El tema central de este Blog es LA FILOSOFÍA DE LA CABAÑA y/o EL REGRESO A LA NATURALEZA o sobre la construcción de un "paradiso perduto" y encontrar un lugar en él. La experiencia de la quietud silenciosa en la contemplación y la conexión entre el corazón y la tierra. La cabaña como objeto y método de pensamiento. Una cabaña para aprender a vivir de nuevo, y como ejemplo de que otras maneras de vivir son posibles sobre la tierra.

jueves, 31 de enero de 2013

Canibalismo capitalista



(Dibujo de Juan Carlos Navarro)


Fracking Hell from Ben Harding on Vimeo.

Frack Head from Sasha Sumner on Vimeo.

Dare to Change the World: Fracking from Kyle Stephens on Vimeo.

La cabaña de la poeta y activista Anne Waldman

Anne Waldman
(b. 1945)

The author of more than 40 collections of poetry and poetics, Anne Waldman is an active member of the Outrider experimental poetry movement, and has been connected to the Beat movement and the second generation of the New York School. Her publications include Fast Speaking Woman (1975), Marriage: A Sentence (2000), and the multi-volume Iovis project (1992, 1993, 1997). 

Her work as a cultural activist and her practice of Tibetan Buddhism are deeply connected to her poetry. Waldman is, in her words, “drawn to the magical efficacies of language as a political act.” Her commitment to poetry extends beyond her own work to her support of alternative poetry communities. Waldman has collaborated extensively with visual artists, musicians, and dancers, and she regularly performs internationally. Her performance of her work is engaging and physical, often including chant or song, and has been widely recorded on film and video. 

Born in Millville, New Jersey, Waldman grew up in Manhattan on Beat poetry and jazz. Early encounters with Leadbelly, Pete Seeger, and Thelonious Monk drew her attention to the full range of musical possibilities in poetry, as did her reading of poets such as Allen Ginsberg and Gertrude Stein. She was educated at Bennington College, where she studied with Howard Nemerov, Bernard Malamud, and Stanley Edgar Hyman. 

In 1965 she attended the Berkeley Poetry Conference, where the Outrider voices she encountered inspired her to commit to poetry and to found Angel Hair, a small press that published an eponymous magazine and numerous books. Upon graduation she returned to New York and became assistant director, and then director, of the St. Mark’s Church Poetry Project, a role she continued for a decade and where she found support for her own work from poets such as Ted Berrigan, Allen Ginsberg, Diane di Prima, and Kenneth Koch. In 1974, with Ginsberg, Waldman founded the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at the Naropa Institute in Boulder, Colorado. 

Her honors include grants from the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts, the Poetry Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. She has had residencies at the Civitella Ranieri Center, the Emily Harvey Foundation in Venice, and Rockefeller Center’s Bellagio Center, and has received the Poetry Society of America’s Shelley Memorial Award. She has twice won the International Poetry Championship Bout in Taos, New Mexico. She was “poet in residence” with Bob Dylan’s famed concert tour, the Rolling Thunder Revue, in 1975–76. Waldman has also edited several anthologies, including The Beat Book (1996). She co-founded the Poetry Is News collective with writer/scholar Ammiel Alcalay in 2002.
Fuente: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/anne-waldman

