Published on December 31, 2015

Banff National Park - Aurora borealis on the evening of September 11, 2015.

On my brief vacation to Glacier National Park and Banff National Park this past fall, I was fortunate to be at the right time, right place with the right conditions to capture the aurora borealis. This was shot on early morning of September 11th, 2015.

Living in Portland, Oregon, on the rare occasion that there is a strong (5kp+) geomagnetic storm, it is often blanketed by clouds or the weather is not favorable for astrophotography, period. I was very excited when prompted that there would be a clear sky in Banff and sure enough I went out and caught it. Rarely leaving the Pacific Northwest, it is seldom that I find myself in near perfect conditions such as this to shoot the auroras. I have been chasing this light for more than 4 years and at times driven over 300 miles overnight just for the opportunity to capture it. You can say I am obsessed, or dedicated. As a photographer, amateur astronomer and aspiring scientist, in addition to having a passion for the arts I am equally as inquisitive about the science behind the phenomenon.

The first scene is of the Fairmont Hotel, one of Canada's grand railway hotels. It was designed by American architect Bruce Price in the style of Scottish Baronial and built between the spring of 1887 and 1888. Situated above Bow Falls at 1414 meter elevation snugged away in the Rockies, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, popular with celebrities and the general public alike.

The second scene was shot at Surprise Corner in Banff, just across from the Fairmont Hotel and the third scene was shot overnight from my hotel room. Over all, there were more than 2,053 images stitched together to make the time-lapse spanning more than 4-5 hours of shooting outdoor overnight, not including the hours it takes for post-editing work.

This is also part of my effort of an on-going project I am working on -- my own version of the night sky in Oregon, however, that will only include footage shot in the state of Oregon, so this will unfortunately be excluded.

Published on Sep 28, 2015

Sherrard Point, Larch Mountain
Mt. Hood National Forest, Oregon


Harvest Super Moon Eclipse, September 27th, 2015.

A super moon is when the moon's elliptical orbit approach is closest to Earth making it appear larger than normal by approximately 14%.

Although this is difficult for the human eyes to differentiate when the moon is high up in the sky. For optimal viewing, look to the east and find a clear horizon where you can watch the moon rise. The moon's proximity to Earth's horizon and familiar objects in the skyline will make it easier to see the difference in the moon's size and brightness.

For people on the west coast, the moon rise at 6:56pm PST with the sun setting at 6:59 p.m.

According to the OregonLive:
"On Sunday, in Portland, the partial eclipse begins at 6:07 p.m. The total eclipse begins at 7:11 p.m., at which time the moon should be in view over the horizon (weather allowing). The eclipse is at its greatest at 7:47 p.m.

After 72 minutes, the total eclipse ends at 8:23 p.m. and the partial eclipse ends at 9:27 p.m. The times are provided by Todd, the director of space science education for OMSI."

Published on Sep 20, 2015

Calling all Portland friends of trees, allies, neighbors and nature lovers everywhere!

Old Trees PDX: Preserving Portland's Most Sacred Old Giants and Save the Portland Redwoods needs your help!


Please keep a watchful eye out for the douglas firs on SE 41st and SE Clinton Street. If you live nearby and are able to use your car to block Morton from getting close to the trees, please do so. They are still at risk of being cut down by Everett Custom Homes even though the higher publicity sequoias have thankfully been saved. Morton Tree Service was hired by Everett to cut down the rest of the Douglas firs on Monday September 14th, 2015, but was unsuccessful thanks to protesters who stood by and prevented them from entering the lot.

We still need able bodies to help guard the trees on Clinton Street. We need the community to form a human blockade and stop Morton from cutting down these trees. We need come together to stop the aggressive demolition of Portland.

Old Trees PDX wrote:
"On Monday, we asked city officials to help us identify next steps in changing Title 11 (Tree Code) to preserve old large trees near the perimeter of development properties. Their responses were incredibly helpful. They suggested we do the following:

1) Attend meetings of the Tree Project Oversight Advisory Committee (OAC) the Second Monday of each month, 10am-noon. 1900 Building, 1900 SW 4th Ave, Room 2500Bhttps://www.portlandoregon.gov/trees/...

2) Submit a regulatory improvement request (RIR) to the City's RIR Databasehttps://www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/33368

3) Voice our concerns to Commissioner Dan Saltzman (who oversees the Bureau of Development Services) http://www.portlandonline.com/saltzman/

4) Voice our concerns to Patti Howard (Senior Policy Analyst covering the Tree Code for Commissioner Amanda Fritz) http://www.portlandonline.com/Fritz/i...

We asked for help in creating an action plan, and we got it. Let's do this!"

Please share far and wide. Help us protect these trees for many future generations to come. They are a vital part of our ecosystem. If this continues at the rate of deforestation happening globally there may not be many left in the future.

"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not." - Dr. Seuss

Published on Sep 18, 2015

Portland! Save the Portland Redwoods need your help at 7:00AM this September 16th!

