along with the portable record player we take out on the deck, we have the you-remember-the-case-with-the-handle box of 45’s. with titles like sugar sugar and IOU and julie do you love me and….the side A of these records are the likely hits. but if you turn it over and play side B you can often be surprised by a song you like even more than the touted “side A” song.
when david brought up this canvas to photograph the painting on the front side, i was reminded of what we had seen when 20 so generously gave d a slew of his dad’s canvases. on the side B, his artist dad (richard “duke” kruse) had written, “welcome to the 21st century” on the back of the canvas he had so meticulously stretched. we laughed when we first saw it, but it remains a mystery as to why he wrote it; we can only guess…maybe he was bemoaning the loss of something of the 20th century; maybe he was truly welcoming the next. either way, we get it. we are both 20th century artists.
as a painter, david uses actual brushes to apply actual paint to actual canvas, a process that doesn’t necessarily need explanation, but, in the 21st century art world, isn’t necessarily always the trend. with computer design and sketchpads -aka graphics tablets- the feel of bristles can become foreign to a contemporary artist. what about the smell of the paint? the light from the window on the canvas? the spatter of acrylic matte medium on your clothes? the wooden brush handle in your hand?
as a composer, i use paper and pencils and erasers and a piano. i have a couple of keyboards that have traveled all over with me, but the piano that takes up an entire room in our house is my tool of choice. it is stunning how much time it took me to write a full score way back in college compared to the ease of scoring on the computer. if i made a mistake on the score, i had to -with my pencil and then calligraphy pen- redo the whole page. then i had to write out all the parts individually. the 21st century has advanced the ability to have a computer generate all the individual parts off one score that is online. pretty amazing and time-saving stuff. not to mention the “playing” factor. the computer program will “play” the part you write; you don’t have to. but what about all the pencil eraser dust that falls on the keys of the piano? what about the scraps of paper spread out all over the top? what about the feel of the action below your hands, the response, the whooshing sound of the pedal?
acoustic vs plugged-in, analog vs digital. kind of old-fashioned. that’s probably why i like to sit in one of the rocking chairs in david’s studio and just watch. and why he will come into my studio and just listen. we don’t need a lot of fancy stuff. he just wants to hang his paintings and i just want to sit at a piano on a stage with a single mic. pretty 20th century.
welcome to the 21st century/earth interrupted vii ©️ 2018 david robinson & kerri sherwood