(Anne Waldman, “Cabin” from Helping the Dreamer: Selected Poems, 1966-1988)
eviction people arrive to haunt me
      with descriptions of summer’s wildflowers   
            how they are carpet of fierce colors
I bet you hate to see us they say and yes
      I do hate to have to move again especially from here   
            destruction brought to place of love
the uneven smiles that win she’s a business woman   
      blond tints that glow at sunset as profits rise   
            alas what labor I employ
but to ensure a moment’s joy
      sets branches trembling & arms chilled   
            dear one long returning home, come to
clammy feverish details, muffed sorrow
      I turn to throw a tear of rage in the pot
            never remorse but hint of scruples I’d hope for
it is error it is speculation it is real estate
      it is the villain and comic slippery words
            the work of despotic wills to make money
I scream take it take your money! make your money   
      go on it’s only money, here’s a wall of dry rot
            here’s an unfinished ceiling, just a little sunlight
peeks through this (lark, no luminance! exquisite St. Etienne   
      stove doesn’t work icebox either too hot or frozen   
            firescreen tumbling down
kitchen insulation droops is ugly & a mess
      ah but love it here, only surface appearances   
            to complain of, nothing does justice
to shape of actual events I love   
      but a fight against artificiality
            its inherent antagonism, bald hatred of moving
and problem of thirsty fig tree in Burroughs
      apartment wakes me I don’t want to go down there yet   
            & how to orchestrate the summer properly
the problem of distress & not denying pride from it   
      too atomized to make pleasure of melancholy
            & an uncontrollable enthusiasm for throne & altar
I want to sit high want simple phalanx
      of power independent of everything but free will   
            & one long hymn in praise of the cabin!
it is a confession in me impenetrably walled in   
      like aesthetics like cosmos an organ of
            metaphysics and O this book gives me a headache
dear Weston La Barre let’s have an argument   
      because I see too clearly how rational I must be &   
            the kernel of my faith corrupted
because you have no reliance on the shaman & outlaw   
      or how depth of mind might be staggering   
            everywhere except in how important science is
science? no he won’t he fooled by visions
      whereas I wait for dazzling UFOs they announce   
            will arrive high in these mountains
I repair the portal even invite stray horses in   
      have a little toy receiving station   
            that sits by the bed
at the edge of night all thoughts to place of love   
      all worries to this place of love   
            all gestures to the place of love
all agonies to place of love, thaws to place   
      of love, swarthy valley sealed   
            in wood, log burst into flame
in home of love, all heart’s dints   
      and machinations, all bellows & pungency   
            antemundane thoughts to palace of love
all liberties, singularity, all imaginings
      I weep for, Jack’s sweet almond-eyed daughter to   
            place of love, & heavy blankets
and terracing & yard work & patch work   
      & tenacity & the best in you
            surround me work in me to place my love
dear cirques, clear constraint, dissenting
      inclinations of a man and a woman, Metonic cycle   
            all that sweats in rooms, lives in nature
requiems & momentum & trimmings of bushes   
      dried hibiscus & hawks & shyness   
            brought to this place of love
trees rooted fear rooted all roots brought
      to place of love, mystery to heart of love   
            & fibers
and fibers in sphere of love a whole world makes   
      spectators of slow flowering of spring
            & summer when you walk to town for eggs
and continuous hammerings as new people   
      arrive & today we notice for first time
            a white-crowned sparrow out by the feeder
with the chickadees & juncos & I missed   
      that airplane-dinosaur in dream nervous   
            to travel again, miss buds pop open
to shudder in breeze, their tractability   
      makes sudden rise of sensibility you are   
            shuddering too & your boy laugh
comes less frequent now you’re drawn into   
      accountability, will I return to find all   
            stuff tidy in silver truck
ready to go? it’s you in this place I lose   
      most because it’s here in you I forget
            where I am, this place for supernaturals
perched high in sky & wind, held by wind in stationary   
      motion as bluebird we observe over meadow or caught   
            up with jetstream dipping in valley’s soft cradle
power & light & heat & radiance of head it takes
      power & light & heat & radiance of head it takes to   
            make it work while
down there someone building replicas of what
      it feels like to be a human multitude, fantasy   
            molded clumsily, spare my loves
and love of glorious architecture when you really put   
      outside in, the feeling of cloud or mountain   
            or stone
having developed an idea of idyllic private life   
      & sovereignty of spirit over common   
            empirical demand
I tell you about renunciation, I tell you holy   
      isolation like a river nears ocean to   
and cabin becomes someone’s idea of a good place   
      discretion you pay for it wasn’t mine either   
            but sits on me imprints on me
forever splendor of fog, snow shut strangers out   
      gradual turn of season, ground stir, pine
            needle tickle your shoulder, peak curve, fresh air.


miércoles, 30 de enero de 2013

La esencia americana y la toma de posición del poeta Robert Penn Warren

“I’ve been to a lot of places and done a lot of things, but writing was always first. It’s a kind of pain I can’t do without.”
— Robert Penn Warren

Robert Penn Warren at his desk working on the revisions of a textbook inside of a paper-cluttered barn that is separate from his house, 
April 1956.

