Pat Metheny

Signed, Sealed and Delivered

Posted on:  January 26, 2010

I’m sure you’ll agree that getting stuff in the mail is a novelty that can be quite pleasurable. (of course I’m referring to things that don’t have the words “Mortgage” and “IRS” on them)

After a long day at work I was thrilled to see that my pre-ordered copy of jazz guitarist PAT METHENY‘s new album ORCHESTRION had arrived. It’s always an event when he releases something new becaus

e of his penchant to almost always break new ground and reach another level artistically. Another gem is my signed poster as a gift for my pre-order. I see a visit to the framing store in my near future. What’s new about this album? Metheny plays all the instruments. Nothing special right? Well how about he plays it all simultaneously. No it’s not MIDI driven and sampled through a
keyboard or computer. It’s real, acoustic instruments that are triggered using solenoids and pneumatic tubes. The result is a real ensemble that can not only be played together but, played in concert live. As for the sound? Think of Metheny with his band without the band.
The other glorious thing that came in the mail was my copy of DRAWING INSPIRATION: Visual Artists at Work (note the corrected sub-title as compared to my last post). The first thing I did obviously was to quickly peruse the book leading towards my section. One thing that struck me about the finished product is the astounding amount and variety of artistic styles and illustrations. This book is simply amazing. The collection of work as well as the wealth of information, philosophies and approaches contained in the book won’t be found on any other. (at least to my knowledge)
There are plenty of sources for art instruction out there both via the internet and printed material. But rarely is a book concentrated on the mindset and process of the individual artist, which I consider as important as the nuts and bolts mechanics of drawing. Of course I say this with a tiny bit of bias being part of the book and all but, with a substantial collection of art books in my personal library, I suspect this one will wear out just a little more than the others. Plain and simple folks. This book is darn good.
My eternal gratitude once again to the marvelous talent that is Michael Fleishman for inviting me to contribute and for being a straight-shooter through and through.

Here’s a partial rundown of the talented folk appearing in the book:
Michael Cho
Art Grootfontein
Dan Krall
Daisuke “Dice” Tsusumi
Philip Burke
Drew Struzan
Marshall Arisman
Peter Cusack
Paul Hoppe
…..and lots of others. It’s a virtual cast of thousands! Below is a demo of Metheny’s Orchestrion via YouTube: