Above, exploring sound with When There Were Birds
WHEN THERE WERE BIRDS began as a sculptural installation for the April 2019 inauguration of a 2000 sq ft exhibition space - 11 Jane St in Saugerties, New York. Six months later it developed into a collaborative performance with three musicians - Iva Bittova, Steve Gorn, and Timothy Hill. The initial installation and sonic explorations are captured in the video above (and also in the short film After the Birds )shot in the Jane St space. Our collaboration ultimately wove the trio's improvisational music, my own choreography, and several poems by Jane Hirshfield and Eileen Myles spoken by myself with the installation of When There Were Birds - 13 forms suspended forms - into a single live, sold out performance at Broken Wing Barn. We used the natural late afternoon November light that shafted in through the clerestory and skylights as the start of the piece. The feeling of the 280 year old barn and the farm to table meal that followed brought an intimacy to the project I hadn't imagined. I am especially grateful to Greg Cornell at Broken Wing Barn for his kindness, generosity, and belief in this project. The development of this work was supported by an Emergency Grant from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts and an Individual Artist grant from Arts MidHudson. Other than the photographs here, there was no documentation of the performance. Nevertheless, we are working towards the next evolution of the piece.