El lugar de nacimiento del poeta Robert Penn Warren se encuentra en Guthrie, Kentucky, justo en la línea de estado del noreste del condado de Montgomery.
The birthplace of poet Robert Penn Warren is in Guthrie, Ky., just over the state line from northeast Montgomery County. / The Leaf-Chronicle

Robert Penn Warren (1905-1989)
Mr. Warren made his Connecticut home in a pair of converted barns surrounded by fields he loved to walk. He and his wife, the writer Eleanor Clark, worked from 9 A.M. to 2 P.M. every day in their studies.

True Love 

In silence the heart raves.It utters words
Meaningless, that never had
A meaning.I was ten, skinny, red-headed, 

Freckled.In a big black Buick, 
Driven by a big grown boy, with a necktie, she sat 
In front of the drugstore, sipping something 

Through a straw. There is nothing like 
Beauty. It stops your heart.It
Thickens your blood.It stops your breath.It

Makes you feel dirty.You need a hot bath. 
I leaned against a telephone pole, and watched. 
I thought I would die if she saw me. 

How could I exist in the same world with that brightness? 
Two years later she smiled at me.She 
Named my name. I thought I would wake up dead. 

Her grown brothers walked with the bent-knee 
Swagger of horsemen.They were slick-faced. 
Told jokes in the barbershop. Did no work. 

Their father was what is called a drunkard. 
Whatever he was he stayed on the third floor 
Of the big white farmhouse under the maples for twenty-five years. 

He never came down.They brought everything up to him. 
I did not know what a mortgage was. 
His wife was a good, Christian woman, and prayed. 

When the daughter got married, the old man came down wearing 
An old tail coat, the pleated shirt yellowing. 
The sons propped him.I saw the wedding.There were 

Engraved invitations, it was so fashionable.I thought 
I would cry.I lay in bed that night 
And wondered if she would cry when something was done to her. 

The mortgage was foreclosed. That last word was whispered. 
She never came back.The family 
Sort of drifted off.Nobody wears shiny boots like that now. 

But I know she is beautiful forever, and lives 
In a beautiful house, far away. 
She called my name once.I didn't even know she knew it.

Robert Penn Warren, (1905-1989), was an American novelist, poet, and literary critic. Warren won the 1947 Pulitzer Prize for fiction for ALL THE KING'S MEN (1946), which describes the rise and fall of a ruthless Southern politician. Warren won the 1958 Pulitzer Prize for poetry for his collection PROMISES: POEMS 1954-1956, published in 1957. He also won the 1979 Pulitzer Prize for poetry for his collection NOW AND THEN: POEMS 1976-1978, published in 1978. Warren served as the first poet laureate of the United States in 1986 and 1987


La cabaña del naturalista Edwin Carter

Edwin Carter Museum | Marzo 2009

Edwin Carter in his Log Cabin Naturalist Museum (Circa 1875)

Edwin Carter
(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Edwin Carter - log cabin naturalist, was born in upstate New York around 1830. Carter lived in the Breckenridge, Colorado area from 1860 to 1900. He originally was a placer miner and was fairly successful, but when he observed the destruction of the environment caused by hydraulic mining, he decided to collect animal and bird specimens for display before they were all gone.

In 1875 he built a log cabin museum with a unique 12 foot high ceiling to house his enormous collection of over 3,000 specimens. The Denver Museum of Nature and Science owes its original start to his collection which was purchased after his death in 1900. The original log cabin is still in excellent shape after 125+ years. As part of Breckenridge's 150th celebration It has been recently (2009) renovated and modernized by Exhibit Design Associates for the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance and includes some original examples of his taxidermy work. In addition it has numerous interactive learning exhibits and a small LCD theater room with a short film on his life history. Click here to view the trailer [1]. This creative film was an official selection of the 2009 Breckenridge Festival of Film.

Edwin was somewhat of an enigma as he never married or had any descendants and only 5 photos of him were found, one being his closed casket. Virtually no correspondence, news articles, or diaries exist to give us much insight into what made him decide to be a naturalist instead of a miner. His Masonic connections were notable as he was honored as a first private citizen of Colorado and first lay in state at the state capitol in Denver and again in Breckenridge, both events orchestrated by his fellow Free Masons. Most of our earlier Presidents, scientists and leading citizens were active in the Masonic organization in those days.

Edwin Carter Museum

Edwin Carter Museum, n º 2
Edwin Carter Museum, Breckenridge, # 1
The Denver Museum of Nature and Science Began Nearly a Century Ago in a Log Cabin in Breckenridge...

