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As my sights start focusing on fall and winter performances and ensembles I would like to share some of my thoughts with you. Three visual artists have really gotten my mind churning. Artists Connie Minowa and Scott West are members of the band Cloud Cult. Their instruments are canvas and palette. During the live performances they paint while the rest of the band perform on their more typical instruments. This has the wonderful affect of drawing the audiences attention to something visual and alive in the moment. I have often thought about sound and light waves on the EM spectrum. If you double a wave’s frequency the result is an octave higher than the original tone. What if you kept doubling them until they became colors? Seeing Connie and Scott paint live gave that visual effect I have always craved to see.

Now that I am running a business that has to pay rent and has no income other than tuition and ticket sales, I have to consider new ways to fund our program. I wrote my masters thesis on promoting music ensembles on the internet and am enjoying exploring new funding options. Another thing Cloud Cult does is auction off the paintings at the end of the show presumably to fund the expenses of the band. We will not be drawing the kind of crowd they do initially but I would like to work out some kind of arrangement with live painters that would include them putting on an art show as part of the performance. Hopefully they can make some sales to our patrons at intermission or after the show. If you know an artist that might be interested please have them contact me. I have never considered how similar the needs of painters are to those of composers. As the leader of a rather large composer’s community I have been working for the past year to find new ways to make the connection between performing ensembles and composers. This seems like a natural progression to me and could benefit local artists and our organization.

The third artist that has set me to thinking is Richard Hunter from Seattle. Richard recently had a show where the art gallery served drinks that were named after him during the show. I spoke to Richard about the idea and he led me to think about having an ice cream social as part of the art show connected to the winter concert. The artist would have some suggestions for creating a new flavor or a new sunday mix that would be served and would relate to the art show. All of this could help create a fun evening out of great music, art and desserts. I would love to know your thoughts on these ideas. Am I crazy or does this sound like fun?

I have also opened a Kickstarter account but it won’t be up and running for a week or so. The way this works is that people can make donations and receive premiums based on the level of donation. Because of the CLoud Cult model of environmental responsibility I am planning to plant a tree for every $10 donation, give a photo signed by some of the kids and the lead sheet (print music) for the Minecraft song at $20 and ship them a copy of the New Cloud Cult CD when it comes out for $30 or more. What do you think about this. Are the premiums too lame to encourage participation or do you think they are good. Suggestions of what else we could give away would be most welcome.

The links below are to the artists’ websites. Parents should check out the content before allowing children to peruse them. Some of the art work may be offensive to some.

Connie Minowa http://www.connieminowa.com/
Scott West http://www.connieminowa.com/
Richard Hunter http://www.richardhutter.com/