During her extended stay as the first Artist-in-Residence on the Arts and Ecology grounds, Dominique created site-specific work from the materials found on an around the site. Her largest installation was an art fence titled Three Sistas Dreamin’ of Earth Worms Dancin’, surrounding the new sunken garden, using plywood forms from the construction of the Harrison House stained with some of Lou Harrison’s personal pigments as well as reclaimed glass bottles. A work dedicated to the continual motion of life, the cycles of nature, the summation of all parts to create the whole. Dominique also outfitted the newly installed solar shower with repurposed wood fencing and boxcar siding to create a rustic patchwork adding to the atmosphere of the site. Her astute aesthetic senses made her the perfect fit in facilitating the growth of this location!
Samuel H. Scripps Artist-in-Residence Dominique Moody invited her brother, Dana Moody, to adorn an on-site vintage trailer with a mural. During his month long residency, he created a place-scape in which diverse features of the high desert merge to form a mirror of life as it is “here.” Dana captured the Mojave’s essence in this portrait by using color to give a vibrant, kinetic quality to rock piles, Joshua trees, the night sky, and local fauna.
Dana Moody has been drawing since age three, when he picked up his mother’s eyebrow pencil. All nine Moody children were encouraged to explore their creativity. Dana’s sisters Dominique and Cheryl, both formally trained artists, nurtured and contributed to his informal art education.
During the 1970s, Dana supported himself by hitchhiking throughout the Americas, working as a street artist drawing portraits. His expanded world experience provided a deep foundation for his formal education at Dartmouth College and Arizona State University where he earned degrees in psychology and philosophy. He has worked with at-risk youth for many years, and now heads the theatre set design program for a Philadelphia high school.
Yuval Sharon, director; Marc Lowenstein, conductor; Christine Marie, sceneographer, shadow puppetry, production design; and Eva Soltes, dramaturge; gathered at the Harrison House for a weekend long residency to lay the groundwork for the up and coming version of Lou Harrison’s Opera Young Caesar, to premier June 13th, 2017, produced by The Los Angeles Philharmonic & The Industry. This creative team accessed the Harrison House Archives collecting information and inspiration needed to mount the new production that will honor Lou Harrison’s 100th birthday.
Earth-Bag construction is a form of sustainable building utilizing earth and cement in woven plastic bags to construct strong and durable structures, while mimicking the fluid, rounded appearance of the natural world. United Earth Builders owners Fox McBride and James ‘Yahmes’ Golub, two Joshua Tree residents, who were trained at Nader Khalili’s Cal-Earth Institute, hosted a three week workshop to construct the new gathering place, named ‘Eva’s Kiva’. Located at the Harrison House Arts & Ecology Site, approximately 30 volunteers participated in the workshop, consisting of building, plastering, painting and tiling, to create a location dedicated to community and ecology. The circular wall is sunken four feet into the ground and is surrounded by garden beds.
The grounds began with a solar shower and composting toilet followed by the construction of a super adobe Kiva. Dominique Moody, Samuel H. Scripps, Artist in Residence provided her expertise in creating an aesthetic and functional living environment in addition to designing and building an assemblage fence surrounding the kiva and inviting her brother, Dana Moody, to paint a desert themed mural onsite.
The newly finished Kiva space was initiated by Saba Alizadeh, when he performed his own musical work in Kiva on a lovely October evening.
Since that time we have hosted three open houses with hundreds of visitors to the Arts & Ecology site which included touring, the Nomad, Moody’s “Tiny House”. In association with other community organizations we hosted a water wise garden tour for the Morongo Basin Conservation Association and were a Cultural Partner of the Joshua Treenial, a Parallel Project of Desert X. This space continues to be a draw as the plantings mature and more people hear about it and want to learn regenerative practices.
Hailing from Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe; Mathias Muzaza, Trustworth Samende, Abundance Mutori, Donald Moyo, Miti Mugande, Ndaba Coster Moyo, form the Afro-Fusion Band, MOKOOMBA. All six members shared in their ancestral right of passage, which involves six months of living in the wilderness learning survival skills which includes singing in a variety of tones and vocal styles that elicit certain states of being. Their workshops allowed a peek into their ancestral upbringing. They shared songs in their native tongue and dances, which represent the movements and motions of everyday life in the village. Mokoomba has toured in more than 40 countries in Africa, Europe, Asia and Oceania, sharing their own style of music as well as the traditions of their people. These men hold great pride for their tribes, the Tonga and Luvale, who are in the minority. They are the first contemporary music group to represent their people nationally and internationally.
