2014/15 Season

August

 

Victoria Williams, Singer / Songwriter, with special guests
This engagement was Victoria’s first solo show in Joshua Tree.

Originally from Shreveport, Louisiana, Victoria Williams has recorded 14 albums and has sung alongside such renowned artists as Lou Reed, Emmylou Harris, Neil Young, and John Prine. Her descriptive songs evoke flavors of country, folk, rock, gospel and jazz, immersing her listeners in a vivid feel of small-town rural living. Victoria is the founder of the musicians’ health assistance organization Sweet Relief, and as a twenty-year resident of Joshua Tree, is considered to be a cultural treasure.


September

 

Anya Kouchnerov, Violinist
Anya accessed the Lou Harrison Archive, including videotapes, digital files, and books to gain a deeper understanding of Harrison’s life and work. She also completed one of her first compositions and gave an informal recital.

A violin student of Movses Pagossian at UCLA, in her first year Anya organized a three-hour concert of the music of Lou Harrison. She gathered some of the most accomplished faculty members to participate alongside her fellow students. Anya’s love for and dedication to Harrison’s music earned her this invitation. We are pleased to have made the archive available to a serious music student of her generation who will in decades to come likely champion Lou Harrison’s work.


October

 

STReeT/FeaT
Joe Orrach, director of STReeT/FeaT, was invited to develop a new show for a Paris premiere. A work-in-progress performance was given on the Harrison House outdoor stage.

STReeT/FeaT is an evening-length theatrical tap performance combining the urban moves of Latin, contemporary, blues and jazz dance styles. The audience finds a NYC environment where rags to riches, the intimate and the grand, romance and rage, glamour and grit, melody and cacophony all co-exist. Joe Orrach, actor, dancer, and singer, performs worldwide on stage, television and in motion picture features. Joe is considered a “throwback” performer by many of his peers to an era where heart and soul were the most important ingredients. He has tap danced with such greats as Gregory Hines, Jimmy Slyde, the Nicholas Brothers, Honi Coles and Savion Glover, and has appeared on stage with entertainers such as Joan Baez, Bob Hope and the Smothers Brothers. In STReeT/FeaT Joe is joined by two critically-acclaimed New York tap dancers, Andrew J. Nemr and Alexandra Pizzo, with music by highly-regarded pianist and arranger Matthew Clark.


November

Jin Hi Kim and Joseph Celli
Residency featured a komungo performance and music meditation workshop by Jin Hi Kim, and a live recording for Joseph Celli’s on-going radio program “Soundprint: Asia”

Jin Hi Kim is a composer whose teachers included Lou Harrison and John Adams. She is also a virtuoso of komungo, an indigenous Korean musical instrument, which she has introduced into Western contemporary music. Jin Hi Kim has composed for the Kronos Quartet, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and American Composers Orchestra, and performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, and venues throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

Joseph Celli is the producer and host of “Soundprint: Asia”, broadcast over station WPKN FM 89.5 from Connecticut. Celli has done extensive work in media, including radio appearances throughout Europe, Asia, South America and the United States. He was executive producer of the “American Music Now!” radio series that was broadcast over National Public Radio in the United States and internationaly. Joseph Celli has also enjoyed a distinguished international career as a musician, composer and intermedia artist.


January

 

Michael White, Jazz Violinist and Composer, Leisei Chen, Jazz Vocalist/Composer and QiGong Artist, Mirza Todorovich, Photographer/Videographer
Residency included the composing and premiering of a new work. “Rays of Oneness”.

Michael White is a groundbreaking composer and international recording artist whose esteemed career includes performances with luminaries such as John Coltrane, Sun Ra and Pharoah Sanders. He has released five classic albums from Impulse! Records with the Michael White Quartet, in addition to touring worldwide. Leisei Chen first displayed her musical talents at the age of four. She grew up immersed in many cultures and was mentored by Jazz legends who influenced her singing style. An original member of the Living Spirit Jazz Band, Leisei is also a Qigong/Taijii artist and founder of Qi Arts, which brings movement and music together through unique collaborations. Michael White and Leisei Chen are founders and co-leaders of the Michael White Quintet. In 2013, their piece “Orbit” was commissioned by the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs COLA Fellowships and premiered at Grand Performances. During their Harrison House residency, Michael and Leisei, music and life partners, composed and presented “Rays of Oneness”, a new work inspired by the light that streams through Harrison House and the beautiful desert surrounding it. Their performance also included original compositions, Jazz classics and spontaneous improvisations with Qigong movements.


February

 

Tim DeLorey, Scientist and Jill Giegerich, Art Professor
“On The Road To Permaculture” An audiovisual presentation of a summer-long journey, visiting permaculture institutions, farms, and intentional communities.

Permaculture is a design science that works in an artful way with the patterns of nature to regenerate ecosystems and create sustainable human habitation. For two months during the summer of 2014, Joshua Tree permaculture designers Tim DeLorey and Jill Giegerich road tripped through the Pacific Northwest expanding their knowledge of permaculture design and use by visiting locations where it is practiced. They often stayed for a number of days at each site, working alongside the community. Jill and Tim gave a presentation about this journey, including slides and insights into the successes and pitfalls of functioning farms. Tim DeLorey is a highly-published scientist and Jill Giegerich is an artist and Professor at U.C. Riverside. Certified Permaculture designers and owners of On Contour Regenerative Designs, they have been involved in this field for the past five years. Jill has been designing and building permaculture systems for her own property while consulting, conducting workshops, teaching and lecturing on drylands permaculture in Joshua Tree. Tim uses his background as a scientist to take an experimental approach to practicing the art of permaculture. His projects have ranged from designing systems for efficient dryland usage to rediscovering nutritional densities of native desert plants used by indigenous peoples of the Mojave Desert region.


