Sunday, January 31, 2010

Friday, January 29, 2010

Thursday, January 28, 2010


Hold on to your heart’s hat today. Today’s track is the last one from what in the very fun blast from the past, “Please, Please, Please Don’t Forget About Me”. I remember certain things were going on that were sort of stressful.

I can hear some vocal interaction going on here and there. At this point, all that is meaningless. What is not meaningless is that we have this brilliant record of an afternoon in the life. We knew we were lucky, but we did not know just how lucky we were.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Morrisey or Less a Cure


Today’s track and the next two to follow come from the same Capp Street Project session as the 1-25-10 post’s musical offering. What we’ve got here is a live improve by Scot on vocals.

We were all heavily into ‘The Smiths’ at the time and Morrisey’s “Viva Hate” is one of my lifetime most played albums. Scot really liked “The Cure” too. He referred to them as a larger genre—‘the whinney Englishmen groups’. There were many of them at the time, but ‘The Smiths’ (and even ‘The Cure’) were not whinning—they were wailing the mourner’s moan, for all of us.

Monday, January 25, 2010


Scot loved ‘The Faces’. He had this tendency to dive into bands head first. I thought the ‘Moody Blues’ season would never end. Common grounds for us were many, but it’s safe to say when it came to loving the music of ‘The Faces’ we were in complete accord.

Today’s musical track is an oldy. Featured on this recording are famous friends Joe Belche, David Kinney, Mike Danese, and Mike (Papa Cats) Catalona. Everyone in the group except Cats on drums and Scot on bass, were guitar players. Scot is leading the prowl on his thumping Yamaha ‘Sponges’ bass. It was recorded at the Capp Street Project near 16 & Mission, in San Francisco. The year was 1983. The mere thought of this group of friends all together ringing out in harmony, is breathtaking and chokes me to the marrow. We were so blessed. We had SO many happy times together.

I talked about classic rock voices in a recent post. In my humble pie opinion, both David Kinney and Joe Belche has just such voices. Joe has got the wailin’ Neilish thing going and Dave is, shall we say akin to Van the Man. I am sorry for the quality of the tape. There is a rather rough spot there in the middle, but if you hang in there, it all definitely gets better.

By the end, a trusting group mind with a natural balance of personality are keenly slotted in. Here in the annals of this blog, I would like to mention and thank another great rock mucician and friend—Mike Danese. Mike has been playing hard all these years, but in the background and most recently, standing by the side of his new tabletop record player. This is the kind of playing that Scot did every day—and it makes for a KA musician.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Lead Practice

The track is a recording of Scot practicing his leads. This was recorded in 2007. Scot was not really playing the guitar, except acoustically at home. He was a solid side-man at this time, devoted to playing and and sort of inadvertently crafting a whole new way to play the bass—very lyrical, while still rhythmically solid. Today’s recording beautifully captures the seamless weave of Scot’s musical mind. He flows into style after style without playing any one particular song. He gets things moving with his single note leads and the lickity-splat of the simplist of drum machine beats.

Today’s artwork is another cloud story. It is the story of a household who share their space with music. Love pours out across the cloudy score of life. This piece was done in 2004. It is called, “The Music Within”.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


Here in South Central Indiana, run-a-ways are those things over at the airport. Sorry to make such a shameless stab at my adopted Hoosierism. Scot, James and I all found the local dialect to be charming, and in no time, us’uns (we) in the family could impersonate it with perfect impunity. It’s fun to speak in such a developed and juicy off-shoot of the English language.

Today’s song is the Del Shannon classic, “Runaway.” I went looking for music today. The way I see it, as far as the T. Scot Memorial Blog is concerned, January needs to be a kind of introduction month for those folks just starting out on this exploration as well as a wrap-up kind of a month for those who have followed this journey live. I’m looking for a little of everything.

Once again, for the record, I want to thank Jerry Farnsworth for conceiving and implementing ‘The Basement Collaboration’—a years long pursuit of unity and excellence and fun and most of all MUSIC! On today’s pick track we hear Nelson B on soprano sax and harp and Larry______ on vocals and electric guitar. I find Larry’s vocals to be strangely satisfying. Within the first couple of notes the awesomeness of his resonance is a give-me. He becomes one of those great distinctive rock voices.