Edwin Carter, a Gold Rush miner turned naturalist, worked and lived for 25 years in the cabin at 111 N. Ridge Street. His collection of almost 3300 specimens of Colorado wildlife became in the nucleus of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.
He was born in Oneida, New York in June 1828 and moved westward, first to Iowa where he was a merchant, then to Pike's Peak in the gold rush of 1859. He became a very capable placer miner (mining for the loose gold found in stream beds) and, in 1860, settled in Summit County.
Carter began to notice that changes were occurring among the wild animals in various mining areas. Deer and elk were growing mismatched antlers. Rocky Mountain bison stopped calving, and mutations such as two-headed calves were appearing. He realized that chemicals such as cyanide used in extracting precious metals from ore were affecting the wildlife through water, air, and soil.
Carter traveled to Black Hawk, Colorado, near Central City, to learn taxidermy and began to collect examples of the abnormalities in several species. This important study became his life work. His collection included more than 360 ptarmigan, nearly one for each day of the yearly plumage changes. Although his form of preservation seems contradictory to today's standards, Carter helped to educate people about the negative effects of the mining era on local wildlife and secured specimens for many future generations to study.
In 1868, Carter purchased five lots in Breckenridge. He lived in a small cabin, while he built the present log structure. In 1875, the log structure building became his home, office, museum and workroom. He never charged admission to his museum, which was visited by naturalists and scientists from many countries. He delighted in showing and explaining what he was learning about animals.
Visitors to the museum today ask, "Where did he sleep?" With so many specimens including full-size mounts of bison, bears, elk and wolves, one can only speculate that he had a cot somewhere. We do know that the cabin never had a kitchen. Carter was a tall, quiet bachelor who loved music, played the flute, threw snowballs with visiting children, and had a ready sense of humor as evidenced by photos showing a full-sized mounted bear holding a wine bottle in one forepaw and a wineglass in the other!
In 1892, Carter began to consider what would happen to his now world-famous collection. After welcoming a group of Denver dignitaries to his museum, Carter offered to sell his collection to found a natural history museum in Denver. Negotiations lagged, however, and his collection was not transferred to Denver until after Carter's death in 1900.
We have a precious legacy to preserve and protect as we remember and respect the life work of Edwin Carter, the log cabin naturalist. His wisdom, foresight and hard work were major influences in establishing the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.
(More information can be found at www.BreckHeritage.com)


martes, 29 de enero de 2013

La dualidad de William Elliott Whitmore: el mundo y la cabaña

William Elliott Whitmore

Posted by: Pete Klockau

Here, in a cozy, one-room cabin that he built, William Elliott Whitmore stands surrounded by homemade shelves that teem with books and LPs, holding a cup of coffee and looking out a picture window that overlooks the paddock where his horse, Jed, and his mule, Lucky 13, butt heads and snort in the wild grasses.

Within the hour, he’ll be out feeding his chickens, or pitching in to help with chores at Grandma Whitmore’s beautiful old farmhouse not 200 feet away. She ever is the matriarch and family historian around here, with a background as colorful as a character in a Howard Hawks movie.

“There’s a barn around here that was built in 1866 by a long-ago relative on my mom’s side with lumber that he floated down the Mississippi himself,” Whitmore says via phone from his Iowa roost during a lengthy shit-shooting session. We were supposed to meet in person, but a blizzard left him snowed in for nearly a week.

“It might be the oldest building in the county still standing,” he says. “Everywhere I look, there are fingerprints of my forebears. This area is my spiritual center. I’m just fortunate to be its steward during my time here on Earth. It will be here forever; I’m just passing through.”

This probably sounds idyllic if you’re one of this country’s innumerable city dwellers, looking through your kitchen windows at overstuffed dumpsters, brick walls, and parked cars, or a suburbanite surveying your property while a familiar set of golden arches looms large on the horizon, keeping constant watch over a buzzing hive of interstates, strip malls, and outlet stores. And in a very real sense, it is. Like your dad always told you growing up, there’s something to be said for a life of hard work.

But Whitmore didn’t grow up much different than the rest of us, spending his afternoons in town with his cousin and his brother, skateboarding and raising hell while Black Flag and Public Enemy cassettes played in the background.

