CHRISTIN LIGHT
CHRISTIN LIGHT
SOUND + VISUAL ARTIST / MUSIC TECH EDUCATOR
 animated gif by Sylvan Zarwell

animated gif by Sylvan Zarwell

I am a producer, multi-instrumentalist, music educator and visual artist based in Saint Paul, MN, USA.

I like synthesizers, theremins, Ableton, old Casio keyboards, using my voice like an instrument, Burmese cats, encaustic paints, bodywork, logic problems, working with youth, cooking all things vegetarian, dancing, travel and frolicking out of doors.

 

[ message in a bottle ]

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I took an awesome encaustics (hot wax/resin/pigment painting) workshop with Julie Snidle at Wet Paint on July 8th, 2016.  I'm pretty obsessed with the medium now and deciding if I want to set up a small studio.  More images to come.

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Wild flowers for me have been an exploration into the magic of naming, self-love and connectedness to nature.  To pick them, one needs to immerse oneself in the natural world.  They change over the season, so there is an awareness and connection to the natural order and the ephemeral nature of life.  It is self-care to slow down and literally smell and glory over the roses and spend time out of doors.  

Flowers have been picked and exchanged by lovers over the millennia and have been ascribed a secret language.   When I was a child, I would pour over Kate Greenaway's Language of Flowers in my special places and marvel. I am deeply attracted to that which is wild and and untamed.  I like to imagine what the land looked like before humans built over it, and virgin forests are a beacon.  I like cities like Detroit where there is more balance with pheasants running in flocks in the street and burned out structures covered in foliage next to urban farms.  

Finally, I do take care not pick any endangered species.  I know not all wildflowers growing here are native species, and some also encroach on native species as well.

Online sources:

 May 2016. River Falls, Wisconsin. Wild geraniums, blue bells, and smooth hedge nettles. 

May 2016. River Falls, Wisconsin. Wild geraniums, blue bells, and smooth hedge nettles. 

 May 2016. River Falls, Wisconsin.   Rue anemone,  bitter wintercress, virginia waterleaf, and smooth hedge-nettle.

May 2016. River Falls, Wisconsin.  Rue anemone, bitter wintercress, virginia waterleaf, and smooth hedge-nettle.

 June 2016.  Saint Paul, Minnesota. Wild roses, alsike clover ,  heartleaf alexanders , b irdsfoot trefoil, tufted vetch, crown vetch and more.

June 2016.  Saint Paul, Minnesota. Wild roses, alsike cloverheartleaf alexanders, birdsfoot trefoil, tufted vetch, crown vetch and more.

 June 2016.  River Falls, Wisconsin.  Alfalfa, red clover, daisy fleabane, & yarrow.

June 2016.  River Falls, Wisconsin.  Alfalfa, red clover, daisy fleabane, & yarrow.

 Late June 2016.  Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Late June 2016.  Saint Paul, Minnesota.

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I'm working on a project: a series of small acrylic ghost prints canvas paintings.  Put your mailing address in the message box below, and I will send you a free one-of-a-kind piece of art print via postcard.  <3

 

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Glass House Cover Art & Design

When I graduated from high school, I was positive I wanted to attend MCAD and get a fine arts degree with an emphasis in painting.  I had been painting up a storm for years and had my work in a few exhibits and won a couple awards so I was pretty serious about it.  My parents thoroughly squashed this plan by refusing to sign off on financial aid/student loan paperwork, and told me that going $100K in debt to get an art degree was a gigantic mistake.  I was silly enough at the time to think you had to go to school to be an artist.

With this history in mind, it was quite thrilling when I attended Northern Spark in 2014 and had the opportunity to finally make art at MCAD.  The Rorschach-inspired piece seemed to just flow out of me and as you might be able to tell, I have a very fantastical subconscious.  I left my piece at MCAD, but took a couple pictures on my phone which I later reworked for Glass House album art in Adobe Illustrator & Photoshop.  I wanted to keep the album design aligned with my version of Midwestern magical realism so using this image that had so much meaning to me was an easy choice.

The design of the album art came together quickly as well.  I wanted to keep the album design minimal, but bright.  I only agonized over the "K" in Holo Mink because it wasn't symmetrical in the layout.  I thought about making a custom letter, but eventually left it as is nodding toward wabi-sabi, humble stitches and purposeful anomalies in Islamic art.