Today’s artwork is another digital piece done in the spring of 2003. It is called “Free Style” and is another morph of pen & ink drawing (brown Sharpie in this case) and full on digital mania, from the airbrushed elements to the clouds on high. These girls may or may not be looking for a run-a-way.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Sing Out

Today’s music is another solo electronic piece of Scot’s called “Annunciation.” Playing music like this was kind of how Scot meditated. He could leave the chitchat of the monkey mind way behind when he jumped aboard a piece of music like this. He would start by stacking simple tracks in order to build up a repetitive flow. In the warp and the weft of this musical weave are wooly fibers of musical consciousness. This piece was recorded at the City College Electronic Music Studio in 1979.

Our artwork for today is another piece from the series of dry point engravings Scot did in the late 1990’s. Blow up this piece to appreciate the feathery quality of the line. A dry point comes from the family of printmaking called Intaglio. The graphic is created by wiping the plate with ink in order to fill in the line, which has been created by the removal of material. The etching process uses acid to remove material, dry point engraving is done just with a sharp needle. The plate and a sheet of paper are then squeezed through a printing press and the ink that has been rubbed into the lines, adheres to the paper. This print was then hand colored with acrylic wash applied both by brush and by airbrush. This piece is called “Home Run” and was done in 1997. This is how I feel these days getting ready to take the magic and love embued in Scot's work, out into the world next week in New York!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Today's goal is one whole complete entry. I feel some detail may help explain, in part, why it has been so difficult for me to make my posts. One of the biggest projects I am working on now is the creation of the T. Scot Halpin Archive. The heart of the archive (which is literally getting painted red today)is in Scot's old bedroom. This has been a huge process made doubly difficult by the fact that working on the blog is sort of anti-archival. I go in there and start shuffling through piles. I can't wait to begin the actual archiving. In the meantime, I'm working around vague piles of artwork made even more jumbled, now being covered over with sheets. I've also had more limited access to my cassette transferal station because of the work being done. I've also got a lot of very non-archival sawdust going on.

Another big project, which I've already mentioned in the blog, is getting ready to go to New York for the International Gift Fair being held at the Javitts. Today's artwork is a piece that will be featured in the brand new T. Scot Style Guide. It's a piece called 'Comfort'. The artwork began as a pen & ink drawing--color, transparent acrylic. Scot scanned this backgroundless drawing into the digital matrix. From there, he played with the rays of the sun and dropped in the gradated fade spacey background. The piece was done in 2001.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Back At It

Here I am back at it again, trying to make real a commitment I made to myself and the world, via the T. Scot Halpin Memorial Blog. Sunday night. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s real birthday. What can be said about such a man. Uncompromising. I made a commitment about two years ago to put up one piece of Scot's music and one piece of his art for one year. A little story became an intregal part of the effort--our narrative loving natures, I have observed.

But here I am less than one month shy of my fulfilling my commitment, ragged and tattered in my performance as of late, feeling overwhelmed and scratchy in my commitment. I remember this feeling once before in my life. For ten years, I kissed the sky when it came to painting. But then, after so much experience and so many refinements, I lost the joy of the thing. I started out throwing paint from buckets and ended trying to paint with a brush with six hairs. The final straw was portraits.

Bad portraits are as easy as bad poetry. I decided to create two portraits of Scot--Scot the artist and Scot the musician. I actually made Scot model for these paintings so that I would have visual references. I still have the photos from the session. I had very specific poses in mind for each identity, down to every detail of the tools he used in the pursuit of each identity. There were moments when I released myself from bounds of logic and expectation and came up with some jewelish tidbits--like Scot's printmaker hands, all abstract and blobby, with green blood veins, but perfect in its representation of Scot's own beautiful hands and wrists. I am the only "wrist person" I know. Scot's wrists were thin and graceful. Scot was a large man, but if you noticed his wrists, it was clear, he was fine boned--actually delicate in frame. It was strictly his upolstery that appeared so opulent.

