I hope you are enjoying a great start to 2014! I have a magical treat for you this week. My good friends at AboutMeditation.com posted a couple of pieces of stunning time-lapse video art. I featured one of them below. You can see their original post here.
If you have a few minutes (4:08 to be exact ;-), find a widescreen and headphones if you can, and immerse yourself in this serene and meditative audiovisual journey through the majestic landscapes of the Pacific Northwest. I continue to be transported by its simple beauty and the way it captures the awesome celestial movement of our planet through space. I hope you will too.
I’m also happy to say that our first “Signal Salon” was a huge success! We had over 30 beautiful people in our South Boston loft sharing delicious food, drinks, and stimulating conversation. Later in the evening we were treated to a presentation by Mattias Ohlson and Marion Peterson on their vision for creating an energy revolution in Africa through their social enterprise ECS. I’ve included some photos of the evening below in the PS.
As we plan for our next Loft Session, we’ll be hosting these smaller, more intimate salons on a monthly basis. We see these gatherings as opportunities to foster deeper community and a platform to feature thought-provoking speakers, artists, and innovators from different fields. I’ll be sending out the date for our next Salon soon (and our next Loft Session coming soon too).
Thank you as always for your interest, attention, and support.
WIth warm regards, Kenzo
PS. Here’s some photos of our recent Signal Salon:
I hope you’re all having a joyful and festive holiday season! Recently, we’ve discovered, much to our surprise, that there’s another group in the Boston area also called The Loft Sessions. Created by students of the Berklee College of Music, the “other” Loft Sessions is a video series that highlights some of the school’s incredibly gifted up-and-coming musicians, providing them a dynamic social media platform to share their work.
A couple of weeks ago, they organized a large group of musicians to do a flash mob style performance of “O Holy Night” on an unsuspecting audience at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts. I hope their six-minute video uplifts you at this magical time of year, as it did for me. I found it absolutely stunning in its raw beauty and power.
And don’t forget – after the holidays on Saturday, January 4, we’ll be kicking off our first “Signal Salon”. This will be a new series of smaller, more intimate gatherings, along with our signature Loft Sessions.
For our first salon, we’ve invited Mattias Ohlson and Marion Peterson. They’ll share their vision of creating an energy revolution in Africa through their social enterprise Emerging Cooking Solutions (ECS). They were recently awarded the #5 “innovation that improved the world” by the digital innovation news site Mashable.
A SIGNAL SALON
With Featured Guests Mattias Ohlson & Marion Peterson of ECS
They’re just after Google Labs and Bill & Melinda Gates…
Save this date for after the holidays! On Saturday, January 4, from 6 – 9pm, we’ll be hosting an intimate evening at our home in South Boston*. This event will mark the kickoff of a new series of smaller more intimate gatherings called “Signal Salons” that we’ll be rolling out in 2014, along with our signature Loft Sessions.
In line with the Signal Collective’s mission to bring inspired individuals from Boston and beyond together to celebrate creativity and innovation, we’ve invited our friends, Mattias Ohlson from Sweden, and Marion Peterson from France, to speak to us about the inspiration behind their social enterprise Emerging Cooking Solutions (ECS).
Propelled by the vision of creating an energy revolution in Africa, ECS was recently awarded the #5 “innovation that improved the world” in 2013 by the digital innovation news site Mashable. That placed them just after Google Labs and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation!
In their current project, ECS is helping to curb deforestation in Zambia through a new cook stove they’ve developed, which runs only on clean fuel. This cook stove is fueled by bio-waste pellets, and is helping to eliminate dangerous charcoal-burning stoves, while curbing the country’s annual loss of more than 600,000 acres of forests.
Check out this terrific feature on ECS covered by a Swedish news program (subtitled) to get a glimpse of their inspiring and innovative work.
* To preserve the intimacy of the event we’re limiting our number of participants to 30
I wish you a warm and safe holiday season – and hope to see you on the 4th!
With best regards, Kenzo
PS. Another way to support ECS’s work is to purchase a stove through sponsorship. Your purchase will help save forests, reduce CO2-emissions, improve people’s health, and strengthen household economies.
In the spirit of the holiday season, I want to share with you the bright & celebratory energy bursting out of this 4-minute video!
It’s a clip from our last Loft Session which focused on Hip-Hop Education, and it features New-York based artist and educator Ian Levy performing his original song, “Chomp”, followed by the freestyle genius of Boston rap legend Professor Lyrical.
While this video was filmed in mid-November, it captures for me the sense of joyous possibility that fills the air as we close the book on one year and turn towards the promise of a new beginning… Enjoy!
At our recent Loft Session on Hip-Hop Education, we invited the very talented Tara Jones of Tara Jones Photography to set up a “Photo Booth” where people could have their photo taken—not just an ordinary portrait shot—but one which captured their most authentic spirit in the moment. This was framed by Ernest English’s vibrant artwork, and their choice of an inspiring hip-hop quote to reflect the theme of the event.
Click on the photo below to see the full gallery of radiant portraits Tara was able to capture that evening. Find yourself… or a friend. They’re all available for purchase in a download format or an actual print and best of all, 100% of the proceeds will be donated to support the work of our good friends at Artists for Humanity.
