Liquid Ink

The official website of Gint Aras, Finalist 2016 CWA Book Award


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My special guest: Constance Volk

Chicagoans and weekend travelers, be aware: my book launch party is this Saturday, Oct 12th, at 7:00 PM at Volumes Bookcafe in Chicago. The evening will feature Eastern European snacks, a cash bar, and a brief discussion about the process that led to the composition of Relief by Execution. In addition, it will feature the art and music of the absolutely brilliant Constance Volk.

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Connie is a painter, illustrator, singer and multi-instrumentalist. She bends boundaries some of us don’t even perceive, and remains among the most open-minded and versatile artists I’ve ever met. Check out her website here.

Her paintings straddle the boundaries of form and chaos, often blending the two into spaces where the line between these apparent poles becomes irrelevant to the experience of the art. I love these paintings:

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She’s also a stunningly precise and powerful musician.

Here she is playing flute with Ensemble Del Niente.

Georg Friedrich Haas: In Vain (Ensemble Dal Niente, 02/28/13) from Ensemble Dal Niente on Vimeo.

Here she is singing lead vocals for Vicarious Tool, a Tool tribute band (that uses an electric violin instead of a guitar):

Connie will have recordings and paintings for sale, and she’ll be providing live music for the duration of the evening. I’m sure we’ll hear some fusion between Bach and Slayer, probably played on flute.

Come join us!


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Art is resistance

It’s always an exciting step when your publisher tells you the cover of your book is finished. Here it is.

Relief Execution Cover final

The release date is October 8th. Pre-order begins on Amazon and Barnes and Noble some time late next week, February 21st. Follow Liquid Ink to keep up with the details, including news about the launch party, scheduled for October.

Here’s what Mikhail Iossel, the founder of the Summer Literary Seminars, and a samizdat writer born in the USSR, had to say after reading it:

This short text packs a powerful punch. A searingly raw exploration of one’s roots, one’s original milieu, one’s upbringing and one’s own conscience. At times difficult to read, it is nonetheless entirely engrossing. Hard to look at yet impossible to look away. A remarkable piece of writing.

From the back cover:

Between the years of 1996-1999, Gint Aras lived a hapless bohemian’s life in Linz, Austria. Decades later, a random conversation with a Polish immigrant in a Chicago coffeehouse provokes a question: why didn’t Aras ever visit Mauthausen, or any of the other holocaust sites close to his former home? The answer compels him to visit the concentration camp in the winter of 2017, bringing with him the baggage of a childhood shaped by his family of Lithuanian WWII refugees. The result is this meditative inquiry, at once lyrical and piercing, on the nature of ethnic identity, the constructs of race and nation, and the lasting consequences of collective trauma. 

Fussweg


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Concert to fight white supremacy

New Yorkers: in a response to the insane Republican white supremacy movement, with its hateful hashtag #gasthesynagogue,  Abraham, Inc. are throwing a party,  and everyone is invited to join them at Symphony Space THIS SUN, SEPT 24th at 7pm. This concert benefits the NYCLU/American Civil Liberties Union, and features some absolutely  brilliant, legendary musicians, including Marc Ribot (of those Tom Waits tracks) and Fred Wesley (of those James Brown and George Clinton tracks).

The New York press has largely ignored this concert, doing little to share the news. I hope that followers of Liquid Ink, especially that loyal constituency in NYC, can help spread the word.

Sunday, September 24th, Sympthony Space, New York City, 7:00 PM

Here’s from David Krakauer’s Facebook Event page:

In this benefit concert for the NYCLU/American Civil Liberties Union, some of today’s most beloved genre-bending artists join forces in a wild concert. Don’t miss the chance to see them all in one place! This concert is CO-SPONSORE by JFREJ.

– 10-piece supergroup ABRAHAM INCORPORATED 
– Guitar legend MARC RIBOT with “Songs of Resistance”
– Members of the renowned Grammy-winning SILK ROAD ENSEMBLE
– KATHLEEN TAGG & ANDRE PETERSEN: “Where Worlds Collide”

ABOUT THE CONCERT:
ABRAHAM INC. (led by DAVID KRAKAUER, FRED WESLEY, SOCALLED) 
with SHERYL BAILEY, JEROME HARRIS, MICHAEL SARIN, TARON BENSON, EDDIE ALLEN, BRANDON WRIGHT, ALLEN WATSKY, ALICIA KRAKAUER 
Special Guest: FRANK LONDON of The Klezmatics


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An artist you should know: Susan Sensemann

Susan Sensemann is a member of my Zen center. She’s a skilled visual artist whose photography, painting and drawing prove intricate and powerful. I find her self-portraits particularly provocative.

If you’ve not heard of this artist, take a look at her work here. Here are some examples of her work.

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Artists you should know: KaMa Duo in Chicago

Admit it. You’ve never heard the music of the KaMa duo. However, all of this can change for those readers interested in visiting the Fine Arts Building in Chicago on November 18th. If you have the pleasure of listening to these ladies play, you’ll be so deeply moved and provoked by their mastery to be left with an impression for the rest of your life. Hearing their music is like standing under the volume of the Niagara Falls, if sunlight and an angel’s embrace replaced chilling water.

More information is available at this Facebook event page. You will not want to miss this.

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Brilliant Lithuanian street art

All art is political. All art contains truth, although some art is more true that other art. This is about the truest works of art I’ve ever encountered, and it’s from Vilnius, on the wall of Keulė Rūkė BBQ, where I will most certainly be dining next week.

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Photo originally discovered at Imgur, posted by gintrux24.