Friday, September 30, 2011

Nik Beat at Free Times Cafe - live & uncut

direct link: Nik Beat at Free Times Cafe - live and uncut

An evening of Nik Beat and Friends at the Free Times Cafe in Toronto, Canada on September 16, 2011. An uncut set playing in real time, we see Nik at his disarmingly charming best between beautiful songs and poems. This is as close as it gets to being there. We adore you Nik! Enjoy the show!

Nik sings some of his new recorded songs and poetry from his book, "The Tyranny of Love." Joining him are Michael Ratt, Pat Kelly, Michael MarianJoani Paige, and Willie Anicic .

From Seraphim Editions, the publisher of his book of poetry, "The Tyranny of Love": "Born in 1956, Nik Beat (née Michael Barry) toiled in the rock and roll field for a number of years until he quit and took the moniker Nik Beat. This native Torontonian has for the past 20 years been a writer/poet published in numerous anthologies. He has been profiled on Much Music and TVO's Imprint as well as in an upcoming CBC radio appearance. He currently hosts the HOWL spoken word radio show on CIUT 89.5 FM. He lives in the quiet doldrums of the famous Beaches area, where he not only commandeers a Words and Music show at the Renaissance Café but is also an accomplished collage artist."

The Free Times Cafe performance videoed and edited by me, Brenda Clews.
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Nik Beat's voice, to my ear, is softer, richer, more modulated than ever. Perhaps mellowed is the word.  Like the heart beats in the vocal chords, irradiating songs with feelings, feelings that connect us all. In the clip, he's singing emotional textures -that move us the way birdsong in the trees moves us. My video is a set of his atand is uncut, only a filter of strong contrasts added....I love the sound track. He's in top form. Really fine set, so glad I taped it. It's open in another browser window as I listen for the 20th time to the track!

William Leighton wrote: "Very well done. Loved the simplicity of it and the refrain from constant motion. Nik definitely is a pilgrim on a journey and he invites people to hear from those travels. What we believe is paramount to who we become and where we end up and the heart is the compass of that journey. Truth does lie at the end of the journey for us all though. Travel safely and wisely."

Good Night Girl was awesome, as Willie Anicic said, and many of us mentioned how that song played in our minds for days afterwards. A beautiful paean to his beloved Linda Mercer, who passed away this year.

I wanted Nik to see the set uncut before I did anything (well, except the filter I added), but he liked it and said to go ahead and make it public, which I did. Watch like you're sitting at a table with a drink listening. It's dark and your friends are with you. Enjoy!

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ps I linked Nik to a Google search on his name since he's all over the place. :)


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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Figurative Notations

Figurative Notations. Photograph, or still from video.

Working on Tangled Garden, bit by bit, and eventually the videopoem will be done. It's been forever, but forging slowly ahead.


I uploaded a huge version -click on it- very theatrical!

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G+ Widget


Cool!

You can get it here: widgetsplus/


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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Wear White Paint for the Moon -reading at CENtRAL


direct link: Wear White Paint for the Moon (*this video is subtitled* -after you hit play, hover your mouse over the CC in the playbar, when it turns red, the subtitle file is loaded and you can read along with the prosepoem if you wish- red is on; black is off)

This reading of my prosepoem, Wear White Paint for the Moon, took place at the CENtRAL last night, a pub in Mirvish Village in Toronto, and while I wasn't particularly happy with it, I did have enormous fun making the video, and quite like it now.

With tripod on camera, the angle was unchangeable. I layered multiple tracks of the same clip with lots of filters and then pulled in some footage I had shot of the full moon last August. The moon is quite bouncy in parts, and yet matches the words in those parts, which I found delightfully synchronous.

The background of moon and clouds was my wild imagination at home when I was editing the video. While it would have been wonderful to encase the poets that night in a stage set of lunar light and wispy cloud moon veils, alas, no, we stood on a small stage with a screen behind us. The scenery is a product of the magic of film editing.

I spent hours making detailed by-the-second subtitles for this video so you can read the words while you listen, if you like, and have Google translate into another language if that is better for you.

Background music - 'Satellite Two,' by Professor Kliq, from his album on Jamendo, "Athene's Theory of Everything: The Original Soundtrack."





Wear White Paint for the Moon is a poem that represents jump starting a drained engine. This poem was originally written in response to a prompt at the now defunct Big Tent Poetry. One of the hardest pieces I've ever written due to a writer's block. So I used a technique. While walking on dark streets staring at the moon, I spoke into the 'voice memo' on my iPhone about the moon and later transcribed it. From that jumble, I wrote the poem (Yeats wrote all of his poems this way -prose first, from which he crafted his brilliant poems). You can read the original prose passage and responses by the Big Tent community of poets (who I miss) here: The Blocked Poet Strips Herself. Further, getting myself to the venue on Saturday night to read was very difficult, and I have to admit, I was into my 2nd large 'Creemore ale on tap' by the time I got up to read. :giggles:
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Further note on the subtitles: Once I learned how to make a subtitle file, no matter how time-consuming, I promised I would do this for all my future videopoems. It's not just the languages (Google offers translation into 25 languages), but I also have received complaint that watching a video with a voiceover of poetry, which is condensed, rarified language, packed with meaning in sparse phrases, is too difficult without the text. This way, the viewer has a choice to watch with, or without. It's the perfect solution!

If the subtitle file is not working, please let me know. If you don't like it, hover your mouse over the CC in the playbar until the CC turns black (red is on; black is off), and then the text is gone. Thanks!


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