On that same stretch of road where the local cops used to tell them to “move it along,” there’s now a tattoo parlor run by a friend of the family. Here, everybody is family.

And though the meeting places of rural Iowa might now be the tattoo parlor or the sports bar up the road, that mythic American Mayberry sense of knowing your fellow man and looking out for your neighbor is alive and well here — something put to the test this past summer when the whole town came together to save the local watering hole from the swiftly encroaching floodwaters of North America’s biggest river.

But don’t let him fool you. Though a farm-boy heart beats proudly in his chest, William Elliott Whitmore has toured the world with nothing more than a banjo and a guitar for company. He learned French for an enthusiastic crowd in Paris, and has traveled from Copenhagen to Amsterdam to London, making all the stops between.

“I remember playing my first show in Rome,” he says. “I’d never been to Italy. As kind of an icebreaker, I told the crowd how I’d recently played a show in Rome, Georgia, which was this cool little town where I’d been booked at an abandoned train depot that everybody said was haunted. They got a kick out of that.”

The simple life with Whitmore and friend. 

William Elliott Whitmore vs. the modern world 
by Chris Parker

William Elliott Whitmore grew up in Lee County, Iowa, on a 160-acre farm in the southeast corner of the state, miles from the nearest town. The property has been handed down since Whitmore's Irish great-great-great-grandfather. The singer-songwriter lives on the property today behind the farmhouse, in a one-room stand-alone that he built with his own hands, with wood reclaimed from old half-burnt and dilapidated barns.

Like his lifestyle, Whitmore's music is rooted firmly in the past. His voice is as weathered as an old Midwestern colonial — boards warping, shingles askew, paint chipped and peeling. His music, fueled by a spare acoustic guitar and a kick-drum thump, lopes like a horse-drawn Amish cart clomping along a dusty back road. But he's not entirely mired in the old days. The duality of farm life and road living is integral to his identity and well-being. "I couldn't do either one all the time," Whitmore says, walking through some of the woods near his home. Even his concessions to modernity are well-aged: He's talking on a six-year-old flip phone.

"It's an interesting juxtaposition between those two worlds, and I think most people have something like that in their life," he says. "Going out, touring Europe, seeing what there is to see out there and meeting new folks, then coming back home to the quiet of the farm."

Whitmore comes from a family of musicians and iconoclasts who also cherished the land. His grandfather would "go racing his Harley down Main Street standing on the seat." Whitmore grew up with music and singing. When puberty hit, it brought a bountiful gift: a rich baritone that he could wield with a gospel-folk soul.

"It happened in the course of like a week," he recalls. "I always knew that I was never going to be a guitar virtuoso. But I could sing all right. That's always been the big tool in my toolbox. I always looked up to those guys who could do those interesting vocal tricks, like James Carr, Ray Charles — those old soul guys."

Much as he loved roots and soul music, Whitmore was equally drawn to punk rock. As a teen, Whitmore read the skateboard magazine Thrasher and would ride his tractor to town in his baggy pants in search of pavement. When his parents died suddenly, he left the farm to pursue music. He played basement shows, opened for punk bands, and eventually finished an autobiographical three-album cycle about life and loss.

"I was taught early on that death isn't bad but something that's natural. So I was writing a lot about those kinds of themes," he says. "It was basically how I dealt with all that stuff instead of jumping off a bridge. I used music for what it's good for, the healing power of creative expression."

When he finished those albums, Whitmore initially wondered if he had anything left to say. He found that he did. He signed to Anti- records and penned Animals in the Dark, which explored a full-band sound for the first time while delving into Dubya-inspired political allegory akin to Orwell's Animal Farm.

Whitmore has gone the other direction on his latest, Field Songs, which is a return of sorts to his roots. It's as austere sonically as anything he has done — somewhat suggestive of an actual field recording — and tells the stories of people of the land, perspectives and values that transcend time and place.

