Jeff Berman is a multi-instrumentalist, improvising artist, and composer whose work reflects his global musical vision. He has developed a genre-extending concept on mountain dulcimer, vibraphone, and percussion, that has allowed him to collaborate across stylistic boundaries with a diverse group of artists from across the globe. In this interview on Art and Inspiration with William Rock, Jeff articulates the somewhat mysterious history of the dulcimer and shares some of his experiences of playing cross-culturally with musicians worldwide - including Tuvan throat singers. He also plays several songs on two different types of dulcimers.
Vietnam war veterans Kathleen Trew Swazuk and Joe Diener engage in a dialogue on Art and Inspiration with William Rock. Kathleen was an army nurse stationed at Long Binh, Vietnam. She is the author of "Wartorn Heart/ Poems and art inspired by the Vietnam War." Joe was wounded during the war and this dialogue is the first time in fifty years that he was able to speak of his experiences in Vietnam. This podcast was recorded at Art and Inspiration presents "Wartorn Heart" at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall and Museum in Pittsburgh.
Poet and educator Michael Wurster is interviewed on Art and Inspiration with William Rock. Michael is a founding member of The Pittsburgh Poetry Exchange and for over forty years he has encouraged and mentored poets. In this dialogue, he articulates his poetic influences and offers insights into his own successful methods of offering poetry to a community. He also shares several of his own poems. Joining the dialogue is artist/poet Alyssa Sineni.
Poet, educator and humorist Deena November is interviewed on Art and Inspiration with William Rock. Deena grew up in a household where writing and reading was strongly encouraged. She speaks of her academic experience both as a MFA student and also as a creative writing professor. Deena also talks of the impact of motherhood on her poetry. She shares several of her poems including "Passover in Scranton" and "My Mother Never Prepared Me for Mr. T."
Artist Kim Barry is interviewed on Art and Inspiration with William Rock. Beginning at the age of 4, Kim Barry has had a lifetime of exposure to varying forms of arts education. Kim speaks of the "great experience" of hanging on the street with kids doing Graffiti as a teenager and how it informs her current work. She explains street art has levels of artistic integrity. Kim talks of her pop-up studios she has created in Los Angeles, Florida and Pittsburgh. She describes pop-ups as experimental creative spaces that have a capacity to embrace an artists creative vision.
Artist and educator Celeste Neuhaus is interviewed on Art and Inspiration with William Rock. She speaks of living in New Mexico and how its incredible, intense light affected the formal qualities of her art and also influenced her work with healing modalities. Celeste talks of corresponding ideas she observed in the healing rituals of different cultures and where their methods of approach intersect. She also speaks of Ana Mendieta and other artists that have inspired her work. Celeste Neuhaus then expounds on modern ritual and celebration and the materials that influence and inform her own art.
Tempa Lama is an ordained Tibetan Bon Buddhist Lama, author, poet and artist. In this interview with William Rock on Art and Inspiration, Lama Tempa speaks of the subtleties of the creative process. He articulates a rarely, if ever heard discourse about creativity from the perspective of the Tibetan Bon philosophy of the mind. He says, "creativity is our birthright, it is primordial potential that exists in every human being." He speaks of clarity of mind, and the more stable the mind becomes the more it reveals its creativity and becomes flexible and open to all possibility. Tempa Lama also speaks of the healing power of art and sound and performs an ancient Bon chant. For artists, Tempa Lama encourages a focus on the positive benefit of making art and by doing so you are giving birth to cultivating interest, effort and inspiration.
The Huffington Post noted Vanessa German is “one of 30 contemporary art makers under 40 that you should know about.” Vanessa German is the founder of “The Love Front Porch” and the “Art House” in Pittsburgh’s Homewood section. Her “Stop Shooting We Love You” yard signs have garnered international attention. In this interview with William Rock on Art and Inspiration, Vanessa speaks of fully embracing creativity and imagination and to thoroughly trust the eternal wisdom of our deepest instincts. She speaks of how the neighborhood kids themselves created “The Love Front Porch" and how “Art House" has tapped into a momentum for giving. Vanessa’s art and sculpture is exhibited worldwide and she states she is proud of being a self-taught artist. Vanessa German has pioneered the spoken-word opera and in this Art and Inspiration interview you will hear her perform her piece “If my hands were anything other than hands.”