Here's the deal, I still have both those portraits. One of them is a little worse for wear. I actually put my foot through the face of the musician Scot, one night during a bad fight. Unfortunately, I can recall every detail of this sad occasion. I have no doubt that this was a reaction to Scot's tendency toward the ego-driven and moody temprement of the rock star persona. Especially under certain influences, Scot could certainly could certainly inhabit that role.

What would drive an artist to drive their foot through the face represented in a portrait they had spent countless hours creating? I admit, this sadly, it was a lamentable expression of my frustration both with Scot at these moments, who any one who knew him would agree, could certainly fall prey to ego-terrorism. I am sure it was also an expression with my own frustration of being a technically unequipped painter in search of the mystery wave that is the basis of a good painting. I stopped painting after those portraits. My son was born and I dove into a whole new medium.

Back to commitment though. I did feel a deep commitment to my painting for a about ten years, but at some point I realized I was making myself do it--pumping up an inflatable image of myself that had ceased to be real. I knew this blog would be difficult, but not how difficult. I have had moments, like I did with my painting when I asked myself, why am I doing this? Why am I setting myself up for a situation that is about as much fun as a ball and chain? Well, the short answer is this. I was lucky enough that I got to keep my commitment to Scot in life, even though there were some really dark moments for us, and so in keeping, dear blogmates, I move forward this day's entry, and filling in the missing pieces as I can.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Nothing But The Facts

Ok, my T. Scot Memorial Blog friends, I'm sure some of you are wondering what is going on. Why are blog entries being left undone, day after day? I know some of you may even be feeling concerned that something dodgy is a foot. I am writing today to assure and inform you. I return to my project first with today's entry, rather than starting from the bottom of the very deep hole I've created for myself. Basically two things are going on.

Lately, for a while, every time I start working on the blog, I get super sad. I am the first one in line to recommend that people take time to process their grief and that heartfelt crying is a great way to do that. But let me tell you folks, it becomes a very surreal way to start every day. I feel it right here, right now--just as I've described, as I sit here and write.

Beyond that, I have been off-the-chart busy with multiple complex and exciting projects in the works. Chief among them would have to be my work with a wonderful designer and my two agents, on a booklet that is known in the 'licensing industry' as a 'style guide'. We will be taking this 'style guide' to the New York International Gift Show, which starts on January 31, 2010.

The style guide is a brilliant sampling of Scot's actual work, but is also a launching pad which provides potential licensees with visual templates of the Scot's work in the world--stationary, a line of baby products, a whole prototype nursery suite, table ware (a cool platter) and home wares (like oven mitts and tea cups) all with Scot's artwork splashed across them. The guide also breaks down images into badges (words) and icons (no words) and offers loads of patterns created with the repetition of these icons and badges. I am feeling very happy and excited, ready to seriously be transmitting Scots work out into the world.

The new collection is entitled ....a child is born, and is to be created with the building blocks of work Scot began creating shortly after the birth our our son James, back in 1992.

I am going to look for artwork and music now, but for the moment, you have a little bit of the story to put in your perculator to brew into a rather enjoyable cup.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Monday, January 11, 2010

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Friday, January 8, 2010

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Colors That Glow From Within

Greetings fellow T. Scot Halpin Memorial bloggers. I am glad to see that many of you are going back and catching up on the entries I am making up. I think I’ve almost got artwork and music on everything. Thank you all for being part of this effort the honor Scot, but also to get to know him better.

Today’s artwork is a solo demo version of a song called “Safe In This Night.” The first version I played (notation) was a heavily tricked out affair. Lots of lumber. Today’s funkified version has all the rhythm of an Al Green tune. Unfortunately Scot ended the track abruptly, so get ready to want to hear more. “Safe in the Night” is a part the “The Seeker” written in 1988.

