Thursday, December 23, 2010

Fire Dancing

*Stephica and JP perform a snazzy routine. (video by Grant)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Roger Waters - The Wall

Saturday, December 11th, I went to see my icon, Roger Waters, perform The Wall at the Tacoma Dome. This was my third time seeing him live in the past decade, always a monumental event for me, yet especially this time as The Wall (see the original movie below) is my favorite album of all time.

Conceptually, The Wall is centered on themes of alienation and the inability to connect; with a partner, parents, war, the world. The main character in the narrative ends up loosing his connection with a sane reality due to the distance between himself and everyone else and ultimately between himself and himself. These struggles through madness, lack of validation and a need for self-love and acceptance in a vast landscape of detachment to truth and empathy, have spoken to me on an almost subconsciously deep level since I first discovered Pink Floyd in 1995, at the Pacific Science Center's Laser Dome. A cliche perhaps, as I was 15 and struggling through adolescence, and subsequently introduced to psychedelics, but relevant all the same. 

The revelation that alternative thought and subculture existed in contrary to the "white picket fence" facade projected by the mainstream norm accompanied by the first of many spiritual awakenings, created a larger awareness of the discord I was experiencing in modern life; the "Wall", if you will, that I sensed around me everywhere. At the time, I connected with the emotion held within the music, the indelible beauty of each mindful detail; the almost inaudible breath and incredible soar of the crescendo in Mother, the humming harmonious vocals, the complexity of each creative, surprising turn. It wasn't until much later that I understood the more literal story Waters was telling. I was careful not to ruin my fascination with the music. I was afraid if I knew the band members' names and associated with the art on a superficial level, the magic would be lost or I would find some falseness in the message due to a crack in the soul of the performers or concept. I needed to keep the mystery alive or else, who knew? I might find out Santa Claus wasn't real. The sense of masterpiece for me now lies partially in the fact that the more I learn about Waters and his moral compass or spiritual grounding (as that is really what I'm talking about here), the safer I feel having devoted so much emotion toward his projects.

Water's discusses his reasoning on performing "The Wall" in 2010: 

30 Years ago when I wrote The Wall I was a frightened young man. Well not that young, I was 36 years old.
It took me a long time to get over my fears. Anyway, in the intervening years it has occurred to me that maybe the story of my fear and loss with it’s concomitant inevitable residue of ridicule, shame and punishment, provides an allegory for broader concerns.: Nationalism, racism, sexism, religion, Whatever!  All these issues and ‘isms are driven by the same fears that drove my young life.
This new production of The Wall is an attempt to draw some comparisons, to illuminate our current predicament, and is dedicated to all the innocent lost in the intervening years.

The Wall shines light on universal themes of unconsciousness, abandonment and fear through a tour de force of art, music and poetry. The songs themselves become the cry, the wail, the ache for connection in a disconnected world; a souring mission to address each listener, each instrument of human kind to, for God's sake, please wake up! At 15, I didn't need to be told this precisely. I knew it in my heartbeat, my footstep and through the story of the songs.

The stage show and performance of The Wall 2010 felt tangible and comprehensive. 30 years later, Waters delivers his points clearly by applying his messages to our current and continued situations in politics, media, world issues, war and the objectification of women, while visually keeping a vintage and artistic feel by use of animated clips from the film, black and white images and footage from his 1980 performance.

I insisted on covering Comfortably Numb with my band, Hallways. I was told it was a risky song to choose but our performance comes from a very personal place, in tribute to a band, a poet and concepts that have helped me to define my spirit, boundaries, personal strengths and a need to continue to create art that I hope in some small way inspires others. Pink Floyd's The Wall, both empowered and included me in an essential discussion. Thank you, Mr. Waters for letting me know I was never alone in my quest to "tear down The Wall".  

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Zoë Williams

A few months back I was passing Vermillion art gallery and wine bar in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle (my home base), and was pulled inside like a tractor beam toward the work of Zoë Williams. Her mounted zoomorphic felt creatures are something right out of The Secret Art of Dr. Suess (one of my all-time favorite books by one of my all-time favorite artists) or right out of her wicked subconscious, as she attributes her active dream-life for inspiration. As an artist myself, and an impatient one at that, I'm fascinated by the physical process she uses, described below from her website: 

Recent work is constructed using a dry felting technique, known as needle felting, in which a barbed needle is used to shape and mold wool fibers into sculptural forms. Needle felting is a very slow and painstaking process; the carded wool is pierced hundreds of times to lock the fibers together and create a solid object. No armatures are used; each piece is solid wool with the exception of additions like glass eyes, lenses and beads, and the wood plaques/frames on which some pieces are mounted. 

Show poster for Zoë Williams at Ghost Gallery
In our recent Hallways visit to Ghost Gallery for Vivarium: Jewelry Installation, I was lucky to again come across some of Zoë's work (and yet be disappointed that we had just missed her solo exhibition there). It is my intention to at some point own an original Zoë Williams. Just sayin'....

The Fates by Zoë Williams

Andulovian Grackler by Dr. Suess (1934)

Semi-Normal Green-Lidded Fawn by Dr. Suess (1934)

*Dr. Suess used real animal parts (antlers, hornbill) to create his plaster sculptures mounted here on wood. Mind you, this was in the 1930's. My hero.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Demeter Fragrance Library

I found this "Cologne Spray" at Anthropologie a few years back and wear it whenever I'm feeling a bit blue, as I find it to be an uplifting, Spring-like (or "it's not Spring yet") scent. Find your own at The Demeter Frangrance Library.

Their product pics are hilarious and random and yet I don't think they mean to be, which makes this site all the more worth checking out. My favorite is the huge (or tiny) baby- depending on how you look at it. Muuhahahaa!
I find their website design to be a bit odd and all over the place, which who would guess that I would like something a bit odd and all over the place.

Speaking of- man, I had weird dreams last night. Always the interiors of houses and apartments - 7 stories, bizarre constructions, holes in floors, random furnishings and murals on walls.

Random *Stephica fact: The bedroom I grew up in had a clown mural on one wall. I don't fear clowns now but apparently I did when I was young. Anyone recognize this clown?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Community Events

Join Grant and I, as we tour events in our community. Follow up with us at for our journal entries to be posted shortly after. I'm suuuper excited to begin chronicling community events as we have such a wonderful network of talented friends. Here's to showcasing them!

A few examples of what's to come:

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Shorewood Lip Dub

My alma mater Shorewood High School responded to their rival school, Shorecrest with this backwards lip dub video. Shorewood Pride!!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Hallways @ CHBP 10 Day 2

Video by Jason at
Hallways performs at the Capitol Hill Block Party 2010-
On a personal level, this performance reminded me why we continue to make music and perform. What a great crowd!! Thanks to Neumos and our fans for making this moment happen.


Saturday, April 3, 2010

"20" Photography by Yours Truly

"1985" © *Stephica
"2005" © *Stephica
"1988" © *Stephica
"2008" © *Stephica
"1990" © *Stephica
 "2010" © *Stephica

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Hungry Wolves are in the Way to the House with it's Infinite Blue Doors

I'm like a kid on Christmas! Literally. 23 years ago I received this dollhouse as a gift from Santa Claus. My uncle and father helped me dig it out of my parents garage and I've been tinkering with it since. My miniature collection has also emerged out of the cobwebs and all hell has broken loose in our apartment.

I am preparing these stills as brainstorming material for an upcoming Hallways video project. We are SO looking forward to working with mastermind Jesse Montini-Vose.

Check out some of his video work. It doesn't stop there....

© *Stephica

A Museum of Taxidermy Redwoods Found in Someone Else's Basement

If you had only known how our houses
had grown at least six feet per year.
Each argument producing
bark knots our mothers still
run the dry flesh of their palms over.
There were at least 10 of us then,
generations of our raucous laughter:
a reminder of ripples swelling in age-rings,
old growth hidden within the walls.

Now only ghosts lounge between the dusty pages,
Volumes of manuscripts drift in a sea of salmon pink,
bottomless teal and emerald green.
Layers of auburn, coffee, sepia
and chocolate, velvet in their richness
coat my insides like fire scars,
marking streams of subconscious trails.
Through these swirls and the charm of room travel
do I understand light and darkness.
Windows hide orbs of indigo skies,
moody and arduous in their tenure.
Miniatures encased in glass I stare and cannot
discern each independent of another,
their details too intricate and I am involved.

How can the rest of you not be familiar with these objects?
Within them the souls of our former selves
Walls hide poems of measurement,
lineages in the stacks and passageways

We hadn't known our stems were weakening,
our evolution arrested without warning.
Emaciated, only a few of us are left standing
And we've forgotten how to unite.