Thursday, August 22, 2019

Dion, Nostalgia & Eric Prydz's Holosphere

Weekly Update 2019-31: Late 50s doo-wop from Dion, the emotional power of nostalgia and the amazing live concert that is Eric Prydz's Holosphere.

Music: Dion
A strange turn in my music listening habits brings the late 50s doo-wop styles of Dion, an original star of the bridge between the late 50s rock and the British Invasion. He gained some stardom with his band The Belmonts, but eventually found most of his fame (and musical groove) striking out with solo work from the early 60s forward. His voice because more bluesy with his growing use and dependence on heroin, for which he had developed a habit as a teenager. In any case, it's a lovely era of music.

I made a very silly presentation about myself for my coworkers last week. It was really fun to go back in time and look at my life so far...maybe I'll keep adding to the story as it unfolds.

More of an accomplishment for my sister's man of honour Daniel, we drove to Sudbury very late on Friday night to be there for her engagement party (the first of two). It was really great to spend the weekend with Ryan's family (all of whom are so kind). His father Brian lives on a beautiful lake and was a wonderful host for the party. He even let me take his seadoo out for a ride around the lake!

Blueberry picking with my dad and Diane (who took the photo)!

I feel so lucky (even by proxy) for my sister to have met someone with such a lovely family. Especially to have Daniel, who not only drove me up there but also took me to the Nickel for a photo opportunity.

I am definitely not done with Sudbury and honestly can't wait to go back and see more touristy things.

This week is a busy one: I am running a departmental lunch and learn on the component library work with my superstar workmate Umar on Wednesday, and then a journey mapping workshop with people across many departments on Friday. I've done a 15-minute version of this hour-long lunch and learn before, so I'm not worried about that one. However, I am sweating literal buckets about the Friday workshop. I've never run one of these before, and it involves some attendees who don't know me very well. Not to mention, it's looking like my co-designer Jackie won't be around to help out. These meetings always require a facilitator and notetaker, so I'll have to try to do both or recruit someone.

I also just really want to take down the wall of collage items I've been collecting in my bedroom for the past four years. It's time to stop and put them away. I have decided to keep them all in a little book, photograph the wall, and call it a day. I have a cool framed poster to put up anyway.

Monday is Laura's birthday party, I am meeting with Saeha and Troy for tempura, and then Matt and I will hit the beach on Sunday. I'm pretty stoked to keep working on my tan.

Random Thought: Nostalgia
As we get older, we have more experiences and memories to look back on. It's a pleasant thing to do, especially when we see something that reminds us of olden days. Listening to a song or eating a certain type of food or seeing a specific colour pairing can remind us of a completely unrelated thing that happened a long time before.

Lately, I've been feeling like things used to be so much brighter and happier than they are now. Not so much personally, but on a global scale with climate change and the current state of politics. Not all of our past can have been better than the current day, can it? Isn't it human nature to look back on things in a happier light than they truly were? I try to keep it in perspective, though some days it does seem like we're in the darkest timeline and things used to be a lot simpler and carefree.

Of course, there's the flipside of nostalgia as well, remembering moments of shame or pain. Just as I was thinking about nostalgia, I thought that perhaps the opposite experience might be memories that haunt us. And then this comic popped into my Facebook newsfeed.

Memories sometimes feel a bit similar to dreams in that they are hazy and distant, but more interestingly that they show us our true emotions (especially if we're trying to ignore those emotions). This comic expresses that point really well. Also, cats are such butts sometimes.

I have been to quite a few concerts in my life, approximately 340 according to The ones that stick out most in my memory as amazing experiences fall into one (or both) of two categories: (1) sublime instrumentation/musical performance and (2) unforgettable visuals/live show. Now, I can't say I've ever been a fan of Eric Prydz, but his 2004 hit Call On Me is inescapable so I vaguely know of his nu-disco electronic music.

What's really breathtaking about his current projects is his live shows. For a set at Tomorrowland in July 2019, he unveiled a two-year project in never-before-seen technology of light display. A huge, 3-D spherical cage surrounds Prydz through his set, with strips of LED all around it to animate in ways I've never seen before.Watch the mini-documentary below, it's about 7 minutes long.

The part in the middle when the animation designer compares the work to his many logged hours watching YouTube videos of motorcyclists in spherical cages really inspired me. The way one has to shape their mind to think in dimensions beyond our perceived 3-D is literally mind-boggling to me. 

Musicians who pay attention to their live performances (in whatever way works for their style) will always be my favourites. It's one thing to make amazing music, but to put the same amount of care and craft into the experience that musicians share on such a personal level with their fans, is truly special. There is no closer connection between a musician and their fan than a live performance, so why not craft it to be as unforgettable as Eric Prydz's team does? 

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