Location:
3654 SE Martins Street
Portland, Oregon 97202

These are the three giant sequoias planted in SE Portland in the 1800's that Everett Custom Homes are trying to cut down for urban development.

Vic Remmers, chair of Everett Homes was recently appointed one of the 25-member Stakeholder Advisory Committee to assist the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability with the Residential Infill Project in Portland by Mayor Charlie Hales. Within a few weeks of being appointed Remmers have already bypassed Portland's Title 11 meant to protect trees in Portland by paying $1,200 per trees for the rights to cut them down.

This is not a sustainable model in Portland.

Neighbors in the immediate area have expressed disapproval of the demolition and local activists have gathered underneath the trees to prevent cutting of these trees. There are at least two activists who have climbed some 50' up these historic trees that survived through the World Wars.

Locals are calling for support from the community and asking for people to show up early tomorrow morning by 7:00am to form a human blockage and prevent Everett Homes from cutting down these trees which are rumored to be processed and shipped for timbers.

Giant sequoias can live for thousands of years and are the world's largest living organisms by volume. These sequoias are approximately 120' tall and are considered healthy, young juveniles that provide shelter for an array of migrating birds, insects, and small mammals. They are considered endangered and scientists are still actively working to replant them around the world.

Please join us and save the majestic giants of Portland.

Gordon Lee with the Mel Brown Septet at Jimmy Mak's
Autumn 2014

The Septet had a CD release party for “Tuesday Night” on Tuesday night September 23rd, 2014 at Jimmy Mak’s in NW Portland on 10th and Everett.

The event started at 8:00pm where minors were welcomed until 9:30pm. 

Cover $10 or $22 for admission and CD release.

See more at:
http://originarts.com/oa2/recordings/recording.php? TitleID=22111#sthash.KwgNwBqL.dpuf
http://oregonmusicnews.com/tag/gordon-lee/

Beats Lyrics Leaders
Spring 2014

Videographer/Photographer for Beats Lyrics Leaders.

Published on Jun 16, 2014

Native Youth Leaders in Oregon Tell Their "Vision of the Drum"
Music Industry and Celebrities Rally Behind Youth Leadership Program

PORTLAND, OREGON - On June 17th, twelve Oregon-based American Indian/Alaska Native high school youth will launch a 60-day Indiegogo campaign to raise funds for their "Vision of the Drum." The youth recently embarked on a 16-month music industry leadership program called "Setting the Stage," where they are writing, recording and marketing an original album of contemporary-meets-traditional music in collaboration with multi-genre celebrity musicians. The program is designed by Portland-based Beats Lyrics Leaders (BLL), and brings together support from the NW Portland Area Indian Health Board, the Cow Creek Band of the Umpqua Tribe of Indians, the Native American Rehabilitation Association, PDX Pop Now!, the Oregon Arts Commission, the Oregon Cultural Trust, and Universal Records.
Beats Lyrics Leaders co-founder J Ross Parrelli, a Hip Hop artist (recently signed to Universal Records) and educator, says, "The goal of this fundraiser is to bring hope and provide opportunities to dream; to develop music business strategies and entrepreneurship. I teach students how to build skills around money, business, and goals." Youth in the program participate in a minimum of six leadership retreats, where they are working towards certificates in the recording arts. Additionally, the leadership cohort participates in an online community where they are developing music and business tools and gathering support for their transitions out of high school.
Current research indicates that about 5/100ths of 1% of philanthropy & foundation dollars go towards Native American artists. Reuben Tomás Roqueñi, program director at Native Arts and Cultures Foundation in Vancouver, WA, says, "Any calculation to find the percentage of funding dollars going to Native arts is basically infinitesimally small. There is an obvious need." While the Oregon Arts Commission has provided funds through their new World of Work grant to match investment from the tribal organizations, the youth, who are from all over the state, still have limited access to the technology and professional services that can set a young musician's artistic career in motion. Funds from the fundraiser will be managed in personal production budgets by each student, allowing them to record in professional studios, create music videos, mentor under celebrity artists, take private lessons on an instrument, and anything else that they feel will propel their artistic vision forward.
Beats Lyrics Leaders participant Georgene Tenorio says, "This is a really good experience for me. I get to explore my passion for music and I get to avoid doing drugs and alcohol, so I will be the first in my family. Along with that, I get a chance to really shoot for my dreams." Please visit http://BeatsLyricsLeaders.com for more information.
###
To schedule an interview, please contact program co-founder Chaz Mortimer at 720-936-7771 or beatslyricsleaders@gmail.com

Beats Lyrics Leaders
Spring 2014

Videographer/Photographer for Beats Lyrics Leaders.

