After months of preparation, we are really excited to introduce an extraordinary release with one of the world’s greatest drummers, Living Colour’s Will Calhoun. The collection titled “AZA” consists of 11 different “rhythm-on-canvas” pieces each highly limited in edition size. To see the work, please visit www.willcalhounart.com.
In this short documentary, Bill Ward talks discusses the art piece “High on a Memory” from his art debut collection “Absence of Corners.” Vibrant, abstract, and crafted from rhythm, the piece “High on a Memory” has a special meaning to Ward as you’ll see in this video. For more information about Bill Ward’s art debut collection, visit www.billwarddrumart.com.
By Kyle Harcott
It don’t mean a thing if don’t got that caveman swing.
Heavy metal’s birth, squalling and screeching, is, invariably, always credited to the guitarist of Black Sabbath – who, while unquestionably the band’s de facto leader, is given free-pass, metal-mutha deity status for his uncanny ability to issue sheet lightning from his severed fingertips. As if heavy metal could thrive on tritones alone.
After all… what is lightning without thunder?
When the gods made heavy metal, it was the thunder issued from Bill Ward’s fists that set the scene, at least as equally as Tony Iommi’s lightning. You could not have had that demon birth with a lesser drummer at the helm. Mixing the satanic swing of jazz with sheer brute clobbering force, Bill Ward’s drumming turned the oldest form of long-distance communication into a manifesto of power. And a thousand children picked up sticks.
This summer, I fulfilled a dream and spoke to a personal hero of mine, Mr. Bill Ward, about his latest art project, Absence of Corners, as well as his radio show Rock 50 and the finer points of heavy metal drumming.
How did the Absence of Corners project come to fruition?
A few months ago, I was approached by Scene Four, who had already done some of these portrait series with other drummers, using similar techniques. They wanted to use me, and I was interested, so I said yes to the idea. At first, the idea -I thought- was for me to show up with my drums and just play in the dark. They were going to give me different-colored sticks. I didn’t realize that it would become much more than that.
Were you aware of Scene Four doing this before they approached you? Had you seen their other drum projects?
No- this was all brand new to me.
What did you take away from the project?
First of all, it was very therapeutic; it also put a spring in my heels, in terms of completing a project – at least in getting the prints to canvas and out to galleries. I liked my involvement in it. I felt rather good about some of the things they asked me to write – all the titles, and name of the collection. So I pondered for two weeks, and was able to look at the pictures, and come up with what I thought were some very good titles – and then go into depth about why I chose those titles, and what they meant to me. Very satisfying – I took away a number of different gifts from doing the project.