Big milestone, big loss

Friends, today is the day that all 23 threads that comprise the Now See Hear project are live on this website. That’s wonderful. The 23rd thread contains the items that have sprouted, so far, from the seed song I See Jesus by Ric Taylor. What’s very sad is that Ric did not live long enough to see what his song inspired. I, your humble webmaster, put off publishing the thread because I wanted it to have at least five items, so as not to seem skimpy when compared to the other threads.

I guess I learned my lesson, big-time. I held off putting art out into the world, and while I waited, one of the artists passed away. (This happened in December–just weeks before I published this thread.) I’m sorry Ric didn’t get to see the page that you’re able to see, and I realize now that art shouldn’t wait. Thanks for your contribution, Ric, and for all the seeds of joy you planted in everybody you came across.

A memorial tribute concert will be held for Ric in Tarzana, CA on February 4. I’ll be there. Details below.

FAR-West is coming, finally

There is joy in Mudville! This whole project began as an offshoot of FAR-West (Folk Alliance Region West), an organization of people who like, make and promote folk/songwriter kinda music. Our annual conference is one of my favorite events in life–I describe it as an amusement park for acoustic music lovers. The dang COVID plague caused us to skip having an in-person conference in 20, 21 and 22…but not this time, baby. The conference is in Woodland Hills, CA, up in the valley northwest of LA, October 12-15. Won’t you join us? Now See Hear will be there, holding a showcase at 10:30pm on Thursday night and keeping a table in the Networking Center. I’ll be hopping all over the place all weekend; I’d love to see you. Information here. Come if you can!

The Loss of a Sculptor

John Cessna isn’t the first contributor to Now See Hear who has passed away. We lost singer-songwriter Michael Morales a few years back, and there may be others, though I hope not. John is, however, the only person so far who’s created a sculpture for Now See Hear. He passed away unexpectedly at his home in the Kansas City area in July.

John was a delightful artist, equally talented at sculpture, painting and landscaping. He became very excited about contributing to NSH once he heard the song Transistor Corazón, by astrologer-musician Melissa Greener, which was used as a “seed song” for this project. He absolutely fell in love with the song and with Melissa’s musical works. The art he created in response to the song is a fascinating piece of sculpture with changing lights, which he installed in his home.

John’s sculpture has so far inspired two songs: Mindy Dillard’s Dream Rocket and Jaeger & Reid’s Lights Flash Red. Those two songs have inspired, at last count, four more pieces of art and two more songs. There will be more as the thread grows, and that’s one of the ways that John’s work will remain among us.

John is also responsible for the image that I use on the welcome page of this website (see below). That’s the drawing he sent me as he was preparing to get underway on his sculpture.

You can find Melissa’s song, John’s sculpture, and all the songs and art that have followed them on the thread called The Thread With A Crazy Number Of Rockets In It. If you want to see a video providing a 360 degree look at John’s sculpture, backed by excerpts from both songs, click here.

Now See Hear hits a milestone

This website turned one year old earlier this month, and on July 20, it received a really cool birthday present: its 100th original artwork. Inspired by regular FAR-West attendee Jen Hajj’s song Surrealist Art (created for NSH in 2020), Maryland painter and video-maker Seth Holmes came up with a suitably surreal painting. Which, it turns out, is the 100th bit of art, craft, artisanship or poetry submitted to the project.

It’s fitting that Seth and Jen are the painting’s parent and grandparent; both have made multiple contributions to NSH. It also seems fitting that the song and the painting appear on a thread called “The Thread That’s Dedicated To Michael Morales.” Michael was a passionate FAR-West musician and NSH participant who left us far too early in life. Seth’s artwork is below. To go to “The Thread That’s Dedicated To Michael Morales” so you can view the whole thread and hear Jen’s song, click here.

By the way, the song count is at 88 as of this writing. So when twelve more songs come in, we’ll have a new headline to shout out to the world. Let’s move it, musicians!

Hello, world!

This is the under-construction web site of the Now See Hear Project, from FAR-West (Folk Alliance Region West). Stay tuned; soon you’ll be able to see and hear the artwork, stories and music generated by the project. (Food has been generated by the project as well, but you won’t be able to have any on this site.) In the meantime, click here for a written explanation of how it works, or click here for a video. And if you want to get involved or have questions, write to Phil using the Contact page.

Fine art portrait by Ailisa Newhall, Seattle

Music. Art. Repeat.