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human centered design // jazz poster // initial thoughts & notes

human centered design // jazz poster // initial thoughts & notes
September 2, 2013 nick howland

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For the first project in Human Centered Design, we will be creating a poster for a jazz musician that will be performing at the Folly Theatre in Kansas City, Mo. The artist I picked is Brad Mehldau, a musician that has a kind of spacey vibe with his newer music and a more classic, fast paced vibe to his older, solo pieces.

Some background info:

Brad Mehldau is a pianist who also works with two other musicians when he records / tours with the Brad Mehldau trio. As a musician, he has been active since the 1990’s. A description of Mehldau’s musical stylings is perfectly summarized on his website and in the paragraph below:

“Mehldau’s musical personality forms a dichotomy. He is first and foremost an improviser, and greatly cherishes the surprise and wonder that can occur from a spontaneous musical idea that is expressed directly, in real time. But he also has a deep fascination for the formal architecture of music, and it informs everything he plays. In his most inspired playing, the actual structure of his musical thought serves as an expressive device. As he plays, he listens to how ideas unwind, and the order in which they reveal themselves. Each tune has a strongly felt narrative arch, whether it expresses itself in a beginning, an end, or something left intentionally open-ended. The two sides of Mehldau’s personality—the improviser and the formalist—play off each other, and the effect is often something like controlled chaos.”

While listening to Mehldau’s music, I immediately had two visual directions: that of the brightly colored space opera, pulsating with hypnotizing rhythm, and that of the bustling city streets as a man leaves his place of residence and begins the daily adventure of navigating the maze of the city to get to his job / destination. You can find my preliminary notes and sketches on the same page as this text.

Much more to come.

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