Sunday, May 21, 2017

Marlon Brando

Marlon Brando is widely considered to be one of the most iconic actors of all time best known for his role in the Godfather. Brando got his start in acting in the mid-to-late 40s primarily working on plays in NYC. He landed his first major broadway role of Stanley Kowalski in "A Streetcar Named Desire" which was later adapted into a movie in 1951. Brando's method acting propelled him to major levels of success and become a major influence for actors for his abilities to completely transform roles and deliver jaw dropping performances. Over his career Brando collected 2 Oscars, 3 BAFTA Awards, and 2 Golden Globes. Marlon Brando passed in 2004 due to respiratory failure.
IMDB is the perfect place to get general information concerning his career as an actor as well as facts about his birth, death, etc. You are able to get a full breakdown on his acting credits as well to see some of the smaller accredited projects he was a part of to trace his success over the years.
Here you can get a more wholesome picture of Brando as well as connect with his estate on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as well as see some of his philanthropic agendas. Little did people know but he was very politically involved in creating sustainable energy and his vision was brought to life on "The Island" tab that offers a great insight to his groundbreaking research center.
This final link is more focused on his acting and gives you a fun way to scroll through and hit on some of the big milestones of his career. This link gives you some interesting insight to Brando's extensive family (some 16+ children) and the potential disconnect that may have had.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Brian Harold May, born July 19th, 1947, is a British musician most famous for his part of lead guitarist in the band Queen.  His skills on the electric guitar are, in my opinion, some of the best in the rock genre.   Even though Freddie Mercury, the lead singer of Queen received most of the attention for their compositions, May composed just as many songs a Mercury.  He was responsible for Queen's hits "Who Wants to Live Forever", "We Will Rock You" and "Fat Bottomed Girls".  I have always found his talent so fascinating and his ability to construct different and very complex pieces on the guitar.  His skills brought so much to the band, and allowed the band to create their own sound, along with Freddie Mercury's amazing voice.  I have always loved the electric guitar and the music created from it, so Brian may stood out to me as an inspirational and influential person in music.

This website includes a brief biography of Brian May and then discusses how in his later years he has stepped away from music to follow his other passion, science.  He received a doctorate in astrophysics and after his musical career he has returned to the field to study with NASA.  I found this particularly interesting because he is still influential as a person, but has moved his field from music to science.

This Rolling Stones article discussed how Queen is still an influential band nowadays, even though Mercury died in 1991.  May and drummer Roger Taylor are still attempting to create an album, and continue the legacy of the band somewhat.

This site discussed how Brian may is still the "King of Tone" and it also discusses his different strategies for creating new sounds on the electric guitar.  He used nylon strings with some songs to create a different vibe to the songs.  The website also mentions how he is still trying to carry on the legacy of Queen's works.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Young Thug

I find Young Thug very fascinating in some ways most people don't view him or have not viewed him before. Young Thug is a very famous rapper from Atlanta known for his obscure melodies in songs, and also having an obscure fashion sense along with it. The reason why I chose to blog about Young Thug is not mainly because of his music (even though I enjoy the way he uses his voice as an instrument to enhance the melody of the beat in his songs) , but because of how he does not seem to care what anyone thinks about the way he dresses and carries himself. There has been a lot on controversy over Young Thug about him calling his male friends "bae" and "sexy"as well as wearing dresses and skirts as shown in his album cover of his latest album "Jeffery". What I admire about Young Thug is that he is not afraid to express his fashion sense no matter how much of a backlash he gets for "dressing like a girl" and "being the first gay gangster rapper". Even in the midst of all the backlash, he continues to dress the way he wishes to dress and talks the way he talks without fearing negative judgment from ANYONE, that alone should be very uplifting for anyone who is scared of being judged, or scared of being ridiculed for the way they dress. Young Thug is a great example of feeling comfortable in your own skin, and not changing who you are as a person just because people don't agree with the way you express yourself. We can all learn from this in a positive way in a sense that we are who we are, and we don't need to apologize for it to anyone. If people are going to judge you, wouldn't you rather it be your true self?
This is an article of an interview with Young Thug expanding on his rough childhood and a more in depth description of him as a person.
This is a short article that shows how Young Thug does not care about what others think about what he wears. He wears what he likes and does not feel like gender is involved with his fashion sense.
Here is an article that expands deeply on Young Thug's fashion sense and the way he picks and looks at clothes.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Melissa Sandvig

All throughout my childhood I took ballet classes and had the opportunity to take classes from a number of professionals. I took my first class with Melissa Sandvig when I was in highschool. She was by far the kindest professional dancer I have met, and still is today. Melissa Sandvig is very accomplished and currently tours with dance companies such as the Helios Dance Theater. As well as touring she teaches master classes and is pursuing her dream of  acting. She is most famously known for her time on Dancing With the Stars, as the “Naughty Ballerina”. In addition she has also dance guest starred on “America's Got Talent”, “Grey’s Anatomy”, “Mobbed”, and many more. Melissas technical skills as a ballet dancer and actress are impeccable and she is someone that I have always looked up too.
On this site you will be able to find basic information on Melissa Sandvig. This includes general information like her birthday, birthplace, as well as  what she is know for.

