Jeffery Beam’s rich and varied literary contributions have been recognized here before, but his recent reading at the UNC Botanical garden was a found treasure. He was surrounded by friends and presented not only botanical poems from his latest book, Gospel Earth , but sang, remininsced, and read favorite passages from the poets who have influenced him. Jeffery’s wonderful voice, his energy, and his exuberant love for natural beauty made his reading a meditation and a spiritual sharing.
Gospel Earth is described on the Regulator Bookstore site as a “a collection of monostitches, micropoems, American sentences, small stones, small poem sequences, & minimalist poetry.” It begins with a plentitude of short quotes, almost all gemstones of thought from many different sources. Just as he shared his influences in the reading, his book says up front: here I stand, the earth my image, love my fuel, all the beauty I have been given is part of me. Those are my words and show Jeffery’s effect on one: spiritual and mindful.
Gospel Earth moves from the quotes to extremely short responses to images, many one line or even two or three words. The literary devices are almost invisible behind the strong zen and monastic distillations of pure meaning. The natural images shine for themselves in Jeffery’s deft and delicate frames. The Botanical Garden says Gospel Earth is
“a big book of little poems, [it] has already received acclaim for its transcendent, lush beauty; its minimal sacrament; and its simplicity and physicality. Described by the poet as a work intended to “invigorate the startling propulsion of haiku’s accessible simplicity and minimalism, while creating a more active canvas.”
The book does contain larger pieces, including a prose meditation on birding dedicated to Jonathan Williams (more about him below). One of my favorite pieces is a poem with notes that constitute an essay called “The Green Man’s Man.” The poem finds Jeffery immersed in Nature but always open to the philosophical notes in her song: ” I open Nature’s book/finding:/The more I know/The less I know.” The notes were written specifically for a different Botanical Garden event, and delve into the mythological image of the Green man. Jeffery tells us
The Green Man is not separate from us, he is our source, emphasizing & celebrating the positive creative laws of Nature, the native intelligence that shepherds and protects this world, and the ecological rightness that guides us.
Jeffery continues to enact and support the spirit of Black Mountain College in many ways and I hope to learn more of his scholarship regarding Jonathan Williams. He has presented numerous times about him, and is working on a bibliography. He has also shared manuscripts and links that make it clear he is a leading authority on the man’s life and significance.
Parts of this book also existed in online and pamphlet versions:
MUSA is a “post-industrial art exhibit” whose content will relate more or less directly to the venue: a dormant furniture factory across from Humble Pie in downtown Raleigh. An art show in this space really resonates for me, because I have such fond memories of the crucial employment and quirky stories that arose from my artist friends’ work there in the 1980s. The owners made annual trips to Asia for antiques and prints, but the majority of the stock was furniture that was “aged” – whipped with chains and other abuse, or modified otherwise – before wholesaling to Neiman Marcus. Bill and Otho were enlightened and tolerant employers to several good friends, and I’ve always appreciated it.
Now Otho is offering the space, which ceased business in 2002, to Carter Hubbard and Sarah Botwick, two art entrepreneurs who hope
I mentioned this show in July and bemoaned the Flash software used to present the website, which actually looks quite nice, but presents minor navigation issues and major Google search issues, because all of the info appears to be insulated from the web-crawlers. Now the site has a large amount of info and lots of artwork examples, most of which present some kind of connection to industrial themes. The work is also integrated into the factory space, including one series that explores the history of the paint in the room in which it is situated. The dying pastime of pigeon-keeping, the dying art of hat-making, Latino work portraits, and the use of trees all form a part of a broad set of responses to technological change and its implications for work.
