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Navy Corduroy - Unstructured Hat
Best Friend / My Friend
I have always had a soft spot for Brandy. In fact she was my number one crush of the entire 1990's American R'N'B scene. Higher than Mary, Aaliyah, Monica and others... "Best Friend" was her 3rd single coming from her debut album back in 1995.
A lighthearted "jeep pop" ode to sibling bonds, Norwood dedicated the song to her younger brother Ray J who was initially supposed to appear on a duet version of the song. Crouch used an E-mu SP-1200 to sample the kick drums and snare drums on "Best Friend," and had Rashaan Patterson sing a scratch demo to the lead of the track. He also convinced his friend, saxophonist Derrick Edmondson, to play the flute on the song, though Edmondson initially disliked the raspy tone of his flute sounds which came from his deep, raspy voice.
Norwood created the backgrounds vocals on "Best Friend" by herself. Coming from a church where she grew up singing a capella, she loved "playing with different notes and feeling that union with different harmonies and sounds [..] And this song was the first time I'd felt that feeling outside of the church." In a 2019 interview with Billboard, she disclosed that she had initially favored "Best Friend" to be the lead single due to its personal lyrics and that she "had to be convinced that ["I Wanna Be Down"] was the right first single, because [she] loved "Best Friend" so much." She further told Complex: "I actually think that was the song that should’ve been the first single, because it was about my brother Ray J [...] It was great to do a song about him, because he means everything to me. It was just about our relationship. We were not going through anything at the time. I just wanted to dedicate a song to him that meant something to me."
"My Friend" by Groove Armada almost samples Brandy's "Best Friend" (but not quite) - Groove Armada couldn't get clearance for the sample so they had Celetia Martin do a very close impression. It contains a sample from "Gotta Learn How to Dance" by Fatback Band and samples a drum break from Skull Snaps' "It's a New Day".
In the late 1960s, American landscape architect Lawrence Halprin and avant-garde dance pioneer Anna Halprin organized a series of experimental, cross-disciplinary workshops in San Francisco and along the coast of northern California that brought dancers, architects, environmental designers, artists, and others together in a process designed to facilitate collaboration and group creativity through new approaches to environmental awareness. The workshops served as a training ground for the couple's ongoing research into specific techniques and processes for group work known as "RSVP Cycles".
For the Halprins, body movement generates both architecture and dance. The workshops, radical to the core, make intrinsic sense.
Held over the course of several weeks, the Halprin workshops took place between the urban context of San Francisco; the dance deck and surrounding wooded areas of the Halprins’ Kentfield home in Marin County and the Halprins’ cabin at Sea Ranch—a coastal community for which Lawrence Halprin designed the master plan. From movement sessions on the Halprins’ dance deck, blindfolded awareness walks through the landscape, collective building projects using driftwood, and choreographed journeys diagramming everyday use and experience of urban plazas, parks, and rail cars, participants engaged in a series of multi-sensory activities in alternating environments according to loosely-structured, written guidelines in the form of open “scores.”
Over the years each workshop became more collaborative and cross-disciplinary. Advertisements for the first workshop read and look like concrete poetry. Anna announces a "Kinetic Theatre" training program, Lawrence an "Experiments in Environment" workshop, both for the same 26 days in the summer of 1966. There had to be two. The Halprins didn't yet realize that the dancers could become architects and the architects dancers. By the summer of 1968, when the Halprins held their second workshop, only one notice would be necessary. Naturally, it was called "Community."
These were the true revelations of the 1966 and 1968 workshops. It was never really about architecture or dance, or never just about them, even in the most expanded sense imaginable. Architecture and dance, space and movement, were tools for remaking ideas about learning, and learning through direct experience. Sometimes you just have to be there.
Drawn from architecture, ecology, music, cinematography, graphics, choreography, and lighting, Experiments in Environment brought together artists, dancers, architects, and environmental designers in avant-garde environmental arts experiences.
