Images of the community I am able to support through the work Bells Of Mindfulness artwork. I have commissioned the ancient tradition of melodic, forged-metal bells, 1000 of them in fact. The bell-making craft of Kutch originated in Sindh, over a thousand years ago, Today, the highly-polished and finely-tuned bells hang in entranceways and many local hang bells at their doors to ward off negativity or evil spirits. While the quality of a bell’s tone is a reflection of the artisan’s mastery. These beautiful objects, along with the cranes will create a participatory installation in the trees in June at the Montalvo Arts Centre.
As a part of Bells Of Mindfulness installation, I am making 1000 origami cranes. There are connections to the Fly Me Up To Where You Are project, as the cranes are left, exposed to the elements they slowly dissolve and become tattered as the wish is released. In this way they are related to the prayer flags of India and Tibet. Bells of Mindfulness is an ongoing process based work that will become participatory to the local Californian community in July for Art In The Grounds 2013.
We were excited to hear today that Oakland-based visual artist/graphic designer Renetta Sitoy has been working for the past few years on a documentary about a former LAP Artist-in-Residence, Laetitia Sonami.
Sitoy has launched a Kickstarter campaign to try to raise sufficient funds to complete the project, and has set an ambitious goal: she needs to raise $10,000 by March 17! Click on the video above to watch the documentary trailer. Then, if you’re moved to do so, click through to Sitoy's Kickstarter page and back the film.
"I hope that this film will contribute to a more nuanced understanding of women working at the intersection of technology and art. This documentary offers an intimate look at one of the most extraordinary, yet under-appreciated electronic sound artists of today, and is structured around an intricate combination of performance and in-studio demonstration."
Laetitia Sonami, who was in residence at Montalvo for the month of October 2005, is a French-born composer and sound artist whose performances, live-film collaborations, and installations explore ideas of presence and participation. Her work combines text, music and “found sound” from the world, in compositions which have been described as “performance novels.”
Sonami develops her own instruments, aiming to create an intimate, spontaneous art form which transcends technology. One of her most remarkable pieces—her signature instrument—is her lady’s glove, which allows her to control sounds, mechanical devices, and lights in real-time.
"The intention in building such a glove was to allow movement without spatial reference, and most importantly to allow for multiple, simultaneous controls. The sounds are now "embodied", the controls intuitive, and the performance fluid. It has become a fine instrument."
Above: Butch Morris at the NYC Winter Jazzfest in 2011, via The New York Times.
We join with other members of the musical community to mourn the death of a legendary composer and musical innovator, Butch Morris. Morris passed away on Tuesday after a battle with lung cancer. He was 65 years old.
Morris, whose work has been described as standing at the “confluence of jazz, new music, improvisation and contemporary classical music,” made a truly profound contribution to the development of 21st century musical composition and performance with a technique he dubbed (and trademarked) “Conduction ®.”
A method of “conducted improvisation,” Morris described Conduction as “a vocabulary of ideographic signs and gestures activated to modify or construct a real-time musical arrangement or composition.” Making use of a broad spectrum of movement and signals, the conductor could unite and guide the orchestra as it improvised, weaving together a collaboratively-created original performance. The video below demonstrates what this could look and sound like:
At Montalvo, we fondly recall the three months Butch Morris spent as an Artist-in-Residence at the LAP. His project during his tenure was to develop a written description of Conduction. During his time here, his charisma and passion were an inspiration to all he came in contact with, including the Montalvo staff and Trustees. He formed a number of creative collaborations with the other Fellows in residence that fall, including composer Matthew McBane, writer Andrew Saito, and culinary fellow Michelle Fuerst. Morris also generously gave of his time and energy during his fellowship, leading Master Classes at local schools, introducing a new generation of musical talent to the possibilities of innovation and improvisation.
