City Links

I used to imagine, sitting at a screen in the city, some kind of remote aural connection to a wild landscape.  Perhaps this is now possible - some durable, unobtrusive, solar-powered device hidden in the cliffs at Zennor for example, transmitting the sound of waves to my computer here.  As long ago as 1967 the composer and sound artist Maryanne Amacher set up microphones that could feed sounds back from five sites round the city of Buffalo.  Later she installed 'a microphone on a window overlooking the ocean at the New England Fish Exchange in Boston Harbour, transmitting the sound into her home studio continuously, sometimes using it as an element in other performances or exhibitions of City Links. “I would come in and it would be different according to different weather and changes,” Amacher told interview Leah Durner in 1989 ... She lived with the live transmission for three years. “I actually miss coming home to it,” she says now, some 20 years later.'  This quote comes from a 1999 Wire article; you can see a few photographs on the Maryanne Amacher Archive Project website (sadly it looks as if this has not been updated recently and a year ago they were asking for more funds).

It seems paradoxical to go to the trouble of listening to the world but played over the top of the 'real' soundscape surrounding you.  I wonder what John Cage thought of this?  Amacher worked with Cage on his Lecture on the Weather (1975), a composition 'for 12 speaker-vocalists (or instrumentalists), preferably American men who have become Canadian citizens, each using his own sound system given an equalization distinguishing it from the others ... The performance starts with the reading of the preface. In it Cage expresses his disgust with the institutions of American government. After that the work starts, the 12 men reading and singing text fragments by Henry David Thoreau, and/or play instruments (ad lib.). In part 1 this is accompanied by sounds (on tape) of wind and in part 2 by sounds of rain. In the third part the lights in the performance-space are dimmed and the performers are accompanied by the film and the sounds of thunder. The film consists of Thoreau drawings, printed in negative, the projection resembling lightning (white on black).'  Lecture on the Weather goes well beyond the simple notion of a soundscape.  It represents (in the words of Joan Retallack) a collision of political and environmental climates, like ' the complex chaotic condition of interpenetration and obstruction in which we live, a fragile balance of order and disorder, clarity and cacophony.'

Prince John

Prince John as a tiger?
Milt Kahl considered this for the villain from "Robin Hood" at least momentarily,
as you can see in some of these early design sketches. 
But his brother King Richard "The Lion Hearted" obviously had to be portrayed as a lion, so the tiger idea was dropped.
Ollie Johnston of course animated this character. I remember Ollie talking often how much he enjoyed animating Prince John (as well as Sir Hiss), and he thought that Peter Ustinov for his voice was just great.

Here is a funny story Ollie told me about Milt Kahl and the issue of screen credit for "Robin Hood":
" Milt liked what I was doing with Prince John, he was very complementary about my animation. One morning he came into my office and said that I should get top billing this time within the "Directing Animators" credits. Milt usually got that honor,
because he designed all the characters. Milt was going to talk to management that afternoon. So I said OK thanks, and almost forgot about it. The next morning Milt stormed back into my office, this time with an agitated attitude. 'You know, I am the character designer around here and do all this extra work. I should get top billing on this film.'
I just said, that's fine by me, Milt, no problem. I later found out that he had discussed the credit issue with his wife the night before, and she wasn't  too happy about it."

There you have it, 1970ies politics at Disney.

That being said, I find all of these drawings just beautiful!

Tinker Bell

Here is a little gallery of Tinker Bell roughs by Marc Davis. A few scans are from originals, others from photographic reproductions. 
I really enjoy studying some of these doodle sheets, where Marc is figuring out the character's structure and is dealing with drawing issues. Then again some of the scribbles look more like telephone doodles. 
He is definitely establishing that the top of Tink's head is a straight line and the back of her head is a curve. The combination of those two helps to make the drawing look solid.
To me Tinker Bell is perfection. Her character arc in the story is very strong. Because of her affection for Peter Pan she is jealous of Wendy, which gets her into trouble. But toward the end of the film she saves Peter's life as well as the other kids.
Her animation throughout is flawless. Occasionally based on live action reference,
Marc animated her beautifully. She always feels like a small figure, but the acting has great range and subtlety.
Marc said he really enjoyed the challenge of a mute character, where pantomime 
is the name of the game.

Home sweet Home.

So here it is in all its glory! It has been long awaited i know! I hope I don't disappoint! I bought the majority of the things you see for next to nothing at a a boot fair through out the summer. I know hate me for it ;)
Love you all! 

Autumn Leaves, I love you...

Wearing: Topshop Necklace, Zara Jacket, Hollister jeans (so compfy!) Primark top, Ebay ring and Cuff, Acne Cypress boots.
I am now officially a Londoner! After a huge wardrobe haul on friday night all my three wardrobes have finally been moved into my one big wardrobe! I have some beautiful pictures of my room to show you!
These are taken just outside Regents Park where me and Jack spent a lovely relaxing sunday making the most of the sun! This has got to be one of my favourite autumn looks,  a cream jacket with gold detailing, apricot boots a silky top and compfy jeans!

What are your fav Autumn looks? 

Early Yzma

The animated movie "The Emperor's New Groove" used to have a different title.
The original version was called "Kingdom in the Sun".
I was thrilled at that time to get the assignment of designing and animating the female villain in the film, Yzma.
And I loved her main motivation in the story. Yzma was extremely vain, she wanted her youth back under any circumstance. So she made a deal with a dark spirit who had been locked up inside a mountain. If she could set him free, he in return would give her back her youth. 
What a simple and wonderful premise.

The one and only Eartha Kitt agreed to do the voice of Yzma.
I was in animation heaven !!
Just closing my eyes I could see and imagine the character. A sultry, seductive and power hungry diva. These early sketches suggest that kind of a direction for her personality, and I enjoyed exploring this type of Yzma very much.
I remember buying a few fashion magazines to get inspired by some of those super model poses. For life drawing class we hired a skinny model, but instead of drawing the life poses, I translated what I saw into Yzma.
You see some of those sketches at the bottom of this post. 

Then things changed. The overall story treatment wasn't working as far as the studio was concerned. Everything was put on hold, and a brand new story line was developed. Eventually I moved over to the production of "Lilo and Stitch".
In "The Emperor's New Groove" Yzma became more of a comic villain, my friend Dale Baer took over the character, and he did a great job!