Tag Archive for 'Diego Stocco'

SuperForesters Carla and Diego Present: “The Art of Doing” (Field Notes Edition!)

Good Morning, SuperForest!

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post on “The Art of Doing” and how absolute presence was something I was severely lacking in my life. Without even being fully aware of it, my mind would float to the past or drift toward the future and more often than not, this would build a lot of stress and tension. Noticing these problems and reflecting upon them was the first step, taking action was the second.

So I started out right away. Knowing my lack of presence was a brilliant opportunity for change and self-improvement, I decided to pick a day in which from the moment I got out of bed, to the moment I slipped back in, I would be “present” and “aware”. That particular day turned out be a Tuesday, and despite being aware of the challenge I was about to face, it was still much more difficult than I expected. But as time has progressed, it has (slowly) been easier to integrate “presence” in my normal consciousness. Here are a few things I learned along the way… my “field notes”, if you will. :)

1. Get rid of your daily to-do list. Instead of writing a long list of things you have to do that day, narrow it down to perhaps one or two things you get to do that day. That’s all. Just pick one thing you’re excited about and do that one thing while focusing all of your energy on it and removing all distractions in the periphery. Once you do that one thing, move on to another, and another, and so on. I was a skeptic about this theory until I tried it and found I was actually getting much more high quality work done.

2. Be conscious of not only your actions (and focusing on the task at hand), but your thoughts, too. If you find yourself falling back on negativity, literally say “out” to those thoughts. If you’re anything like me, you might be surprised at how often this occurs.

3. If you do find yourself beginning to feel any tension or get worried, pause, take a few deep breaths, and recollect

4. Fourth, never underestimate the power of the great outdoors. This one totally took my by surprise because during my “day of presence”, I noticed that the easiest place to fully embrace the here and now was outside. When I was doing regular daily tasks (showering, brushing my teeth, reading, writing, etc.) inside, it was very very difficult for me to concentrate on what I was doing. But outside, my senses were heightened. I would see the dancing leaves on trees, feel the wind on my skin, and it seemed as if all sounds were electric and there was constant beauty in my surroundings. Put simply, when outside it is difficult to focus upon anything but the present moment.

At around this same time, SuperForester Diego Stocco had a similar experience of absorption in nature and presence during events that as he put it, were “out of [his] control”. Being the artist that he is, he proceeded immediately by capturing it in a video he calls “Wind Light Trees and Piano” and has agreed to tag team this post with me by writing a bit about what the experience was like that afternoon, what his constant work with nature has taught him, and consequently, how nature helps illustrate the beauty of presence.

Take it away, Diego!

Right before I recorded “Wind Light Trees and Piano”, I heard the wind and the wind chimes, and the trees and everything else moving, I knew it was happening right there and if I wanted to live that moment, I had to jump out of the house and record it!

I learned to really appreciate these random and uncontrollable moments because they give me an opportunity to be more reactive, when I recorded “Wind Light Trees and Piano” I couldn’t expect having the same gust of wind happening twice exactly the same, so I had to be ready and focused if I wanted to record that moment. I extend this principle also to when I’m playing my custom built instruments, improvisation is a big part of what I do.

Essentially, this brings us to the fifth major thing presence teaches us, and that is…

5. Be reactive.Moments like the one depicted in “Wind Light Trees and Piano” happen spontaneously, like a musical movement we didn’t expect. And with the beauty of nature around to inspire us, act upon those inspirations, and create something.

And there you have it, SuperForesters. Four tips on how to be present and the big tip from SuperForester Diego on what to do with that presence.

I’m definitely nowhere near a high level of being able to constantly “live in the moment” but when it comes to presence, perhaps that’s the point. Maybe it’s something that has to be practiced more than it is “perfected”. In any case, I look forward to continuing the journey.

With much love and appreciation,

SuperForester Carla (and SuperForester Diego!)

P.S. Much gratitude goes out to Diego for not only co-writing this post with me, but for constantly creating astounding sources of inspiration. Thank You!

Diego Stocco: “Music From a Bonsai”

Good Morning, SuperForest!

Diego Stocco‘s latest work involves him making music from a bonsai tree. Of course, being that he’s already created music from sand and a regular sized tree, it only seems natural (pun!). We all know that Diego’s uniqueness comes from his innate ability to take everyday things and turn them into musical instruments. We also know that the tools he uses to play those instruments are rather unconventional, as well. Some of the tools he uses this time? Piano hammers and paint brushes.

