Monthly Archives: February 2011

Ancient Fires

I wanted to integrate some wonderful fire paintings on silk I discovered from an amazing Boston-based artist, Kirstin Ilse with a subject that always fascinated me, fire. We are surrounded and surround ourselves by fire. Fire from above, below (earth’s inner core), the stars in the universe, lightning, man-made, heating us in the winter, cooking our food, waging our wars, melting our metals…
Without it, we probably couldn’t exist or had evolved as we are today.
This is my tribute and brief view of it. I will probably follow-up with more productions on this topic.
Hope you enjoy it,

Elements Used in this Production
Fire paintings on silk: Kirstin Ilse. See more of this artists work ::
Music: Shamanic Way by Mark Zackie ::
Video & Digital art: Leo Bar
Volcanic eruptions (archives of) BBC, National Geographic

New York Kind of Mood

This is another video in the sequence of old New York. I love to read, see and share about how this city evolved, from the early stages amalgamation to its glory days.
In this rendering I tried to insert as much comedy and farce as I could, without degrading the historical content. The video is not in chronological or any other order. It was assembled for artistic purposes to create the right atmosphere and tell a story of building, strife, progress, lunacy and fun.
Hope you enjoy the show,

Elements Used in this Production
Photographs: were sourced from Library of Congress and NY Public Library collections. I then proceeded to clean, size, scale and correct them for lighting, contrast. Most came from smoked glass positives and therefore are unique and fragile.
Film clips: Edison Inc., American Mutoscope and Biograph Company and Harold C. Lloyd Sr. movies.
Music: Reunion Cumbre by Astor Piazzolla with Gerry Mulligan

Candombe del Uruguay

Given the beginning in Uruguay of the longest celebrated carnival “Carnaval” holiday season in the world (40 days) I couldn’t help myself but put together this little production accentuating the uniqueness of these celebrations. With its contagious drum sounds “cuerdas”, characteristic dance movements, intensity and sheer sensuality, nothing beats this Candombe del Uruguay spectacle!
Enjoy the show!

I must thank several people (see below) for their generosity with their photography and videography towards this project, without which it would not have seen the light:

Elements Used in this Production:
– La Tango Candombe,
– @ Silvilila, Libertinos, Vince alongi, PasteldeChoclo
– Emilio Artteaga @
Tronar de Tambores – Lonjas de Cuareim (remix)

History and Background:

Candombe is a musical genre that has its roots in the African Bantu, and is proper of Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil. Uruguayan Candombe is the most practiced and spread internationally and has been recognized by UNESCO as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Originated from the influences of African music, was developed on both banks of the Rio de la Plata because of the large influx of slaves during the colonial period and well into the nineteenth century, and with the republican form living on both banks. Over the twentieth century Uruguayan Candombe was gradually leaving to be a unique feature of the Afro-Uruguayans to become a feature of the Uruguayan cultural identity.

Uruguayan Candombe

The music of candombe is performed by a group of drummers called a cuerda. The barrel-shaped drums, or tamboriles, have specific names according to their size and function: chico (small, high timbre, marks the tempo), repique (medium, syncopation and improvisation) and piano (large, low timbre, melody). An even larger drum, called bajo or bombo (very large, very low timbre, accent on the fourth beat), was once common but is now declining in use. A cuerda at a minimum needs three drummers, one on each part. A full cuerda will have 50-100 drummers, commonly with rows of seven or five drummers, mixing the three types of drums. A typical row of five can be piano-chico-repique-chico-piano, with the row behind having repique-chico-piano-chico-repique and so on to the last row.
Tamboriles are made of wood with animal skins that are rope-tuned or fire-tuned minutes before the performance. They are worn at the waist with the aid of a shoulder strap called a talig or talĂ­ and played with one stick and one hand.
A key rhythmic figure in candombe is the clave (in 3-2 form). It is played on the side of the drum, a procedure known as “hacer madera” (literally, “making wood”).

For more info see:

Sogo Yukidian

Looking outside from my window I see a huge snowstorm, 20 inches of snow/ice on the ground. Mountains of snow from drifts and snowplows, accumulated everywhere. While inside my orchids begin to bloom among the other plants, gemstones and art.

What a spectacle! Nature displays its brutal cold and fury on the outside, and its tender warmth and delicate forms in the inside.

I just could not believe the contrasts of starkness and beauty!
Enjoy the scenes!

Elements used in this production
– Music: Kadish by Armand Amar
– Watercolor Art: Mary Goverts (thanks to Jan Goverts for permission to use his mother’s paintings)
– Photography, Video, Digital Art and HDR: Leo Bar