Jennifer Nagle Myers is a visual artist and director of site-specific performances for public spaces who makes work to defend new possibilities of imagining and defining our world. In this interview with William Rock on Art and Inspiration, Jennifer speaks of her lifelong passion for art and storytelling. She describes herself as “a non-traditional storyteller” who tells stories with much more than just words. Jennifer explains, “as an artist, everything in front of me is material that I can use.” She has staged several important “art interventions” in public spaces including singing a rendition of This Land Is Your Land at an Allegheny County Council Board Meeting in Pittsburgh. Jennifer N. Myers is also the creator of The Never Ending Book of Women’s Rights and The Baiji’s Last Swim a reenactment of the extinction of a Chinese river dolphin.
Pat DiCesare promoted the Beatles concert in Pittsburgh on September 14, 1964.
In this interview on Art and Inspiration with William Rock, Pat DiCesare shares details of promoting and financing the historic Beatles concert. He also speaks of encounters with Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and others. In this Art and Inspiration interview you’ll hear some rare audio from the concerts including Pat DiCesare telling the frenzied Led Zeppelin crowd, “we gotta keep it cool.”
Pat DiCesare was a hit songwriter and recording artist at the dawn of the rock n’ roll era and then he went on to promote every major concert act in the last half of the 20th century including The Rolling Stones, The Who, Led Zeppelin, Bruce Springsteen and hundreds of others. Pat was a pioneer in the birth and development of the modern rock concert and large stadium shows. His Pittsburgh based company called DiCesare Engler Productions was among the top grossing concert production companies in the United States. Pat DiCesare’s book is called Hard Days Hard Nights.
David Bonnett is a Pink Dolphin of The Amazon researcher. David is an acoustical engineer, a nuclear physicist and a retired nuclear submarine commander. For twenty years during the Cold War he monitored and listened to the almost silent coming and goings of Soviet nuclear submarines. In this interview with William Rock on Art and Inspiration, David Bonnett speaks of his journey from being a submarine commander to becoming an advocate of The Pink Dolphin of The Amazon. David has spent years utilizing his sonar and acoustical engineering skills to record the sounds of The Pink Dolphin with the hopes of deciphering the communication patterns of this highly intelligent species. In this interview, David Bonnett also plays some of the rarely heard recordings of The Pink Dolphin.
Maryum "May May" Ali spent many years as a successful performer and stand-up comedian. In this interview with William Rock on Art and Inspiration, May May talks about her lifelong passion for social activism. She also speaks of her father Muhammad Ali and the positive examples he set for her in terms of helping others. Maryum "May May" Ali is the co-founder of DMTL, Families Moving Forward, a non-profit organization that provides hope, education and gang prevention counseling to at risk youth.
This is a recording of a talk given by William Rock an artist and founder of Art and Inspiration International. The talk was recorded at The Olmo Ling Center for Meditation and Compassionate Outreach. In this talk, William Rock speaks of the artist as mystic and how making art and mystical insight inform each other.
Ani Drubgyudma is a Buddhist monk ordained in both Chan and Tibetan Kagyu traditions. In this interview with William Rock on Art and Inspiration, Ani speaks of what it means to be human and the impact of living from a stabilized realization of the authentic self. She also speaks on how to use objective humility to remove our inner obstacles and to live from a place of equanimity and inner wisdom. Ani tells of her years as a Christian minister in Africa and how the kidnapping of her daughter influenced the spiritual direction in her life. Ani Drubgyudma elaborates on the very favorable condition of being in nature and having solitude as she encourages us, "to be a unique blessing in the world."
