Turn Back to Joy

I am constantly in flux. Expansions and contractions of creativity. I think that’s part of it. Deep and shallow breaths. Taking it all in though...nothing to be missed. If you aren't being stretched, try it out. Stand at the edge and then jump off. The worse that could happen is that you’ll die. You always come back stronger. I think about death the more I risk and realize that it can come at any time. Work on yourself and create!! Just my perspective as an Black American living a lower middle class artist life in the “first world.” I can’t take my privilege for granted as I’ve got family in the “developing world” shining...seeing all types of death and letting life win.  Turn back to joy, which is your birthright.

--- Back to Earth ---

My colleague and friend Connor Moore graciously asked me to be a part of a project. He’s hired me to do work before but he mentioned that I had an “expertise” that he wanted to utilize. I heard "soundscape" then "TED talk" and that was all I needed to hear. What I didn't know was that I’d be part of a design team composed of top notch digital media artists from Google’s Creative Lab headed by Aaron Koblin in collaboration with otherworldly sculptor Janet Echelman. I then found myself with Connor downtown at Google offices in San Francisco and it all became surreal. These guys just put out this video a few months ago and we’re working with them. (!)

The basis of the project was that there would be a huge sculpture suspended in Vancouver's waterfront that would have graphics projected on it generated by users iphones and phones would also trigger sounds that Connor and I created. (WHAT?!) We created a TON of sounds that we thought would express natural elements - air, water, wind, etc. as Echelman’s piece would respond to those forces - interactive and immersive. This project was important to me on many levels but the most important to me was that I was able make ambient music, drones, stuff that I’ve been exploring a lot lately. Most of my experiments ended with me saying, “Why am I making this music? Why are these sounds coming out of me?” By no means did I think this project was the culmination of all of this work, but it encouraged me to keep following my intuition and create what’s coming out of me. F**k whatever’s cool. Just create.

This week the project went live with the beginning of the 30th Anniversary of TED in Vancouver. Connor had the chance to check it out.

Here’s a video he shot of the installation:

Here’s a video about the technology used in the project:

What an experience. What an honor to collaborate with people who just wanted to make something beautiful for people to create communally in a public space.

More awesomeness coming including the SF premiere of Growing Cities on April 5 at the Roxy. I’m creating a demonic soundscape for John Felix Arnold III’s art installation in NYC dropping April 3, then an ambient soundscape for his show at Shooting Gallery in May. I'm playing the Gigantar at The Cultivation of Chrysanthemums at Hare and Arrow Arts May 3. Another commission for a piece by RAWdance to premiere at ZSpace in July. Lastly, I’m working with documentary filmmaker Herve Cohen to created a track for his newest film Life Underground. All in the midst of that, I’m going to start working on an album...and continue being a husband, papa and social worker. NBD.