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PUT MY PHOTO IN A MAGAZINE. IN A MAGAZINE


Put My Photo In A Magazine. Underwater Photo Gallery



Put My Photo In A Magazine





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Chart Magazine 1




Chart Magazine 1





Originally published in Chart Magazine (online) on May 30, 2008.

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Jenny Omnichord: Across Canada With An Omnichord And A Pair Of Scissors

By Andrew Hoshkiw



The multitalented Jenny Mitchell, who's released albums with The Burning Hell, The Barmitzvah Brothers and solo as Jenny Omnichord, is strling to break free from London, Ont. Can she do it?

Currently on tour somewhere in central Canada, Mitchell spoke with ChartAttack about music, haircuts and life in general following a recent show in Whitehorse, Yukon.

Can you tell me a bit about yourself and your background as a musician?
I've been playing for The Barmitzvah Brothers for eight years, and that was my first and only real band. And then I joined The Burning Hell just this last year, and I've been performing solo for the last three or four years. Those are my main projects, and I've been playing the omnichord the whole time. It's the one instrument that's featured into almost everything I've done.

Is there anyone in The Barmitzvah Brothers who's actually had a bar mitzvah?
No, no.

So why did you go with that name?
Well, the omnichord, the earlier models, have a very sort of klezmer sound to them — a very folky type feel. Without really knowing what klezmer was, it struck me as the kind of music that would be played at bar mitzvahs. Originally the band was just me and my friend Geordie [Gordon] and we thought it would be a humorous name. And we didn't want to be one of those bands which changes their name and confuses people, so we're sort of stuck with it.

So tell me more about this thing you're playing called the omnichord.
It's designed to be an auto harp. An auto harp is one of those folk instruments that has a whole lot of strings and then buttons with chord names on them. You would hold the chord buttons and then strum it and it would mute all the strings that weren't part of that chord. Essentially, the omnichord was an electronic version of that. And it also has a beat box element of preprogrammed beats and bass lines and drums that you can add. It's also designed to be the instrument that everybody can play. Anyone can do it, but you get a lot more out of it if you put more into it. I've been figuring out all kinds of things that the omnichord has to offer that the average non-musician person who gets enthralled by the simplicity maybe wouldn't be able to find.

How's your new Jenny Omnichord album doing?
It's doing well. So far I'm hand-making the cases out of wood. It's really neat. Every sale is something that I personally created. In terms of the physical product, every single one has come directly from me. I've never had an album that I was so personally connected to on that physical level, so I'm really enjoying it when I see it pop up in various places. I'm almost through the first 500 and after that I'll probably do a normal jewel case for practicality, but it's fun for now.

And how's the touring going?
I've gone across Canada three times in less than 12 months, which is pretty amazing. I got my driver's license to go on tour with Wax Mannequin to be the "other driver," and since then I've done a lot of driving for a person who's never had a license before!

So tell me about the cross-Canada haircutting book?
I've been working on that since 2006 and whenever I get the chance to cross the country I've been collecting haircuts from strangers. I give haircuts, take a before and after photo, and get them to tell me a story, which I record. Eventually, I'll put it all together as a book of my three years of travels with random Canadian stories and photos.

Why do you make music?
I have all kinds of different reasons. We were sort of outcasts and so to make friends with the cliquey people I started a band to get into the community of independent rock shows. Our band actually ended up getting shows and playing a lot. The irony is that we started on that silly level, but we took it a lot more seriously and now we're still around. I had a rule, though, that there'd be no love songs or political songs. The love songs was a personal challenge, because it seems like everybody in the world writes about that and I thought there must be a lot of other things you can write about. That's with The Barmitzvah Brothers. Then I have side projects where it's almost entirely love songs, autobiographical songs or things I care about. As Jenny Omnichord, it's been liberating to have a solo project where I don't have to worry about having other people be represented by me. I only have to worry about me. But I know it's an omnichord, so I never want people to have to take me too seriously. I like to have serious songs, but thrown in with a certain amount of eye-rolling or laughter. I like to play shows where people can be pretty lighthearted about it.

And what do you think of The Burning Hell?
I love them. I've been a fan for several years now. Just this last year they came and recorded at the House Of Miracles in London, whi











My Christmas Card NARSAD Artworks Published




My Christmas Card NARSAD Artworks Published





This picture has little stories behind it. Several years ago, I was really trying hard to learn about Polaroid SX-70 manipulations (alterations, impressionisms...pick your adjective).

I also read somewhere that highly published photos, say in the fall, were not necessarily taken that fall, but rather the year before. What I was seeing on magazine covers was not really current.
Though it was about July when I took this, I crawled up in my attic space, and got some Christmas ornaments out (first time in their lives they ever saw a July) and walked around the property to find a good tree to put them on. I found a Ponderosa Pine that suited me well enough. I'm sure neighbors driving by thought I was nuts, but I do have some mental disorders; so that was OK. Ponderosa Pines take incredibly little water compared to others, and can survive on something ridiculous like 3 to 6 days of rain or so per year.

I digress. I displayed my photo at the Post Office in Brownsville, Oregon, and a few County Fair Shows, like Lane & Linn, in Oregon, and at the Library in Corvallis, Oregon. I did not attempt to sell it. I made some notecards, by hand, with laser prints of the Polaroid, glued onto stock paper. I did sell some notecards. They were popular. I signed some.

Later my print came to the notice of a member of NARSAD, National Alliance of Schizophrenia and Affective Disorders. They have an offshoot company called NARSADArtworks, that sells the artwork of people with mental disorders, and 100% of the proceeds goes to charity. They have contributed over 100 million dollars to research for cures and treatments. It is an all volunteer staff. I was impressed. They offered to buy my print for a Christmas card, and I was delighted. They did 3 things I wish they hadn't done.They got my name wrong, they rectangularized my square print, cropping it in a way I didn't really care for, and the colors on the card were such that the tree needles looked brownishly dead. However; I was so happy to have my first nationally available published card, that I tried to just realize they probably knew what was best.

If you look closely you will see that the blue ornament still shows a little tiny star. When I was doing the manipulating, I thought it best to leave it alone. Touching it at all would probably just smear it. Several people have commented on and enjoyed the little star. This addresses My Story and My Life as a budding photographer.

I may add more later about the Polaroid Manipulation process in general. But that is really another story.


I know what this is...3 ornaments in a pine tree, but can anyone tell me if their company used this for a Christmas Card about 6 to 8 years ago? NARSADArtworks told me some large companies purchased the cards for their clients, but they couldn't tell me which ones. I'm curious. Can anyone out there in cyberspace tell me if their company used these? Thanks, Delina

"C" is for Christmas Card









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