Posts Tagged ‘Ken West’

Fairfield, Iowa, The Spiritual Sister City, published in Lawrence, Kansas Magazine

February 11, 2014

Susan KrausSunflower Publishing sent Susan Kraus to Fairfield, Iowa to write a travel piece for one of their magazines, Lawrence Magazine, the premier quarterly magazine for Lawrence, Kansas.

Lawrence Magazine Spring 2014Their Spring 2014 issue includes an article on Fairfield, Iowa filed under Journey by travel writer Susan Kraus. Titled, The Spiritual Sister City, the description reads: With a little meditation in the heartland, a rural town in southeast Iowa transforms into a cultural and educational center.

Susan timed her visit last summer to take in a First Fridays Art Walk. Besides exploring Fairfield, she also toured the Maharishi University of Management campus, and learned about Transcendental Meditation, Consciousness-Based Education, and Sustainable Living. She brought her husband, who, decades earlier, when he was a university student, had learned TM.

Susan is also a social worker and her husband works at a university in the video department. They had lunch with Ken West, also from Kansas, who had done some photography in an area Susan was familiar with. They shared a lot about the Kansas and Iowa landscapes, and used some of Ken’s photos for the piece.

Susan wrote an accurate assessment of what she found here in such a refreshing way. You can read her story by clicking on this PDF: Lawrence Magazine spring 2014 for MUM.

See a related article by Des Moines Register editorial columnist Rox Laird. His Sunday Opinion piece features the collaborative civic-minded town of Fairfield and Maharishi University’s Sustainable Living Center. Fairfield defines community action: Jefferson County town shows how to ‘manufacture dreams’ through civic collaboration. MUM obtained permission to make this wonderful article available as a reprint. You can see it beautifully laid out on their website link.mum.edu/GreenFF.

Fairfield Ledger reports: Local artists present ‘Iowa Gold’ to governor, state fair

August 14, 2013

Local artists present ‘Iowa Gold’ to governor, state fair

Aug 08, 2013 – Lifestyles

Composer and singer/songwriter Jane Roman Pitt and Iowa landscape photographer Ken West, both of Fairfield, officially presented the music video “Iowa Gold” to Gov. Terry Branstad Wednesday afternoon in the State Capitol Building in Des Moines.

Earlier Wednesday, Pitt and West were interviewed by Charity Nebbe on Iowa Public Radio’s Talk of Iowa. The interview can be heard at http://iowapublicradio.org/post/iowa-gold-and-wisconsin-heroes.

A tribute to the richness of Iowa’s farm culture, people and rural landscapes, “Iowa Gold” was produced solely for noncommercial use to promote the beauty of Iowa and the state’s scenic byways.

Rep. Dave Heaton lauded “Iowa Gold” as “so beautiful, both in sight and sound, that says so much about our state.”

Barbara Sletto, director of the Heartland Youth Choir, which was scheduled to perform “Iowa Gold” 2-3 p.m. today on the Budweiser Stage at the Iowa State Fair, praised the song.

“The words are great and the melody is very singable — the song is great,” she said.

Pitt said she was inspired to write her “love song to Iowa” because the state embodies the principles on which America was founded

“The freedom to own land and the choice to live in cities or open spaces,” she said. “And Ken’s beautiful landscape photos reflect the feelings of pride for our state that I tried to convey in the song.”

West described “Iowa Gold” as a song Iowa school children or anyone can relate to with contemporary lyrics easy to sing.

“We hope our video inspires the next generation to appreciate and care for the land they are inheriting,” West said.

Pitt is a recording artist, songwriter, and composer. She is winner of the grand prize at the International Amadeus Choral Competition and her “Midnight Lullaby” CD received a “Parents’ Choice Award,” an award that honors the best material in children’s media.

West’s images have been featured on Iowa Public Television’s “Iowa Outdoors” and at the National Center for Nature Photography, which is America’s first and only center devoted exclusively to nature photography.

More information on both artists can be found on the Iowa Gold website at www.iowagoldsong.com.

Related Information: Heartland Youth Choir IPTV’s “Iowa Outdoors” Iowa Gold Iowa Public Radio

Published with permission from The Fairfield Ledger

Related news: Fairfield Artists and Musicians Share in Iowa Gold for more information and other news coverage. Laura Simon reports collaboration of composer and landscape photographer to showcase Iowa.

Fairfield Artists and Musicians Share in Iowa Gold

June 9, 2013

“Is this heaven? No, it’s Iowa.” (Field of Dreams) But as Jane Roman Pitt would answer, “Yes, it’s Iowa.” And this is her version, along with Ken West, of what makes their new music video Iowa Gold a heaven on earth.

Fairfield singer/songwriter Jane Roman Pitt and Iowa landscape photographer Kenneth West combined their talents to create a beautiful music video called Iowa Gold. Jane wrote and sang the song. Ken contributed his photographs and produced the video. Tim Britton engineered and produced the music. Musicians were Arthur Lee Land, guitar; Lauryn Shapter, violin; Paul Fauerso, piano; Tim Britton, bass; and David Hurlin, drums. The result is this beautiful video, pleasing both to the eye and ear; heart and mind.

