Noe Venable

Cascadia Artist Spotlight: An Interview with painter Liz Gill Neilson

Posted by on Mar 6, 2014

I’m writing to you here at the halfway point in our Kickstarter campaign, and to share the happy news– today, thanks to you, we broke the $14,000 mark!  WOW!  If you’ve already backed the project, thank you so much!   I’m grateful for your belief in this project, and I’m so looking forward to sharing the finished album with you! Meanwhile, I want to share with you another behind-the-scenes look at Cascadia’s creation.  If you’ve looked at the banner of this website, you’re already familiar with“The Garden at Night,” the beautiful painting that will be on Cascadia’s cover.  Today, I want to introduce you to the painting’s creator: Liz Gill Neilson. I sat down for virtual tea with Liz to ask her about her artistic process and inspiration.  Here’s what she said.  Enjoy! NV—  Liz, after many years of loving your work, it’s a pleasure to have your beautiful painting, “The Garden As Night” become Cascadia’s album cover.  In our Kickstarter campaign video, I’ve shared the story behind the music.  Now I’d love for people to hear the story behind the painting.  Can you tell us what inspired this work, and what your process was in creating it?   LGN—  Actually, the concept for this painting started brewing around the same time we began hearing some of the songs you were writing for the album. I started thinking about two concepts in the same light. The first was how, in David Lynch’s audio book of Catching the Big Fish, he talks about some of his early experiments in painting, one of which was of “a garden at night”. For some reason that got stuck in my head, and for a while I was going out in the middle of the night to sit in our garden and draw and paint, to try and get this feeling he was talking about. I loved the sense of things semi-illuminated, and the suggestive shadows…also, the way that forms can be mis-interpreted in darkness, and become something totally different than what they really are.  The second idea came from the idea of “one river, many wells,” which is a concept often used in comparative religion, and it may have been a conversation with you that got me thinking about this! Well, I thought an even better way of thinking it was “one well, many rivers,” in that all the good ideas are coming from the same source, somewhere at the center of things, and flowing out to different parts of the world. So, “The Garden at...

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Kickstarter Update– awe, gratitude, and new aims

Posted by on Feb 23, 2014

Kickstarter Update–  awe, gratitude, and new aims

We did it!!!  Thanks to your belief in this project, we have now surpassed our initial goal, and Cascadia’s release is now guaranteed.  I’m unspeakably grateful to our Kickstarter backers for making this possible.  So what happens now? Well, with twenty-six days to go in the campaign, and given backers’ overwhelming support, we are now broadening the scope of the project.  Our first stretch goal will enable us to take Cascadia even further, while creating more rewards to share with you!  We now aim to create a series of music videos, a whole visual world around the songs.  My collaborator in this is Emmy nominated filmmaker Eric Daniel Metzgar. Here’s a preview of the first one we’ve started work on, “Lights and Fences.” If you haven’t backed the campaign yet, there’s still time to join us and receive all kinds of limited time only...

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Countdown to Kickstarter!!!

Posted by on Feb 19, 2014

Countdown to Kickstarter!!!

Dear friends, I am thrilled to share that after months of preparations, our Kickstarter Campaign is now ready to go, and will be launching in a few short days!!!  I am so excited to share with you all that you’ll learn about the project on that page, and to invite you to be involved with this project in its genesis.  I will post the link as soon as I have it, and hope to see you over at Kickstarter!  GRATITUDE,...

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Madame Mugwort

Posted by on Nov 11, 2013

Madame Mugwort

Today I was at the Nature Playground with Ember when I ran into a friend.  My friend is a wildcrafter, wise to the ways of things green and growing.  She knows where to find Elderberry, Mugwort, Chamomile, and she knows how to prepare them to unlock their powers.  Elderberry to keep well in winter, Mugwort for the intensification of dreams.  She shared with me that recently she had gone to the Mugwort patch as usual, but this time she felt strongly that she should not harvest from a single plant.  It was like a voice had spoken, she said.  You have to listen to the plant itself to know whether it is appropriate to take from them. I had been all morning hatching a song about similar, spectral certainties, and was intrigued. “What is it like,” I asked her, “when you listen to the plants?  Does each plant seem to have its own spirit?  Or does it all seem like part of the same voice, the same spirit, whether it be Madame Mugwort or Herr Thistle?” “I do experience it as a unified spirit,” she said.  “Sometimes it’s almost like I hear a voice.  There was one day, I was foraging in a glade, I was going to do some harvesting when I heard a surprisingly strong ‘don’t do it!  Turn back!  Don’t come near us!’  I was taken aback, and stopped to look and listen.  Then I saw t– right where I had been about to go, there was a man lurking, hiding himself in the bushes.  He looked like a shady character.  I felt like they had been warning me.” Such is the value of listening. Her story made me wonder, do I know how to listen like that?  Could I know?  Would I hear the same thing in a similar circumstance, and tune it out?  Could I learn to become more open to plants, as I have learned to be open to songs, and the mystery from which they come? “I would love to learn how to listen like that,” I tell her.  “How does one begin?” “You already know,” she said.  “It’s just a matter of learning how to let it...

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Coming Soon! A new album from Noe Venable

Posted by on Oct 8, 2013

Coming Soon!   A new album from Noe Venable

Five years in the making, Noe’s seventh release, C A S C A D I A , is now almost finished and ready for release.  All that remains are a few final steps– mixing, mastering, and CD duplication.  We are aiming for a June of 2014 release, with several celebratory concerts to follow shortly thereafter. Stay tuned for an upcoming Kickstarter campaign, featuring album samples!  Video!  And of course, prizes, prizes, prizes!  More...

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