For those who wish to learn more about his remarkable life and accomplishments, please
Earlier this week, mezzo-soprano Laurie Rubin began her tenure as a Montalvo Artist-in-Residence. Just prior to arriving in Saratoga, she made headlines at her performance opening the 10th season of Music at Meyer, the concert series at Temple Emanu-El in San Francisco, a program inspired by her recently published memoir: Do you Dream in Color?: Insights from a Girl Without Sight, which details her career as an international opera singer…who happens to be blind.
If the San Francisco Classical Voice’s review of her show whets your appetite for more information about Rubin, be sure to check out
- This advance write-up about the recital at Temple Emanu-El, also in the San Francisco Classical Voice.
- This article in the Los Angeles Times, giving insight into just how Rubin perceives and is inspired by color
- Her upcoming Final Fridays performance at 6pm on January 25. Rubin will present, along with Jennifer Taira, select tracks off their new album The Girl I Am, which they are writing/recording together during their residencies.
- Her LAP residency profile page.
Left: Quintan Ana Wikswo; Right: Dohee Lee, photo by Jason Lew.
We are pleased to congratulate two artists associated with the LAP residency program on a major achievement: they are both among the Creative Capital Grant recipients of 2013.
Multidisciplinary artist Quintan Ana Wikswo, who was in residence at the LAP for a week in October 2012 as part of a collaboration with composer Andrea Clearfield, has been awarded a grant in the area of Emerging Fields, for her project problemkinder / Mercy Killing Aktion:
"In problemkinder / Mercy Killing Aktion, Quintan Ana Wikswo explores clandestine sites where state-sponsored programs conducted biosocial crimes and human rights atrocities against female, queer, disabled, ethnic, and psychiatrically-targeted communities. The artist uses damaged, broken, and salvaged cameras, typewriters, administrative and industrial materials manufactured through forced institutional labor to create a constellation of projects in text, literature, photography, film, video, fieldwork documentation, site-specific installations and collaborative performance works. These materials become unexpected tools to subvert the secrecy, censorship, silencing and suppression surrounding how the state defines normalcy, and the institutions it uses to control, contain and eliminate those whom it deems abnormal.” [Source: Creative Capital press release.]
Composer/performance artist Dohee Lee will be coming to the LAP residency in the summer of 2013. She has been awarded a grant in the area of Performing Arts to continue work on her piece The Mago Project:
"The Mago Project is a performance installation integrating music, dance, animation, ritual and mudangism (Korean shamanism). Through an exploration of the myth of Mago and Dohee’s own life story, the piece unfolds in six chapters. The project will culminate in a series of performance/installations at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco in 2013-2015.” [Source: Creative Capital press release.]
You can read more about these artists’ backgrounds and projects both on their respective websites [ Dohee Lee | Quintan Ana Wikswo ] as well as on their LAP residency profile pages [ Dohee Lee | Quintan Ana Wikswo ].
It’s hard to believe that in a few short weeks, Niki Ford will conclude her term as Montalvo’s 2012 Culinary Artist-in-Residence. Her residency will end on December 31. Though we will be sorry to say goodbye, we wish her well at her exciting new position as Culinary Director at the Healdsburg SHED. The SHED is the subject of this in-depth article in the North Bay Business Journal.
I’m hoping you can answer this question for me.
A friend and I drove up to the Montalvo Arts Center last weekend from San Diego. As we drove up to and past the Villa, we noticed signs along the road that were all abbreviated. We could interpret most of them, except the last 2. It had something to do with a journey in the forest…..
Could you please tell me what all the signs meant? It drove my friend and me crazy!
Writer, playwright, and interdisciplinary performance artist Andrea Kleine and bandleader, composer, and drummer Bobby Previte finished their second month-long residency at Montalvo on October 31. Their major focus while in residence at the LAP was to continue work on their project Memoir, an update of Andrea’s 1999 performance piece Memoir Never Was.
Our conversation about their work will be posted in the next few days. In the meantime, enjoy this video of the original staging of Memoir Never Was!