Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Music on the Sly: Griffin Brady Unplugged

Sometimes the best art comes to us on the sly. So what better way to
to enjoy the summer than to chill to some new versions of oldies, particularly when they include astonishing drumming. Griffin Brady, who's going to graduate in IMA with a focus in music, culture and change, performs "Sitting on the Dock of the Bay" with Larry LZ Dillon at the AAAlliance Regional Rebirth show, held in Fredonia, NY. You can also hear Griffin at Slyfest IV (held in Buffalo, NY), performing on a Dagara xylophone. In between performing, Griffin has founded the Slyboots School of Music and Arts, which encourages musicians to "hone your craft, motivate the masses, discover your voice, spread your message, travel, record, tour and broaden your mind. Your dreams don't have to be simply dreams... you just have to be a little sly about it." The Slyboots staff travels to the Dagara Music Center in Ghana, West Africa to perform and teach, and Griffin himself has been a frequent world traveler, performing with the Dagara Music Center, Buffalo Based on the Sly, You Are Sly and other groups. His thesis project includes a book-length manuscript, The Slyboots Guide to Life and Drumming, and future plans include performing in Senagal, Ireland and Northern India.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Connecting with Self, Others & Nature: Brian Moore & Transformative Language Arts

Brian Moore, a graduate of the Transformative Language Arts concentration of the IMA, writes about how we can use the written word to connect with ourselves, our communities and the earth for Alternatives Magazine:

Within and around the earth,
Within and around the hills,
Within and around the mountains,
Your authority returns to you.
–A Tewa Pueblo Prayer

The poem above has great significance, for it is in the context of the earth, hills, and mountains—indeed, the landscapes in which we live, move, and breathe—that we express and embrace our own unique authority, connecting with those other sentient beings, human and other-than-human, with whom we share this planet.

To read more, visit the site,

Friday, June 18, 2010

In Praise of Goodness

Goddard faculty member Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg was recently interviewed by Diane Silver, a writer who keeps up the blog, "In Search of Goodness," a 365-day quest to answer an impossible question. Here's an excerpt from Mirriam-Goldberg's interview:

DIANE: What about poetry and goodness?

CARYN: Poetry and poetic language – which I would extend to memoir, novels and short stories, spoken word and song writing, just everything we can do with language — it’s all about, at its best, taking life and encapsulating it, and passing it on to us in a way that we can see more who we are and how we live. Even speculative fiction shows you a lot about how you live or about how people could live or what people could become. I think the arts serve as a mirror of where we are, but also of a larger vision of where we could be and also historically where we have been. For people trying to cultivate goodness in their lives I don’t think they can do better than to turn to the arts because you’re going to see things there. You can hear it in song, you can see it in painting, you can listen to it in a spoken word performance.

DIANE: It’s a matter of looking at it, but also maybe participating in it? I know that writing has taught me a lot about myself.

CARYN: Creating it, looking at it, doing it. You can see in all these things — what’s the word I want? — you can see your reflection. You can also see where you might be limiting yourself, where you might go instead, through the use of writing, through imagery and rhythm. Imagery speaks to our five senses: smell, taste, touch and so on. Rhythm — just the sounds words make when they’re put together — kind of jars us out of that thick layer of stories and myths that I talked about earlier. We can kind of lift it up and look underneath it. You can use that as pathway to connect to who you are.

Pictures: Above: Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg; below: Diane Silver