2019/2020 Season

JULY 2019

INTERNATIONALLY RENOWNED EXPERIMENTALIST AND PIANIST THOLLEM PERFORMED A CONCERT OF NEW WORK FOR PIANO AND FOUND OBJECTS INSPIRED BY HIS HARRISON HOUSE RESIDENCY AND REFLECTIONS ON LOU HARRISON’S LEGACY. THOLLEM’S COMPOSITIONS MADE USE OF A PREPARED PIANO, A WOODEN CHAIR AND THE HARRISON HOUSE CENTENNIAL GATE. HE EXPRESSED THE SOUND OF THESE OBJECTS BY EXPLORING THEIR PHYSICAL DIMENSIONS WITH WOODEN SPOONS AND DRUMSTICKS.

Thollem studied the standard classical repertoire, composing and improvising since he was a child. He has played over 1,500 concerts throughout North America and Europe as a soloist and in collaboration with other musicians. He is the founding director of Estamos Ensemble, a Mexican-American cross border ensemble for musical exchange.


AUGUST 2019

HIROKO TAMANO (BUTOH) AND EVA SOLTES (BHARATANATYAM) LED A 6-DAY CROSS-CULTURAL DANCE WORKSHOP IN WHICH PARTICIPANTS WERE IMMERSED IN TWO PROMINENT ASIAN DANCE FORMS: BUTOH, THE POST WORLD WAR II AVANT-GARDE JAPANESE ‘DANCE OF DARKNESS’ AND BHARATANATYAM, INDIA’S OLDEST SACRED DANCE TRADITION. THE WORKSHOP CULMINATED IN A COMMUNITY GATHERING AND RECITAL.

Hiroko Tamano, protégé of Butoh founder Hijikata Tatsumi, and her husband Koichi Tamano are responsible for introducing the Butoh dance form to the western United States. They have performed at venues internationally and joined Kitaro on his world tour.

Eva Soltes received decades-long dance and music training from the legendary Bharatanatyam master T. Balasaraswati and her family. She is a faculty member of the Balasaraswati Performing Arts Institute in Chennai, India and founder/director of Harrison House Music, Arts & Ecology.


AUGUST 2019

LA ZARAGUATA PERFORMED A CONCERT CELEBRATING THE MULTICULTURAL DIMENSIONS OF MEXICAN MUSIC. THE SHOWCASE OF GENRES INCLUDED SON JAROCHO FROM VERACRUZ, CUMBIA ORIGINATING FROM COLOMBIA AND ADAPTED IN MEXICO, BANDA FROM THE NORTH OF THE COUNTRY, AND SON OAXAQUENO, TRADITIONAL SONGS FROM THE SOUTH.

Founded in 2012 by Jerónimo Rajchenberg (Jxel), La Zaraguata brings Mexican music to US audiences to deepen the understanding of Mexican culture and its’ musical heritage. While many people around the world are familiar with Mariachi or Banda style music, a myriad of lesser-known traditions and styles remain in the shadows. La Zaraguata howls at sunset about the beauty of music that should not be forgotten.


SEPTEMBER 2019

THE CHIA CAFÉ COLLECTIVE LED A BEAUTIFUL, DEEPLY THOUGHTFUL AND TIMELY WORKSHOP ON SHARING THE EARTH WITH NATIVE PLANTS AND HOW WE CAN SUSTAIN ONE ANOTHER. THE WORKSHOP WAS A PARTNER PROGRAM OF THE NEA BIG READ MORONGO BASIN, WHICH AIMS TO BUILD COMMUNITY AND INSPIRE CONVERSATION.

The Chia Café Collective is dedicated to protecting, restoring and advocating for California native plant communities and environments. They believe in a way of life connected to honoring and building reciprocal relationships between the natural environment and the indigenous people of southern California. The Chia Café Collective’s cookbook Cooking the Native Way invites us to experience the Native American cultures of Southern California through their foods.


OCTOBER 2019

ALEXANDRA DUBOIS, COMPOSER AND VIOLINIST, SPENT HER HARRISON HOUSE MUSIC, ARTS & ECOLOGY RESIDENCY COMPOSING NEW WORKS TO BE PREMIERED IN THE 2019/2020 SEASON BY THE CHAMBER MUSIC SOCIETY OF LINCOLN CENTER, THE KRONOS QUARTET, PARHELION TRIO, AND PIANIST ANASTASIA ANTONACOS.

