News Note: Visionary rocker's artwork will be featured in next American Visionary Art Museum exhibition Beginning October 3,2015. Wayne Coyne, frontman for the boundary-breaking, psychedelic alternative rock band The Flaming Lips, is creating brand-new visual artwork for the next exhibition at Baltimore's American Visionary Art Museum (AVAM). The Big Hope Show will thematically explore issues relating to hope and transcendent survival and showcase works from dozens of artists and thinkers, including drawings, sculpture, and an immersive installation (titled King's Mouth) by Coyne. It will be the first museum showing of Coyne's art. "Wayne Coyne's work is among the most jubilant in our Big Hope Show," says AVAM founder Rebecca Hoffberger, who is curating the exhibition. "Surviving a violent, near-death experience awakened in him a joy and a tsunami of endless creativity rarely seen in anyone. His drawings remind me of those most beloved by Saint-Exupéry, his lyrics are poetry." Coyne has released new music via flash drives embedded in gummy skulls, created enduring album cover art, opened a freaky funhouse-style arts venue (The Womb) in his hometown of Oklahoma City, drawn a pair of edgy comic books, and even directed a science fiction Christmas film. The AVAM show seems like a natural progression for the visionary rocker, who joins an impressive roster of pop culture figures previously exhibited at the museum: the list includes writer William S. Burroughs, rock icon Jimi Hendrix, actor Terrence Howard, chef Mario Batali, and comics legend R. Crumb. Now in its twentieth year, the American Visionary Art Museum is the official, national museum and education center for self-taught, intuitive artistry. AVAM is located near Baltimore's Inner Harbor on a 1.1-acre campus. Its three renovated industrial buildings house artistic wonders from an array of farmers, housewives, inmates, mechanics, disabled persons, and even the occasional actor or rock star-all. The Big Hope Show will run through August 2016 and feature, in addition to Coyne's art, work from John Waters photographer/documentarian Bob Adams, fabric artist Chris Roberts-Antieau, drawings by Margaret Munz-Losch, anonymous PostSecrets selected by Frank Warren, activist artist Jackie Sumell, and many more.
(News Notes are edited press releases sent by publicists, labels, bands, or musicians)
Rachel Grimes: The Clearing
By Samir Shukla
The compositions in Rachel Grimes’ new recording, The Clearing (Temporary Residence), evoke various moods. The pianist and composer taps the musical possibilities of the theme “air” in several works including the short opener “The Air,” the full tracks “The Air of Place,” “The Air in Time,” “The Air in her Heart,” and “The Air in Time.” Each instrumental plays on subtle variations, but stitches the recording into a musical whole. The music sets a somber mood, a film score in waiting if you will, while guiding the listener through the shadowy junctures of classical, neoclassical, jazz and chamber music. The Clearing moves along at its own pace. The pieces unwrap at their leisure, sometimes minimalist, sometimes building on repetition, where the instrumentation, including strings, harp, woodwinds, and percussion meld with Grimes’ piano to comforting effect. She uses shades of dissonance to her advantage. The dual tracks, “Transverse Plane Vertical” and “Transverse Plane Horizon,” use bits of chamber and improv jazz clamor to loosen the senses that may have been lulled by other compositions. The Kentucky-based Grimes previously played with the genre-defying chamber-rock combo Rachel’s and has worked with numerous collaborators in various ensembles.