April’s Synchronized Chaos Issue: Transliteration

Welcome to April’s issue of Synchronized Chaos! Happy Easter and Purim and Earth Day, wishing you all well.

This month we’re exploring Transliteration – the process of translating languages using different alphabets in a way that preserves as much as possible the spelling, look, and feel of the original language.

Here’s a link to a decent description of the definition and process of transliteration: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transliteration

Painter Chiyo Miyashita credits the traditional Japanese poetic forms of haiku and tanka as inspirations for her images. Haiku and tanka are short and highly structured poems, with strict syllable counts per line. Her ‘Wandering Fox’ series presents space and visual images arranged in a structured way, conveying the feel and rhythm of a compact poem.

Our other visual artist, mosaic and furniture builder Cheryl Gallagher, also renders complex natural and other images into the hard, static media of concrete or glass. Her style relies on capturing contrasts of light and dark, warm and cool colors to represent the initial visual impression one receives from viewing a poppy on a brilliant blue spring day, or the precariously balanced boxes representing pharmaceutical distribution in poor areas of Africa.

Emerging author Kate Raphael also ‘maps’ the Israeli-Palestinian conflict out through the personal and professional lives of two women detectives, who must put aside personality differences and cultural resentments in order to solve a murder together. Through her novel, Raphael transliterates large societal issues into a story which stays specific and local, grounded in people’s actual lives, rather than abstracting the nature of the conflict into another context or simply making a broad, general statement for peace.

Reaching back into history, and into the current-day realities of her faith, author Cynthia Lamanna describes the experience of eyewitnesses to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. In many Christian traditions, Jesus was physically ‘transliterated,’ returning to Earth in a human body soon after His death and capable of talking, walking, and sharing a meal with his friends. His resurrected body was literally similar to what it was before His death, not just a metaphor or spiritual vision which reminded people of whom they’d known before. Yet, he’d changed the world forever in the time he’d been gone, overcoming the power of human wrongdoing and death through his sacrifice.

The musicians we spotlight, guitarist/composer Bruno Ricci and singer/songwriter Shanna Gilfix, have also changed over the year we’ve followed their careers. Each of their music contains elements of the raw, hopeful energy with which they began singing and performing, yet reflects more complex harmonies and emotions.

We invite you to listen to the new music samples while reading and looking through our other offerings. Through this issue, our contributors demonstrate how one’s work and life may change over time, but how that change does not have to mean eliminating the beauty or the history or the essence of the past.

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