Tara specializes in lifestyle and portrait photography where she works closely with her clients drawing out the best of who they are and helping them convey this to the world through her images. If you’ve wanted a portrait or profile photo that you can feel proud of, contact Tara (email@example.com) to set up an appointment.
We couldn’t have hoped for a greater finale to the Loft Sessions for 2013. One of our speakers, legendary Boston rapper Akrobatik, said to the ecstatic 120+ people there that evening, “this is the most diverse audience I’ve ever seen in this city…”
I’m delighted to share with you some wonderful photos (by the amazing Tara Jones Photography) of us all jammed together in the contemporary and intimate Venture Café at the Cambridge Innovation Center. From our passionate panel of speakers on hip-hop education, to the off-the-hook freestyle rap & virtuoso musical performances, and most importantly, our exploding Loft Sessions Community, this evening was a total experience of creative joy!
Please stay tuned, as I’ll keep letting you know about things that are emerging in culture that are firing us up. They’ll no doubt be inspiring and informing us about the next Loft Session, which will be sometime in early 2014.
Thank you, as always, for your interest, attention, and support. From all of us at the Signal Collective, we wish you a terrific and safe Thanksgiving holiday with your loved ones!
With warm regards, Kenzo
PS. A gracious and big thank you to Sidi Gomes for inviting us to host the Loft Sessions at the Cambridge Innovation Center. He’s the brilliant architect who consciously designed the space to evoke collaboration and community.
We’ve just confirmed that Christopher Emdin, a much sought-after public intellectual and educational pioneer, will be speaking at this Saturday’s Loft Session.
As the creator, in collaboration with GZA of the Wu-Tang Clan, of Science Genius B.A.T.T.L.E.S.—the remarkable initiative that inspired this Loft Session in the first place—Chris has become a prominent voice in transforming urban education for the hip-hop generation.
His commentary on issues of race, culture, inequality, and education have appeared in dozens of influential periodicals, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post. He’s an associate professor at Columbia University’s Teachers College and currently a Caperton Fellow and HipHop Archive Fellow at the W.E.B DuBois Institute at Harvard University.
Here’s a four-minute blast of his revolutionary vision of what’s possible at the intersection of youth culture and education. I bet you’ll get why we’re thrilled and honored that he’ll be speaking this Saturday after you watch the video below:
Along with a talk by Emdin, this Saturday we’ll also be featuring:
Ian Levy, M.A., Ed.M, New York based hip-hop artist, guidance counselor, and author of research paper, “Hip Hop and Spoken Word Therapy”
Akrobatik, legendary MC and educator of hip-hop history and practice at UMass Boston
An amazing collaborative art project from MIT fellow and Artists for Humanity member Ernest M. English
A “Lauryn Hill, Part II” set by TheStretch Collective, followed by live hip-hop performances, featuring the winner of this year’s Science Genius B.A.T.T.L.E.S Jabari Johnson
One of the figureheads of that movement is the iconic emcee and hip-producer GZA, co-founder of the legendary Wu Tang Clan.
His recent work with the hip-hop education movement has led him to collaborate with high-profile astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and other world-class scientists. One of the fruits of these partnerships is GZA’s upcoming album entitled “Dark Matter”, which is a scientific and poetic exploration of the cosmos.
Here’s a wonderful 42-second clip of GZA delivering a sneak peek to what promises to be a novel and visionary hip-hop album. It is, as they say, pure genius—and rightly earns him his given nickname. Click here or on the image below to watch the short clip:
I hope you join us for our Loft Session on November 16—our last one of 2013. We’ll feature:
A talk by New York-based hip-hop educator Ian Levy
A collaborative art project from MIT fellow and Artists for Humanity member Ernest M. English
A Lauryn Hill, Part II set by the Stretch Collective, followed by live hip-hop performances, featuring the winner of this year’s Science Genius B.A.T.T.L.E.S Jabari Johnson
As you may have read in my recent emails, on Saturday, November 16, we’re going to be hosting our final Loft Sessions of 2013 on Hip-Hop Education at the Venture Café in the Cambridge Innovation Center (click here to get your ticket). As usual, we’ll have food, drink, great people and conversation, and a live performance from The Stretch Collective.
Hip-Hop Education is an emerging vehicle in culture for educators to spark a deeper desire in young people to learn and grow through harnessing a form of artistic expression that’s contemporary and relevant to their personal experience. We’re thrilled by it because it’s both an innovation on education and an evolution on an art form that’s become so central to culture today.
Here’s a moving video of his recent TEDx talk where he speaks about how he teaches young people to transform challenging emotions into a powerful way to heal and gain a higher perspective on themselves—all through the art of hip-hop. And he also drops some formidable rhymes to help make his point…
November 16, 7pm, at the Venture Café in the Cambridge Innovation Center is our last Loft Session for 2013. We feel strongly that it’s nothing less than spiritually inspiring to see and share creativity in the service of uplifting culture. I sincerely hope you join us on Nov 16.