Welcome About Me Works Writings Blog Contact


Fantastical show I'll have a piece in next week...

Vigil : Inspired by Memory
Thursday, August 29th 2013
4pm - 2am

1530 Melrose Ave 

Capitol Hill's Melrose and Pine block is slated for development and expansion. Soon this neighborhood focal point will only be a memory to some, and merely a story to others. Vigil is an art exhibit inspired by our memories of this block, and we have invited 100+ artists to create work inspired by their own interpretation of memory. This range of multidisciplinary artists will present visual art salon-style on the walls of the gallery, as well as fill the space with performance and installation during this daylong event.

The event will be held at Love City Love (formerly occupied by the Warren Knapp Gallery next to Bauhaus) just weeks before all businesses must vacate their spaces in the building. We regard this event as a loving send-off to this block; and welcome the community to join us as we celebrate the long, spirited life of Melrose and Pine.

Olivia McCausland, Jacob Muilenburg, Aidan Fitzgerald, Lucian Pellegrin, and Sierra Stinson 

4:00pm | Jakku House Tea and Sage Burning
5:30pm | Readings by Rich Smith, Maged Zaher, Rebecca Brown, and Sarah Galvin
8:30pm | Performances by DJ Bennett Schatz, Hair & Space Museum, Hanna Benn, and more

Amanda Manitach / Derek Erdman / Emily Pothast / Jana Brevick / Andy McKenna / Paul Komada / Erin Frost / Graham Downing / Lindsey Apodaca / Susan Robb / Jennifer Zwick / Andrew Waits / Tarrah Arthur / Lynda Sherman / Darin Shuler / Kelly O / Sharon Arnold / C.M. Ruiz / Brian O'Keeffe / Adam Boehmer / Timothy Rysdyke / Doug Newman / Serrah Russell / Laura Hamje / Frank Correa / Lauren Max / Nick Bartolletti / Eroyn Fanklin / DK Pan / Ryan Molenkamp / Leena Joshi / Jess Rees / Mandy Blouin / Mario Lemafa / Eric Olson / Robin Stein / Laura Cassidy / Erin Sullivan / Emily Denton / Megumi Arai / Rachael Lang / Jesse Lortz  / Dakota Gearhart / Scott Everett / Mike Doyle / Cait Willis / Carlos Esparza / Devon Varmega / Shannon Perry / Max Kraushaar / Ian Hill / Ellen Dicola / Nate Steigenga / A'alia Brown / Lynnly Kunz / Max Cleary / Michael Fettig / Roman Camarda / Tim Miller / Simon Gifford / Foster Turcott / Jean Nagai / Zachary Davis / Rachel Ravitch / Kate Lebo / Lauren Colton / Jesse Higman / JD Banke / Sam Whalen / Estee Clifford  / Adrien Miller / Emma Sargeant / Molly Sides / Eric Eugene Aguilar / MKNZ / Sacha Peet / Thomas Chapel / Kat Larson / Tracy Odell / Ryan Fedyk / Claire Haranda / Kate Lebo / Amelia Reed / Andrew Nedimyer /  Justin Duffus / Emilia Muller-Ginorio / Christopher Harrell / Chloe Allred / Alexa Anderson / Julianna Vezzetti / Kathryn Lien / Tessa Hulls / Kelly Froh / Justin Henning / Tim Miller / A'alia Brown / Lynnly Kunz / Max Clotfelter / Foster Turcottand / Sara Long / Kari Champoux / Kirby Ellis 


ps- will post more pics soon...


art : time : tech

I seem to have been sucked into the Tumblr vortex -- I post less here, because I'm usually over there. Come check it out!


rumblies in my tumblies {or} check out my new tumblr account

I started this tumblr page for my ART 280 Media, Time, and Technology Arts class i'm taking this quarter at UW.

Mostly its  running record of what is inspiring me/ what i'm considering/ in terms of whatever current assignment I have...

My current challenge:

Tiles & Tesseracts
Create a 90 sec. max video
Sound optional

must have:
the ability to be a stand-alone piece
the ability to be viewed alongside your other classmates videos in whatever configuration, and make sense as being part of this new whole...
also must include something of a chain reaction - some kind of hand-off from one video to the next

my current idea:
my cell phone has a dream that it becomes sentient & sprouts limbs

... come follow tidbits of my process here!

2012 tracy yarkoni odell



Her Majesty's a pretty nice girl...