"It's a record I've been wanting to make for a long time. It kind of comes from that place of being one with where you're at, no matter where you're at," Whitmore explains. "It's a cool thing to think how insignificant we really are but, you know, conversely how meaningful our lives can be. It's just this weird paradox that your life is both really important and not important at all. It's a cool realization that makes going through the world more of a fun game."

lifetime underground from hogwash media on Vimeo.
a short film done for the ANTI- record label about recording artist william elliott whitmore. a short documentary looking at william's cabin in southern iowa and it's influence on his songwriting.


lunes, 28 de enero de 2013

La cabaña de Kevin McCloud, el sueño de su vida

Kevin McCloud
Kevin McCloud
Kevin McCloud fuera de su cobertizo
Kevin McCloud built his escape-from-it-all home in the countryside from scratch

Kevin McCloud's modest design: an eco-cabin in the woods
Grand Designs presenter Kevin McCloud tells Christopher Middleton why building a cabin in the woods for his new series was the fulfillment of a lifelong dream.

By Christopher Middleton
Image 1 of 7- Man at work: Kevin McCloud planes wooden tiles into shape Photo: JAY WILLIAMS

The end of the working day in rural Somerset, and Kevin McCloud sits on his veranda to watch the sun sink over the Mendips.
Normally, we see the Grand Designs television presenter bestriding some ambitious self-build project the size of a small cathedral. Today, his surroundings are humbler: a woodland cabin between Frome and Shepton Mallet.
But while this quirky residence is not as dramatic as many a McCloud structure, it is, he claims, his ideal home. He built it himself; from the 2,000 hand-planed wooden tiles on the roof and walls to the rabbit-skin rug on his earthen floor.
“It has always been my dream to find a piece of woodland, roll up my sleeves and build my own little bolt-hole’” he says. “This is my own little place in the wild.”
You cannot get more out of the way than this modest West Country retreat. It is tucked away in a discreet dip in the land and is lapped by a stream that winds its way through the trees.

Related Articles: 

While McCloud may be far from the madding crowd in geographical terms, he is not a lone voice when it comes to the gospel of eco-friendly self-build. More of us than ever are constructing homes from scratch. We are incorporating green elements not just to save money and the planet, but to catch the eye, too.
“With self-build, there’s always this sense that you’re seeing things happening that will start to appear in conventional houses, not in a matter of years, but a matter of decades,” says Jason Orme, from Homebuilding & Renovating magazine.
Indeed, as we have seen from The Daily Telegraph Self-build Awards, making your home environmentally friendly need not be the equivalent of wearing a hair shirt. You can install vast, triple-glazed windows that not only keep out the cold, but even clean themselves. Heating does not have to be pumped out from lumbering, great radiators, but is wafted gently from a heat-emitting skirting board, known as “thermaskirt”.
And forget about working from the spare room if you are self-employed. You can build yourself an “eco-pod” in the garden that looks like a cross between a giant wooden egg and a covered wagon.
Last year, one out of every 10 new homes in the UK was built by private individuals, 14,000 houses in all. Not only was this a higher number of homes than most large commercial firms construct, but these places were cheaper. The average three-to-four-bedroom self-built property costs £150,000, compared to £235,000 for a ready-made new home of similar size. They will almost certainly cost less to run, too, in terms of fuel bills.
Still, we have a fair way to go until we catch up with countries such as Germany and Austria, where 70 to 80 per cent of all new homes are self-build. But we are well on the way, with impetus from the Government as well as the construction industry.
It’s not all hot air, either. As well as opening up £30 million to help self-builders, the Government has announced sites for groups of people to join together and construct their own homes (see selfbuildportal.org.uk). This will introduce self-build to a broader community than the lone pioneers you see on Grand Designs.
Which brings us back to our man in the Mendips. McCloud set himself the task of not just building his own home, but having a film crew recording his every move, over the year or so (“on and off”) it took to complete the project. The results can be seen over the next four weeks, in Kevin McCloud’s Man Made Home.
Of course, this being reality-style television, there are rules.
“The stipulation is that every piece of building material has to come from this wood, or from someone else’s rubbish,” says McCloud, offering me a glass of his home-made marrow rum (delicious once the mould is scraped off – tastes like sherry).
“The aim is to provide a decent level of comfort, while maximising contact with the natural world. We are off-grid and off-mains here. We get by through recycling, reusing and repurposing.
“The question we are asking is whether a life in which we make and do is better than one where we buy and consume. In short, is simple better?”
Well, is it? Ask McCloud this when he is luxuriating out on his front porch, and the answer is a definite yes.
“Take this chair I’m sitting on,” he says. “We created it by butchering an old Grey Ferguson tractor to create the framework. As for the skin on which I’m reclining, well, three months ago, that was a deer running around the countryside. Not only is the end result a thing of beauty, but there is the added satisfaction of knowing you have created it from scratch with your own bare hands.”
The same goes for the house itself, its shape dictated not by an expensive London architect, but by the bent-over oak tree from which the five supporting roof braces have been made. A year ago, the tree was standing in the next-door woodland, alongside a taller, 90ft specimen, felled to supply both building materials and firewood.
“What finer use for two noble trees than to provide shelter and warmth for the people living on the land in which they were growing?” says McCloud. “Yes, we have sacrificed them, but one was far too big anyway. By creating some space, you introduce warmth and sunlight into the rest of the wood. This encourages growth among the seedbank, and the saplings, then allows the remaining trees and wild flowers to flourish.”
Of course, not all of the materials in McCloud’s forest retreat have been supplied by Mother Nature. For instance, the jet engine that serves as his hot tub. Or the hollowed-out jewellery safe that has been turned into his wood-burning stove. Or the former Army truck undercarriage, bought at a military-surplus sale, that forms the base of the entire house.
One wall can even be winched up and down like a drawbridge. It is operated by a combination of springs from a horse trailer and brakes from a cannibalised Fiat. Not forgetting the coffee grinder and cappuccino whisk built into the whole apparatus to provide a touch of sophistication with one’s early-morning brew.
It isn’t all perfect. The earthen floor is a bit crumbly, and the cooking gas (methane harvested from the outdoor loo) sounds a bit unpleasant. But the cabin is watertight and cosy. It even has its own unique wallpaper (old Ordnance Survey maps), and some immaculately installed glazing. McCloud blew the glass himself.
“I’ve been involved in a lot of grand projects in my time,” he says, pouring another glass of marrow rum. “But I think this is the grandest.”