This source includes information about Melissa Sandvig time at So You Think You Can Dance. Also on this site you will be able to find out a little more about herself and her accomplishments. The bottom sentence lets you know what she is best known for.
This site tells you what Melissa Sandvig is doing today. We get some more details on past history and what she has starred in. It also describes why her injury launched her into pilates and she is now a big follower.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Gustav Mahler

One of my favorite composers of all time is Gustav Mahler. He lived in Bohemia in 1860 in a Jewish German-speaking family. He spent most of his career conducting and was not fully recognized for his composing masterpieces until much later after his death. Many of his symphonies are rich with emotion and melancholy, that serve as a good reflection his life. Shortly after writing Kindertotenlieder, which translates to “Songs on the death of children”, his 4-year-old daughter lost her life to scarlet fever. 

This source contains an in-depth record of Mahler’s biography. He had many obstacles in his life that greatly influenced his work, especially those involving death and melancholy.

I found it interesting that Mahler also fell victim to the curse of the 9th symphony. Shortly after beginning his 10th, he died like many other composers.

Although this website doesn’t have a whole lot of information regarding Mahler’s work, I found the 10 facts listed very interesting and worth noting.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Karen Carpenter

Growing up, I heard a lot of music from the 1970s thanks to my parents. I became familiar with the sounds of disco and soft rock. However, the voice of Karen Carpenter stuck in my head even as a young child. I still regard Karen Carpenter's voice as the most beautiful voices I've heard. I was disappointed to learn that she had died too young. During her run at success as part of the soft rock duo The Carpenters, Karen Carpenter suffered from anorexia. In 1983, she died of heart failure most likely due to her struggles with anorexia. Her struggle with anorexia is a story that deeply saddens me, and I always wished that she was still around to hear more of her music. gives a good summary of Karen Carpenter's early life, career, and death.
This site shows just how amazing Karen Carpenter's voice was by providing audio recordings of Karen Carpenter acapella.
Carpenter is remembered by many by her tragic death. This article gives a great narrative of what lead to her death and the aftermath.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Ansel Adams "The Great American Photographer"

About Ansel Adams

Ansel Adams was an american landscape photographer and environmentalist thus giving him a special look and better understanding of different landscapes. Adams was born February 20th, 1902 in San Francisco, California and died on April 22nd, 1984 at age 82 in Monterey, California. Adams was and only child which was very uncommon for the time he was born. Adams father ran a lumber company that was passed to him from his father which Adams father hoped to pass down to him which he did once his father decided to follow a different passion. During the San Francisco earth quake of 1906 Adams was injured with a broken nose, this earth quake was Adams first memory which Adams describes as beautiful because of "the way the world looked, so strange, so different".  Adams soon discovered that he was very prone to sicknesses which caused him to not have many friends and not able to play sports this pushed him to find a different passion. Adams discovered his love for photography when him and his parents moved to a home with (what Adams described as) a splendid view. After moving he found his love for nature. Adams never did well in school and was kicked out of many schools for being restless and inattentive. Adams was home schooled starting at the age of 12. His primary teacher was his aunt who was a women's suffrage advocate this rubbed off on Adams. Adams entered school again in 8th grade which he graduated from, this was the last schooling he attended, this is when Adams focused on his photography which his mother did not approve of but his father did. 

From a very young age Adams had a love for art, he started playing Piano at age 12. After finding his love for nature and photography Adams focused all his attention on this type of art. Adams most famous photos were taken in Yosemite National Park which he first visited in 1916 and fell in love. Adams worked part time for a photo finisher and avidly read photography magazines, attended clubs, and went to many exhibits to better his knowledge of the art in his early years. Adams' first photo was publishes in 1921 and the rest was history. 

Meet the Artist

This describes in detail what kind of photographer Adams was. This shows how widely known Adams is and how brilliant and devoted Adams was to his passion. He would not have been as well known or great at what he did without the dedication he had.

Although Adams is well know for his photography he was also an environmentalist which created his love for landscape photography. This article talks about all he has done for the environment. It also goes into detail about how his photos change peoples' prospectives on nature. 

