JOURNAL

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May 2005

Umbria Jazz Festival in Melbourne

John Patitucci and Brian Blade.
Two of my favourite jazz musicians
John Patitucci and Brian Blade
Two of my favourite jazz musicians

It has been a dream come true to witness two of my favourite jazz musicians, bassist John Patitucci and drummer Brian Blade, performing live in Melbourne for the first time with the legendary Wayne Shorter.

J.P. has very kindly invited me to the back stage after the concert after he learnt that I did my final year design thesis based on one of his tunes. Both J.P. and Brian are both devoted Christians and down to earth human beings. The experience was simply phenomenal.

Wayne Shorter Quartet.  Left to right: Jason Maron (piano), Wayne Shorter (sax), John Patitucci (bass) and Brian Blade (drums)
Wayne Shorter Quartet. Jason Maron (piano), Wayne Shorter (sax), John Patitucci (bass)
and Brian Blade (drums)
John Patitucci, John Liu and Judy. Back stage after the concert
John Patitucci, John Liu and Judy. Back stage after the concert

November 2005.One

johnliu.com.au up and running!

John would like to thank the following people for making the website possible: his dear wife Judy. Also Troy, Vicky and Yi-Yuen.

November 2005.Two

"Eco Style"

John's photographs of the sustainable multi-unit development in Caulfield (designed by Sunpower Design) are featured in "Eco Style", a new book by Siobhan O'Brien (Lansdowne Publishing, 2005) exploring concepts of energy efficient and environmentally sustainable architectural designs.

Sustainable development by Sunpower Design.
Photographs by John Liu

Sustainable development by Sunpower Design.
Photographs by John Liu

Sustainable development by Sunpower Design.
Photographs by John Liu

December 2005

"The Magic Hour"

"The Magic Hour" by Wynton Marsalis Quartet is definitely one of my favourite CDs of 2005. Some sweet 'less is more' style jazz and funky New Orlean grooves.

The Magic Hour, Wynton Marsalis Quartet

Quote from the CD liner notes, by Stanley Crouch:

JAZZ IS THE MUSIC OF AMEN; of yes, yes, yes; of I hear you! , of That`s what I`m talking about! , of Let`s get to the grits! , of I know a place better than this! , of All right now!

It began in a revolutionary way and has remained revolutionary. The very idea is still astounding. A team of musicians, with very little written music and depending on very little repetition, can create something right on the spot. Fresh. Pull it out of the air, polishing it as it arrives.

Jazz is also the music of hope because it proves that we can count on the human being, we can trust in our collaborators to make the best decision right now and in almost every tomorrow. Jazz means we can improvise with individuality and empathy, we can be ourselves while paying attention to others and by counting on them. We can play.

In our playing we can prove that the ultimate human solution is always some kind of elevated creation. So jazz challenges what we mean in an era so dominated by special effects because jazz musicians understand that, when all the hot air of talking is done, the truest special effect in the arts is always the human being. The human being is the one who understands and who wants to be understood.

Therefore, jazz, so dependent on the flesh and blood special effect, the deeply human, always speaks across every barrier. Jazz accepts no divisions in the realm of understanding. It makes the moment better because, if the moment is an empty bag, jazz fills it with the gifts of feeling and artistry, offered to all, received by any.

January 2006

Holga images

Some black & white images taken with my Holga (poor man`s Hasselblad - a 20 dollar plastic 6x6 camera) over the Christmas and New Year break have been included in the 'OTHERS' gallery. The imperfection and imprecision of these images make them fascinating to look at.
'others' gallery

For those of you who are interested in finding out more about the Holga, there`s a good article by Melbourne based photographer Chris Groenhout:
http://www.apogeephoto.com/july2001/plastic_fantastic.shtml

Enjoy!

holga image
Somewhere in Yarra Valley. Christmas. 2005

February 2006

Australian Open

I finally finished the roll of film and got the photos I took at this year's Australian Open processed - Another good excuse for aquiring a digital!!
It was quite an experience taking sports photos with a 135mm manual focus lens.

Enjoy!

Roger Federer
Roger Federer on practice court

Anastasia Myskina
Anastasia Myskina

May & June 2006

Europe & North America Trip

After years of dreaming, a year of talking, 5 months of preparation and last minute change of plan, my wife and I embarked on the journey of our lives (to date)! Visiting 13 cities in 5 countries in 5 weeks - Amsterdam, Haarlem & Leiden in the Netherlands; Copenhagen in Denmark, Malmo and Stockholm in Sweden; New York, Los Angeles in USA; Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan in Alaska, USA; and, Vancouver and Victoria in Canada.

The trip was full of new inspirations and unforgettable memories: The wonderful Dutch art museums and the Sonny Rollins concert in Amsterdam; the fascinating streetscapes and expensive coffee in Copenhagen; the tranquil Scandinavian landscapes and the Saabs (my favourite cars) in Sweden; the jazz, the hot dogs and everything about New York; the magnificent nature and the non-stop food on the Alaska cruise; the beautiful mountains and gardens of Vancouver and Victoria; and, last but not the least, the endless driving and great shopping in LA!!

The trip also gave us the chance to catch up with relatives and friends who live in different parts of the world - Some we hadn't seen for a decade and some we met for the first time. It made us feel very much at home in strange land.

Some images from the trip have been incorporated into the image galleries (namely 'Urban & Natural Landscape' and 'Others'). Enjoy!!

In Leiden, the Netherlands
Me & Judy. Taken with the Holga in Leiden, the Netherland. May 2006

September 2006

"An Inconvenient Truth"

This is one inspiring movie! A wake up call for each one of us! If we keep wasting resources like we used to, there won't be an earth for our next generation. I seriously and humbly recommend everyone to see it; more importantly, to think about what each one of us can do to save the environment.

An Inconvenient Truth
An Inconvenient Truth

October 2006. One.

My photo album at Flickr.com


4 months since coming home from the trip, I am still sorting the trip photos. Apart from a few selected images included on this website, there are about another 600 plus photos which have captured the moments of the trip. From climbing the windmill in Leiden to viewing the glacier in Alaska; from the danish in Copenhagen to dad's union dinner in New York...

More photos (and more to come) from the trip are now available on my flickr website:

john's photos at flickr.com
Feel free to browse and leave comments!

Trying my first cigar with Uncle John on the Alaskan cruise
Trying my first cigar with Uncle John on the Alaskan cruise

Judy at Grand Central Station. New York.
Judy at Grand Central Station. New York.

October 2006. Two.

My Prius

Now I feel less guilty about driving. Well, I would feel even better if I don't have to drive at all!

We've been looking for a car to replace my good old faithly Rav4 which I had for almost 10 years. The smart looking European diesels had been on the top of our list, given the ever raising petrol price. However, after seeing An Inconvenient Truth, we have decided on the petrol/electric hybrid Prius.

More to come!