I just finished a 2 week recording project with balloon artist Addi Somekh. He has traveled the world making balloon hats for people of all walks of life, and recently starred in the reality TV show The Unpoppables. The purpose of this project was to develop the balloon drum set as a viable, recordable musical instrument, and to create a collection of balloon drum loops and samples. We had several drummers come to play it and offer their input as the kit took a new shape and sound of it’s own. The clip here features George Bernardo playing the balloon drum set as I accompany him with an original composition on piano and synth.
I finally edited the video footage I shot of this past year’s Vivarium installation at the Southern California Institute of Architecture. The Vivarium is an installation by Matter Management exploring biology, technology and mythology in a complex architectural and multi-media environment. I developed the sound design for the project, which involved inventing a system to monitor the biology in the black pyramid and to use that data to both generate and modify audio signals. The sound included audio amplified from the biology itself, sounds I had previously recorded, and sounds generated by software using the data captured. I developed the data system using Max/MSP.
Above are a couple of sound clips from the audio I am working on for Walks Through Walls… its mostly things I have recorded on the guitar, with some other random recordings thrown in for good measure (eg, a toy finger piano, an ice skating record played on a Fisher Price record player) as well as that MIDI synthy part up there. Some sound was recorded specifically for the show, and I am also using parts of various other compositions of mine. In addition to all that, there are some sound effects thrown in. Oh yeah, and The Drifters. And maybe a Buddha Machine loop or two.
Michele and I have been working on set and media design for Caleb Hammond’s experimental theater project Walks Through Walls over the past months, and production is ramping up for the upcoming show:
Walks Through Walls Highways Performance Space
at 18th Street Arts Center
1651 18th Street
Santa Monica, CA 90404 8:30 pm, June 4th and 5th
for tickets, call 310-315-1459
or purchase online at www.highwaysperformance.org
tickets are $20/$15
Walks Through Walls is written and directed by Caleb Hammond
it features performances by Susan Josephs, Amber Skalski, Tim Ottman, Ceasar F. Barajas and Samantha Gregg
Set, video and sound design by Rise Industries (Jeremy J. Quinn and Michele Jaquis)
Costume Design by Ben Rosenberg
Lighting Design by Christopher Stokes
Director’s Assistants: Nathalie Sanchez, Andrea Dominguez
Production Assistants: Hanna Kovenock, Jonathan Stofenmacher, Alex Becerra
Walks Through Walls is a transcendent installation/performance piece investigating the human condition as an expressionistic landscape of continually disappearing experiences of agony and ecstasy.
It is a portrait in motion of the ephemerality of memory and desire created by boldly physical actors enmeshed in a canvas of beautiful theatrical imagery and sound.
Performers careen and slide through space, accompanied by a mesmerizing mantra-like fugue of poetic text that is spoken, projected, and heard echoing in the sound design. Walks Through Walls is part sound and video installation piece, part performance art, part poetry made flesh.
We have developed a minimal set to shape the space and provide depth for movements, which will also provide surfaces for the video projections.
Onto these structures, we will be layering four channels of video and a soundscape that intertwines with the performers’ actions and dialogue.
The central text, a long, multi-voice poem of fragmented narratives, beauty and chaos, is presented throughout the work as projected text, spoken dialogue, audio and video interpretations, and recorded monologues in both video or on the soundtrack.
The result is that the text shifts through the piece, echoing in the many media presented to the audience, fractured and recombined over and over again for the duration of the performance.
Here are some images from the early rehearsals and production:
Tim Ottman, rehearsing in test makeup
Ben Rosenberg applying test makeup to Amber Skalski
Ben Rosenberg applying test makeup to Tim Ottman
Susan Josephs and Amber Skalski at first rehearsal
Caleb Hammond and Tim Ottman confer while Michele Jaquis and Hannah Kovenock look on