Location: 320 South Harrington Street, Raleigh, NC
Web Address: www.musanc.com
Opening Reception: “First Friday”, October 2, 2009 6-9pm
Reg. Hours: Monday – Thursday, 11-5, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, 1-7pm
“Invisible Sounds” – site-specific live music prior to the screening of “With These Hands” Q&A to follow, Oct. 10, 6pm
Exhibition Dates: October 2-18, 2009
taintradio, poised to survive the “post music industry age,” sends word it will present another feature at Marsh Woodwinds. The internet radio venture has added several new shows to its weekly cycle, including Philadelphia-based Jeff Duperon’s Congo Square. Feature info below.
taintradio.org & Marsh Woodwinds presents guitarist/composer concert & live webcast .www.taintradio.org. Tickets are $10 at the door, and free refreshments will be served. multi-instrumentalist and composer Eugene Chadbourne brings his unique anarchic blend of jazz, punk, country, improv and noise to Marsh Woodwinds, . The concert is a presentation of the taintradio/Marsh Woodwinds concert series, and will be broadcast live on the Web to listeners worldwide atIt’s been nearly 5 years since the Greensboro-based Chadbourne has performed in Raleigh, and we are delighted to add this date to his fall touring schedule, which includes Berlin, Vienna and Istanbul.Chadbourne has been a major presence in improv, punk and jazz circles for over 30 years, including work with Charlie Haden, The Violent Femmes, , Tony Trischka, The , , and many others. Relentlessly eclectic and experimental, Chadbourne writes and plays a wide range of music, from free jazz interpretations of classic honky-tonk country to transcriptions of Bach for banjo and his infamous invention, the electric rake. Chadbourne’s dozens of solo and collaborative albums add up to one of the most consistently challenging and rewarding bodies of work you’ll find in experimental music.,This is a rare chance to hear this musical legend in an intimate venue .
SparkCon expanded and upgraded its arts event this year, taking over Fayetteville Street with 13 different “…sparks” at 24 venues, intensely focused on the 1st two blocks of Fayetteville. From Raleigh’s emerging status as the East Coast’s gaming industry hub to the latest creation from uliveandyouburn, this street festival helps to brand Raleigh as a city of designers and 21st century entrepreneurs.
And as a final note, we head toward the “post newspaper industry age” in the company of Raleigh Public Record, whose detailed candidate profiles and “Sunshine” public record posts are demonstrating the validity and value of Charles Pardo’s vision of 21st century journalism.
My nature column at RPR will return as soon as some of my excess pies get cooked!
The Bain Project has garnered its fair share of attention and brought together an amazing array of artistic and journalistic support. It also crossed and melded artistic media in an extraordinary fashion. The installation itself captured sights, sounds, smells and memories in a unique way, and a fitting emblem of this is the Bain Music Project cd, which will certainly stand the test of time as a valuable record of the Bain Project experience and a fascinating album of boundary-pushing music in its own right.
The cd offers short interview excerpts with a former Bain employee, mixed with cuts of local bands recording inside the Bain space. The remaining pieces constitute primary Bain Project work by Lee Moore, whose maternal condition precluded extensive on-site participation. Lee and her husband (and longtime musical partner) David Crawford put together some amazing sets of sounds as Le Machine, and also did me the great honor of building cut # 12 with an old water-based poem of mine. I recorded it with Jen Coon, and then Lee put it over ocean sounds and her newborn baby’s heartbeat! I could never have dreamed that a piece of my writing would have such a stunning setting. Thank you Lee.
I enjoy every track of the cd, especially Crowmeat Bob’s highly Bain-ful sounds and Xopher Thurston’s string interpretation of Dana Raymond’s pipe symphonies, but am totally un-equipped to remark on the local popular music. I just know my 20 year old daughter was thrilled to see me on the same album as the Rosebuds! I also know that the cd cover is masterful and fits so well with the project, thanks to Ladye Jane of New Raleigh fame. New Raleigh published the cd, and was a tremendous support to the Bain Project overall, including provision of the Bain website.
Starting from the website, let’s trace the main branchings of media and online response to the project.
