The Musician and Editor of The Travel Almanac Considers Sounds for the Itinerant Holiday Season
As many of us set off on journeys to see loved ones this winter, editor and creator of moody house tracks John Roberts reflects on the relationship between music and wunderlust, creating an exclusive NOWNESS mix that features Arthur Russell, Shintaro Sakamoto and The Smiths, and curating a selection of images from the first four issues of The Travel Almanac. Co-founded in 2011 by Roberts and his Dial Records label-mate Paul Kominek, aka Pawel, the publication focuses on the intimacies of the journey—the planes, trains, hotels and sites—seen through the eyes of such cultural icons as Will Oldham, David Lynch and Rinko Kawauchi. “Physical destinations, and the trips we take to get to them, often find their natural extension in a soundtrack,” says Roberts. “Certain songs seem to almost brand the mind with the distinctions of previously visited locations. The beauty of this is that after becoming conscious of song and place associations, it becomes possible to mentally travel to a desired destination. This can be as rewarding as a physical visit, due to the mind's tendency to bolster its contents with minor works of fiction, plastering over the holes of forgotten or unnoticed specificities. Some pieces of music are so evocative in their aural complexity that they may even allow temporary transportation to places untraversed in the physical world. It should come as no surprise then that these records are usually the ones worth holding on to.” Click here for Roberts' sonic itinerary.
The fourth issue of The Travel Almanac is out now. John Roberts’ second full-length album, “Fences Editions”, will come out on Dial Records in April, 2013.
Director Eva Weber Braves the Arctic to Capture the Majesty of Santa’s Sleigh Pullers
The Venerable Italian Dandy Introduces Advanced Style’s Ari Seth Cohen to His Favorite Haunts
The founder of leather goods company Il Bisonte and Florence’s most vividly stylish artisan, Wanny Di Filippo muses on the beauty of aging objects and the great character of the historic Tuscan city in this intimate video portrait by Daniel Riera. Esteemed for the beautiful bags he has been handcrafting since 1970, Di Filippo is a regular on street style blogs like The Sartorialist and on Style.com’s fashion week diaries due to his debonair flair for layering color and print waistcoats, ties, scarves and hats—all accessorized with his signature cigar. “I admire Wanny's sense of freedom and creativity,” explains Advanced Style founder Ari Seth Cohen. “He has taught me to be inspired by the world around me and to incorporate those influences into my personal style.” Di Filippo's eclectic mix is influenced by an interest in antiques and flea markets, and reflects a genuinely bohemian approach to life. “Don't be conditioned by trends and the media,” he advises. “Cultivate a personal style and buy things for yourself, not to show others your wealth. In life, what’s really important is health, freedom and friends.” Here the Florentine craftsman shares some of the city's jewels with Cohen.
Procacci is an historic café just a shake of a lamb’s tail from the Palazzo Strozzi––it has a really good deli and is famous for its truffle panini. Other trattorias I like include Coco Lezzone, 13 Gobbi, L’Osteria di Giovanni in Via del Moro, and La Giostra in Borgo Pinti—I've been going for years and feel really at home there. Papero Rosso in Via Montebello is a recent discovery.
Museums and galleries
The Palazzo Strozzi shows great exhibitions from ancient to contemporary art; the Bardini Museum and the garden attached offer a welcome respite from the busy city; the Museo Stibbert and the Museo Nazionale del Bargello are equally interesting and a bit more undiscovered; and for modern art I love the Aria gallery in Borgo SS Apostoli, towards the city center.
I'm obsessed with antiques markets. The ones I visit are a strong influence on my work. In Tuscany, most markets move from city to city––the first Sunday of the month it's in Arezzo, the second in Florence (in the Basso fortress) and the third in Lucca. And permanently in Florence you have the Ciompi Market.
Shops that I like include Angela Caputi for jewelry, Lorenzo Villoresi for perfumes, Stefano Bemer for shoes, Penko for silver, and Angelo Vadala for portraits.
For food I go outside the city: the farm of San Michele a Torri sells great organic food.
Inspiration and culture
I go fishing in the rivers of the Apennine Mountains between the Tuscany/Emilia-Romagna regions. I like to visit the Art Nouveau greenhouse in the horticulture gardens (Giardino dell'Orticoltura), and the Roman amphitheater in Fiesole has a great cultural calendar of shows.
Tonight NOWNESS will host an event celebrating Ari Seth Cohen's new Advanced Style book. Follow live coverage of Cohen and the Advanced Style Ladies at the event on Twitter at #NOWNESSAdvancedStyle.