From June 27 to July 22 that summer, they engaged multi-sensory activities in alternating environments according to loosely structured, written guidelines—from movement sessions, to blindfolded awareness walks, to collective building projects, to choreographed journeys in urban plazas, parks, and rail cars. As an article in Progressive Architecture magazine described, “They built their own ‘city’ on the shore of the ocean and recreated the impact and atmosphere of a metropolis in a multimedia presentation. Dancers became architects and architects became dancers.” The series continued in 1968 and 1971.
Spend a day in silence. Descend a hill blindfolded. Build a village out of driftwood. Such were the sense-expanding (if common-sense confounding) activities that the dauntless young dancers and designers who attended Anna and Lawrence Halprin’s late-1960s cross-disciplinary workshops in the San Francisco Bay area could expect—if one could ever really have known what to expect from a curriculum “scored” for maximum kinesthetic effect by the pioneering choreographer and her landscape architect husband. The Halprins were standouts in their respective fields, but there is something special about their vital but overlooked collaborative inquiries into movement awareness, participatory techniques, and process-oriented pedagogy that emerged from their recognition of the environment as a common medium: both a support for works of art and a portal to untrammeled perceptual territories.
Seen against today’s carbon credit–counting ecological consciousness, these open-ended forays alert us as much to the gauntness of our compulsory environmental “awareness” as to the Halprins’ immeasurable and estimable faith in art’s capacity to imagine other, more collective and creative worlds through tactile explorations of everyday life. Take a final lesson from City Map Score, 1968: “Imagine yourself in a place of fantasies and act accordingly.”
Her influence as a teacher was far-reaching. Among the dancers and choreographers who studied with her before going on to successful careers were Meredith Monk, Simone Forti, Yvonne Rainer, Trisha Brown and the team of Eiko and Koma.
As a choreographer, Ms. Halprin stressed improvisation, but within structured limits. Her works included mysterious mood pieces like “Birds of America or Gardens Without Walls” (1960), in which stillness was as important as movement, and “Five Legged Stool” (1962), in which everyday actions were juxtaposed in unexpected ways.
She collaborated with Bay Area poets like James Broughton and Richard Brautigan. And she later looked for ways to involve the audience directly in her work, and to make social and political statements through dance.
Ms. Halprin’s San Francisco Dancers’ Workshop made a spectacular New York debut at Hunter College in 1967 with “Parades and Changes,” a choreographic cavalcade of moods and situations with music by the electronic composer Morton Subotnick. In the work’s most unusual sequence, dancers slowly removed their clothing until they were totally nude, then just as slowly put their clothes back on, only to disrobe again and romp with long strips of crumpled-up paper, then roll into the orchestra pit.
There had been nude dance events in New York before, but never in so prominent a place. To forestall the possibility of police intervention, newspaper dance critics, who in those days often submitted their reviews immediately after a performance, agreed this time to wait until the weekend performances were over and the company had left town. (The Manhattan district attorney’s office filed indecent-exposure charges against the troupe a month later, although no further action was taken.)
In 1978, Ms. Halprin and her daughter Daria, who had been one of the stars of Michelangelo Antonioni’s 1970 film “Zabriskie Point,” founded the Tamalpa Institute in San Rafael, Calif., which offers workshops in movement-based arts education and therapy.
Lawrence Halprin, the tribal elder of American landscape architecture, who used the word choreography to describe his melding of modernism, nature and movement in hundreds of projects.
He claimed little interest in decoration or prettiness, but cared deeply how people would move through a created space. Partly inspired by his wife, the former Anna Schuman, a modern dancer and choreographer, he developed a method of landscape drawing he called “motation,” from motion and notation. He used it to describe phenomena like how many cars can move from one place to another on a freeway and at what speed.
This thought process evolved into workshops in which Mr. Halprin gathered clients, designers, community spokesmen, artists, dancers and others to discover how spaces might generate different emotions. Actual design came next.
“All of Halprin’s designs reflect this passion to give people as many options as possible to go this way or that, to reverse directions, to pause, to start over, to be alone, to meet others, and to experience as many different sights, smells and sounds as the site permits,” Mr. Forgey wrote in The Smithsonian in 1988.