Smithereens is yet another one of my journeys into bringing visual stimuli to sonic fruition. In this case, my prompt and inspiration was Neo-Impressionism, particularly Pointillism. Last year I created an instrumental that eventually went on to be the title track of this project. The song was so complex in nature; I couldn’t even tell you where my mind was when I was arranging it. It wasn’t even a recording that I was sure I liked at first, mostly because of its frantic and composited structure. In an unrelated instance (or maybe it was related, subconsciously) I was reading about Georges Seurat and his role in leading the French Neo-Impressionist movement in the late 1800s. It occurred to me that this style of visual art was the only way I could describe the song that would eventually go on to establish Smithereens as a project. Initially when I began to lay out supporting instrumentals, I made stringent attempts to abide by the complexity of the concept song. I found that it couldn’t be done, and that the beat was truly a moment in time. I then decided to continue studying Pointillism/Divisionism and some of its key characteristics— the progressive yet realistic use of primary colors, lighting, contrast and also very importantly, movement— as my guide in arranging new instrumentals in their own unique way, while still keeping with the prompt.
In music theory, the parallel/counterpart to Pointillism is known as Punctualism. Punctualism essentially gives unique individual life to each note in a piece. Arpeggiated notes of varying pitches, lengths and dynamics take the place of the ‘colored dots’ that you see in pieces such as Seurat’s most famous work, “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.” The techniques were independently established of course, i.e neither gave birth to the other. Their juxtaposition is largely interpreted perspective.
2014 was a big year for the growth of Beats of All-Nations. Though every year we look back and think about what more we could have done, we did attain some personal and organizational goals that we are very proud of in ’14. On Beats of All-Nations Radio Episode 006, we compiled highlights from our podcasts this year, with guests Cell Uno, Bombay, Radius, Sev Seveer, DJ Jimbo Jenkins, Gingee. We also put together clips from our own radio appearances made on Culture Remixed, Soul Circle Radio, Vibes and Stuff featuring Porchlite, El Toro Negro, Gabe Real and Mike Styles with DJ Ethos. In addition we spotlight our first official release by Sev Seveer, Constant Elevation: Odessa Star, traveling through a couple of ‘movements’ from the album while Seveer discusses the project’s meaning with DJ Moppy on Future Music Radio (Q4, Chicago). Collectively we also had a great year hosting and taking part in some great events. We would like to thank everyone who supported on any level. We are looking forward to the year to come and hope to build on this community with more of you along the way!
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