Category Archives: blog

Al Jarnow

I was born in ’72 and grew up with some excellent, often ‘out there’, pieces of animation on TV, which my folks let me watch incessantly.  Most of these pieces I saw on PBS, on shows like Sesame Street and Electric Company, later 3-2-1 Contact.  When I first discovered YouTube, these were some of the things I first searched for.  You see, I have a vicious streak of nostalgia running through my person, which my family has recently begun to call “The McAllister Longing” (thank you Aron!).  I was blown away by how much my music was subliminally influenced by all of the funk, jazz and electronic music I heard before I turned ten.  (123 4! 5! 678 9! 10! 11, 12. Anyone?)

Numero Group, a record label that usually releases beautiful, painstakingly-researched compilations of singles from long forgotten soul, rock and pop labels, recently released a DVD of Al Jarnow’s animation.  It turns out he’s my spirit guide – who knew?  Here’s the trailer for the DVD, and an animation you might recognize from him:

Numero also posted their documentary on him, which is on the DVD as an extra.  Jarnow was pretty much self-taught when it came to animation, but was a methodical guy, so many of his pieces function as beautiful how-to guides on techniques he found his own way to. While I’ve been involved in quite a few little films as composer, I’ve never tried to make one until recently.  I’ve been doing these little animation studies on film and video for the past few months, teaching myself according to what I learn studying Jarnow, Norman McLaren and some other folks I’m inspired by, and hope to complete my first film to accompany an album I’m working on. I’ve found this DVD endlessly inspiring.

Asymmetric Cycles: The Work Of Al Jarnow from numerogroup on Vimeo.

TED talk on Puzzle Design

Scott Kim’s talk on is inspiring on a number of levels. The explanation of playing with the puzzle-doer’s perception through the design of his first puzzle, then his visual designs (ambigrams) through to his current work in social media got me thinking. I wish he would’ve spent more time discussing his feeling about the direction our society is headed in it’s relationship with games: away from first-person-shooter to games that casually reflect the player’s lifestyle. I usually hear arguments for the therapeutic benefits of alternate worlds from my gamer friends, but Kim emphasizes health and fashion as the high-pri items.

Morning Bird

This bird wakes me up around 6:30 every morning, and I always think the sun will be out when I open my eyes.
Audio MP3