Kevin McCloud wants to buy himself a beautiful piece of woodland, roll up his sleeves and build a cabin in the woods. He has decided that everything has to be made by hand from his woodland, and if it not, then it has to be sourced from somebody else’s rubbish.

Together with a hardy band of friends and experts, Kevin is going to reuse, repurpose and recycle almost all the materials for his bold building in rural Somerset. A place where he can unhook himself from the madness of modern life and live in a different way.

Can a simple, more creative life make you happier?

all photos from Channel 4

Kevin McCloud relaxes at Mellocroft from Mellowcroft on Vimeo.


domingo, 27 de enero de 2013

La imaginación del artista Jason Tennant conectada a tierra en su cabaña


“The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see Nature all ridicule and deformity… and some scarce see Nature at all. But, to the eyes of the man of imagination, Nature is imagination itself.” 
William Blake, Letter to the Reverend John Trusler, August 23, 1799

Jason Tennant is grounded. He is rooted in his place with strength and dignity, not so distinct from the trees surrounding him.

Before my encounter with Jason, a sculptor and painter, I had a lot of ideas about his work. Meeting him washed these ideas away, and I was left with the raw emotion that lingers in his carvings. His sculptures are quiet, flowing in the grace of their motion, but also hard and complex, like the wilderness that is their subject. There was a lot of silence in our time together — silence that made louder the sound of the leaves and more obvious the wrinkles of the wood.

We met at his cabin, on a little hill amidst the Finger Lakes in upstate New York. The company of his wife Terri and their two dogs is where he finds inspiration and peace. He cooks with wild plants, creating a cuisine of the northeast woodlands with dishes like “acorn flour biscuits” and “fresh cattail roots.” In this lush environment, he hunts for old remains of American chestnut trees that he recycles into extraordinary sculptures. We sat on a pier by a little lake, where he opened up some of his secrets to the sounds of the bull frogs.

Jason’s parents moved their family frequently and he had to find ways to entertain himself. At the age of 12, living on an island at the mouth of Lake Erie, surrounded by swamps, he started to carve fish and birds and to compose oil paintings of natural scenes. Witnessing his mother’s successes and failures as an artist was intimidating, but did not ultimately discourage him from pursuing a fusion between nature and his artwork. “To embrace the challenge of being an artist, you must make a commitment,” he says with determination.