Alexandra du Bois (Ph.D. Stony Brook University; M.M. The Juilliard School; B.M. Indiana University Jacobs School of Music) has been performed in concert halls across five continents. Described as “an intense, luminous American composer,” (Los Angeles Times) and “a painter who knows exactly where her picture will be hung” (New York Times), du Bois writes orchestral, choral, chamber, vocal, and multi-discipline works often propelled by issues of indifference and inequality throughout the United States and the world. Her music has been released on Harmonia Mundi, Kronos Quartet and Perspectives Recordings labels.


NOVEMBER 2019

HARRISON HOUSE MUSIC, ARTS & ECOLOGY PRESENTED AN EVENING OF LOU HARRISON’S POETRY IN PARTNERSHIP WITH JOSHUA TREE’S CHOLLA NEEDLES ARTS AND LITERARY LIBRARY. THE INTIMATE EVENT FEATURED NINE COMMUNITY MEMBERS, EACH READING A SELECTION OF POEMS FROM LOU HARRISON’S PUBLISHED WORKS JOYS & PERPLEXITIES AND THE PATH AT WEST HOLDING AND OTHER POEMS, INTERSPERSED WITH MOVING IMAGES OF HARRISON AND HIS LIFE PARTNER WILLIAM COLVIG TAKEN BY EVA SOLTES, THEIR CLOSE ASSOCIATE OF OVER 30 YEARS.

Lou Harrison (1917-2003) was one of the most unconventional and visionary composers of the 20th Century. In addition to being an important contributor to the American Music pantheon, Harrison was an accomplished poet although lesser-known for his writing. Harrison’s unbounded thinking blossomed into the creation of a profound body of work that dissolved ethnic boundaries. Well into his 80’s Harrison continued to explore new art forms and realized his long-time dream of building a straw bale house in the desert.


DECEMBER 2019

ANDREAS RøE-HAGLAND, CRAFTSMAN AND BUILDER, DESIGNED AND CONSTRUCTED A THREE-TIERED TERRACE AT the entrance of THE HARRISON HOUSE ARTS & ECOLOGY GROUNDS. THE AREA WILL BE USED AS A WORKSHOP AND TEACHING STAGE FOR OUR EXPANDING EDUCATION PROGRAMS, AND AS A GATHERING SPACE FOR COMMUNITY MEMBERS AND VOLUNTEERS.

Andreas Røe-Hagland spent 6-weeks in residence at the Harrison House Arts & Ecology Center. A native of Norway, Andreas has been travelling the globe, sharing his extraordinary skills with environmental organizations and communities.


JANUARY 2020

COMPOSER IN RESIDENCE DYLAN MATTINGLY AND LIBRETTIST THOMAS BARTSCHERER USED THEIR TIME IN RESIDENCE TO WORK ON THEIR LATEST COLLABORATION THE HISTORY OF LIFE. MATTINGLY AND BARTSCHERER GAVE A TALK ABOUT THEIR NEW WORK IN PROGRESS AND SHARED EXCERPTS OF THEIR EARLIER COLLABORATION, THE ECSTATIC OPERA STRANGER LOVE, IN ANTICIPATION OF A MAJOR PRODUCTION IN 2021.

Dylan Mattingly is the founding executive and co-artistic director of the new music performance group Contemporaneous. Mattingly’s commissions include works for the L.A Philharmonic, the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, the Berkeley Symphony, the Del Sol String Quartet, John Adams, Marin Alsop, and Sarah Cahill. He was awarded the prestigious Charles Ives Scholarship by the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Ezra Laderman Prize and the Philip Francis Nelson Prize. Mattingly graduated from The Yale School of Music, where he studied with David Lang, Martin Bresnick, and Christopher Theofanidis, and is mentored by composer John Adams. Thomas Bartscherer has collaborated with Contemporaneous on two previous projects including the narration for Dylan Mattingly’s The Bakkhai. He is a research associate on the Équipe Nietzsche at the Institut des Textes et Manuscrits Modernes (Paris) and is the Peter Sourian Senior Lecturer in the Humanities at Bard College.


JANUARY 2020

FOX MCBRIDE, EARTHBAG CONSTRUCTION SPECIALIST, LED A WEEK-LONG EARTHBAG CONSTRUCTION WORKSHOP AT HARRISON HOUSE’S ARTS & ECOLOGY CENTER. PARTICIPANTS HELPED BUILD A RETAINING WALL TO PROTECT ONE OF THE SITE’S GREYWATER BASINS, GIVING THEM THE OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN A SUSTAINABLE BUILDING TECHNIQUE AND TO APPLY THEIR LEARNINGS IN A HANDS-ON BUILDING PROJECT.

