The Newbies Lift Off - Makaya McCraven

from the album Universal Beings (2018)

I love kinetic architecture and art.

I love visiting buildings designed by master designers. like John Portman and Santiago Calatrava, and the simply sitting in - and around - them.  Glass elevators, movable sunscreens, and revolving rooftops captivate me.

I love the sculptures that you find in modern public spaces. The works are often inspired by the masters of the post-WWII kinetic art movement, like Vladimir Tatlin and Alexander Calder.  They remind me of exquisite earrings dangling from a beautiful woman made of glass and steel.

I love large, well designed airports.  They are purposeful and inspirational.  Their landscapes kinetic, under a symphony of arriving and departing airplanes; all specialized vehicles delivering fuel, baggage, and booze; and the flow of passengers moving through the buildings.

Airports are beautiful.

I love being alone in a bustling airport, noise-cancelling coconut shells on my head, listening to great music.  It seems to me that the right music can perfectly complete the experience.  It also works well late at night, when the airport is nearly vacant.

I love Brian Eno's 1978 album Ambient 1: Music For Airports.  It infuses loops and samples, along with magnificent wordless vocals and ringing piano chords, into early electronic music.  Listening to it in an airport's open space can stimulate clarity and creativity like few other records.

I love the interconnectedness between these varied generations and mediums of art.  Together they achieve near perfection.  Mid-twentieth century art, coupled with early electronic music, in twenty-first century structures designed for humans at the dawning Information Age.

I would love to meet and spend time with the humans who are making art today that will integrate into a future world.  I would love to understand their vision, their essence.

One of those people is Makaya McCraven, a thirty-five year old jazz drummer from Paris who produces some of the best musical compositions of the decade.    His uses the tools of the times to cut, edit, and splice recording sessions with fellow jazz musicians around the world.  The product is reminiscent of electronica - or hip hop - with much finer source material.

When I listen to songs on his latest album - like The Newbies Lift Off - I think about some person, decades from now, listening.  I wonder what their world is like.  I wonder how songs like this might fit into their life.  I wonder what other things from this decade will fit into their life.

And I wonder about the art that that person might make and how it will fit into the world a century from now.

What will great public space look like then?  Where can you find it now?

Click Here to listen to The Newbies Take Off by Makaya McCraven.

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