Just finished this Chapter 3 illustration for the book I'm writing, tentatively titled:
"Gods, An Epidemic: An Epic Comedy Drama With Apocalyptic Tendencies"

Each chapter starts with, and explores the theme of, a major arcana card of the Tarot deck. My heroine is a Tarot reader, not because she's 'gifted' or believes in it, but because she's a good listener & people pay well for that kind of thing ;) There are a total of 22 major arcana cards out of the 78-card deck. As a whole, they follow the basic hero's journey from "The Fool" to "The World".

I've had a kind of drawer's-block with this series, for over a year in fact-- until the other day, and *finally* came up w/ this chapter 3 illustration.

key words for her:
• Mothering ----- Fertility ----- Sexuality ----- Abundance
• Material prosperity ----- Pleasure ----- Comfort ----- Power
• Nature ----- Delight ----- Desire ----- Physical attraction
• Health ----- Sensuality ----- Beauty ----- Satisfaction

She represents many things, and typically holds a scepter & wears a crown - but i'm trying to strike a balance between these traditional meanings, and a natural sort of everyday person put in the way of being made to be these things.

When interpreting the Tarot, one must also consider the negative aspects of a card. For The Empress, this can be a kind of smothering. I liked the idea of using vines to indicate the fertility and potential of becoming overgrown -- but a friend helped me realize that this is what my 'shadow' lines were already doing... like they were creeping up from the right, and behind, to smother her...

Anywho, I think she's ready for her close-up:

Others in this series:



a score that sings {?!}

DXarts Digital Sound class, continued!

[in case you missed it, here's my first post about this class I took, summer 2012]

The Breakdown:

Every class was broken down into an hour or so of lecture, usually covering technical topics from how the ear works to how to use Reaper (a free digital audio workstation program); followed by an hour or so of listening. We began with listening to examples from the early days of electronic music, occasionally venturing into classical music, particularly Baroque, and followed a generally meandering, sometimes curious, often jarring, aural path up to the latest and greatest in digital sound art.

A few works I particularly enjoyed:

Charles Dodge's "The Waves (with Joan La Barbara)" 12 min.
this woman has ridiculous vocal control, and this piece is both poem and poetry of voice. with words from The Waves, by Virginia Wolf.

Jonty Harrison's "....et ansi de suite..." 20 min.
an artist takes glass sounds to a whole new level, and then continues to take it all somewhere else entirely. I enjoyed how he grounded us in typical glass sounds, then took us a great distance from them (though we know all the sounds are made from glass objects, he takes us to where they don't sound like it anymore), so that we become aware of how it is we hear, and how we are compelled to identify the what we hear -- and if you're lucky, you can escape this mental prattle and just enjoy the sounds ;)

Luciano Berio's "Sequenza XII for bassoon" 18 min.
this composer gives the bassoon freedom to do things it had never done before - before this guy and this piece, this poor wind instrument was quite neglected and unexplored. btw, this is a continuous breathing piece (!) -- the performer inhales/exhales and plays constantly for the entire 18+ minutes. truly phenomenal.

There are other pieces that blew me away, but I'll leave my list to these three for now. That's a good deal of listening in any case ;)

So. The next assignment, and one much more up my alley, being visual and all:

Make a score for the first 50" of Bernard Parmegiani's, De natura sonorum: Dynamique de la RĂ©sonance

Here's mine, click the song title link above while looking at this:

by yours truly, in Photoshop w/ my trusty drawing pad

I had fun doing this one.

But -- I assure you that as this intensive class continued (4 days a week, 3 hours a day in class, 3 hours a day homework plus my algebra homework that was threatening to bury me; plus, you know, *my life*) well, suffice it to say that my scores become increasingly less elegant, as you will soon see, and came to be something much more Frankenstein-ish. (Not to diss the poor creature or anything, I'm sure he's a lovely guy, on the inside.)



the music of sound

multiple exposure photograph by tracy yarkoni odell, 1998

Sound - inescapable and un-mutable. Even in an anechoic chamber (a completely silent room), you will still be haunted by the beating of your own heart, the rush of air through your nose, your throat, your lungs, perhaps also rumblings in your gut, and should you be lacking such a room: any number of other sounds you forgot to pay attention to, but were there all along filling in your life like so much painted scenery on a stage - the rough, indelicate demi-definition of environment hanging in the background of your consciousness.

Ever-present, yet ever taken-for-granted, perhaps - at least, in an analytical, purposefully attentive sense.