And for those of you that might be unfamiliar with his work and are confused as to how bonsai trees and paint brushes can make music, take a look and see for yourself!

Amazing. Much love goes out to Diego Stocco himself for sharing that one with us. His musical experiments always have a way of mystifying and intriguing me like no other.

To read more about “Music From a Bonsai”, click here. And you can read our Stocco interview from back in the day by clicking here!

Have a wonderful Wednesday,

C

Diego Stocco: Experibass

When it comes to innovative artists who are constantly pushing the boundaries and inspiring others with their creative genius, few can compare with the brilliant talent that is sound designer and composer Diego Stocco.  I’ve featured his work several times here on SuperForest and for good reason; his work moves people. His compositions have a way of grabbing your emotions and taking you on an experience that is unlike anything your ears have ever experienced.

Music from Sand? Yes, he’s done it.
Music from a Tree? This too.
Music from a burning piano? Of course!

And right when I think I’ve heard just about everything when it comes to experimental sounds, Mr. Stocco has a wonderful way of surprising me once more by bringing out the extraordinary in every day instruments.  Today, Mr. Stocco emailed me describing his latest “edgy sounding” piece of work, “Experibass”.

As he describes it,

A few weeks ago I visited a luthier looking for instruments parts, I had an idea in mind for an instrument I wanted to build. My curiosity was to hear the sound of violin, viola and cello strings amplified through the body of a double bass. I came up with a quadruple-neck experimental “something” that I thought to call Experibass.

To play it I used cello and double bass bows, a little device I built with fishing line and hose clamps, a paintbrush, a fork, spoons, a kick drum pedal and a drum stick. I hope you’ll like it!

What a trip! Aaahh! Like it? Mr. Stocco we love it! The deep tribal sounds pulsed through my very being. Grazzie mille for sharing that with us!

And to read Mr. Stocco’s exclusive SuperForest interview he gave back in June, click here!

SF Soundtrack: Music From a Tree

SuperForest is no stranger to musicman extraordinaire Diego Stocco, so it was pleasant to hear from SuperForester Cole that Mr. Stocco had composed a piece entirely using sounds from a tree. Au natural as always.

Check it out:

From the horse’s mouth: ”In the garden of my house there’s a tree with lots of randomly grown twigs. It looks odd and nice at the same time. One day I asked myself if I could create a piece of music with it.”

He succeeded. Who says you need to cut down a tree to make an instrument? Check out pictures and blurbs documenting the process HERE.

As always,

Have a great day.

SuperForest Exclusive: An Interview with Diego Stocco!

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A few weeks ago, I was pleased to discover an extraordinary talent: a man who created music out of the most obscure and wonderful instruments. I discovered Diego Stocco. I first shared with you all his “Music from Sand” creation. A few days later, I posted a few fresh tracks that Stocco himself recommended to SuperForest! Today, I’m very pleased to share an exclusive interview Mr. Stocco was gracious enough to grant us!

I knew Diego Stocco was an incredible artist, but reading the responses to the couple questions I sent him showed me how incredible he really is. We are all familiar with his work from my previous posts so I’ll just dive right in and present the interview straightaway!

SuperForest: The readers of SuperForest know you as a sound designer and a composer. They’ve seen you make music from sand and a picture of you burning a piano. It’s quite obvious you aren’t just any sound designer or composer. How would you describe the work you do?

Diego Stocco: I would describe it as a journey into sounds, as a possible way to know more about the world that surrounds us.

At the basis of my works there’s a simple question like: “how would that thing sound if…?” That’s always the first step, trying to see objects and instruments under a different light.

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SF: What inspired you to take such a unique approach to music?

DS: It’s basically curiosity. Creating sounds with unusual techniques is a process that can produce not just interesting sounds, but also a lot of insights about how certain things works.

It started with simple customizations of traditional instruments. For example, using thick piano strings on an electric guitar instead of regular strings. Then the process evolved into more articulated experiments like “Carbon Cello” where I was recording the sound of a cello transmitted to a cooking pot, or the “Typosonic Machine” which took me quite some time to build.