Iowa Gold–Jane Pitt & Ken West

Iowa musician Jane Pitt and photographer Ken West have collaborated on the amazingly beautiful video, Iowa Gold. Jane is an award-winning musician and Ken’s award-winning photography has been featured on IPTV’s Iowa Outdoors and at the National Center for Nature Photography, America’s first and only center devoted exclusively to nature photography. Ken’s photographic work is featured on the Iowa Byways website.

Ken and Jane are offering use of this video to us. The Iowa Gold video can embedded into any Audio/Visual presentation directly from YouTube. Iowa gold can also be enjoyed at either Jane or Ken‘s websites. There are no fees or contracts for the use of this video. It is their simply their gift to the Governor, Mrs. Branstad and the state of Iowa. The song was officially honored by the Iowa State House of Representatives, and has been enjoyed by schoolchildren throughout the state.

Here is Jane’s description of the video, which you can also see and Like on her IOWA GOLD Facebook page.

“The song ‘Iowa Gold’ came to me as I was driving through the Iowa countryside one day. I’d just been visiting a big city, and my appreciation of the simple beauty and richness of the landscape flowed out in this song. Award-winning photographer Ken West has perfectly captured the beauty of the Iowa landscape with his collection of photographs of Iowa’s Scenic Byways, commissioned by the Resource and Development Councils of Iowa. … I hope you enjoy this love song to Iowa!”

For highest quality select 720p HD setting and expand to full screen.

This music video is intended solely for noncommercial use promoting the beauty of Iowa and its scenic byways. Use of this music video, including resale or other commercial use is strictly prohibited. This music video may not be reproduced by any means, whether in its entirety or in part, without the written permission of Jane Roman Pitt and Kenneth West.

All Photographs © 2009-2011 Kenneth West, except for the following two photos: Pacific Ocean Photograph © Jeffrey Banke | Dreamstime.com, and The New York City Uptown Skyline Photograph © Kropic | Dreamstime.com

Organizations or Individuals interested in licensing this video please contact Ken West kwest@ioscapes.com

News Reports on the Iowa Gold Song

Listen to Talk of Iowa’s interview Jane and Ken on Iowa Gold and Wisconsin Heroes. Download the MP3 of the show.

In 1911 “The Song of Iowa” by S.H.M. Byers became Iowa’s official state song.  The lyrics “You asked what land I love the best, Iowa, tis Iowa, The fairest State of all the west, Iowa, O! Iowa, From yonder Mississippi’s stream…” were set to the tune “O Tannenbaum.” Songwriter Jane Roman Pitt thinks Iowa can do better.  She has written a song called Iowa Gold,” and now Pitt and photographer Ken West have put together a video that showcases Iowa at it’s best.  The video is part of their campaign to make “Iowa Gold” the state’s next official song.

The Des Moines Register’s Kyle Munson’s mentioned Jane Pitt and her song, Iowa Gold, in his report on the opening day of the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines. The Heartland Youth Choir sang the first choral rendition of the song. Here is an excerpt from Kyle’s report, Munson: Weather receives early blue ribbon:

Then there’s Jane Pitt from Fairfield. She wrote the song “Iowa Gold” 25 years ago during a drive from Detroit as she relocated to Iowa, inspired by our state’s “surprisingly rolling hills.” A quarter-century later she was able to relish the first public performance of her folk-tinged song as sung by the 32 young voices (grades 1 through 12) of the Iowa Heartland Youth Choir.

Could this become a new state song? (The official state anthem, Samuel Hawkins Marshall Byers’ “Song of Iowa,” was written more than a century ago to the tune of “O Christmas Tree.”)

KTVO’s Laura Simon reports collaboration of composer and landscape photographer to showcase Iowa.

Fairfield Ledger reports: Local artists present ‘Iowa Gold’ to governor, state fair

Click here for a free mp3 download of Iowa Gold. Here are previous posts on Ken and Jane: Ken West and his unique landscape photographs are featured on IPTV show Iowa Outdoors and Lady Lullaby Sings Welcome Home to Love and Dance Like The Wind.

Wild Geese by Mary Oliver, photo by Ken West

November 14, 2011

Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

—Mary Oliver

From Dream Work published by Atlantic Monthly Press

This photo of a family of Canadian Geese was taken by Ken West Iowa Landscape and Nature Photography. Ken West and his unique landscape photographs are featured on IPTV show Iowa Outdoors.

For more on Mary Oliver see The Journey by Mary Oliver, with links to other poems and an interview with Maria Shriver.

Listen to Krista Tippett interview Mary Oliver about her creative process On Being: Listening to the World.

Another beautiful poem by Mary Oliver is The Swan. Other beautiful poems by Mary Oliver are posted here.

Ken West and his unique landscape photographs are featured on IPTV show Iowa Outdoors

November 14, 2011


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