February

Probosci with Gyan Riley, Guitarist and Timba Harris, Violinist
Two performances at Harrison House featuring a musical interplay between composition and improvisation.

Probosci explores the sonic landscape, from the purely acoustic to less familiar electroacoustic textures, dancing between delicacy and aggression. Their debut album, Time to Feed (Mimicry Records), is steeped with their transcendent artistry and uncanny communication. Having performed throughout Europe, South America and the U.S., Probosci is the next evolution of these two musicians’ long-time partnership. In addition to his role in Probosci, violinist/violist, trumpet player, and composer Timba Harris is a core member of Secret Chiefs 3. He has performed at many of the world’s best-known venues in over 40 countries. His arrangements can be heard on recordings of the work of John Zorn, Eyvind Kang, and the Grails. Gyan Riley has performed internationally both as a solo artist and in various ensembles, including performances with Zakir Hussain, the San Francisco Symphony, Kronos Quartet, the World Guitar Ensemble and his father, composer/pianist/vocalist Terry Riley. Recent performance highlights include appearances at Carnegie Hall, Barbican Theatre, All Tomorrow’s Parties Festival and with the Philadelphia Chamber Orchestra.


April

Thomas Buckner, Baritone
Residency featured Buckner’s performance at Harrison House with Dan Joseph, hammered dulcimer and Big Black, percussion, plus a group improvisation workshop for singers and instrumentalists.

For more than 40 years, baritone Thomas Buckner has dedicated himself to the world of new and improvised music, having performed at venues including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Edinburgh Festival, and the Biennale Festival of Venice. He has collaborated with a host of new music composers, presenting a repertoire that includes more than 100 compositions, written for or dedicated to him. Featured on over 40 recordings, including six of his own solo albums, Buckner is also active as a concert producer, and has for the past 25 years presented the acclaimed Interpretations series in New York City. Big Black is a walking history of world percussion. He is the musician who successfully brought the sounds of the African Drum into Modern Jazz, performing with giants such as Dizzy Gillespie, John Coltrane, Freddie Hubbard, Oscar Peterson and Randy Weston. Dan Joseph is a composer/performer based in New York City. As an artist who embraces the musical multiplicity of our time, Dan works simultaneously in a variety of media and contexts, including instrumental chamber music, free improvisation, and various forms of electronica and sound art.


May

Letter of Marque Theater Company
During their residency, the company wrote and performed a new work and conducted a theatrical workshop

Letter of Marque (LoM) is an emerging Brooklyn-based theater company founded by long-time collaborators Welland H. Scripps, Scarlet Maressa Rivera, and Nolan Kennedy. The trio spent their 9-day period as Artists-In-Residence at Harrison House creating a new production entitled “Whet Willy’s Short Wave Radio Show”, which premiered on the Harrison House outdoor stage and was later presented in New York. Weaving their forays into the rural Joshua Tree community with bits from their own urban culture, LoM with great aplomb delivered a hilarious performance that resulted in hearty laughs from an appreciative crowd. The troupe also presented Ensemble-Minded: A Workshop In Collaborative Art, with theater exercises designed to improve attentiveness and connection between an ensemble of improvisers.


Nicholas Holmes leads Greywater Irrigation System Design & Construction Course. A two-part course featuring lecture, discussion, and hands-on implementation of constructing an effective greywater irrigation system. Presented in collaboration with The Nourishing Tree.

Nicholas Holmes, co-founder of The Nourishing Tree and a resident of Joshua Tree, holds degrees in architecture and sustainable development from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, as well as a Permaculture Design Certificate from the Permaculture Research Institute.  His professional background in ecological design and construction made for a highly informative lecture including irrigation systems, drought and water ethics, health and safety, design, installation, use, and maintenance. Part two of the course involved participants putting this knowledge into practice with a hands-on installation of a working greywater system.


June

 

Memorial for Tim Kelly, Violinist (1957-2015)
Community celebration of the life of Joshua Tree violinist Tim Kelly.

Tim Kelly was a fixture of the Joshua Tree community. An accomplished violinist, his soulful melodies regularly wafted throughout the sidewalks and streets of the village. Sadly, at too young of an age, he died in a road accident. This gathering was an important coming together of friends and family to honor Tim and bring closure to this tragic loss. The Great Room of Harrison House displayed memorials to Tim, including a compilation video which provided a continuous presentation of Tim Kelly in performance, in addition to photographs, a portrait by artist Marcia Geiger, and other memorabilia. Music impresario Ted Quinn emceed a tribute on Harrison House’s outdoor stage. Among those featured on the program were local musicians who performed at various times with Tim, including: Victoria Williams; Patti Leary; Celine Molina; Artemis with Ricky Lee; Chris Poland; Clive Wright; Eva Chavez and Steve Caron of Joshua TreeO; and Bradley Trafton. Tim’s sister Kathie Kelly-Brophy and her children were special guests.