I've played piano since I was a wee lass of five years. I've been wooshed around a wooden dance floor, balanced upon my fathers feet to the beat of a waltz belted out on a saxophone wielded by my grandfather. I've shouted out tunes in my car until my throat was sore. I've been slammed around mosh pits of the raucous 80's punk scene, giving as good as I got. And a lifetime later, I rocked my own children to sleep humming a sweet lullaby, possibly a little off key - the particular favourites being "High Hopes" ala Frank Sinatra and "My Favorite Things" from Sound of Music.

Sound, and music, have been no stranger to me for a lifetime, but when it comes to composing - re-working and molding - shaping and caressing - the reigning in and setting free of tone and pitch and pulse, I didn't even know where to begin.

Which is why, of course, I signed up for the Digital Sound class at the University of Washington, in their very special program DXARTS (Digital Experimental Media and Art.)

Nothing like throwing myself out of my comfort zone to feel like I'm living, you know?

Every DXARTS class is a melding of science/technology with the arts. Specifically in the Digital Sound Capstone class, we learned all the science of sound (from how audio waves behave, to how the human ear physically perceives sound, to the relatively new science of psychoacoustics) as well as the history of electronic sound and sound art - and then were guided to combining this knowledge into our own workings of sound.

Our first assignment:  Listening.

Seems pretty obvious, right?

You may be surprised by what you find, I certainly was... and you may even find yourself annoyed at how pervasive sound becomes in your life once you've started down this hyper-aware path to sound. But no need to frighten you before we've even begun...

Here's the assignment:

{These listening exercises where taken from 'A Sound Education: 100 exercises in listening and sound making,' by R. Murray Schafer}

• CHOOSE a place and a time for your listening experience.
• WRITE DOWN ALL THE SOUNDS YOU HEAR. Take 5-10 min to do this. (It 's a good idea to try these in a few different, contrasting environments, to train your ears, but you only need to write it all down once for this assignment).
• DIVIDING YOUR LISTS Now, divide your lists in a few different ways: - Start by assigning the letters N, H, T to each sound, depending on if it is a natural, human or a technological (machine) sound. - Then, place an X beside each sound you produced yourself. - Some sounds may have been continuous, not stopping throughout the listening period. Note those with a C. Others may have been repetitive (R) and others heard just once (U for unique).
• CATEGORIZING YOUR LISTS - Arrange the sounds you heard from loud to soft; top of the page is loud, bottom is soft. - Now, do the same but rating and listing your sounds according to how pleasant / unpleasant they were. - Now, make a graph, with a medium sized circle in the center. Place inside the circle all the sounds you made. Arrange all other sounds according to the distance and direction from which they came to you.

Here's what I turned in:

“I hear, therefor I’m here.”

7.19.12 roughly 7:00pm, PST, on my balcony, in the front of my house, 2nd floor, Seattle, WA, USA, Planet Earth, This Solar System, The Milky Way Galaxy, This Universe, in this {possibly} Multiverse, Stardate: -310451.3064157054 (according to http://www.hillschmidt.de/gbr/sternenzeit.htm)

5 mins listening:

(C/U/R, X, N/H) I hear, again, these words that I am writing in my head, overlaying:
(U, T) An airplane (small) to my right
(U, T) Another airplane (large) to my left
(U/R, N/H) The thump of my child’s feet
(C, T) Cars rumbling – traffic – on the highway
(U, T) A helicopter thumping it’s blades through the air
(R, N) Birds chirping
(C, X, H) Pencil lead scratching on paper
(C/R X H) Metal table legs thumping ground in unison w/ my writing movements
(U, X, H) My finger swiping the page
(U, T) A door of a neighbor’s house creaking
(U, T) A deep rumbling of an engine
(C/R, N) Birds chirping
(C/U/R, X, N/H) My inner voice “where’s a new sound…”
(U, N) Dog panting
(U/R, N) Creaking wood w/ dogs steps
(C/U/R, X, N/H) “I want to {(U, N) bug buzzing} do this on transparencies – overlaid – visual…”
(R/U, N) Bird chirping in semi-unison w/ another bird
(U, N) Rustling leaves
(U, T) Plastic bag rustling
(U, T) Dishes in distant house clanging
(U, N) Different bird – squawking
(U, X, T/H) Timer beeping! {a delayed me noise?}

Thoughts on categorizing: 

H/N was tricksy, it seems that all H can be N, unless it involves T, in which case it becomes H/T if done with intention/conscious choice; and I had to not assume that a ‘human’ necessarily flew the plane, drove the cars, closed the door, etc. – because I had not seen it with my eyes – coulda been a bunch of escaped monkeys for all I know, and I’d need a whole new category… But why should causality define its category?