Today’s artwork is a laser print of a hand colored dry-point engraving called “Adventure” I love the ground of vivid color going on here. Check out that fuchsia! The colors and these prints always seemed to glow from within. This piece was done in 1997. I love this little intrepid lady, out in the universe, adventuring so.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Twenty Flight Pile-Up

Today’s musical track comes from the deep archives. It is a snippet of a longer piece we will be hearing this month that Scot did way back in 1977. This was recorded in the San Francisco City College Electronic Music Lab. Some other cool bands from the San Francisco New Wave/Art scene like “Tuxedo Moon” were also hanging around this studio.

Once again, I feel called to point out that making this music did not involve downloading some samples or touching a setting key. Back in 1977 it was all about patch chords and some really mysterious and definitely beefy machinery. As per Scot’s usual throughout his educational career, his teachers collected him and gave him the keys to their facility. Some of Scot and my first dates involved me sitting there watch him pull patch chords.

The larger musical piece I will be presenting is a piece Scot specifically created for the San Francisco Planetarium in Golden Gate Park. Slightly questionable academically, but no surprise, Scot managed to convince his Astronomy professor to give him credit for the class in lieu of the soundtrack for the Planetarium. So on the day we play the full piece, be ready to set back and imagine a universe unfolding in the music.

Today’s art work does not feel very celestial, even though there is both a Sun and a Moon on the plane. It feels sort of tropically Gaughuin. This is an example of a kind of artwork that Scot began experimenting with in 2000. We had just bought a new scanner and with that, Scot was able to go crazy, a la college’.

Monday, January 4, 2010

I'm Fixing a Whole

Today I present to you a complicated musical track. Looking for suave, I immediately gravitated to this beguiling melody and lilting vocal echo. Here’s the rub. The words.

At first I was getting into the current of the words, It’s OK. It’s all right. I’m down with unconditional love. I do want to feel it’s OK that I watch so many movies. That I claim to be so over worked, yet still manage to watch 2-3 movies a day. OK, so it’s not TV. But later, I don’t really want to hear those other words. And is it OK? Is it all right? We live in a world where people aren’t used to hearing otherwise.

OK, so much for the icky words. Moving on. Here is a metaphoric illustration of this principal. Here we are. We are looking down on this tendency and we don’t want to take too much responsibility for what that puppet just might do to the winged-creature once caught in that net?

Here’s my current saving grace—“the arch of the moral universe”. I think we all want to be better people and even though we have these deep dark tendencies—those tendencies tend to be largely unfulfilled. By and large, we are a decent bunch. The old “AMU” thing.

This is a pen and ink drawing, masterfully colored with shades of magenta, cian and yellow, with encroaching green coming from the vicinity of the pot. This drawing was done in 1997.

Sunday, January 3, 2010


What is going on here is I am in the process of adding to the blog in a way described in today's post title. Going back to Sunday, December 18, 2009, I am in the process of filling in all those stories and songs and images. If you blow up this piece, you will see that the title reads, "Music Unites the World." Scot believed this with all of his heart.

From the moment we knew Scot was in trouble, one saving grace remained in place. Until the end, Scot was able to play his music fully, even to the last moments of his life. Music was there healing him and using him fully as its muse. His channels were wide open.

Today's art work is a little hand colored lithograph. The hand-coloring was mostly done with an air brush. This is an example of the kind of print we sold when we first started doing art fairs in the late 1980's. In San Francisco, back then--probably still is, an neighborhood art fair every weekend, during the summer. I would mask off each one of these prints with painter's quick release tape and then Scot would fire up his compressor, juice up the pot of his airbrush, and away he'd go.

The red in the hearts was brush painted from his special pot of red. E/V is an archaic print makers' notation meaning "Edition Variation". Scot wanted it noted that he consider each piece to be unique. He never painted things the same way. He was always changing his palette. Experimenting with new combinations.

Saturday, January 2, 2010


Golly Good Morrow. Do sorry for the big “BLIP” on the screen. Once again I’ve been over-scheduled. I’m tired of always being crabby with too much to do. Although the blog is a dedication, emotionally I felt some room there to take some time off. I rejoin you now, joyfully, adding that all missing entries will be made up. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!! Special T. Scot Halpin Memorial Blog points to anyone who knows whose birthday it is today. HBB.