Take Two

I'm listening to Time Out right now. It's a masterpiece.

As long-term DTM readers might expect, I have plenty of stuff to say about Dave Brubeck, who didn't quite make it to his 92nd birthday today. Of course, his music will live on.

I'm earnestly considering the Bru in all his complicated glory. More soon. 


New Look on DTM! 

Courtesy Justin Neely. Justin is a local artist I met though my wife. I visited an impressive gallery show and spontaneously asked him to create a new logo. I loved the email he sent with the logo proposal:

To me as a reader, the voice of your blog is erudite, but loose. Your longer meditations and guest posts are serious reads with apparent rounds of editing and revision. Posts like the Dispatches from Floyd Camembert come with unmediated energy and improvised humor. There's passion throughout and the site always strikes me as the voice of a polymath. There are other articulate and literate musicians and composers, but a passion for the larger world emanates from the focused dedication you bring to your area of primary focus.

How does that lead to this logo? It's softly geometrical=loosely erudite? To some extent. There are rules being broken here. The letters are lines, first and foremost. They're broken and unfinished, with inconsistent elements (serif here, none there, pushing close, overlapping) and—in the case of that D—just the wrong damn alphabet. But all the elements read easily.

I felt strongly about drawing the letters, committing to a mechanical hand. Human agency pushes pixels directly by feel, no tools in the way.

It takes one element, an arrow, and reprises it four ways with four different results, calling attention to angles pushes out and in all around. In the left corner is a fractured memory of Albers' squares recently on view at the Morgan. A cyrillic D recalls the Soviet masters of nearly everything we think of as graphic design today; wanton, willfully imprecise strokes rebel against their visually manipulative legacy.

The white center shifts from ground to figure and back. There's a distorted plus, if you want to find one, or simply an oddly shaped container trying to hold the name of your blog in place.

This meditation comes after the fact, of course. Basically, I started sketching and it felt right. It felt musical, granted to a guy who put down a cello twenty-two years ago and never looked back. It was free and soft-edged, but still angular and powerful. The directed movement of the eye, and the shifts of figure and ground seemed right.

I'm inspired by the new look! Time to double down on serious work on DTM. Thank you, Justin! Also, a sincere thanks to Tom Booth, who created the first great logo for "new" DTM two and half years ago. 

Tom Booth is at BadTown.co.uk

Justin Neely is at JustinNeely.com.

My brilliant site manger is Wayne Bremser, easily found for all your programming needs at Bremser.com. Wayne posted a cool photo of Dave Brubeck by Ben van Meerendonk  today


This is short notice, but I'm going to host a free masterclass next Tuesday Dec. 11. 7-10 PM

70 Willoughby Street (between Lawrence St. and Bridge St.) in downtown Brooklyn. When you are on my block, you will see a Petland store and a fish market. In between them is a doorway that has a purple awning above it that says "Fatou" beauty salon and the street number 70. This is the door to my building. Our studio is #2A. Go up one flight of stairs, and then follow the signs on your left for "The Drawing Room." There are subways everywhere to this easy location, the very closest stop is "Jay St./Metrotech" on the R. 

Mainly for pianists, but if you play something else and really want to come by, that's OK, too. 

No RSVP required, just show up.


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