I set the timer, the timer made a noise at the time I designated, the noise did not come from my person specifically – and yet it was only because of me that the noise came into the world…. Argh. Circular arguments…

I’m going to take the philosophical route and conclude that all sounds are/can/would/could be arguably all and/or none of these categories. The butterfly effect would be a useful argument for this I think – so actually, I’ll conclude that they’re all “B” for butterfly.

All H could arguably be N.
(all humans are of nature)

All T could arguably be H.
(all technology comes from humans)

Since H could be N and is the origin of T,
(since humans are arguably nature and also are the origin of technology)

And there may have been a B that caused all of H in the first place…
(that fortuitous butterfly that may have been the initial cause all of human existence)

All is therefore N/B.

{Just think – the next time you text ‘brb’, you may be saying “butterfly, repeat, butterfly”}

From Loud {To Soft}

Timer beeping!
Different bird – squawking
I hear, again, these words that I am writing in my head, overlaying:
My voice “where’s a new sound…”
“I want to {bug buzzing} do this on transparencies – overlaid – visual…”
A helicopter thumping it’s blades through the air
Birds chirping
Bird chirping in semi-unison w/ another bird
An airplane (small) to my right
Another airplane (large) to my left
Click of dogs toenails on a wooden deck
A deep rumbling of an engine
Pencil lead scratching on paper
Creaking wood w/ dogs steps
My finger swiping the page
Dishes in distant house clanging
Metal table legs thumping ground in unison w/ my writing movements
Plastic bag rustling
Dog panting
Rustling leaves
The thump of my child’s feet
A door of a neighbor’s house creaking
Cars rumbling – traffic – on the highway


From Pleasant {to Unpleasant}

The thump of my child’s feet
Pencil lead scratching on paper
Creaking wood w/ dogs steps
Birds chirping
Bird chirping in semi-unison w/ another bird
Click of dogs toenails on a wooden deck
My finger swiping the page
A deep rumbling of an engine
A door of a neighbor’s house creaking
Rustling leaves
I hear, again, these words that I am writing in my head, overlaying:
My voice “where’s a new sound…”
“I want to {bug buzzing} do this on transparencies – overlaid – visual…”
An airplane (small) to my right
Another airplane (large) to my left
Cars rumbling – traffic – on the highway
Dog panting
A helicopter thumping it’s blades through the air
Metal table legs thumping ground in unison w/ my writing movements
Dishes in distant house clanging
Plastic bag rustling
Different bird – squawking
Timer beeping!


{Determining pleasant/unpleasant seems much akin to asking someone what their favorite colour is – I find this question mind-boggingly difficult to answer – how could anyone have any one favorite colour??!! I don’t get it… I may be jarred by a sound, and like it too. Is that pleasant, or unpleasant? It’s a bit meaningless w/o context…}

Last little bit… 

“What about sounds I hear with my eyes? The clear ring of a crisply white painted door, or the low sultry hum of a blood red door. Or that I hear with my taste buds? The ‘tang’ and ‘ting’ of a bitter lemon. Or that I hear with a touch? The squeal of sudden death as I just accidentally squished a bug out of existence with my pinky finger (see image below, this really happened as I was thinking ‘what do I hear with touch?’) And a final example – in hearing all these things, in all these ways, is also to hear the past, via symbolic representation and/or association…”


More recent virtual staging work...

client: "The Avalon" of Avalon Bay Communities, via Rhapsody of Seattle


For Reals? Neh, it's all virtual now baby...

virtual staging by Tracy Yarkoni Odell
photograph by Kirk DeLaurenti

Used to be that if you wanted your house to sell, hiring someone to "stage" your home was your best chance to make that happen fast. Instead of your mish-mash collection of home furnishings, a pro would come in and decorate/re-organize the place from top to bottom. The fees can range around the thousands of dollars, especially if renting furniture is required. But a well staged home can raise it's selling price an average of 3%, making staging a pretty safe bet.

Enter Rhapsody Marketing of Seattle, and their innovative See Through Staging division...

Nowadays, with Photoshop, a drawing tablet, an extensive library of furniture images and a photographer - staging can be done completely virtually. This is just what I've been doing for the last few months with Rhapsody. It isn't easy, but it's incredibly rewarding when it all comes together in the end. Here's a simplified walk through of what I do to get a room done...