While Adams was alive he experiences many set backs one being his unique black and white photos, many were hesitant to accept this as art. Adams then co-founded the Center for Creative Photography. This article gives the inside scoop on why Adams founded this Center based on his personal experiences.

Why Ansel Adams 
The reason I picked Ansel Adams is because I am a landscape photographer myself and Adams is someone that, in a world where everyone is a photographer, is still very well known for his creativity. Adams strived to be the best he could and everything he did. Even though he got backlash for some of his art he was never discouraged. Adams also did wonderful things for the environment and raised awareness through a passion of his. He was and still is the best in his field and would not have been in that position without his never quit attitude. 

Wes Anderson 

Wes Anderson

Wesley Wales "Wes" Anderson is an American film director, film producer, screenwriter and actor. He was born in Houston, Texas and stayed in Texas through college. He now resides in Paris, France and works on his films but spends most of his time in New York. He is most famous for his films Fantastic Mr. Fox, Moonrise Kingdom, and The Grand Budapest Hotel. His work is known for its unusual narrative settings and his unique visual style. Anderson also puts a lot of thought into the music in his films and makes sure the meanings behind the songs connects to the meanings of the scenes. This director doesn't have the large portfolio  of directed movies but all of them are very rememberable which is another unique trait of Wes Anderson. He has won many awards for his directing and producing as well as many of the actors in his films have won awards from their work.  

More Information: 

  • Wes Anderson also does commercials every Christmas season again showing off his colorful settings and exceptional screenwriting. 
  • They are longer commercials but they usually have a longer story with some background to capture the experience. 

  • Many of the movie sets in his films exist in real life. 
  • Anderson also uses real workers that relate to his films in the scenes. In The Grand Budapest Hotel he used actual hospitality workers for the hotel staff. 

    • He only comes out with films every few years so when a new film comes out it is very sought after. 
    • His last film was The Grand Budapest Hotel that came out in 2014 and his next film is called Isle of Dogs and will be opening in 2018.

    Why Wes Anderson?

    I am drawn to his work because of the unique sets he creates and how he connects all of the characters. Each one of his films has an extremely unique stage and a deep meaning outside the screen. He tends to use the same actors and actresses in his films and being able to see how many ways these actors can perform draws me to his films. In his film The Grand Budapest Hotel and Fantastic Mr. Fox Anderson uses many colors, camera angles and music to represent the intensity of the scenes and the way theses scenes come to life on the screen makes me feel like I am not watching a film but actually watching the events unfold in real life. All in all, I chose Wes Anderson because his style in his films is very unusual but also very beautiful and deep, this draws in many different audiences as well as represents art.

    Friday, May 5, 2017

    Ali Farka Toure


    Ali Farka Biography
     Ali Farka was a Malian Singer and Guitarist born on October 31, 1939, in a Muslim village of Kanau (Northern Malian region of Timbuktu). He was the only child of his mother to survey past infancy among ten siblings. His given name was Ali Ibrahim, but the Northern Malian custom gives a strange nickname to a child who lost their siblings. His nickname Farka was chosen by his parents, means "Donkey".  He was one of the African most internationally renowned musicians in the continent. His music was representing a point of intersection of traditional Malian music and its North American brothers (the Blues).
    Ali Farka started playing Guitar at age of ten, began playing Gurkel in 1950, and also taught himself the Njarka. In 1959, Ali Farka was inspired by a Guinean artist name Kaita Fodeba and then decided to become a guitarist. The Malian artist was introduced to the African American Music by Ray Charles, Otis Redding, and John Lee in 1960's. After seeing Hooker performance, Ali Farka realized that this music coming from America had a deep African Roots and then decided to combine the two styles. You can learn more about the Artist by clicking on the caption under his image above. 

    Why Ali Farka?

    I chose Ali Farka based on his uniqueness, talents, and I also think it will be a new learning experience and discovery for many visitors on our Blog. He has a different music style comparing to other artists, due to his talent on playing guitar his music was the background music on "Unfaithful" movie.  
     For more information:
    • Bibliography
    Learn more about Ali Farka journey by clicking on the two link below 
    I also took advantage of this situation to show you the Continent African they will never show on your screen where Ali Farka Toure is from 

    • Grammy Award
    The Self-taught Malian Guitarist and songwriter Ali Farka Toure who combined West African Traditions with blues and carried his music to a worldwide audience won two Grammy Awards. for more information click on the link below.
    • More of Ali Farka work
    the link below provide you the opportunity to listen and watch more song from Ali Farka Toure
    Post made by Cheick Amadou Konta on May 5, 2017