I’m always experimenting with sounds, there is so much out there that can be recorded and manipulated into something musical.

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SF: What do you define as music?

DS: To me music is a amazing form of expression based on sounds, and since sounds keep evolving and transforming into new forms, so does music.

SF: What type of music would you listen to when you were younger? What sort of influence has that had on your music or work today?

DS: I was listening to pretty much everything I was getting in contact with. I had phases where I was listening to all the Beatles albums, Lucio Battisti, Bob Marley, Emerson Lake and Palmer, Peter Gabriel, and Mike Oldfield.

Later on I listened to Jamiroquai, tons of film music from various composers, classical and contemporary music, dance and ethnic music. I was also playing in different bands since I was 14 and that helped me get in touch with different musical styles too. I had a friend that owned a gigantic collection of music from all over the world. He would give me albums to listen to and each one of those became a piece added to the mosaic of styles I’ve been in touch with.

SF: You’ve experimented with a lot of unique sounds in your compositions, which so far has been your favorite?

DS: In general I prefer the ones where I’m playing with acoustic sources, but I don’t really have a favorite one. Everytime I can’t wait to finish the one I’m working on so I can start the next : )

Grazie, Diego! A big hug goes out to you for taking some time to talk to SuperForest. You can learn more about Diego Stocco by reading his biography here. And if you’re curious to see some of the work he’s been involved in over the years, check out his impressive credits list! And images like the ones pictured above can be found on Stocco’s flickr photostream!

Love to all,
Carla

A Few Smooth Tracks from Diego Stocco!

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Good Evening, SuperForest!

Last week, I mentioned the incredible Diego Stocco and his ingenious creations of music from sand! Needless to say, his music really left an impact on me. I mean, music from sand? Sand! I took piano lessons for years and have always had such a profound respect for both musicians and the instruments themselves, but to see a man such as Diego Stocco create stunning sounds out of some of the most natural elements on earth is something else.

It’s one thing to admire the accomplishments of mankind and all of its creations. But it’s something entirely different to have a man such as Stocco study some of the most natural materials on this planet and work with them to create music. It’s almost as if his music is a collaboration or a duet with Mother Nature herself.

I visited his website and found a lot of great stuff. Ever wonder what a burning piano, sounds like? You can experience it in its full intensity there. Or what about music made from light bulbs?

Oh yeah…he’s done that too.

My point is, it seems like nothing is off limits for Stocco. He is a rare breed of artist that has the creative capacity to find beauty and opportunity in all of his surroundings. And that’s something that is pretty amazing.

So as one could expect, I was extremely excited to find that Mr. Diego Stocco himself had emailed SuperForest with TWO fresh tracks for us all to enjoy. The first is a longer version of “Music from Sand”; five minutes of ultimate tranquility. The second is titled “Passage to Atlantis”; a track that for me personally, really stirs the imagination.

Thanks to Diego for the heads up, your work is much appreciated!

Love,
Carla

Sand Music, SoulPancake and its Syrupy Goodness

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Good morning SuperForest,
I awoke bright and early this morning and once again found myself scanning the pages of SoulPancake.

I hadn’t even heard of this website before I began following Rainn Wilson’s twitter and even then, I wasn’t curious enough to see what SoulPancake was, that is, until yesterday.

To introduce SoulPancake to you, here is one of the guys that helped create it…

Alright, Mr. Wilson, you got my attention after smashing that perfectly good guitar about. Spirituality and creativity?! I’m so game. I then proceeded by poking around the archives and found some pretty wonderful stuff. How wonderful? Here is just a little taste of the fluffy goodness I found on SoulPancake.

His name is Diego Stocco, and being an innovative sound designer and composer, he tuned into the frequency of the sand, hooked it up to a key board, the rest is just magical. As the people at SoulPancake put it…”If something as basic as grains of sand can make such beautiful sounds, it makes me wonder what other potentials are locked up, waiting to be discovered, around our planet.”

I got chills! Imagine that, mother earth actually having a voice!!!

I think the cool thing about SoulPancake is that it’s like a huge think tank. It throws up a lot of questions that make you pause and think…and as we all know, sometimes questions are more valuable than answers.

Check it out when you get a moment!
And be sure to explore Diego Stocco’s website for more fascinating experiments.

SoulPancake, it’s what’s for breakfast. (ha ha ha!)