Saba Alizadeh, a resident of Iran, began playing the Kamancheh (Persian Spike Fiddle) at the age of 10 under the supervision of Saeed Farajpouri and Kayhan Kalhor. Influenced by his internationally acclaimed father, Hossein Alizadeh, Saba’s career blossomed into an exploration of musical expression. He studied at the Herb Alpert School of Music at the California Institute of the Arts where he received his MFA. While Alizadeh still upholds the traditional Persian form of kamancheh, he has also branched into the electro-acoustic genre. The electronic music scene is just beginning to form in Iran and Saba is on the forefront of this movement. His performance explored both sides of his artistry and two of our venues, bridging the gap between cultural tradition and innovative self-expression.
Gyan Riley, with his father for inspiration, began playing the guitar at the age 12. Currently based in NY he travels internationally performing in many of the world’s largest venues and composing for a dizzying array of symphony orchestras, chamber ensembles and soloists. Terry Riley, Gyan’s father, performed the very first concert at Harrison House on October 6th 2006, which began a decade of musical and artistic expression, allowing all types of creative individuals their chance to create and share their very best work. On October 6th 2016, exactly ten years later, Gyan played a concert which celebrated Harrison House and all of its previous residents. He played pieces dedicated to his nephew and mother, Ann Riley, whom Gyan remembers as a “shining beam of light.” He also performed pieces written for him by his father. In the three days before this performance, Gyan recorded an entire album inside the Harrison House.
Elusive and well-loved experimental composer, Harold Budd, returned to Harrison House accompanied by keyboardist Bradford Ellis and visual artist Jane Maru. They presented Budd’s own “soft pedal” compositions featuring selections, read by Maru, from Budd’s seventh book of poetry, titled Aurora Tears (Heavenly Monkey Press).
Harold Budd’s music eludes classification, though it has been described as “like the Southwest desert landscapes of his youth, possessing a thin veneer of serenity, yet masking a mood that is dark and dangerous.” During the 40 years since Pavilion of Dreams, the first of his three groundbreaking collaborations with Brian Eno, Budd has recorded more than 40 albums, traversing a wide range of colors and sounds, from lush synthesized melodies and haunting string quartets to spare and beautiful compositions defined by his “soft pedal” piano style. Bradford Ellis is a composer, arranger, keyboardist, and producer having performed with many avant-garde ensembles, in addition to orchestrating music and performing on numerous motion picture and television soundtracks. Jane Maru is a textile artist, illustrator, and visual artist who has spent many years exploring her craft in the silent, open spaces of the Mojave Desert.
Brazzaville’s career has spanned 20 years and 10 albums. Their latest release “The Oceans of Ganymede” was ranked 4th in the Top 10 Albums of 2016 by the legendary French music magazine “Les In Rocks” (just behind David Bowie and Leonard Cohen)!
Group leader, David Brown, is a life long wanderer who writes songs about love, loss, travel, escape, and the vastness of space. He’s been living in Barcelona since 2003 with his wife and two children. Original Brazzaville member and guitarist Kenny Lyon and percussionist Danny Frankel joined David for the performance. Kenny Lyon is a well known as a guitarist, producer, writer and multi-instrumentalist. In addition to Brazzaville, Kenny has worked with artists such as Spain, The Lemonheads, Mary Curry and The Night Sea. Danny Frankel embodies what it means to be a percussionist. He spent several years as Lou Reed’s drummed and has performed with top artists including Fiona Apple, Everlast, Beck and Victoria Williams. Brazzaville’s music has become cult legend enjoying a following in places as diverse as Russia, Turkey, China, Europe and the U.S.
The Del Sol String Quartet returned to Harrison House for an intimate performance of their work. The San Francisco-based ensemble explores the link between social change, technology and artistic innovation. Hailed by Gramophone as “masters of all musical things they survey,” Del Sol’s collaborative performance projects and chamber music programs explore narratives and cultures from around the world, reflecting the stories and sounds of the Pacific Rim as vibrantly as those heard in European concert halls or East Coast art spaces.