Fox McBride, a resident of Joshua Tree, has been actively engaged in earthbag construction domestically and internationally for over 10 years. Since completing their training and apprenticeship at the California Institute of Earth Art and Architecture in Hesperia, CA, they have worked on commercial and residential projects alike, while teaching sustainable building to community groups.


FEBRUARY 2020

DUO YUMENO PERFORMED A CONCERT OF CLASSICAL JAPANESE AND CONTEMPORARY WESTERN MUSIC, INCLUDING TWO WORKS BY LOU HARRISON – SUITE FOR SANGEN FOR SOLO SHAMISEN AND RHYMES WITH SILVER FOR SOLO CELLO.

The New York-based Duo YUMENO – koto/shamisen musician and singer Yoko Reikano Kimura and cellist Hikaru Tamaki, have been performing as a duo since 2008. Their work has been featured in the New York Times, Chamber Music America Magazine, the Japan Times, Hōgaku Journal and on NPR. Recipients of the Chamber Music America Classical Commissioning Program grant and of the Aoyaman Foundation’s Baroque Saal Award, Duo YUMENO has performed at Carnegie Hall, the John F Kennedy Center, Los Andes University, and the University of Cambridge among other prestigious venues. As a soloist, Kimura performs with numerous string quartets, chamber ensembles and chamber orchestras. Tamaki currently serves as the principal cellist of the Berkshire Opera Festival Orchestra and is a member of the Albany Symphony.


APRIL 2020

DAMIAN LESTER, HARRISON HOUSE PERMACULTURE DESIGNER AND NICHOLAS HOLMES, GREYWATER SPECIALIST LED AN ONLINE TREE PLANTING AND GREYWATER DEMONSTRATION EVENT. FOLLOWING THE PROGRAM, LOCAL RESIDENTS WHO SIGNED-UP, RECEIVED THEIR OWN SPROUTED NATIVE SEEDLING WITH CARE INSTRUCTIONS TO PLANT ON THEIR PROPERTIES.

Damian Lester is the Permaculture Designer at Harrison House and owner of Opuntia Garden Farm, a 1.25 acre hyper-arid permaculture garden farm in Joshua Tree. Nicholas Holmes is an ecological designer-builder and owner of Solstice Eco Building Supply.


JUNE 2020

LUCIANO CHESSA, A COMPOSER, CONDUCTOR, AUDIOVISUAL AND PERFORMANCE ARTIST, AND MUSIC HISTORIAN, PERFORMED A LIVESTREAM PREMIERE OF HIDDEN RIVER FOR PIANO WHILE SHELTERING-IN-PLACE IN JOSHUA TREE. DURING HIS TIME IN RESIDENCE, CHESSA ALSO WORKED ON THE COMPOSITION AIR RIGHTS COMMISSIONED BY MOISÉS NASCIMENTO FOR A PERFORMANCE IN SÃO PAOLO, BRAZIL.

Luciano Chessa’s works have been commissioned by NYC’s Performa, the U.S Library of Congress and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Chessa’s Orchestra of Futurist Noise Intoners has toured internationally since 2009 to sold out houses including at RedCat in Los Angeles, the New World Center in Miami, Radial System/ Maerzmusik-Berliner Festspiele, the ArtScience Museum in Singapore, and Lisbon’s Municipal Theater. Chessa conducted the world premiere of Julius Eastman’s Symphony No. II at Lincoln Center, which was described by the New York Times as “radiating Cosmic Grandeur”. His work has been featured on NPR, Artforum, Frieze and Art in America among other international publications. His compositions are exclusively published by Berlin’s Verlag Neue Musik and have been released by labels Sub Rosa and Stradivarius.


JULY 2020

ZOE MIKICH, AN EMERGING ARTIST FROM THE EAST COAST, CREATED A MURAL AT THE HARRISON HOUSE ARTS & ECOLOGY CENTER DURING HER TIME SHELTERING-IN-PLACE IN JOSHUA TREE. THE MURAL WAS INSPIRED BY THE CENTER’S GARDENS.

Zoe Mikich studies painting, sculpture and printmaking at the Rhode Island School of Design. She spent a year abroad at the Aegean Center for the Fine Arts in Paos, Greece studying classical painting. Zoe felt “blessed with the opportunity to feel the power of the desert- space, silence, clarity”.