Thaddeus Mosley, at 86 years young, the great sculptor and artist speaks in depth about his art, life and technique to William Rock on Art and Inspiration. A rare opportunity to hear this master sculptor discuss the intricacies and rhythms of a life dedicated to the pursuit of the creative and making art.
Edwin Lee Gibson is an Obie award (off broadway's highest award) winning actor and a playwright. Edwin has never had a formal acting class and has appeared in 97 professional productions. In this interview with William Rock on Art and Inspiration, he speaks of the ongoing influence August Wilson has had on his own work. Edwin offers insight about creativity and the value of mentoring. He also shares anecdotes and stories about his career on stage, in film and television.
Sevan Ross is a Zen priest and teacher. In this dialogue with William Rock on Art and Inspiration, Sevan Ross speaks of various Zen practice techniques. He says, "Zen has practices that have the mind spill in upon itself until the mind collapses into itself and disappears" and "when you forget the artificial self is when you are really alive." Most importantly Sevan Ross says, "have faith that you can't fall out of the universe."
Carolina Loyola Garcia is an educator, artist, Flamenco dancer and filmmaker. Her documentary film Sobre las Olas - A story of flamenco in the U.S. has received high praise from audiences and critics alike. In this interview with William Rock on Art and Inspiration, Carolina speaks extensively about the history of Flamenco and shares her insight regarding her passionate pursuit of Flamenco, making films and creating art. Music is by Alba Flamenca and Carolina Loyola Garcia.
Bill Farr is an educator, mixed martial arts champion, nutritionist and author of "The Power of Personality Types in Love and Relationships." In this interview with William Rock on Art and Inspiration, Bill talks of life lessons learned from master teachers and the shamans he has encountered during his extensive world travels. He also elaborates on the importance of nutrition, meditation and the many other healing practices that he utilizes not only for himself but also offers to students and clients worldwide.
Tom Kurlander is a filmmaker, songwriter, actor and musician. Tom appeared in such films as Kindergarten Cop, Young Guns 2 and Flatliners. In this interview with William Rock on Art and Inspiration, Tom shares some of his on-set stories, the influence of Marlon Brando and also speaks of the inner transitions necessary to successfully pursue more than one creative career.
Billie Harlan is a theology educator and a long time hospice Chaplain. Billie is the author of 'Through The Eye of The Soul' which is a collection of stories of the 'after life' as told by hospice patients that Billie has encountered and counseled. In this interview with William Rock on Art and Inspiration, Billie Harlan recounts several of the near death and paranormal experiences of the hospice patients documented in her book. She speaks of the powerful spiritual experiences that all cultures share and of learning to trust life on a deeper level.
Pioneering movie special-effects, makeup artist, actor and stuntman Tom Savini is interviewed on Art and Inspiration with William Rock. Tom Savini dialogues his inspirations and shares how perseverance paid off in his career. He discusses how he met George A. Romero and the importance of learning the techniques of your art. Tom also shares stories about working with Quentin Tarantino on the film Django Unchained.
Ceinwen King-Smith has been completely blind since birth. In this interview with William Rock on Art and Inspiration, she describes how she has taught herself to fluently speak eight languages and sing in eleven. Ceinwen takes on life with an indomitable spirit that inspire all who meet her. Ceinwen is also an educator, jewelry-maker, mother and world traveler. She has been to China 22 times. Ceinwen King-Smith has taught herself hundreds of folk songs in Chinese and several other languages. In this interview, she sings in Chinese, Polish, Russian and Japanese.
His Holiness the 33rd Menri Trizin is interviewed on Art and Inspiration with William Rock. HH Menri Trizin is the worldwide spiritual leader of The Tibetan Bon Buddhist traditon. Bon is considered by many scholars to be the oldest belief-system known to man. HH Menri Trizin dialogues the origins of Bon in the land of Zhang Zhung (Shang Shung) which predates Tibet by thousands of years. His Holiness also discusses the importance of art and imagery in Tibetan Bon culture.
