This spring I had the incredible opportunity to collaborate again with Nathanael Myers for a performance at the Biosphere 2, a world class institution for research. The project was called diøscuri:
“an exploration through movement, sound, and immersive installation, dwelling on the notion of a ‘divide of self’, coexisting halves and their oscillating relationship. Nathanael Myers and Karima Walker, in collaborative performance, create within the active lung of the Biosphere 2.”
For this project, I composed a piece of music for Nathanael’s choreography, as well as a shorter sound piece for an ongoing installation we ran throughout the day. Additionally, I shot and produced a video for my performance and the installation.
The project was made possible, in part, by a grant I received from the Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona that I enlisted toward the purchase of a new projector. Diøscuri was covered by Arizona Illustrated, and you can watch coverage of it here. Top left photo by Desdeneyra Elias.
For this piece I worked alongside Adriana Kanoza to develop the musical element to accompany her installation ‘Only Roses’. We worked with ableton, pulling from her previous work as a musician as well as field recordings she collected throughout the spring. Throughout the installation, the sound piece could progress on its own, with loops built in, but could also be played and altered as Adriana moved fluidly between interacting with people in attendance and tending to the musical performance. The installation itself was an exploration of her ancestor’s long-rooted history in Tucson. Adriana used photography, her own portraiture work and historical familial portraiture, candles, the scent of creosote, an altar and the transition of day to night to highlight the liminality of past and present, of those in her family beyond the veil and her current living community.
I made this video for Lisa/Liza! Some of my words about the experience, and a link to the video’s GoldFlakePaint premier.
“The greenhouses where we shot are owned by a world renowned botanist
based just outside Tucson. They're a little island, surrounded by
Sonoran desert. It's two acres of succulents and orchids from all
around the world. They're a threshold, bringing the larger world
within reach, on an intimate scale.
The orchid house, especially, is warmer, fuller, packed with airplants
and beautiful flowers. Kind of junglelike, but not claustrophobic
because every time your eyes move over the space, they're pulled into
these bright gorgeous colors and forms all hypnotizing you into their
tiny universes. I feel Liza's songs do something very similar,
bringing the sublime and the very intimate together with beauty and
tenderness and patience.
There's a rich and resounding interiority to her songs that unfurls
into these larger and larger arrangements. It's so seamless, and I
suddenly find myself somewhere else when the song is over. I get
pulled in and lose track of time. They're magical in that way and I
wanted to make the video feel magical too, a warmth and light
emmanating from all the little signs of life around her as she moved
through the space. I wanted her to be woven into it, for that magic to
be contingent upon her initiation, and so I decided to make a sequence
where the flowers and plants would glow when she touched them.
The song takes off at the end, and I wanted the imagery to too, where
a kind of collage of the essence of all these forms would transition
into a completely new space. So I used footage from one of my favorite
drives on tour while Liza and Owen Ashworth and I were playing a few
shows together in the west. We drove up from Albuquerque into Denver,
passing though essentially a seven hour transition zone from desert
into a huge mountain valley. It takes all day, and cell service is bad
and there's no where to stop and you watch these super wide mountain
ranges slowly creep in closer and closer until you wind right through
them to drop down into Denver. I layered, with hand held video,
stretches of these mountains over each other, so they'd move and
shake, becoming object-like while still maintaining their scale as the
song opens out into saturated layers of loops and distortion.”
As a visiting artist facilitator, I collaborated with Francisco Cantú to create a two part activity for the UNM LAAW students. For my segment of the activity, I composed a place-based sound bath, incorporating field recordings from the environment wherein the piece was to be experienced, playing with the division between the natural and constructed environment. The piece positions the placed-ness and physicality of sound in dialogue with participants expectations and experience of time.
Live scoring of Heaven and Earth Magic: