jewels-of-the-sea

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Lana Del Rey’s 10 minute lucid, hippy trippy video to the intoxicating trap record Freak, went from a hippy acid trip, to dreamy and lush Les Baxter’s Jewels of the sea. Only Lana. Only Lana could mix both worlds and concepts perfectly. Side Note, Freak isn’t the only thing that bare a likeness to Les Baxter’s work. Lana mentioned in the 2015 of September how the record Music To Watch Boys to reminded her of a bonus track on Jewels of the sea.

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Boy’s Anointment Kimono. Meiji period (1868-1911), Japan. The Kimono Gallery. An unusual fine plain silk antique miyamairi kimono featuring yuzen-dyed dragon and guardian dog motifs. The three-clawed dragon depicted on this kimono holds a tide-compelling jewel in its right claw. Because a dragon can live in both air and water, it is believed to offer protection from fire. Edo-era firemen often tattooed themselves with dragons or wore padded jackets with dragons embroidered in the linings next to their skin for protection. In Japanese art, the dragon is never totally visible. It is partly hidden by swirling clouds or storm waves because its form is so terrifying that no mortal may look upon its entire body and live. At the autumn equinox, the dragon descends into the sea with the tide-compelling jewel of ebb and flood. Dragons may be seen in pursuit of this jewel, fighting for its possession, or grasping it with their claws. This mystical jewel or tama was adopted by the Buddhist religion and came to symbolize omnipotence through asceticism. It is also attributed to have the power to grant all wishes. The jewel, which at first is flaming, liquefies and then crystallizes into a beautiful luminous sphere, symbol of the origin of our planet, Earth. It is this crystallized and finalized golden yellow jewel that is depicted on this kimono.

Jewels Of The Sea by Les Baxter 1961

“Jewels of the Sea” has a dream-like essence mainly carried by a floating body of strings accompanied by winds that dart back and forth like schools of fish. Quiet rhythms turn up on some of the numbers as well as do shimmering keyboards, but all these elements blend nicely together as none of them overpower each other. Key selections are “The Ancient Galleon” which has a great waltzing cadence, “Sunken City” builds to a gentle crescendo and “Sea Numph” retains Baxter’s poppy bounce of previous releases. “Enchanted Sea” as well displays a perfect balance of wonder with just a hint of sinister mysticism.

A gloomy grey day calls for something spectacular to lighten the spirits. Spectacular is synonymous with the art created by Wallace Chan.
His aptly named “Vividity” brooch, centers on a rare elbaite tourmaline surrounded by diamonds, sapphires, and tourmalines.

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Yeah, so. If you’ve seen http://jealousyj.blogspot.co.uk/ then you’ll have some idea of what this is about.

For now I’m going to use tumblr. as most people do. I’ll share things that I think are probably worth seeing.

It’s interesting (and unfortunate) that many utterly forgettable films have brilliant soundtracks that have disappeared into oblivion - because the film has been forgotten. Think Alessandroni, Morricone, Ortolani, Piccioni, Orlandi, Bacalov, Dell'Orso. Or maybe that means nothing to the average reader.

On the other hand, having listened to a lot of what someone like Les Baxter has to offer (as entertaining as some of his seemingly unending oeuvre is), I seem to be preferring the artwork.

Baxter was an American composer, most popular in the 50s and 60s, who later rubbed shoulders with score giants like Henry Mancini and Lalo Schifrin.

Then again, Baxter’s Moog Rock album is (ludicrously) worth a listen.

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5.24.2013

This piece by Renee Allen entitled “Jewels of the Sea” was part of a Fiberarts exhibit : “Mermaids and Merwomen in Black Folklore,” celebrating various visual histories and cultures of water goddesses that was held August 28 through October 28, 2012 at the City Gallery at Waterfront Park in Charleston, South Carolina. Displaying over 100 works of art, it was the single largest collection of mermaid-themed quilts and dolls to be housed under one roof. Even more fascinating was that the curator, Torreah “Cookie” Washington and all 66 participating artists from the United States and Canada were African-American.

For more information about “Mermaids and Merwomen in Black Folklore” exhibit, including obtaining the exhibit catalog, contact the curator, Cookie Washington at cookiesews1960@gmail.com.