“Though today human beings seem more and more dominated by our own technology, we retain at our core a spark of love. We have the possibility of discovering our light bodies, of awakening our internal Merkaba Fields, of experiencing our inner link with divine creative energy. We are not only intellects. We are hearts and imaginations”
Bob Frissell - You are A spiritual being having a human experience
We’re excited to announce the winners of our Iconic Photo Contest. We asked you to reinvent classic photos from the past and tag them #RecreatedClassics and the entries we’ve seen have been outstanding. Our judges had a tough time picking the winners, measuring each entry’s balance of originality, creativity and inspiration. You can see for yourself by browsing all of the work here.
Each of these winners will receive a limited edition Leica camera to continue to develop their own visual voice. We want to thank all of the entrants for another great year of creative work. Your imagination inspires us every day and we look forward to continuing capturing the world’s moments together.
GUITAR HEROES: Django Reinhardt, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Graham Coxon, Joe Satriani, Kenny Burrell, Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass, Noli Aurillio, Aya Yuson, Charlie Hunter, Bill Frissell, Lenny Breau, Nile Rogers
TOP 3 RIFFS/LICKS/SOLOS THAT CHANGED YOUR LIFE:
1. The intro riff to Pearl Jam’s “Jeremy” as played by Mike McCready and Stone Gossard
2. The melody of “Always With Me, Always With You” by Joe Satriani
3. The SRV version of “Little Wing”
“I remember just being fascinated by it, even if I knew nothing of how to play it then. The sheer portability of the guitar really appealed to me; it was like having a friend who can always tag along with you. I realized I wanted to really take it on when I was in grade school when I was around eleven years old.
“I vividly remember hearing Joe Satriani’s ‘Always With Me, Always With You’ playing in NU107 early in the morning while heading to school. I was about ten then and was just blown away by the beauty and emotion of the song. I wasn’t playing yet at that point but I recall making a mental marker of that song and how it made me feel. I wanted not just to be able to play it but also be able to recreate that feeling I had when I first heard it.
“I make it a point to have guitars strategically placed and ready to go around the house, so when I have an idea, riff, or song I want to explore, it will be easy for me to trip on them right away. I occasionally have marathon practice sessions where I stop when I drop, but mostly I find myself noodling and playing along with the music of my kids’ cartoon programs in the morning (Disney Junior is the bomb). But listening to music, I find, is more important than practicing, so I make it a point to be surrounded by good music as much as I can. I make sure I have a full and balanced daily musical listening diet every day throughout the day. This means I have music I listen to when I wake up, when I drive, when I take a bath, when I sleep, etc.
“For me starting out, it was a combination of self-study and having a few good teachers along the road. I realize now that the way I learn is initially an inductive process off-stage, then a deductive [process] onstage or in the studio. I make it a point to convert as much secondhand knowledge I [can] gather from records, books, magazines, YouTube, etc., and turn it into firsthand knowledge via gigging and recording, which really involves a lot pruning and unlearning of a lot of unnecessary things. In general, playing live and recording have been my best teachers. To quote the great Jaco Pastorious, ‘I’m formally self-taught.’
“[Technical proficiency, feel, and efficacy in the context of the larger arrangement are all] important, but not as important as having an imagination. You can teach someone everything, but you can’t tell them what to think or how to feel about music.
“I’m really grateful for the guitar because it was my highway into becoming a musician. Now I’ve come to realize that I am a musician first and then a guitarist after. That concept ironically helped me become a better guitar player in the process. [My relationship with the guitar] runs the gamut from hobby to obsession to profession to addiction to religion. I’m happy to say that I have never had a ‘real’ job and don’t think I will ever want to get myself into one. I just started building this thing that I discovered when I was eleven and never stopped.
“I’m proud of all the albums I’ve been privileged to be a part of, from my first ‘serious’ band Mr. Crayon’s In the Raw compilation recording to stuff from the Rivermaya days to the Salindiwa album and Ebe Dancel’s solo album and Peryodiko’s fist album. I was really honored when the Mabuhay Singers asked me to arrange and produce their latest album where they haven’t recorded for about twenty-plus years. I’m also very proud to play, arrange, and produce Paolo Santos’ James Taylor tribute album. Also, though we didn’t get to record, it was very unforgettable for me being part of Barbie’s Cradle. It was also a dream come true for me to get to be a part of Cynthia Alexander’s live album. Playing and arranging for Bamboo’s No Water, No Moon was a total trip for me as well.
“As far as writing parts is concerned, I really go for the vibe and groove before anything else. The notes and other details can follow after. I usually take more time in finding really cool rhythm parts that work both musically and sonically with the rest of the instrumentation, especially the vocal. I have to prune and shape it until it has a life of its own. As far as solos are concerned, I usually leave ‘em to do the last, as my dessert. And I always hear solos as ‘songs within songs.’
“There are a lot of great awesome players now and, thanks to the internet, it’s much easier to become one with all the resources available online. So much has changed via the whole digital revolution but the whole human passion element driving the music hasn’t changed. No matter how good you get, if you don’t have heaping amounts of passion to steam yourself up, you’ll probably give yourself five years or even less before you dry up and start thinking of something ‘better’ to do.
“At this point I just want, yearn for, and strive to grow old gracefully with music. I can’t play the way I did in my 20s even if I wanted to, and I don’t think I’ll be playing the same way I’m playing now in my 30s the way I will in my 40s or 50s, etc. I want to play ‘til I die and beyond. The whole concept of reincarnation appeals to me for the sole reason that I feel a lifetime is not enough for you discover music in its entirety. […] I just really want to learn, play, perform, and record as much as I can. Now I much rather be ‘possessed’ by music instead of trying to possess it.
“I just listen to as much good music as I can. I don’t have any set routine but it usually starts with me tripping on something that intrigues me and catches my ear. Next thing I know, may araw na and I’ve been playing all night.
“[If I had my way, I’d like to be remembered as] a tasty motherf*****.”
Images by Dennis Dancel. Used with permission. Visit his page for more of his works.
“Six-String Slingers” is a mini-series featuring our finest guitar players, in their own words. The subjects were each given a questionnaire, their answers for which were fashioned into a cohesive, uninterrupted “oral history” of sorts.
Frida Kahlo with Rebozo, Toni Frissell, 1937 Photograph courtesy of The Frissell Collection, Library of Congress
Kahlo’s traditional Mexican clothing was a shield. Through flowered
headbands, vibrant skirts, chandelier earrings and Rebozo scarves, she
hid the pain she endured for her entire life, following the tragic bus
accident that shattered her leg. What’s more, Kahlo paved the way for
women artists taking on authority in society through fashion. Her
unibrow demonstrated that she had no desire to conform to
societal beauty norms, and she wore Tehuana style dresses from the
Tehuantepac region of Mexico, where women were established
as authoritative, independent figures. Her iconic look has inspired
designers the world over, from Rei Kawakubo to Jean Paul Gaultier and
her vibrant self-portraits have been the subject of innumerous exhibits.
7. What shirt are you wearing?— I’m not wearing a shirt.
14. What is your current desktop picture?— It’s from the cover to Neil Gaiman’s Ocean at the End of the Lane, which in turn was inspired by “Weeki Wachee springs, Florida, 1947, by Tony Frissell.”
34. What was your last dream about? — Some job paperwork that i forgot to submit on time, so the US government decided to deport me within 24 hours. Then my sister came in to rescue me. And then we all (my family) had lunch. Mom made my favorite dish.