The beauty of protest, the sustaining work of love through art, borrow any sound through synthesis

Heya folks,

Welcome back to another edition of Sharing Notes!

The beauty of protest

Palestinian poet Najwan Darwish says art "frees you from the limitations and cruelties of the moment." Feminist author Jill Dolan speaks about arts as "utopian performatives" which transport us into "imaginative emotional, psychological, and physical spaces that promise richer, more beautiful lives." I believe the same is true for protests and other demonstrations. In these moments, the means are the end: the vision of solidarity we wish to realize in the world is embodied in these moments, in a microcosm of diverse folks gathered together on a single street corner in Pasadena, or beside a lake in Echo Park.

The sustaining work of love through art

In light of the recent bombardment on Rafah and the continuing genocide against Palestinians, it's easy for us onlookers to lose hope. But I remember the words of bell hooks: "Cynicism is the greatest barrier to love." Brother Lawrence taught that all things are possible for the person who believes, and these things are yet easier for the one who loves. Let us love. As artists, our power is the ability to mediate love through art, to sustain the spirits of those who need it most: particularly the oppressed and those who take up their cause. Create things for love of others.

Borrow any sound through synthesis

My other special interest these days has been synthesis, and I've been practicing my synthesizing skills so I may borrow virtually (pun-intended) any instrument sound I like, particularly keyboard sounds. Electronic music techniques have opened up another world of timbres for me. Though there are laws about sampling and licensing, we are free to analyze any recording and design a synth patch that emulates it. You can check out my notes on synthesis here. There are also several great YouTube videos on the topic, like this one or this one.


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