This is a collage video made out of live performance footage by Matthew Piper and photography by Scott Hocking that riffs on my improvisational music game called "Harmony By Any Means Necessary". Audience members are invited to play by placing rocks on keys (the weight of them plays that key), adding or subtracting notes, and then the singer (myself in this case) has to respond to those notes in improvised vocals. Invented out of desperation about an upcoming gig, it's a fun game, and a practical application and practice of a philosophy of making it work with whatever, and whomever, happens in the moment. I wasn't desperate about not having material, I was desperate to connect to the material, and being vulnerable to the audience in this way frightened me right into the present moment, the safest place to be.
I selected some things that Matthew Piper had to say about it:
With participation, of course, there is much more: you hold the rocks in your hands. You make choices, informed or not. You perform the ritual; you walk up and make an offering, to...what? The god of music, maybe, or to the Earth itself. And you do it in concert, with strangers, perhaps, or with friends. You play .... what a gift: a precious opportunity, these days, to shake off the weight of things, the anxiety, the despair, the ceaseless chatter, and to make something that stands apart—something simple and still, sacred and shared.
The costume I am wearing in the video is a prototype by Chad Wentzel. The music I had been making in this style inspired him to make a costume that is like an underwater landscape - I become attached to the instrument literally. Future models are larger, taking me farther and farther from the keyboard and from any control about what notes are playing, while the submerged quality of the music seems to invite shapes to appear from underneath the cloth....