, and if I liked what I heard to like the page. I was curious, with a name like that, who wouldn’t want to check out what kind of music it would be! I was pleasantly surprised, not only because of his unique sound, but that he was brave enough to be a Folk Singer / Songwriter in Amman, Jordan of all places. Definitely not most peoples style in this country.

Dinosaurs & Astronauts is the stage name of Nabil Awad Gonzalez who is based in Amman, Jordan. His act consists mostly of playing the guitar, or banjo while singing, and occasionally using the harmonica and ukulele. Playing shows around Amman, his main goal is to spread his music around the world and gain bigger crowds not only globally but locally as well. On December 2011, Dinosaurs & Astronauts released his first debut single “Noble Beast” which was studio recorded. He self recorded his second single “Seesaw” due to difficulties, but is keeping his hopes up that by the end of this year, the rest of the album will be out!

Check him out and follow! Local talent always has a spirit to them that carries on through their work.

You can follow him on Twitter, here!

My Top 10 Places for Finding a Creative Job, Inspiration, or a Community

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I was thinking about how many designers and creative people I know who don’t know what websites to use to look for freelance work, full time work and so on and decided the best thing I could do to help (and easier then linking them every time they ask me) is to post a blog with the 10 top ones I like! Hopefully this helps you in finding work, inspiring you, and gives you a community you can go to when you need help or inspiration. Enjoy!

 

1) Creative Hotlist

Creative Hotlist is not only a job site for the creative community, but has a search engine and helps users find companies, individuals and resources for the creative marketplace, such as job opportunities, creative services, artists, designers, printers and more.

 
Extremely simple idea. A client posts a job where designers submit their work to if they are interested and the top 5 are awarded cash prizes. The client will also pick a winner who will be awarded the full prize and their work possibly being used. Whats nice about this website is the clients interact and give feedback to submitted work.
An online network to showcase and discover creative work. The idea is for clients to access online portfolios of creative work and contact whomever they are interested in on a global level. Behance also distributes work to other online galleries to maximize exposure for top talent.
DesignCrowd is a graphic design online marketplace where clients can access thousands of designers, freelancers and design studios from across the globe.
Known as one of the most successful magazines for creative professionals, Smashing Magazine includes Smashing Jobs, a job board that helps you find the perfect person for your job opening.
The Creative Group specializes in placing creative, advertising, marketing, web and public relations professionals in a variety of firms.
Started by designers and still run by designers, Coroflot is a website filled with the largest, most diverse and most established pool of professional creative portfolios in the world. Submit your portfolio without an invite, membership requirement, and application process. If looking for inspiration, the community is filled with incredible talent can help.
Design: related is a community site filled with portfolios, inspiration and news tools that bring together creative people from the design and art world. Its a website for networking, sharing ideas and thoughts, posting an online portfolio and finding job opportunities.
Most designers have heard of AIGA before. A great resource for finding the right job if you are an AIGA member.
10) Krop
Krop is one of the most well known websites to find graphic design jobs. Top agencies and design studios use this website to find creative people.

Non Tiq – Quiet

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I’ve been Youtubing a lot lately, looking for music I haven’t heard before and what not. I came across this music video for Non Tiq that was incredible. The music is good, the video is good, the entire thing is simply good! It doesn’t help that I adore paint, and paint being splashed everywhere with it being glow in the dark makes it even better! Check it out people!

The Power of Music

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“Without music, life would be a mistake.”  – Friedrich Nietzsche

An incredible video about an elderly man reacting to hearing music from his era. The life that the music brings back in him will move you beyond words. Music can truly heal a person in many ways. The most abstract forms of art there is.

Nuttin’ But Stringz

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If you are looking for music that is passionate, intense and creative, look no further, Nuttin’ But Stringz are incredible. Two brothers, Damien and Tourie Escobar, from Jamaica, Queens both play violin. They began studying violin at the ages 8 and 7, and eventually studied at the Julliard School. They play a blend of classical music, hip-hop, jazz and R&B. Music that will make you move!

I listen to their music while I create, paint, and even exercise. It gives me this energy and movement that no other band has given me. Check some of their music below!

Using Music to Create

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I never realized how much music affected my art work until I had to create an art piece while listening to an instrumental piece of music for a project. While looking at the blank canvas, I started noticing how my mood would change depending on the music. Picking up a paint brush and starting with no plan or idea of what I was creating, I realized how much I depend on music to guide me through it. Fast beats make me paint more intensely, while calmer music creates this sort of meditating rhythm to my movement.

If instrumental music can do that to my mood, what could music with lyrics do? Think about it. Most people use music as background sound while they work, but subconsciously you are listening to every word that is being sung. Depending on the song you’re listening to will create an atmosphere and mood for your work. Does that mean I can create an art piece based on moods that are created by music? I think it would be an interesting experiment. It does make me wonder if we have control over our work then. If we sit in silence creating something, we have other things around us affecting our senses. Does that mean our art work is actually not ours at all, but is the environments work?

Above is the piece I created for my project, and the below was the piece of music listened to when creating the piece. Play the music and look at the piece. Do you see the movement of the piece based on the music? It’s fascinating, isn’t it? =)

 

Music, Love, and Passion…

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Pluto said, “Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.”