Sarah Shotland is interviewed on Art and Inspiration with William Rock. Sarah is a writer, educator and one of the founders of Words Without Walls, a creative writing program taught to the inmates at the Allegheny County Jail in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In this interview, Sarah articulates her desire to implement positive societal change with "social art." She also dialogues the humor and talent displayed by inmates and the power of art and creativity to transform their lives even in the most restrictive of environments.
Dr. Nancy Minshew, one of the world's leading autism researchers is interviewed by William Rock on Art and Inspiration. Dr. Minshew is the Director of The Center of Excellence in Autism Research. In this interview she offers the known facts surrounding autism. She elaborates the latest in brain research and how the cortical system works and its role in those diagnosed. Dr. Minshew also dialogues the development of language in infants and how the use of the hands plays an important role in early language development. She also offers hope in terms of the latest therapies and how 'mindfulness' and self-awareness is playing an important role in improving and sustaining interactive social skills with those diagnosed with autism.
Erhu musician, architect and artist Mimi Jong discusses her lifelong creative pursuits in this interview with William Rock on Art and Inspiration. Mimi also dialogues some of the finer points of Zen meditation and its relation to her art, life and worldwide collaborative projects. Mimi also plays a musical selection on the erhu that was originally written a 1000 years ago for an ancient Buddhist chant.
Susan Wagner is an accomplished artist and sculptor. In this interview with William Rock on Art and Inspiration, Susan discusses creating her many public art commissions and her ability to overcome obstacles sometimes imposed on her for being a female artist. Susan has created eleven public monuments including Roberto Clemente, Jackie Robinson and Pope John Paul II in The Vatican.
His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama in dialogue in New York City on Oct. 19, 2012. He covers a myriad of topics from Mao and the early days of China's Revolution to quantum physics and its connection to Tibetan Buddhism. He discusses the danger of 'attachment' and overly identifying with national boundaries and narrow systems. The Dalai Lama expresses hope that China's current artists and writers are calling for freedom of expression and political reform. He also states, any society that uses force and fear brings distrust. The Dalai Lama says he is committed to championing 'happy human values' for the rest of his life. This is part 2 of 2.
His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama in dialogue in New York City on Oct. 19, 2012. He speaks about how we all share this planet and essentially we are all one humanity. The Dalai Lama offers aspects about his middle-way approach as a solution to Tibetan and Chinese relations. He stresses that Tibetan Culture and Buddhist logic has a lot to offer in its understandings of the subtle areas of mind and human emotions. He discusses the commonality of quantum physics and Buddhist thought and logic. The Dalai Lama recalls visiting many Buddhist Temples when he was in China. He encourages all to to see the other as a brother and sister and in this way you gain an inner confidence and then you can be truthful and create an inner trust and harmony. Part 1 of 2.
Renowned poet Robert Gibb discusses his work and creative process in this interview with William Rock on Art and Inspiration. Robert offers insights from his life of poetic pursuit and how growing up in the shadows of the Homestead Steel Mill influenced his poetry. He also reads two of his poems, one with reference to Basho and another in tribute to Edvard Munch.
Artist with autism, Cree Mullin, in an interview with William Rock on Art and Inspiration, articulates autism and how it actually enhances his sensitivity and insights in terms of the life he lives and the art he creates. In addition, Mary Limbacher founder of Parents in Toto an Autism Resource Center for families, discusses the characteristics and creative sensitivities of those diagnosed with autism and aspergers.
Environmental reclamation artist, sculptor, painter and educator Angelo Ciotti casts light onto the importance of living a creative life in this interview with William Rock on Art and Inspiration. Angelo has undertaken massive environmental reclamation art projects worldwide. His creative work with abandoned coal mines and his efforts to heal the environment has garnered international acclaim. In this interview, Angelo discusses his early days in Rome, his art projects in China and Bolivia and his unflinching belief in accepting life as it presents itself.