He also spent time as a child exploring the industrial surroundings of Detroit, his grandfather’s home. He recalls “a visually violent area with stark industrial buildings, cars with paint peeling off and a night sky lit up by the dumping of metal slag down in the Detroit River.” These visions had an impact on him and in his college years, led him to pursue a more industrial, abstract form. As he says, “I had to get it out of me!”

The movement and details in his sculptures today are precise, impressing one with their realism — the poetry of the closely observed. Perhaps he has found a way to listen to the whispered conversations between the inhabitants of his woodlands, trees and animals and nymphs. If Jason doesn’t tell us, his sculptures will.

Read the full Etsy blog post. etsy.com/storque/article/9788
Sculptor and painter Jason Tennant hunts through the woods of upstate New York for the materials and inspiration of his wild yet graceful pieces.

Web Site: http://www.jasontennant.com/

Trabajar menos para vivir mejor

Duane and Sally live off the grid in Maine. Follow 201 north for about 80 miles and somewhere between the Forks and Jackman is where the couple calls home. They reside in a small cabin located in the northwest mountains and live by the motto, "Work less – live more." They enjoy a simple, rustic lifestyle, far way from power, people and the complexities of modern society.

miércoles, 23 de enero de 2013

La inspiración fundamental del cantante JBM en su cabaña

JBM (Jesse Marchant)

JBM is the performing name of Jesse Marchant, a Montreal-born and raised singer-songwriter who has spent most of his adult life living in LA and New York. Trained on classical guitar from an early age, he began writing music and lyrics only a few years ago and recorded his first album in Henry Hirsch's church studio in Hudson NY which he self-released in early 2009. He currently lives alternately in Brooklyn and his family's country cabin in Lake Clear, NY where he does a lot of his creative work when not on tour.

Para anular Western Vinyl 'Ashes errantes' segundo álbum JBM El 22 de mayo

It’s quite common to hear of stories about people who have taken their modest belongings, and trekked into the wilderness, often in search of their own salvation in the shape of a log cabin in the depths of the woods. These brave individuals would stay for months and months to finally emerge with something great, some kind of art. Often a collection of songs. These characters are praised as noble artists, rejecting the very human need for others to posture themselves to receive and channel creativity only found in the very quiet of themselves.

And gosh, do they ever make the rest of us distracted, frenzied few look bad. I blame Bon Iver, along with the rest of those mysterious songwriters who hide in hibernation. Regardless of what I think, there is no denying the magical happenings that occur behind a closed wooden door. JBM is one of those, Jesse Marchant to be exact. He’s got these beautiful songs that are self-reflective and quiet. Below are some of his songs recorded for a recent Daytrotter session:

Stray Ashes
Vinyl LP - Sealed

About Stray Ashes by JBM:

Despite feeling disillusioned, drained, and disconnected after an intense year of touring, Brooklyn-based recording artist Jesse Marchant, a.k.a. JBM, felt an insatiable need quietly gestating. After a much needed break, he relocated to a remote cabin in the Catskills and started the long process of writing and recording Stray Ashes, his followup to 2010's Not Even in July. Like a twilight journey through canyons, with noctilucent clouds on the horizon, these songs flow with refined grace and raw force. 

Rather than starting with an acoustic guitar and vocals, Marchant experimented with drums and loops of electric guitar melodies. As the winter progressed, he continued this process until the song structures emerged. To record he relocated to a large log house next to a frozen lake inhabited by hundreds of geese in upstate New York, where he recorded everything but the vocals. He then moved to the city temporarily where he wandered the streets listening to the instrumentals and writing lyrics.

Next, John Congleton joined the project for additional recording and mixing. Congleton's contributions help to define a sonic space throughout Stray Ashes that perfectly cradles Jesse's earnest vocals, as do the additional performances of McKenzie Smith (of Midlake, Drums), and Macey Taylor (of A.A. Bondy, Bass) on several tracks, which were recorded by Congleton in his Texas studio. The gauzy sonic blanket Marchant and Congleton have created provides a foundation for the mysterious collection of songs on Stray Ashes.

We don't have to fully understand them to be moved by these shining beacons guiding us through a mellifluous fog. Propelled by Marchant's voice, songs like "Winter Ghosts" and "Keeping Up" seem to effortlessly fill the room with an addictive somber haze, while Marchant seems to implore us to return to something true and meaningful on other standouts like "Ferry" and "Only Now."