One person that I know believes what Plato said with every cell in her body is Lia Sabella. Coming from Antioch, California, Lia has a passion for music that comes from her heart and soul. Being a song writer and singer, she loves all aspects of music, from writing her own lyrics, to creating music, recording or performing. 

Having had nodules, which are cysts on her vocal cords, Lia couldnt speak, let alone singer for a while.  Some people would have given up on their dreams, but Lia took that experience and found inspiration. she started to slowly observe people and their actions, and started to look at things from different perspectives, taking in the good as well as the bad an using it as inspiration for her work.

Being fascinated with music in general has given her a thirst to learn everything about music, from how to work behind the scenes, to being center stage. When asked what inspires her to create music she responded by saying, “I am inspired by everything around me. I observe others and their experiences, as well as my own. I try to capture the true essence of each moment, but I also try to relay a creative way to express what im saying with words”. She does what she does because she loves music, but also because she has a message she wants to share with the world. To her, music is therapy to her soul, it feeds her and rejuvenates her.

Lia’s message to the world is all about the positive. Wanting people to give their dreams hope and meaning, and to love ourselves so we may love others. To be able to live each day as if it were our last, so that we can be the best at whomever we want to be. A quote she lives by says ” Life is not waiting for storms to pass, it’s learning to dance in the rain”. 

Advice she would like to leave with anyone pursuing the arts is to follow your heart and be open minded. Be able to accept criticism, whether it is negative or positive and dont let anyone tell you that you cant do something. There is a place in the world for all creativity, you simply need to go after it.

Passion like this is usually rare. Check out her work bellow and by searching Lia Sabella on YouTube, and support the local art scene. I wish you all the luck in the world Lia, and I hope your message touches the souls of many. 

 

 

Inspiration from a Music Master

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“Music is what emotions sound like!” Truer words have never been spoken.

I have had the pleasure of getting to know a great DJ these last couple of years. Omar Abu Ayyash, aka ABU, is an audio engineer lecturer at SAE Amman, specializing in Post Production as well as Music Production. Omar has played on the radio in Argentina, Canada, Qatar, and  Jordan, and the excitement he brings with him when he teaches about music and when speaking to him has always intrigued me. He describes himself as an audioholic, fascinated with everything audio. Omar grew up as a musician and started playing piano at the young age of 6, he later moved on to be an electronic music producer (Tribal Tech House) and DJ. 

I have always been curious how other creative people get themselves out of ruts, where they seek inspiration and what makes them create. With Omar it was simple, he explained that music falls under a big umbrella called Noise, or if you will, Elctro-Acoustics, which is the study of sounds, naturally and electronically. When he finds himself in a rut, he usually lets loose and lets the music take him where ever it does. He finds that taking it out on production is also a great way for him to vent. It makes sense, we all listen to music to move us one way or another.

He believes that the classics will always be the classics for the reason that they are the root of all music we know today. We always build our work based on past ideas. We do this with art, music, even world issues. History is what makes us and without understanding it how can we create something even better? We cant.

Omar, aka ABU, believes in doing what you love, no matter what. He believes that if you nourish your passions and work in a field that you like, it never feels like work. That your passions are more of an expression and that nothing feels better then expressing yourself, wether through painting, music, singing, dance, etc. Through all that he also believes that knowledge and an education goes a really long way, and that a person should learn the basics before attempting to express. He went on to say that learning to be open to a lot of criticism and channeling that criticism will make you become better at what you do. Advice any person in any field of work should consider. 

 One last thing he left me with was this, “Music was, is, and always will be the universal language of mankind. Problem is not everyone realizes to what extent they understand this language, wether it was written, read, or expressed”.  Music is the most abstract forms of art there is, especially when its instrumental. To feel the beats moving through your body and mind is to feel a small slice of heaven. 

I wanted to blog about ABU because he has the same passion towards music as I have towards art in general. His work is fabulous and I have spent countless nights streaming him online and listening to his work. Please check him out, support him, and share his music with others! He is an inspiration to me, as well as to his students and countless others!

You can find his amazing work at: www.mixcloud.com/omarabu Go forth, listen and follow =)

Much love ABU, and I wish you all the best in everything you do and create! 

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Omar aka ABU, posted with vodpod

Santana and finding inspiration

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One reason why I love Santana is the intensity he plays with. There aren’t many people in the world that have a passion to play with such zeal. When I listen to his music my body automatically starts moving, which is what music should do to you. It also makes me feel like picking up a paint brush and painting! Long, intense strokes, bright colors, and quick movements. He makes me want to create something beautiful! Another reason I love his music is because he plays emotion, and passion. You feel what he is trying to convey, and his music engulfs your entire body.
His music is excellent to use when your aren’t inspired, or lost on what to create. Practice listening to his instrumental pieces and just doodling. I say instrumental because you don’t want the words to affect your emotions or remind you of past memories. You want to try and filter it as best as possible. Try it and see what you come up with, you can then take those doodles and expand them into new pieces!
Try it and let me know how it goes! Good luck! =)