film, film making, music, photography, random thought, writing

yann, not yanni

my favorite french musician, yann tiersen, came to dallas (of all places) a few weeks ago.

he is best known for composing the amelie soundtrack, but his repertoire is comprehensive and complex.

tiersen does it all;  from traditional french accordion compositions, to classical violin melodies… he even performs pop, rock, and hip hop.

this show was mostly his hard rock stylings, and ethereal post-rock, violin infused atmospheres.

it was a real bonus as well to have local favorite doug burr opening for yann…

doug is a folk artist, with a southern tinge.  his melodies are hypnotic and lyrics thoughtful.

yann came out with force behind strings…

he even played the mouth accordion.

it was such a treat to see yann tiersen live.  to have him come to dallas, texas… i still can’t believe it.

all images © andrew r. slaton | photographer 2010

music, random thought, travel, writing

la rade

as i sit silent, i reflect on my recent experiences in lebanon.  and though my thoughts remain dimmed and disoriented, in some sort of schizophrenic fervor, my senses heighten and align when yann tiersen’s la rade floats to my ears.

a rough translation of the french lyrics reveals what i already felt through the universal language of music.  it’s not far off from what i felt, walking the streets of beirut, saida, sour, trablous.

la rade (listen)

the bay

by yann tiersen

i see us all sitting in front
but the shoulders fell within
with all eyes in tears before
and it cracks and it crève boredom
i see us all in limbo
and escaping the cold , we feel
as immobile in bed, sleeping
and life slowly ebbs away

i dream we all stand before
descending into the city, walking
you take, you see inside
in the heart, the anger of the people
there standing in front of the bay
once before, the wind coming from the west
you take, you see it now
in the heart, the anger of the people

standing there, and the sea front
in front and the waves coming
you’ll take it, inside you cry
in the body, the revolt of the people

standing there, and the sea front
in front and the waves coming
you’ll take it, inside you cry
in the body, the revolt of the people

film, film making, music, photography, random thought

white rock lake

i shot a new film recently.  and though i am still learning adobe after effects and final cut pro, i can’t help but edit and put these things together to share with all of you.  so i am still just using elementary software, and i feel very limited by it.  but i hope everyone enjoys none-the-less.

white rock lake is a small, man-made slough in the heart of the dallas metroplex.  it is to dallas, what central park is to new york… though not quite as pretty.  but maybe just as dangerous after dark.  

white rock is home to many thousands of migratory birds, and during winter, giant flocks of egrets and pelicans call this area home.  

for best results, watch the film in “hd”…


** so, i also have much to learn in regard to compression and video output.  as a consequence, the film can be choppy at times.  please forgive me, and as soon  as i figure out how to fix it, i will.  thanks so much for visiting…

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music, random thought, writing

it’s not “world music” to everyone

i started to laugh to myself the other day when i had this thought. while making a mix for a friend, i thought i’d expand my musical prowess by experimenting with a few new non-english tracks.

the dreaded term “world music” popped into my head, and i immediately thought of ian. yeah, you remember ian. the ponytail-wearing kickboxer in the movie high fidelity, that steals john cusak’s girlfriend, and “listens to whatever world music is in fashion that week”.

well, i don’t fancy myself to be much of a kickboxer, and i sure as hell don’t have a ponytail (kind of a sore subject really, considering my ever growing bald spot).  also, i can assure everyone here that i would have no chance stealing any girlfriend from the great john cusak. so what gives? what is world music?

i’ve been enjoying a lot of yann tiersen lately.  he’s a french pop superstar.  but “pop” is way too narrow a classification for this guy.  he’s also a composer, rocker, experimentalist, rapper, you name it, he can do it.  anyway, so how do we in america categorize folks like yann, and manu chao.  or even carlos vives or keren ann?  well, according to the itunes music store, they’re all in the blanket genre of “world music”.  

so, i guess that the main, and perhaps only, criteria for this broad genre is that it’s not american in origin.  we have been the driving force behind the modern music industry, so it kind of makes sense.  but i’m sure if you visited the french version of the itunes store, yann tiersen would certainly not be found in the dreaded “world music” section with the long-forgotten riverdance and obligatory amazon mood music.

there’s some really great music out there though… even beyond the reach of american record labels.  so don’t hesitate to check out some good world music today.  don’t worry, you won’t become like ian overnight… at least i hope not.