The Ixchel Song Garden, an Earthtones Project.
The Ixchel Song Garden is a creative community collaboration located at the A&H's Maitland Art Center. Here, the Earthtones artists and musicians will be designing and creating a series of musical gardening tools. With these tools, we will build a terraced garden that will also be designed to produce sound through a series of percussive water drums and cymbals. This large scale earthwork, garden and full complement of tools, will serve as our instruments and our stage. And within this stage, the process of working the soil, nurturing plants and harvesting food will be our song.
Over the course of a growing season, community partners will be invited to share this space by designing and building their own living sculptures. My team of lead artists and I will serve as guides and mentors. Together, we will plant a garden and make improvised music, watching as one act informs the other. The recordings we will make throughout this process will serve to create an audio soundtrack to the four month long journey through soil and seed, wind and rain, moth and honeybee. Human hands at work and at play harmonize with these ecological rhythms. This organic symphony will evolve just as the garden grows. And, as the fruits of the garden grow to harvest, we will hone and organize the music making of each community group from the improvised to the organized. The end results will be recorded CD’s of the full experience, a bounty of vegetables, herbs and flowers and a fully immersive, interactive, multi-sensory, public art experience.
As we proceed with Earthtones: the Ixchel Song Garden, we find ourselves at a unique moment in time. At this moment, when the past threatens to collide with the future, we are at a crossroads. Which path forward will our conscience lead us? Ixchel is the Mayan goddess of fertility and the moon. As such, she is the symbolic matron of our project. And as a crossroads is a place that symbolizes an overlap between the spiritual and the physical realms, we hope that this garden becomes a space for the garden of seeds and sound to open us up to the spiritual realm of understanding our place within the ecological poetry of our environment. We hope to become a public space for creative investment from our neighboring communities of Winter Park, Eatonville and Maitland. While growing food and teaching about the systems by which it can be done, we will provide an earthen observatory for education and public health. Our song will provoke reflection inward upon our relationships with each other and upon this land we so heartily depend. Our garden will be a free space for creativity and diversity. Our social sculpture will be an instrument for dreaming and a tool for hope. Please help us create this public space of peace, play and understanding.
We are asking for your gracious support to help us fulfill this public art project. The amount we are seeking is the minimum necessary to fund our project through the winter/spring growing season. Your support will provide:
• Clean soil, sod, and stone, the raw materials to craft the earthwork and gardens.
• The initial seeds, seedlings and plants, used for each community group, including edibles, herbs, pollinators, native species and structural plants used to form space.
• Development of a sculptural skeleton of shade provision, rainwater catchment and irrigation to be hand powered and infused with sound generating function.
• Research, development, and production of musical tools and sound generating garden enhancements.
• Integrated sound system electronics including speakers, amps, mixers and recording devices. • Studio time for recording, producing and pressing cd's.
• Discretionary budgets for community partners to customize and direct their garden terrace.
• Supplies for community workshops held at the site as well as materials for a community drawing as documentation on-site lab.
• Last, but not least, a morsel of compensation for the lead artists as well as travel expenses to and from Tampa to Orlando.
Additional funding above our minimum goal would grant the project huge benefits as follows;
- Continuation of the project for the subsequent summer and/or autumn growing seasons. This would allow for our community partners to be established through complete cycles of seed to seed.
- The creation of satellite gardens in our partners' respective communities.
- Broad expansion of our sound recording, editing and production capabilities, as well as, the development of sound generating tools and apparatus.
- Additional multi-species habitat enhancements for pollinators, birds, bats and, of course, our canine friends.
Thank you in advance from the lead artists for your support and contribution. We want you to be a part of a beautiful creative experience together with the Orlando community. We invite you to follow our progress and join in at: www.earthtones2016.wordpress.com
Allow me to introduce you to my collaborators;
Sean Hamilton is a percussionist, composer, improviser, and audio engineer whose interests primarily lie in the conjunctions of new music, electroacoustic music, free improvisation, experimental music, and interdisciplinary projects. Sean’s performance background includes featured performances as an artist-in-residence with Leeds Improvised Music and Experimentation (LIME) in the United Kingdom and at the Anxious Sound Series in New Orleans, the commission and world premiere of Stuart Saunders Smith’s evening-length vibraphone solo Queen Anne’s Lace, and featured lectures and guest artist recitals at universities including the University of Leeds, California State University Long Beach, Tulane University, and the University of Tennessee Knoxville. His playing can be heard on his recent solo album LOCI, on several releases with the McCormick Percussion Group, and on two releases with his electroacoustic duo Mechanical Bull. Sean is a regular collaborator with visual artists, dancers, choreographers, and musicians, having previously worked with artists including Tatsuya Nakatani, New Orleans Airlift, Lindsey Kelley Dance, Death Posture (New Orleans), and Eli Blasko. Additionally, Sean was one of four selected performers at the Phoenix Dance Theatre’s Choreographers and Composers Lab in Leeds, UK. His original compositions include works for solo instruments, chamber groups, electroacoustic mediums, and fixed media that have been performed in both the United States and Europe and his audio engineering experiences include the Vail International Dance Festival, the Florida Dance Festival, the McCormick Marimba Festival, and Una Voce Mens Chorus. www.seanhamiltonmusic.com
Sulynn Hago is a guitarist and instructor from Tampa, Florida. For over the last decade, she has performed in a variety of punk, noise and metal bands. Though playing in bands has been her primary interest, in the recent years she also began studying and performing classical and jazz guitar. Her recent projects include Career, a post-punk noise band from Tampa, which she sees as her electric guitar canvas that allows her to integrate many of her influences (from surf, stoner metal, neoclassical, prog, experimental) as well as create a soundscape with a myriad of guitar effect pedals. In 2015, she joined legendary Canadian punk/metal band Propagandhi when she was picked among 400 applicants around the world to be their touring guitarist. When Hago isn’t touring, she runs her own business, Tampa Guitar School, in which she teaches private guitar lessons to students of all ages from her home. www.sulynnhago.com
Check out Sulynn in the following video clip;
Earthtones Orlando, 2016 Dig Deep...sound...seeds...soul!
Risks and challenges
Working with natural elements such as soil, seeds and weather, always presents a certain amount of unpredictability. But the beauty of these challenges is that, even in failure, they represent an educational opportunity to study the causes and effects of biological systems. And here, we also have the time and space to provide multiple trials.
Additionally, many of the musical tools we will be developing during this project have been prototyped during the Music Box Tampa Bay and have undergone rigorous community testing. We are confident in their ability to incite joy.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (21 days)