Sunday, January 10, 2021

Elephants in the Room - Divoc Lockdown! Divoc!

 Karl Evangelista of Grex has been curating online music festivals during the reduced live activity necessitated by the COVID crisis. He asked me to contribute something for Lockdown Festival IV. 20 - 30 minutes was the requested length. You could live-stream or send in something pre-recorded. I opted for the latter. It took a lot of work and despite the many steps involved in creating a video piece, it was largely improvised, even in the editing. Especially in the editing. Other than the final portion that I play on cimbasso, it was all editing. That final piece on cimbasso btw, is Fanfare COVID-19, which I wrote on commission to be part of a project by Mia Kuwada. It is for any single instrument and is available if you want it. Just drop me a line. The festival was streamed on New Year's Day, January 1, 2021.

To get background shots for the video, I took a trip to Joshua Tree and the Salton Sea. By the time I got to Joshua Tree, I was pretty clear in my mind that its particular style of desert had too much life going on for what I wanted. I really wanted those shores of dead fish, images that are burned in our minds of the Salton Sea. But I was at the monument so figured I should take a least some shots. Good decision. On walking to "my spot," (I have a spot I always go to in Joshua Tree) I came upon a recently dead cottontail rabbit. I have no idea what killed it. There were no bite marks, no sign of a struggle, so it wasn't some other animal's dinner. Maybe just old age or a heart attack. Who knows. But it was perfect. Definitely made the trip to Joshua Tree worthwhile. 

Then I headed south to Mecca. You have to go through Mecca to get to the Salton Sea. There were not hundreds of dead fish on the shores of the sea. That only happens in die-off events. But I did have some excitement. I stepped into what can only be called quicksand. It was up to my middle thigh. Both legs. I was alone. Just like in the old jungle movies and westerns. And I did what they did to get out. Laid the upper part of my body flat. I was able to work my way out. It was not fun. It is a good story now, but I am not a believer in dying for my art. At least not by that method. Click here for a YouTube video on how to get out of it. 

Here is the link for my piece Elephants in the Room - Divoc Lockdown! Divoc!:

Some screenshots from the video:

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