Wednesday, October 13, 2010
I forgot how I became acquainted with John Hudak's work. But I was instantly captivated by his sound compositions. A few months ago John contacted me and said he was experimenting with sound clips from other artists and reinterpreting them. I was intrigued an offered a clip from my grandmother's morning chant. John's composition of the clip is called Gravity and it's a part of his newest release! John also asked me to design the cover art. This was a very enlightening process, thanks for including me!
You can listen to samples and download the album here: http://johnhudak.bandcamp.com/album/gravity
"I've eaten more salt than you have of rice" 2002
You'll hear the chant in it's original form at the beginning of this video. This short documentary is about a day spent with Ah-ma (grandmother in Cantonese). I spent every single weekend and summer with her when I was younger. Everyone else went to camp or hung out with friends. I had Ah-ma... and I'm glad I did. We would spend our days watching corny Chinese soap operas and making food. She talked about her past and I kept her company. It's been very hard watching her age. Even at 83 she's a social bird and very active, but her body had definitely slowed down.
John asked me for something that I felt connected with and I immediately thought of this chant. My grandmother adapted this morning ritual after having survived cancer. She wanted a way to give thanks for the day. I made this during college and this was a learning piece... I have to apologize for the shaky camera work!
There's a Chinese saying, "I've eaten more salt than you have of rice". My grandmother said that to me so many times. Basically it infers her age, wisdom and experience. Because rice is the foundation of most meals you eat a huge sum of it... while only a little bit of salt is eaten. Therefore if someone has eaten more salt than you have of rice, they've been around a great deal longer than you have.
The cover art is inspired by the faces of Buddha statues. I wanted a meditative image. I started with a sketch on velum then I transferred the drawing onto a piece of Soft-Kut. Soft-Kut is like silly putty, just press it against any graphite drawing and the image will transfer. Then I started carving in a spiral motion to create a radiating effect.
You can see the carved marks here.
Some test prints.