29 April 2011

Wooden Xylophone and Bach in the Forest

My jaw dropped for a full 3 minutes when I saw this film featuring Bach’s Cantata 147, “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” on a wooden xylophone.  It's so beautiful that it's hard to believe it's an advertisement for a Sharp Touch Wood SH-08C phone.  So to give myself peace of mind, I prefer to think of this as a gorgeous art installation that happened to have been funded by a company.  (Also, at least the phone is made of surplus wood derived from thinning trees for forest health.)  The work was designed by Invisible Designs Lab and built by Kenjiro Matsuo.  See a clip about the making of the project here and see the full piece below. 
(via excavation by spoonfuls and The 6th Floor)


What Else Should Be on the Island?

Hello Friends,
  I just thought that I'd start featuring things you think should be on the island, as Miles Island is meant to be shared and enjoyed by all.  Got a favorite book?  A pair of shoes?  A new favorite band?  A favorite way to enjoy a rainy day?  Let us know!

Leave your suggestions as a comment below, or email me at milesislandblog@gmail.com.  Can't wait to hear from you!

27 April 2011

Island Grandparents Care for Plants

On Miles Island, grandparents water plants--both literally and figuratively.  I love how these flowers are being nurtured, almost like children.  Note the pack basket pot--you can take flowers along for hikes when they want a change of scenery!  Also, I should let you know that my grandmother calls this Miles Island website (quite appropriately) a 'blob', so I think that from now on I'll refer to myself as a blobber!

26 April 2011

Megan Hildebrandt and Peter Abrami...Artists in Residence

 Megan Hildebrant and Peter Abrami are artists in residence here on the island.  This past week we were welcomed into their home for a couple days.  Note The Celebration Tree, which is for all occasions.  The day of the photoshoot was Peter's birthday... hence the P's and A's.  See more of their work at http://meganhildebrandt.blogspot.com/ and http://peterabrami.blogspot.com/ .  Thanks so much for a wonderful time Peter and Megan, hope to see you soon!

(An eye test chart)

 Much art of Peter and Megan in this home, you will see...



16 April 2011

On the Street... Main St., Miles Island

This fine gentleman said "Thank you" after I complimented him on his hat (which has a small feather in it) and asked if I could take his photo.  I've seen him around town a bit and I'm always impressed...I knew I had to snap a shot in the sun so as to light up those classy shades of his! 

Well, have a stylish week everyone.  We'll be traveling for a few days but back and posting about the island before you know it. 

14 April 2011

'FROM STEEL: The Making of a Soulcraft' film

 via Soulcraft
Here's a great minimentary featuring Sean Walling of Soulcraft Bikes (Top Notch Bicycle Frames), as shot by Michael John Williams, with the music of Mattson 2.  Kinda makes ya want to get into the shop, eh?  Thanks to my buddy Travis for the heads up.  Now I'm going to go for a bike ride...

Alma Pura - Lugged Fixed Gear Road
Soulcraft Convert chain tensioner

Music Thursday: The Civil Wars

 Photo by Jon Willis
The Civil Wars.  This band is quite new to me, although the topic of the U.S. Civil War used to be one of my favorite pastimes--not that I was into violence, though.  I played with confederate and union lead soldiers, made cannons out of clay, wrote historical fiction stories set in 1864, visited Fort Sumter, carried my wooden rubberband gun (musket) around with me most places, etc.  That was when I was about 24. 

But I digress.  The Civil Wars have certainly made a name for themselves in a relatively short amount of time, and I think you'll Joy Williams' and John Paul White's soulful harmonies.  And thankfully they're a pretty peaceful bunch.  They're coming to Madison this Friday the 15th for a free show at the Rath.  See you there!  By the way, download a free live set that they played at Eddie's Attic on their website, visit NPR for their live set on Mountain Stage or World Cafe, and buy their CD below:

[UPDATE April 2011: I just saw The Civil Wars live and it was a wonderful, charming show.  Their harmonies were so in sync, and even their vibratos perfectly matched.  Their voices were made for each other.  Joy couldn't stop smiling--nice to see musicians having fun!]

Photo by AM

07 April 2011

On the Street... Fall colors in Spring

 The coffee, the newspaper, that jacket, that scarf... if he's your professor let me know!

Kilian Martin by Brett Novak

 Brett Novak
I've posted on Kilian Martin before when he did his thing for Man About Town, yet I can't help but post a couple more clips of his work.  These films (below) shot by Brett Novak showcase Kilian's unique blend of old and new skate styles, creating something truly original and breathtaking.  Barcelona proves to be a stunning landscape for skateboarding, and serves more than just as a backdrop--the landscape is an active participant, the city a playful playground, the street art visual music.  Patrick Watson's hauntingly beautiful music is the perfect pairing. Be sure to watch full screen in HD, with your speakers turned up and the lights low.

Photographer unknown, Kilian for Vision Street Wear

06 April 2011

Music Tuesday: Ana Tijoux

 photographer unknown
Ana Tijoux is our featured artist this Tuesday.  She's Chilean-French and she's a dope MC.  Check out a great free mix on her website called Elefant.  You can also stream her album 1977.  Enough said.

photographer unknown

02 April 2011

Bill Cunningham New York

 photographer unknown, from Bill Cunningham New York
Well, I know it's been a while.  I've been pretty busy here on the island... the ice is melting, so I've been out paddleboarding, and we also had an island talent show which I spent a long time preparing for.  Oh, and then there's the Madison Film Festival.

The first film of the festival for me was Bill Cunningham New York, which is a documentary of one of my favorite, and arguably the first, street style photographers.  I've been a fan of his work (he would say it's not his work, it's the people and their clothes that are the art) for quite some time... sometime in middle or early high school, I started getting New York Times Sunday papers from my local library a week after it would come up.  Bill's spreads were always some of the most interesting to me... I could visit New York or Paris while growing up in small town New England. 

Some of his photos are so great I would cut them out and tape them to bedroom walls... in fact, one such photo I still have and can be seen in the 7th second of the trailer that's below.  Those colors, that jacket!  And to be running, how marvelous!  Bill is a true original, and the film gives testimony to his simplicity, principles, and most of all his laughter and joy for life.

photographer unknown, from Bill Cunningham New York
photographer unknown, from Bill Cunningham New York
 In a fantastic moment of serendipity as I was exiting the film, I noticed a lady on the street with a jacket print similar to one that I had seen during the film.  The above photo (from the film) features the print and captures a moment where two lifelong friends are describing to Bill that they've always dressed like the other.  Below is my take on the street moment that can only be captured in an instant.