Stage 1: Initial Assets
I receive raw images of the property taken by a professional photographer, a "Design Inspiration" image from the client, along with a brief description of the look they want to achieve.

Stage 2: Shopping
I'm no fan of shopping, I love buying, but shopping can be so annoying. Lucky for me, I have a resource library of over 14,000 pieces of furniture and accessories, from many different vendors, that I can choose from right on my computer. It was a little overwhelming at first, but after much hunting for just the right pieces, I've become pretty familiar with the various vendors and know where to go for certain styles. The fun part is coming across pieces you love and can't wait to use, like these beauties from Roche Bobois:

Stage 3: Rough Staging
I usually end up with many options for the major pieces, like sofas and beds. The next hurdle is finding them in a perspective that will fit with the room. I may have found the perfect sofa, but if it's only photographed dead-on, that's the only angle I can use it. Some perspective adjustments can be tweaked, but only by about twenty degrees or so. For example, I love the sofa set in the image below, but there's no way I'm going to be able to fit it in the far side of the room at this angle...

So I gather together all my initial picks, then see what will work where in the room, and then which accessories will best fit with my main pieces. I also decide which wall will have an accent color, which then helps me decide what color my window treatments need to be. I end up with a pretty messy picture at this stage, since everything has only been roughly 'cut out' from original images:

Stage 4: The Magic...
Now comes the dirty work... 'cut out' each piece cleanly; adjust perspectives; if removing bits (like that painting leaning on the sidebar, or price tags, or like the bookshelf above whose bottom shelf was hidden by a sofa arm), then re-draw parts of furniture where the unwanted item was; add bits, like the bar counter had to be cut and copied over top the bar stools (see below) so they look like they're underneath it; put new colors on things, like the curtains, possibly the pillow, the sofa, etc.; make glass objects 'see through'; adjust lighting and shading on each object, since almost all of them came from different lighting situations; color correct each piece, and possibly the room itself (some objects will be warmer or cooler than others, again due to the original lighting); add convincing shadows; add reflections on any shiny surfaces, like the bar counter and table top and windows, if necessary.

Often times there's another bout of shopping to do for other accessories, like in this case, I had to find a new painting that would bring the room together; also, the sidebar and bookshelves were sadly empty and I had to find pieces for them.

Fingers crossed, and with some more tweaking, it all comes together, hopefully ahead of schedule - and I get to gaze at the fabulous new room I wish belonged to one of my friends so they'd invite me over for a glass of wine to oooh and awe over their gorgeous digs...

living/dining pieces from Bo Concepts; vase and clock from Roche Bobois

Here's the some more of the apartment:

photographs by Kirk DeLaurenti

See more of my virtual staging work here...



ohhhhh, Gehry

...in honor of my sister's up-coming visit to Seattle (can't wait!),
here's one of the landmarks we plan to see...

photograph by Tracy Yarkoni Odell

The Experience Music Project building,
by Frank O Gehry
photograph by Tracy Yarkoni Odell

{side note: me and O Gehry go way back...
see the couches his work inspired me to make...}


'Gods', Holier Than Who?

Just finished my Chapter 2 illustration for the book I'm writing, tentatively titled:
"Gods, An Epidemic: An Epic Comedy Drama With Apocalyptic Tendencies"

Each chapter is based on a major arcana card of the Tarot- of which they total 22 cards out of the 78-card deck. As a whole, they follow the basic hero's journey from "The Fool" to "The World".

Here is my version of "The High Priestess" 

The High Priestess, from wikipedia:

"Knowingness – Love – Relationships
Wisdom – Sound judgment – Serenity
Common sense – Intuition
Mystical vision – introspection – otherworldliness

… intuitive knowledge. The water that flows from her gown is the 
collective unconscious…She is not merely the mistress of hidden 
wisdom, she has read the words and knows their deeper meaning. 
Generally, unlike The Magician, she does not explore the world in 
order to master it, but in order to understand it. That understanding 
often leads to the temptation of mastery...

She is also associated thematically with The Moon. She can 
lead to deep wisdom, but can also lead to madness…

When she appears in a spread, she typically counsels the Querent 
to seek new paths and hidden paths to wisdom. She can also be a 
warning to interrogate the lessons of the unconscious. It does not 
always lead us to wisdom.

She also warns the Querent to question how he or she has divided 
up the world; to test the judgments made in the past against the 
world as we have come to know it.”

Want more?!