Hi everyone, this is just a short series of updates of things that may be of interest to you.
There are a few new posts up on my other site, Guit-A-Grip. The first post (Differentiating between action and change) has to do with why people take action to deal with problems (like buying a book) but don’t follow through (i.e. actually reading the book). If you struggle with getting things done, this post may help and you can read it here.
Also there’s a (semi) return to the podcast. If you’re thinking about doing your own podcast or running your own promotional effort, you can learn a lot from the mistakes I made on mine. You can listen to that podcast here.
Guitar-Muse should be running my interview with Daniel Donato soon. Also, it looks like an interview with Joe Romagnola of the Rochester-based Grooveyard Records is in the works. If you want to know what inspires a guy to start a guitar-centric record label when a lot of other labels shut their doors, this will be a good interview to check out.
Schenectady and The Festival Cinema Invisible
In 2006, right before I relocated to California to go to Cal Arts, I took a trip back to the capital district to visit family with my wife and FnH Guitar’s John Harper. We took a drive down state street in Schenectady into Central Avenue of Albany and it looked like a post-apocalyptic nightmare. Every other building was boarded up, and the only thing that seemed to be open was dollar stores. I was in shock at how far down it had gone from even the last time I was thereh.
Last September I relocated to upstate New York and this past February I moved to Schenectady. It’s come a long ways from where it was just several years ago and with places like the excellent Persian Bite, Tara Kitchen and Mexican Radio opening soon – there is a real sense of revival here.
The excellent efforts of the good people behind The Festival Cinema Invisible go a long ways to highlight the best elements of what’s happening here. President and Artistic Director Mahmood Karimi-Hakak and executive director Elahe Golpari have curated a massive 3-day festival that is screening over 40 short and feature length films at at Proctors Theatre this weekend. As a number of these films have not been seen in Iran, almost all of the film screenings are world premiers, US premiers and/or East Coast premiers. In addition to helping artists get their voices out into the word – they are committed to the transformative power of art and community. I am grateful to be here in Schenectady while this is happening, to make some fantastic friends and I look forward to see what I can contribute to arts and community here as well.
These are great people and if you live in the area, they could use your support.
- The festival runs through this Sunday and culminates in a concert with the incredibly gifted guitarist and visual artist Farzad Golpayegani. I saw Farzad’s work at the kickoff event for the festival on Thursday and you owe it to yourself to see him perform his Persian inspired instrumental rock music. His cd, FOUR will be available to pick up there and I believe his artwork is available for sale as well. Farzad’s website is here.
- Big thanks to Brona Jafari and Elahe Golpari for posting an impromptu interview with Candace and I.
- Mahmood has a new book out, Love Me More Than the Others – Selected Poetry of Iraj Mirza that’s available at the festival. Having picked it up last night and read it until the wee hours of the morning, I can tell you that it’s fantastic.
- Also, a big shout out to Modi, the bassist for Toltec Band. Modi’s in town for the festival and has cds for sale there as well.
I’ll doing live improvised accompaniment for a staged reading of The Exonerated as part of the BuckMoon Arts Festival at Fulton-Montgomery Community College July 12th and 13th. I’m also involved in organizing a series of workshops for emerging artists and we’re going to have some great panelist and panel discussions on being a working artist.
Some other gigs are in the works for this summer and fall. More info as it becomes available.
I’m working with an engineer to put some finishing touches on the long-awaited Rough Hewn Trio ep and will also have an EP of acoustic guitar music out this fall. Some projects I’ve been trying to pull together for a while now, may actually have traction – so we’ll see what happens there!
I’m still currently outlining the book on Practicing book, editing/ reviewing the material for the Pentatonic Extraction book that should be out this year and still looking at an e-book modal series that I think would be cool.
As always, thanks for reading!