We have been invited by Andrea Zittel and High Desert Test Sites to be artists in residence at A-Z West in Joshua Tree, CA. We’ll be arriving in the desert the first week of October, and will spend the whole month developing work together that will be presented for the first time on November 3rd in Joshua Tree. We started this site to keep everyone posted on our art & adventures of our desert residency!
A little about how this came to be, and what we will be doing::
We first made Andrea’s acquaintance when Tara Jane and Lisa performed in a collaboration with E*Rock and Von Tundra at the 2011 High Desert Test Sites festival. Earlier this year Lisa Schonberg + Heather stayed with Andrea on her land, A-Z West, en route to a show with the percussion ensemble Secret Drum Band (Lisa composes for the ensemble, and Heather designs & sews their costumes). They excitedly chatted with Andrea about the desert, drums, and design, and Andrea suggested that they return soon as artists in residence.
Tara Jane Oneil will be returning to Joshua Tree to create new work with them, as will Allan Wilson !!! (chk chk chk), dancers NICK + JAMES and film makers Julie Perini and Jodi Darby.
We all have a history of working together on a vast array of projects, performances and collaborations, but never before have we spent such an extended period of time together to focus on one project. This is extremely exciting to all of us, and we will create some really fantastic new work.
We will be staying at A-Z West in wagonstations —- modular living pods of Andrea’s design.
Our work at the residency will center around a new composition focusing on percussion that will take cues from the natural soundscapes of Joshua Tree. Allan will build and 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 composition. The performance of our work will focus on how sound projection interacts with the immediate environment. In addition, Lisa will write the 2nd edition of Fieldguided, her series on soundscapes and insects.
..and Jodi Darby will be filming a documentary of our residency & performance.
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. We are all enchanted and excited by the idea of the desert as our laboratory. Lisa has worked as a field biologist and entomologist, and is very excited to pursue this intersection of music composition, acoustic ecology and natural history. Allan will build and then compose music for a site-based sound installation, using a multitude of speakers. Heather looks forward to taking inspiration from the desert for the shapes and dyes of her fashions, and Julie is plotting ways to incorporate the landscape into projections.
This project was made possible by a successful kickstarter campaign, and by a grant awarded to Lisa by the Oregon Arts Commission. We are forever grateful to all of our kickstarter supporters and the OAC for making this possible.
If you missed the opportunity to join our project as a patron, it’s not too late! We have created a donate button to make it easy. ALSO! Come experience the magic of the desert first hand by attending our free performance on November 3rd in Joshua Tree, CA.
Lisa, Allan, Jodi, Julie, TJO, Heather, Nick & James