Skillful Productions Produces SoundCrawl

Hi There! We're Skillful Productions, a creative services company in Nashville.

You may have seen OUR POSTERS, come to OUR EVENTS, bought our MUSIC, or seen one of our VIDEOS.

Our specialties are Experience Design and Event Production, especially arts experiences. But along the way, we've picked up chops in a host of other fields as well. We're a comprehensive creative agency; we walk projects from inception to completion, and create in whichever mediums fit the project best.

To contact us, leave us a comment.

Thanks. We look forward to working with you.

This has been a skillful production.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

stills from the video

It does exist.


closer, closer, closer...

How's life out in internet land? Things keep progressing. Today I finally got the Griffin FireWave I bought to work. It was sortof working, but not consistantly. Sometimes I got all 6 channels, sometimes only 3, sometimes only 2. The problem was with the Audio/Midi setup on my macbook. FOLLOW DIRECTIONS! Griffin sent me this nice card, which I ignored on my first go.: Plug in the Firewave first (without installing anything, or inserting the cd), set the device profile (make sure you get all 6 channels!- I had to click "aggregate device", then "configure device"- I noticed that it had the GFW as only 2 channels out, I kept clicking it and "re sample" and then it found all 6 channels, and could speaker check through all 6) Okay, NOW you can install the software! Whew!

Josh almost burned his church down working on the video! Ah!

"I almost burnt the church down!

I've been wanting to experiment with some smoke effects, so I decided to try it out for a video for our Fall Sermon Series at church.
I should have used incense, which makes a great whispy, thin, twirly smoke, but my wife needed the van, so she dropped me off at the church to work.

It's about a mile to the closest store, and I didn't really have time to walk down, so I decided to pull a Macgyver and improvise.
Incense is basically a combustible material like sawdust soaked in a scented oil... I figured, sawdust is made from wood, and so is paper towels! So I tightly wound up a paper towel, sprayed it down with Non Stick Cooking Spray, and lit it on fire, and then blew it out, so that it made smoke.
It worked brilliantly.

On my second take, I didn't wind up the paper towel tight enough, and when I tried to blow it out, ashes went flying everywhere, sprinking all over the floor. Some of those ashes were still burning, so I had to stomp them out quickly.

But the good news is, I got some great smoke footage, and the church did NOT burn down"

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

art for arts sake: sortof

I love it when good ideas necessitate lots of time and effort, but then pay off! This is totally where we are right now with the DVD. Each great elaboration on the original idea means more nit-picky work. Many of my go-to answer guys have never done this kind of work before, so we're kindof on our own.

Oh , about the video: he got interviewed on NPR a few months ago, so I know it's not terribly new, but this artist James Houston put all this together for a Radiohead Remix contest. The song's title is Nude, but it's work and conscience safe. No worries.

From James Houston's Youtube Post:

Radiohead held an online contest to remix "Nude" from their album - "In Rainbows" This was quite a difficult task for everybody that entered, as Nude is in 6/8 timing, and 63bpm. Most music that's played in clubs is around 120bpm and usually 4/4 timing. It's pretty difficult to seamlessly mix a waltz beat into a DJ set.

This resulted in lots of generic entries consisting of a typical 4/4 beat, but with arbitrary clips from "Nude" thrown in so that they qualified for the contest.

Thom Yorke joked at the ridiculousness of it in an interview for NPR radio, hinting that they set the competition to find out how people would approach such a challenging task.

I decided to take the piss a bit, as the contest seemed to be in that spirit.

Based on the lyric (and alternate title) "Big Ideas: Don't get any" I grouped together a collection of old redundant hardware, and placed them in a situation where they're trying their best to do something that they're not exactly designed to do, and not quite getting there.

It doesn't sound great, as it's not supposed to.

Sinclair ZX Spectrum - Guitars (rhythm & lead)
Epson LX-81 Dot Matrix Printer - Drums
HP Scanjet 3c - Bass Guitar
Hard Drive array - Act as a collection of bad speakers - Vocals & FX

Thanks to Afrotech and Dr Roland Shregle (ganjatron)

How Much work it must be!



Thursday, September 4, 2008

Al Mohler- the art critic?

Greetings! It has been an exciting few days here at SP. Josh is typing and click-dragging his way to a nervous breakdown as we prepare the video for the October 9th Premiere at IWU. I finally found a box that'll do what I need for analog 5.1 playback out of a MacPro (the Griffin FireWave), and yet another opportunity for the Work has dropped into our lap.

You need to check out Awake Images- they are doing in visual arts what we do in SoundArt. It's awesome stuff.. Especially when its used like this.

I was reading my Relevant Magazine yesterday and a there was a piece "What is Art." (it doesn't seem to be posted in full yet). It covered the impact of Yale Art Student Aliza Shvarts' senior art project in which centered on her (later revealed as false) aborting multiple pregnancies and documenting the resulting miscarriges. Definately a piece intended to stir reaction. I tend not to have much to say about this kind of art because the process has already been completed and my indignation does nothing for the artist or the world of art at large.
The article goes on and the venerable art historian and critic Al Mohler (nope, he's not really an art critc. He's the president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky) gives commentary on the Trancendental Test: "The trancendental test involves asking three questions: is it good? is it beautiful? is it true? While it is hard to argue there is a completely objective standard, we should hold to the trancendental test" He goes on " At Yale, there was a failure to produce truth (she did not, induce her own miscarriages). Even the young lady has said that it was not what it was presented to be. And it fails the goodness test too. What virtue is celebrated and/or condemned in theis artwork? In this case, her grotesque treatment of life and human tissue is celebrated. And it goes without saying that her display was not beautiful, either."

I haven't seen the work in question, but it's undoubtably shock art, whatever media storm she's created is arguably part of the piece! Dr. Mohler is one of the foremost evangelical leaders and speakers and is quite reputable world wide. I'm afraid he does a disservice to his position when casting his last point. It continues to infuriate me when Christians criticizing something from a moral or theological standpoint finish with a pot-shot at the quality of the work. Does Dr. Mohler mean that if she had painted smiley faces or Precious Moments cartoons with the alleged blood and tissue that it would have passed the beauty test? What about a gorgeous sunset made from blood and fecal matter?

Certain fields of art exist to produce reactions or shock people. Plenty of times, I find it absurd. But the best way to respond is to not react.

Artists create because they are created to create. Not all of what they create is of eternal value, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't have created it. Great talents produce duds all the time. And because we value the great works of the past, doesn't mean we should hit the pause button developmentally. Those were the greatest works of their era, genre and style. Only in a hundred years will we know the greatest works of this era, genre and style.