One way to erase the past is to start sketching your future on top of it.
This is one of the ideas behind the album collages I did for the vinyl release of my last album, Push Any Button. I sanded off most of the images on old record covers and replaced them with found pictures and words or phrases. I wanted to take the mass produced album jackets and alter them by hand, making each one unique -- a notion that the old record business would have rejected.
This month, the Gertrude Contemporary Gallery in Melbourne, Australia has included several of my album collages in their new exhibition titled Lost and Profound. Daniel Mudie Cunningham, the curator of the show, rustled up an old record player to spin Push Any Button as the soundscape. What a thrill to be a part of this musically and visually -- thank you Daniel and the Gertrudes.
It's inspiring to see the combination of visual art, performance art, film and music these days. PJ Harvey recorded her latest album behind a glass wall for all to see at the Somerset House in London just a few months ago. Maria McKee, the wonderful songwriter and singer, just released her new music as a soundtrack to a film, The Ocean of Helena Lee.
I've been reading Isamu Noguchi's biography, Listening To Stone. He said, "There is a lesson in humility for me as a sculptor; if the rock is better before I touch it, what is there for me to do?" His story of growing up in California and Japan and feeling in-between those worlds is familiar. Good creative endeavors can lead you, and sometimes leave you, in-between cultures, categories, and careers. There is a lot of interesting work to do in those spaces.....
All the best from Sam
PS. More album collages are available at samphillips.com/store.