Ken Nordine 1922-2008
The Eye Is Never Filled (2005)
"I got me this island
that I'm calling me
whenever I go there
you know who I see
you can see me in me
more often than not
and that's pretty often
my favorite spot


there are plenty of spots
called other than me
but they're someone else's
one look and you'll see
you can try like a fool
to be what you're not
the island you get
is the island you've got


How did you come to it?


Good question. Hmm ... guess I had to. Why do we do anything? Why do we wake up? Or go to sleep? Why did I spend all those many hours bending over a computer in the small room where I put together the morphing images you see melting one into the other on this, my first and only DVD? Looks like it was done under the influence of LSD. It wasn't, but that's the way it looks.

Millions of iterations of warping in-betweens going from one key frame to another. Busy busy gigabytes of strange and to me wonderfully moving morphing pictures to accompany my invention "word jazz," a somewhat new medium that I originated for myself a long time ago. Fifty years ago. (1956 it was.) How did that happen, how did my ever DVD get done? How could 90 minutes of word jazz in lovely moving morphing pictures be done without having a drowd of Hollywood helpers? 90 minutes is about as long as a feature film. What hutzpah! What made me think I could get away with it? The answer is very simple. "Because I could." Someone once said that. I forget who.

Yep, ... 'cuz I could. Just a few years ago it would have been impossible. the technology wasn't up to it. But now almost anything can be done. Look with your mind's eye. You can see molecules moving in a still picture.

What's with the name?

The naming came to me from my long gone mother who loved Ecclesiastes. Truth is ... she loved anything from the Bible, it was her favorite book. I can still see her there in her sunshine kitchen, as if it were minutes ago, reciting to me from memory so I would never forget ...

"The eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing."

Difficult to face the truths in that recitation. they have stayed with me all my life, encrypted somewhere in my brain. She died without knowing there would be a something called a DVD and that I would make one that I would call 'The Eye is Never Filled." Maybe now she knows, maybe now she would smile a little, knowing where it came from. Who knows? Heaven is pretty far out to keep in touch. What I'd like to do while I'm still around would be DVDs for all the word jazz albums and all the word jazz radio shows I've done. quie an agglomeration. That would keep me off the street. What lovely happy concentrations it would require. I would have to wind up my will power. And stay healthy.

As for how to watch on a DVD player near you: get comfortable and pretend you're watching a 90 minute movie that didn't cost millions to make and that you never saw an ad for on TV. Sit down and have yourself a nice big bowl of buttered popcorn. Or maybe a box of Dots. And escape into yourself. I hope you like what you see and tell a friend.

How's it done?

Begin with a love for the spken word, a love for the serious sad silly glad language of our lives. And a belief that what you think and feel about what's going on is important and should be heard, which may well be a stumbling block for some. The innately humble. Along with the spoken words, you'll need what's called "head music" to back you up, done without any charts ... the free and easy empathy of a small group of jazz musicians who listen carefully to where you're coming from ... to aid and abet the meaning on the fly. There's a list on the DVD of the great players who did their best to back me up. You need "head music" for where your head is. Also you need a dedicated engineer with caring ears who can record and mix whatever mood you and the music may happen to be in. Mixing is very important. Good sound tracks should be as transparent as you'd like your soul to be. you also need a fast computer (for me, Apple is the most intuitive) with plenty of gigabytes for storage for all the images. Rendering hi-res images takes a lot of time and plenty of space. You'll also need imaging manipulating software: Photoshop along with ArtMatic and Vtrack and Voyager. uisoftware.com is an artistic Godsend that requires deep study and long patience. Fun to wrestle with.

So now you know. Old blabby me has spilled the how-to-do-it beans. Now you know all my secrets. go and do likewise. Do your own DVD. When it's finished, if you're anyting like me ... you will want to do another and another and another etc. vanitas, vanitatum et umnia vanitas.

That eye ain't never gonna be ever filled.

Ken Nordine