A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of performing at Deep Happening PDX, an evening of art and performance that is hosted at the Bodecker Foundation in Portland. The performances all happen down in an indoor skate bowl, with the audience seated around the perimeter. Some people even sat on the lip of the bowl with their legs dangling over the sides!
I loved this arrangement! When I am doing my solo improvisational ambient thing, it can feel weird if I am on a stage, elevated above the audience. I’m not trying to perform the music at the audience…I’m striving to immerse them in a textural world, sound happening in 3 dimensions! Which is why places with acoustics like a skate bowl (or a nuclear cooling tower) are perfect for what I do…they provide a sound that I can play into and use creatively.
All my solo performances are improvised. I try to go in without any pre-conceived ideas…I just start making a sound and then try to follow the thread from one movement to another. It’s all part of generating an experience that’s unique (and responsive) to that space and time. Even the vibes of the people in the room shape what happens!
It’s wonderful that places like the Bockeder Foundation exist and that they give people the freedom to put on events like this. There’s a lot of popularity-contest-based media that’s calculated to appeal to the widest possible audience…fast food content that is satisfying for a moment but ultimately leaves one feeling empty and gross. It’s important that we have experiences that aren’t psychologically engineered to get you to swipe over and over and over. Things like taking a walk through the woods or spending time staring at a painting, or absorbing a performance for the sake of feeding your soul and being transported somewhere else are vital.
Ok. I’ll get off my soapbox now and simply say thanks to Jose Medeles and Chris Funk for organizing a great event and asking me to be a part of it.
If you’d like to hear the whole performance, you can listen to it here.