A Pre-Valentine's gift was lovingly presented at the Eclectic and Socially Consciousness Electric Lodge on Saturday, February 13th.
The event kicked off with an art exhibit showcasing exotic and beautiful works by Ellen Burr, Artist, Musician, Composer, Jeweler, Sculpture, and Teacher. Ellen posses an innovative and magical approach to all she touches. For this event, she shares works known as, "Bad Spanish and Other Works" depicting a humorous correlation between the art pieces and her challenges and triumphs in learning the language of Spanish after the age of 40.
The artist uses vibrant usage of oil on canvas, chalk pastel, acrylic, and etching. Her raw, rich, and very gripping detail is appealing to the soul and heart. All the pieces of art individually draw the art lover into a world of trying to understand not only a different language, but a different culture as well.
Here are a few descriptions of the pieces are as follows. "Rompier en queso de emergencia translated by the ardent student as "Break in cheese of emergency". In actuality it is translated "Break in case of emergency". See photo for full description on this one.
A drawing of a beloved religious leader stares with a look of surprise from a microwave oven. "Cocinar la papa" interpreted "Cook the Pope". The literal translation is "Cook the potato" Please Note: Potato and Pope are the same word.
Ellen makes use of colors, hues, shades, lighting, india ink, etching, figures, words, and emotions that warmly invite you into the world of artistry regardless of your preference of style.
In addition to novel art work, Ellen has created several board games suitable for Valentine's Day for couples. "Dart-board" and "Spinner" are just two of her games. Each one is played by a couple who will have plenty of opportunities to express love through a kiss, hug, or both while following the instructions of each game.
Although not related to other works, Ellen has also created a set of coloring books.
The evening was one of infectious connection that continued with a part two for the night with a mind-blowing performance by "Go Organic" An ensemble formed and inspired by the always innovative musician and composer Yusef Lateef on Tenor Sax, Alto Sax, Shenai, Cruzphone, Bamboo Flute, Selya Ovetone Flute, Moan Flute, Duckaphone, C-Flute, and more. Joining him birthing this orchestra is Adam Rudolph, an incredible musician on - Hand Drum Set, Talking Drum, Cajon, Selya Overtone Flute, Vocals, and Adam Rudolph.
The ensemble was composed of a Soul-filled String section with the following musicians
TYLANA RENGA- violin
PALOMA UDOVIC- violin
MIGUEL ATWOOD FERGUSON– viola
KAREN ELAINE– viola
CASSIA STREB– viola
APRIL GUTHRIE – cello
PETER JACOBSON – cello
REBEKAH RAFF – harp
The Woodwinds astounding artists consisted of
BENNIE MAUPIN – bass clarinet, alto flute, bamboo flutes
PABLO CALOGERO – bass clarinet, bass flute, Tibetan trumpet
GUSTAVO BULGACH – clarinet, bamboo flute
MATT ZEBLEY - alto clarinet, bamboo flute
TRACY WANNOMAE – bass clarinet, bamboo flute
ELLEN BURR - c flute, alto flute, piccolo, bamboo flute
EMILY HAY – c flute, alto flute, piccolo, bamboo flute
FAWNTICE McCain - c flute, alto flute, piccolo, bamboo flutes, suling, ocarina
Holding down the marvelous Percussion Section -
RANDY GLOSS – riq, frame drums, conga, batajon, gongs, tuned gongs, bells, percussion
MUNYUNGO JACKSON – congas, udu, cajon, marimbula, surdos, talking drum, percussion
MILES SHREWSBERY – tabla, frame drum, udu, and shakers percussion
ANDRES RENTERIA - bata, cajon, bowls, shakers, percussion
ANDREW GRUESHOW – achimevu, sogo, talking drum, berimbau, percussion
TJ TROY – tabla, frame drum, dumbek, percussion
ADAM YASMIN – cajon, percussion
Adding to the resounding rhythm mix
FEDERICO RAMOS – guitar
BILL CASALE – acoustic bass
NICK ROSEN - acoustic bass
This was not your traditional concert. One felt throughout the entire performance the utmost respect was required of the music and ancestors that have gone on before us who created it. I was in the midst of pure ecstasy listening and participating with spirit, soul, and body. I could not help but connect with the music, musicians, movement, energy, and spirit in the room and neither could anyone else! It moved you in every aspect of the word.
For the beginning of the concert, a man came forward that I will refer to as a Sage that prepared us for the evening shared with the audience a welcome to the "spirit" of peace, joy, love, music, and creativity...in actuality it was there. We just needed to hone in with it.
The first song presented featured was a call of welcoming Bass Clarinet carried on a soulful conversation with pulsating beat of the percussion section and the Harpist giving an underline feel of the homeland of Africa.
A solo by the first Violin was extremely moving. The harp joined with pleasing accents.
During the next piece Ellen took us on a journey on C- Flute, Piccolo, and Bamboo Flute that was filled with mystery, adventure, and tumult. The piece resolved into tantalizing measures, exceptional vocal effects, and out of this world intonation, groove, and mood. It was beyond exceptional filled with a magical feeling.
On the following piece, the voyage continues with the Alto Clarinet coming through with colors and modes that were beautifully displayed. The music shared was full of every emotion known to man and seemed to share history as well as diversity in culture and music combined with Spiritual, Blues, and Jazz.
More music that kept me on the edge of my seat continued with The percussion section kept everyone spellbound with an array of sound effects and rhythmic lines that called for attentive soul listening. The bells, rain stick, shakers, udu, sogo, gongs, tabla, cajon, bowls, and all other ornaments gently soothed and compellingly cried for audience individual engagement.
During the musical movement, each aficionada and aficionado was having their individual and collective experience.
The night continued with various pieces that showcased the complexity and simplicity of the sounds.
I have not shared title of the pieces since none were given at the time of the performance. Perhaps it was not necessary in the scheme of the moment of the music. Audience members understood the message without titles.
Each piece flowed as a river flowing sweetly, majestically, emphatically, courageously, euphorically, peacefully with intensity, deliberation, calmness and urgency all engulfed us all in peace, love, and union.
It was an unforgettable night. This performance was a perfect precursor to Valentine Day as the music and soul of "Go Organic" shared ardent love that was whole-heartedly returned to them from a fulfilled audience.
This is a union not to miss. You can check out information regarding future performances at
Ellen Burr's "Bad Spanish & Other Works" will be on display until March 22, 2010.
The Electric Lodge, 1416 Electric Ave, Venice, CA 90291