October and November have been an incredibly busy, but incredibly exciting couple of months. We've launched a full-fledged season of performances and a series of residencies in Nebraska, Kansas, North Dakota, Massachusetts and more. We're taking over the amazing Fiendish Plots in Lincoln, NE to create an installation and group of performances called "The Book of Spells"; the last of these performances is Friday November 3rd and features videos by the incomparable Nat Castañeda (she's the best). "The Book of Spells" has been a lovely opportunity as it's allowed us to expand our performance practice, start developing a lot of original content, and perform more together "on stage." It's allowed us to live by our principle of "going further afield" in all sorts of new ways. L. Kent Wolgamott wrote a great piece on this project; check it out here.
We just got back from Wichita where we performed in Anthony's installation "Another Figure of What". One of the "chapters" from "The Book of Spells" is "Spells for Dictators and Borders." This chapter grew out of Anthony's daily "Drawings for Donald"--a drawing a day, everyday for 365 days for Donald Trump. We performed some of these as sort of "lullabies for Donald" with amazing soprano Abigail Fischer at Fiendish and then together in Wichita at Harvester Arts. Wichita is rad, weird, and there were great audiences. Kristin Beal, Kate Van Steenhuyse, and Ryan Gates are the fabulous founders of this great non-profit rocking the Great Plains. Here's a piece produced during the live performance in Wichita using an overhead projector, cut-up transparencies and fossilized sharks' teeth.
We've been thinking a lot about text, image, collaging the two in live performances, singing violinists, found footage, 13th century laude, projections, and what it means to mix all these to effect a certain tone. We finish "The Book of Spells" this week at Fiendish Plots, then head to the North Dakota Museum of Art and Mayville, ND for two more performances directly after.
In October, we started a year-long residency at Aster Montessori School in Cambridge, MA working with young children and pioneering an interdisciplinary arts program loosely based around composer Byron Au Yong's incredible "Water Partitas." The enthusiasm, interest, and insight from these young minds at Aster has been amazing.
We're introducing students to ideas blending sight and sound, working with color, liquid, video, some simple instruments from found objects and more. More on this soon. Here's Becca playing while a student paints, each taking turns "conducting" and imitating the other.