May 09 “State of Things” interview with Dana Raymond, Marty Baird Sarah Powers and JenCoon
SpokenWord.org archived radio link
Volunteer call hosted by New Raleigh
January 09 Missing Plaque Mystery
February 09 Music Fundraiser
March 09 David Millsaps essay
May 09 Ladye Jane’s Q & A
May 09 State of Things alert with links to Sarah and Dana
May 09 Toxic Lead Alert with Bain concerns
March 09 Music Fundraiser guide
April 09 Indie Blog article
May 09 Calendar listing
May 09 Site and project description by Hobert Thompson
May 09 Indie blog Q & A with organizer Daniel Kelly and others
May 09 Art to suit city’s fluid identity
NC Museum of Art
May 09 blog interview with Museum staffers Jen Coon & Stacey Kirby
DESIGNlife news with listing of the numerous alumni involved
30 Threads feature
Raleighwood,NC John & Clydes visit with informative links
Queen of the Pavement – huge and lovely pics
Digital Photo Project with another, and one more – nice photos and text by Kevin Greene
almost two weeks – wonderful blend of Bain and life
a weed is just a flower out of place – just one nice photo but who can resists that title?
Bain poster critique – proof post-Boomers do not read actually a nice post
not to mention
youtube Triangle Rock excerpt
The following excerpt from an email sent out by SWCAC Chair Mary Bell Pate for the Caraleigh neighborhood.
The Bain Project, located in the SW CAC area, is all about the E. B. Bain Waterworks/Water Plant that once was the source of water for Raleigh and now is on the Historic Register. What was a beautiful Art Deco building had been ignored since it was “de-commissioned” as our water plant and now needs massive amounts of money for restoration. Empire Properties came to the rescue by buying the Bain and saving it from total destruction. Within the next few years a street will connect South Wilmington and South Saunders Streets (needed for years as an efficient cross-access between the two streets) and will go right by the Bain.
With lots of help from many people the Bain Project will become another outstanding asset for Raleigh and especially for our southwest part of Raleigh. Right now it needs your interest and participation in events designed to create awareness of this beautiful, old building opposite the Eliza Pool Park. From time to time I will be giving updates on Bain Project activities and encouraging your participation.
and last but not least
National Park Service Bain site page
If you’ve made it this far I’ll remind you that here at Raleigh Rambles ALL my work to document and preserve the Bain Project is organized and referenced on my Bain Page. The list above grew out of a reference post on the Bain Project website, which has obviously been a rock for me in this project. We can all thank Daniel Kelly for conceiving of and effecting this project, and I personally appreciated his encouragement as I participated in and documented the project.
The Bain Project installation weekends are over, but the reverberations of this grand, all-enveloping art event will echo for a very long time. Not since David Ira Wood’s multimedia theatre event “X” (in Thompson Theatre in 1970 when “multimedia” had just been coined) has Raleigh been blessed with such a massive infusion of cool. And to think – Bread & Puppet comes next weekend!! Raleigh, Raleigh.
I’m still reeling from the sights, sounds and interactions of Bain. Huge crowds included many like me who visited several times. You couldn’t possibly see everything in one pass, and I kept running into wonderful reunions as well as Bain participants, who were amazingly present and available throughout the building. One thing I didn’t catch til near the end were the sound performances in the main hall of tanks. Below are links to two 30 second clips of the performance.
Though one of the best parts of the Bain installation was the seamless and credit-less array of work, Dana Raymond should be credited with leadership in the sound project above. I will be posting more special features of the Bain Project as I gather my thoughts for a central review. Stay tuned for Marty’s yellow room, four-day views of the ball floor and the watershed map, Tim’s magic lab, my urban explorer interview about Bain, and much more! It will all be referenced on my Bain Page.
I have always loved information archives of all types – starting with Sears catalogs as a young child, followed by our Reader’s Digest Condensed book set, then on to specially arranged privileges at the Olivia Raney Library in the basement of the Revenue Building downtown. Now the universe is at our fingertips, and I find that a whole neural body of outward connections awaits, and I have begun willy-nilly to construct this digital doppelganger – myself fully online – with little knowledge or perspective about the shape of the world to come – or the silhouette I will cast, based on my skills and choices. It won’t come naturally – I’m a bibliophilic boomer geezer, but I’m so fascinated by the gargantuan pile of possibilities being generated by our technology that I’m game, willing, and more or less already engaged.
But the levels of engagement are many and changing at a rapid rate. And my original quest for information has become entwined into an arena I still don’t fully grasp – social networking, which near as I can see, is pretty quickly turning into this whole partly global Thing – a Social Network that has unwritten rules and value systems different (and yet not) from the world of Reader’s Digest, or graduate school for that matter. I really like blogging as a way to publish writing and develop projects, and I don’t mind making friends online – though I’m always wanting to meet them in person ASAP. In many ways I am not a blogger, and certainly not a full-fledged member of the blogosphere. Again, I know I am indeed part of the blogosphere – just the literary/magazine, non-revenue, slow-blogging corner of it. I don’t twitter, fark, digg, instant message, facebook or mypage. For all I know, I never will. So what shape will my elderly online self be, as I watch the world go Web 3.0?
Web 2.0 denotes the movement of resources from your computer to the Internet. We don’t download software for blogging – we use the software on distant servers. Many people use these resources for everything from desktop publishing to large company operations. Web 3.0 signals the movement of all this to the mobile devices which are proliferating and competing, and to future non-existing IT services in general. The News and Observer tells me we will all be living and working on our phones in 2020. The TV ads proclaim it every day – the mobile revolution. This is a problem for me. Hell, I will hardly use my cell phone and I’ve had it for years. I hate the phone! I guess I will have to fall in love with some future web/Kindle device – if it projects perfectly from my eyeglasses, there’s not much room for complaint, is there?
Getting back to the messages of these media, open access and web publishing are by far the wildest things to happen in intellectual culture for a long time. Ideas can be connected and developed in truly new ways. You can follow connections instantly and sometimes rather deeply. It’s all certainly very stimulating. Below are my picks for some local trends that rock this new world.
Netweed, the host of my Paper Plant website, is operated by Clyde Smith, who has worked hard and longer on web enterprises than anyone I know. He was my blogging mentor and helped me build Raleigh Nature. Clyde mainly works online professionally at Prohiphop, and scans news reports, reviews and offers business analysis on anything and everything hip hop. Recently, he launched a news release service for hip hop labels. Netweed, his online headquarters, is a rich mix of cultural and social resources. Clyde is able to use Netweed as a unifying platform for his professional hip hop work, his research writings, his dance work, and his social views. If anyone can swim in the new web waters, it’s him.
Ibiblio is proclaimed on my favorites website (featured below) as simply “the best website of which I know.” Paul Jones has been an incredible guru for all this since Al Gore invented it, and he found a way to share with the world. Ibiblio.org is simply the state’s digital library, with some truly fascinating twists, but the monthly theme and features constitute a marvelous magazine as well.
Taintradio continues to offer a unique platform and format in the rapidly changing world of radio and music generally. There are reasons for the website looking, as a local pundit put it to me at party, “like it was put together with tinker toys.” Taintradio just ain’t having any friggin’ formats, and that goes for website software as well, gosh darn it! Hey, we all love what Bob is doing, and it will evolve a bit, I’m sure. This grand web experiment, with all volunteer world-class DJs, and one little donation jar for infrastructure, is enormously worthy of our support.
The personal web project of which I am most proud is the current incarnation of FARCE. FARCE has a been a correspondence art series, The Paper Plant bookstore’s newsletter, and now is a website reference for my own and others’ use. I use it for research, teaching, and providing curious readers sets of websites related to my blogging, such as local artists, book arts, museums and nanotechnology. I’d consider it an honor if you made my links page one of your favorites.
And have a great new year as we approach our new era! Best, John