Praised for their immersive multi-media and dramatic performances, The New York Times calls The Del Sol String Quartet, “a hypnotic sound world well worth exploring.” In addition to recording eight critically acclaimed, full-length albums, Del Sol has commissioned and premiered over 100 works from a diverse range of international composers, including Terry Riley, Mason Bates, Gabriela Lena Frank, Chinary Ung, Mohammed Fairouz, Tania León, Ken Ueno, Peter Sculthorpe, Reza Vali, Per Nørgård
William Brittelle is a Brooklyn-based composer of genre-fluid electro-acoustic music. He is co-founder/co-artistic director of New Amsterdam Records. Brittelle’s compositions have been presented at venues across the world, including the Hollywood Bowl, the Kennedy Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, and the Kahserne in Switzerland. His music has been commissioned by the Seattle Symphony, the Indianapolis Symphony, the Baltimore Symphony, the North Carolina Symphony, the Walker Art Center, the Liquid Music Series, the Alabama Symphony, Mass MoCA, and the Basel Sinfonietta among others.
March 13, 2017 a screening of films, by Eva Soltes, celebrating the life of William Colvig, was held at Furstworld in Joshua Tree, CA. This was a sneak preview of never before seen footage of Bill’s life and work. An evening set to honor an extraordinary man.
Bill was born in 1917 in Medford, Oregon, spending much of his early life at the foot of Mt. Shasta, learning to play music and nurturing his deep love for the mountains. At the University of the Pacific and Cal Berkeley he studied electrical engineering, which, combined with his knowledge of music, bred in him an exquisite talent for building musical instruments. Together, Lou and Bill perfected the design and construction of three American Gamelan Ensembles, Indonesian-inspired percussion orchestras, through which Bill made a notable impact on the character of western music.
To this day, Bill’s memory conjures respect and admiration from all those lucky enough to have known him. Considered kind, wise and relaxed, he was content to exist behind the scenes in support of his famous partner with whom he “lived, loved and worked” for nearly 35 years. He was tactful yet never afraid to speak his mind and be true to himself, no matter how unpopular. He and Lou both supported movements championing civil rights and social justice.
“I had a longstanding relationship with both Lou and Bill, granting me an inside look at the wonder and play they inspired in one another.” E.S.
This musical trio performed two concerts showcasing the music of Lou Harrison and other historic composers, the ensemble included Emil Miland, cello; Meredith Clark, harp; and Ann Moss, vocals.
Each evening featured two different programs. Friday included Lou Harrison, David Carlson, J. S. Bach, Camille Saint-Saëns, Pablo Casals, Hildegard von Bingen, Germaine Tailleferre, and Maurice Ravel. Saturday included Lou Harrison, David Carlson, Camille Saint-Saëns, Pablo Casals, Germaine Tailleferre, John Grimmett, and Joni Mitchell / Liam Wade. The Harrison House venuel provided an especially magnificent acoustic atmosphere for this arrangement of instruments.
Emil Miland, Meredith Clark and Ann Moss, individually, are prominent members of the San Francisco Bay Area music scene, each receiving high acclaim for their performances internationally with orchestras and ensembles in Asia, Europe and the US.
Harrison House was an awardee of The Bay Bridge Steel Program administered by The Oakland Museum of California. The program allows for preservation of the original East Bay Bridge by making salvaged steel available for use in public art projects throughout the State of California. Mark Bulwinkle, a San Francisco Bay Area artist and long time associate of Lou Harrison’s, designed a grand entryway to Harrison House that we have named the “Centennial Gate”. This exceptional work of art, dedicated on Lou Harrison’s actual 100th birthday, May 14, 2017 was called “…an instant landmark.“ by the L.A. Times. Mark Bulwinkle is renowned for his ability to transform hard steel into an image of whimsy, light and life. He has enjoyed a successful career as a metal sculptor, printmaker and ceramicist.
Emiko is an American cinematographer and film director known for her documentary films. Her feature-length documentary Rabbit in the Moon won the Best Documentary Cinematography Award at the 1999 Sundance Film Festival and an Emmy Award after it was broadcast on PBS that same year. She is one of the first camerawomen to work in news documentaries; Omori began her career at KQED in San Francisco in 1968.
Eva Soltes and Emiko Omori are longstanding collaborators. Emiko Omori accompanied Eva Soltes to India three times documenting Balasaraswati’s music and dance tradition, in addition to working together on other global productions.
Burat Wangi Gamelan Ensemble was founded at California Institute for the Arts by Nyoman and Nanik Wenten and K.P.H. Notoprojo (aka Pak Cokro), the late renowned Javanese court musician and composer who taught Lou Harrison and inspired him to dedicate the last 25 years of his life to building gamelan instruments and composing for them. This colorful ensemble made their second visit to Harrison House performing outdoors under the desert sky to an enthusiastic audience.