In March 2012, my bandmate Heather Treadway and I stayed with the artist Andrea Zittel at A-Z West for the night en route to our next show with our percussion ensemble, Secret Drum Band. We excitedly chatted with Andrea about the desert, drums, collaboration, and design, and Andrea insisted that we return soon.
High Desert Test Sites and Andrea Zittel have invited us to be artists in residence at A-Z West for October 2012 to develop and perform new work.
We will be living in wagonstations --- modular living pods of Andrea's design - in a new living quarters for visiting artists at A-Z West. Andrea's multi-disciplinary work and High Desert Test Sites' exciting approach to site-specific art have been an inspiration to us, and this is an invaluable opportunity.
We have invited musician Allan Wilson (Chk!Chk!Chk!), musician & artist Tara Jane Oneil, and film maker/video artist Julie Perini to join us on this residency. We all have a history of working together on a vast array of projects, performances and collaborations. We have never before had such an extended period of time to focus on one project together. This is extremely exciting to all of us, and we will create some really fantastic new work.
Our work at the residency will center around a new composition focused on percussion that will take cues from the natural soundscapes of Joshua Tree. My collaborators' contributions in fashion, sound, and video will interact directly with the composition.
Allan will build and then compose music for a site-based sound installation, using a multitude of speakers. Heather will design performance costumes, and Julie Perini will create a video that is tightly synchronized to the rhythms of our music. Our performance will focus on how sound projection interacts with the immediate environment. We look forward to presenting this work together in Joshua Tree on November 3, 2012, and also in new contexts in the future.
Joshua Tree's bizarre desert ecosystem and varied landscape will be an ideal setting for creating work that focuses on the intersection of music and the environment. I have worked as a field biologist and entomologist, and am very excited to pursue this intersection of music composition, acoustic ecology and natural history. My collaborators are equally enchanted by the idea of the desert as our laboratory.
We need your help make this a reality. We'll use the funds you contribute to drive our bodies and gear to Joshua Tree, to purchase materials, rent things, live on the cheap for a month, hire an audio engineer and videographer, and perform our work at a High Desert Test Sites event on Nov 3 in Joshua Tree. We'll also use the funds to bring a few artists from LA to perform their own work at the event. And we'll get you back with a fantastic assortment of thank you gifts. Drum lessons, sax lessons, DJ mixes from Allan, Heather Treadway designs, a DVD documentary of our residency and performance by film maker Jodi Darby, drum beats, records, and even a slow clap in the middle of the desert, just for you.
We're offering some prizes that we think are really fantastic --- and have added a few new bits of magic in the past few days.
1 >>> Rare & out-of-print merch from Heather & Lisa's old band, Explode into Colors. T-shirts & 7 inches. You'll have to search far and wide to find em otherwise. Or just get em here.
2 >>> The DIY Guide to Drums. Best birthday/holiday/anytime gift for anyone who has always daydreamed of learning how to play the drum kit. This is the 4th edition of this book! Lisa first wrote it back in 2001 when she was living in Olympia. By hand. A truly DIY experience - you can literally learn with this book (or, donate $100 and get a private lesson with Lisa, even better!!).
3 >>> FIELDGUIDED --- Lisa's series of books on insects & soundscapes. She wrote Fieldguided #1 two years ago, and it includes drawings & writing inspired by the insects she observed & collected, and field recordings from habitats she visited. Fieldguided #2 will be written in Joshua Tree! Fieldguided #1 & #2 are both available as prizes. Now is the time to get these rare gems of natural history & sound.
4 >>> Private performances! For $800 we'll bring the music, fashion and video we create in Joshua Tree to your very own living room/porch/backyard --- wherever you want! (limited to Portland)
5 >>> additional Heather Treadway fashion options!!! Flowy tanks, amazing winter capes, and opportunities for custom consultation, design, and fittings with Heather!! Here are a few examples of Heather's fantastic & fun designs:
FOR SUPPORTING OUR PROJECT!
We look forward to sharing the work we create in Joshua Tree with you.
Lisa Schonberg is a drummer/percussionist, writer and artist whose work reflects her interest in the intersection between acoustic ecology and music. She currently works as a private drum instructor in Portland, Oregon. Lisa has written and performed music for the bands Explode into Colors, STLS and Kickball, and currently manages and composes for her percussion & noise ensemble, Secret Drum Band. She is a published entomologist, a regular contributor and administrator of Tom Tom Magazine, and the author of The DIY Guide to Drums and Fieldguided, a book of field observations, recordings and drawings. She has played drums and toured with the artists Thao With The Get Down Stay Down, Mirah, Tara Jane Oneil, Tuneyards, Tender Forever, Cloud Eye Control, and Janet Pants. In recent years, she has performed at MOMA PS1 (NYC), the Centre Pompidou (Metz and Paris, FR), High Desert Test Sites (CA), The Los Angeles Museum of Natural History, the TBA Festival (Portland, OR), the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and Michigan Womyn's Music Festival.
Fashion designer. Musician. Custom garment maker/dream weaver. Heather Treadway has been in the fashion business for 12 years, designing and sewing clothing for her eponymous line as well as creating ready to wear clothing and costumes for musicians, performers, children and creative minded professionals alike. Starting out in Olympia Heather made her fashion debut making skirts out of vintage pillow cases. Now she makes wedding gowns and capes for stars like Big Freedia as well as costumes for shows like Portlandia.
Andrea Zittel is an American sculptor, installation artist and relational artist. Andrea Zittel divides her time between A-Z West, located in Joshua Tree California, and A-Z East in Brooklyn New York. In the early 1990s, Andrea Zittel began using the arena of her day to day life to develop and test prototypes for living structures and situations. One of her most visible projects in NY was "A-Z East", a small row house in Brooklyn which she turned into a showroom testing grounds for her prototypes for living. In 2008 she moved back to the West Coast, eventually settling in the High Desert region next to Joshua Tree National Park where she has now founded A-Z West. Andrea has also organized the smockshop, "an artist run enterprise that generates income for artists whose work is either non-commercial, or not yet self sustaining" by selling smocks, and High Desert Test Sites, "a series of experimental art sites" which "provide alternative space for experimental works by both emerging and established artists." Her work has also been included in group exhibitions such as the Venice Bienalle, Doccumenta X, Skulture project in Munster, and both the 1995 and the 2004 Whitney Biennials. She has had solo exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, the SF Museum of Modern Art, The Carnegie Museum in Pitsburgh, The Diechtorhallen in Hamburg, The Whitney Museum of American Art at Altria in NY, The Museum for Gegenwartskunst in Basel and the The Louisiana Museum in Denmark. Andrea Zittel’s work was recently highlighted in the exhibition 1:1 at the Schaulager in Basel Switzerland.
High Desert Test Sites is an arts organization co-founded by Andrea Zittel. High Desert Test Sites generates physical and conceptual spaces for art exploring the intersections between contemporary art and life at large. Scattered along a stretch of intimate yet diverse desert communities that include Joshua Tree, Pioneertown, Wonder Valley, Yucca Valley, and 29 Palms, their sites provide a place for both fleeting and long-term experimental projects.
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