Image collage provided with permission from Luisa Rivera
http://www.luisarivera.cl/northern-spark-2014/

Fun fact: I'm the one in the green shirt in the third picture in the top row.


 Final cover of  Glass House . &nbsp;Did that K start to drive you crazy yet?

Final cover of Glass House.  Did that K start to drive you crazy yet?

 

 

 

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  &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; Photograph by   Helena Kvarnstrom  . &nbsp;Toronto 2009.     Random thoughts : The above image went unintentionally semi-viral after some tattoo sites poached it from  Helena's photography portfolio  after feather tattoos became a thing. &nbsp;&nbsp;I told my mother when I was eight years old that all I needed in life to be happy &nbsp;was a spiral perm, getting my ears pierced and a tattoo. &nbsp;I ended up with all three things although it took me a very long time to select a tattoo, and I was mostly inspired by   Nassim Nicholas Taleb 's &nbsp;  The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable.&nbsp; I liked the idea that so much is random and there are limits to human knowledge, and I still love the tattoo although it needs retouching. &nbsp; I still need that reminder.

                                                                                        Photograph by Helena Kvarnstrom.  Toronto 2009.

Random thoughts: The above image went unintentionally semi-viral after some tattoo sites poached it from Helena's photography portfolio after feather tattoos became a thing.   I told my mother when I was eight years old that all I needed in life to be happy  was a spiral perm, getting my ears pierced and a tattoo.  I ended up with all three things although it took me a very long time to select a tattoo, and I was mostly inspired by Nassim Nicholas Taleb's The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable. I liked the idea that so much is random and there are limits to human knowledge, and I still love the tattoo although it needs retouching.   I still need that reminder.


I struggle sometimes around my songs having deep and obvious significance and meaning to me and being too esoteric (or obtuse!) for others to understand.  It's not a difference of perception or opinion that bothers me, I think that's one of the really cool things about making creative things like songs, they can mean a myriad of different things to different people.    But I will admit I've been quite stymied when even musicians that I've played with over a good period of time confess to having no idea what a particular song is about.

The song Skin from my perspective is about human connections and how humans in general and myself in particular relate and communicate with each other and the world around us.  I was told once that everyone is going to think this song is about sex which is fine especially since that's definitely a type of human connection.  But the inspiration for Skin came from a friend of mine who starting talking to the lake of the evening when we were out on a walk and another person I knew later talking about needing psychic cords cut and a soul retrieval with a shaman in order to relate to other humans.  And I suppose with these kind of inspirations, it's no wonder I often encounter a profound lack of lyrical resonance with those around me.  Now I'm just grateful when there is any connection and resonance around the musical work that I make.

Note: There's an excellent tech house remix of Skin done by a producer from Greece called Relaks, and I really love the production on the Glass House EP version.  

 

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My sister and I have a secret antique apple tree that is slowly dying. When my grandfather was still alive, he told us that as a boy he had packed an apple for lunch and tossed the core - et voilà! There are some family naysayers to this tale who claim things about deer and excrement, but I prefer his version of the tale.

My sister and I wondered if we could still find the tree as adults and it took us about 40 minutes of wandering before we found it again.  I successfully germinated the seeds, but let the seedlings die while I was traveling.  As far as we can tell, they are a variety of Jonathan apples and very disease prone, but delicious.

I've been intrigued by seed saving for awhile and this variety luckily does not need to be cross-pollinated.  It's ridiculously easy to germinate apple seeds so I included vague instructions below.  I somehow thought it would be way more complex for some reason.  We hope we can plant more trees before this one dies completely.

How to germinate apple seeds:

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1. Extract and clean the seeds in water and let them dry out for a few days.

2. Get several layers of paper towels very wet and put the seeds between them.  Fold it and put it in a plastic bag in the bottom of your fridge all winter.  This is the cold stratification process which simulates being outside all winter.


3. Come spring, some of the seeds should sprout little white tails (radicles) which will become the root.  Bonus point: the etymology of the world radical comes from root.

4.  Make some little finger pokes into a container with moist potting soil and gently place each seed root side down.  Lightly cover with some more soil and keep in indirect sunlight in a fairly warm place.

4.  When seedling are hardy plant outside and you will have apples in 5 or so years if you keep it alive.  I'm still working on this step.

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