Published on Jun 15, 2014

Go to http://BeatsLyricsLeaders.com to Support!
Native Youth Leaders in Oregon Tell Their "Vision of the Drum"
Music Industry and Celebrities Rally Behind Youth Leadership Program

PORTLAND, OREGON - On June 17th, twelve Oregon-based American Indian/Alaska Native high school youth will launch a 60-day Indiegogo campaign to raise funds for their "Vision of the Drum." The youth recently embarked on a 16-month music industry leadership program called "Setting the Stage," where they are writing, recording and marketing an original album of contemporary-meets-traditional music in collaboration with multi-genre celebrity musicians. The program is designed by Portland-based Beats Lyrics Leaders (BLL), and brings together support from the NW Portland Area Indian Health Board, the Cow Creek Band of the Umpqua Tribe of Indians, the Native American Rehabilitation Association, PDX Pop Now!, the Oregon Arts Commission, the Oregon Cultural Trust, and Universal Records.
Beats Lyrics Leaders co-founder J Ross Parrelli, a Hip Hop artist (recently signed to Universal Records) and educator, says, "The goal of this fundraiser is to bring hope and provide opportunities to dream; to develop music business strategies and entrepreneurship. I teach students how to build skills around money, business, and goals." Youth in the program participate in a minimum of six leadership retreats, where they are working towards certificates in the recording arts. Additionally, the leadership cohort participates in an online community where they are developing music and business tools and gathering support for their transitions out of high school.
Current research indicates that about 5/100ths of 1% of philanthropy & foundation dollars go towards Native American artists. Reuben Tomás Roqueñi, program director at Native Arts and Cultures Foundation in Vancouver, WA, says, "Any calculation to find the percentage of funding dollars going to Native arts is basically infinitesimally small. There is an obvious need." While the Oregon Arts Commission has provided funds through their new World of Work grant to match investment from the tribal organizations, the youth, who are from all over the state, still have limited access to the technology and professional services that can set a young musician's artistic career in motion. Funds from the fundraiser will be managed in personal production budgets by each student, allowing them to record in professional studios, create music videos, mentor under celebrity artists, take private lessons on an instrument, and anything else that they feel will propel their artistic vision forward.
Beats Lyrics Leaders participant Georgene Tenorio says, "This is a really good experience for me. I get to explore my passion for music and I get to avoid doing drugs and alcohol, so I will be the first in my family. Along with that, I get a chance to really shoot for my dreams." Please visit http://BeatsLyricsLeaders.com for more information.
###
To schedule an interview, please contact program co-founder Chaz Mortimer at 720-936-7771 or beatslyricsleaders@gmail.com

Improv at the Brody Theater
Spring 2014

Piano! Push Play!
Spring 2014

A concert to celebrate the release of Please Play Me! the debut album from Piano! Push Play!.

Piano! Push Play! is an organization created to make it easier for the public to see, hear and enjoy the piano being played....often in unexpected places and often outdoors.  Last years installment of this project consisted of 5 pianos set out in downtown Portland for 2 weeks free for the public to play and listen to. 

The album, Please Play Me!, records 10 young local pianists along with a few special guests, all who participated in last summer's series of public concerts.  These musicians come from a wide variety of backgrounds from being self-taught to recent graduates of PSU's music program.  Some have a deep love for the classics, others play in jazz and pop ensembles, many compose music of their, much of it captured on the album and will be performed in this concert. 

The fun part for many in the audience is the fact they may be performing themselves! Those that want a chance onstage will have the opportunity to put their name in a hat with a chance to perform in one of a few spots saved for the public. So if you're a pianist or composer come prepared with a 3-4 minute piece ready to perform if your name is drawn. 
Good Luck....You're On! 

This event will take place at Portland State University Lincoln Hall 75 on May 10th at 4pm. Free of charge!


Piano! Push Play!
Summer 2013


Piano! Push Play! is a revolutionary piano project orchestrated by Megan McGeorge. It opened on July 22nd and lasted until August 2nd, 2013. This is the first year the project has taken flight with Megan successfully winning a grant that funded for the project.4 installments were placed around the downtown Portland area.
 
The grand piano was centrally mounted by the amphitheatre at Pioneer Courthouse Square and was accessible from daytime until 9:00 pm, at which time it was locked up.
 
The three other upright pianos were installed at:
-The Rose Festival Foundtain adjacent to the Salmon Water Fountain on the waterfront.
-NW 13th and Burnside at the Zoobomb structure.
-The Portland Art Museum underneath the chestnut tree.
 
All three were accessible 24/7 to the public, with the piano located at the Portland Art Museum extending two weeks after August 2nd, possibly longer.
 
These pianos were graciously donated by the Snowman Foundation and will be donated to gifted student/children without access to a piano at home.
 
“We believe that simply by exposing people to the visual and auditory experience of a fellow human playing the piano, we are reminded of how magical and vital music is to our community,” says Michael Allen Harrison, founder of The Snowman Foundation. “Thanks to a partnership with our organization, and our generous sponsors Portland Piano Company and West Coast Piano Moving and Storage, we are able to bring together the components of community, kids and music to the streets of Portland.”