Monday, September 21, 2009

More with Cabeza de Vaca Arcestra - The District

From the District website - (09/09/09)

How did you choose to do Faust? The first time I did Faust I had wanted to do the score for Haxan—a silent Scandanavian film from the ’20s about the history of witch-craft—but it doesn’t have a big enough draw. I was given a list of silent films that do well on their own, films that fans enjoy enough to see over and over regardless of live score or not. Faust was on the list and I had been attending a lecture series at the Philisophical Research Society about Alchemy. So it seemed to make sense.

What can we expect from the upcoming show? Thirteen different takes on selling your soul to the devil. Each musician gets to sonically represent Satan at one point or another during the film. It’s interesting to see how they hear that.

How do you hear it? I created a theme that is used as a starting point but most musicians wind up using unpitched sounds at one point or another. Things like string scraping or extended techniques like multiphonics on the horns and winds, as well as effects like delay and distortion. Personally I think a catchy jingle works best. We’ll also have a taxidermy goat with us as well. I’m hoping there will be a lot of people claiming to be Alchemists at the box office to get the student rate.

What’s the best way to prove you’re an alchemist? A conversation about the subject and a jive handshake.

Who did the poster for the show? Owleyes ( My favorite contemporary artist. I cannot say enough about how much I like his work and how fortunate I am to be able to work with him. I don’t know if it’s because we are both Virgos AND Dragons but we have really good chemistry. Next summer the Arcestra will be playing some shows in Europe and I want to set up art shows to go along with them. Our music and his art work go extremely well together. The posters that he creates for our shows bring a certain amount of excitement for everyone involved in them; they tie everything together for me.

What have you been reading lately? Kafka on the Shore. I don’t know what I was expecting but I was not expecting this book to be as beautifully far out as it is. It’s my first Murakami book. I’m looking forward to reading more of his work. I bought Vonnegut’s Dead Eye Dick on a trip last month. I got through most of it during that trip but didn’t finish it, I don’t think I will. Maybe I’ll finish it on my next trip. Everywhere I go a copy of Conference of the Birds follows me. It’s Sufi poetry from the 1100s. I think the book gods are trying to tell me something.

What have you been listening to? String Quartets. Ruth Crawford Seeger wrote one of the best. You can do so much with two violins, viola and cello. George Crumbs “Black Angels” is an insane piece. The numerology behind it and the use of God’s number—7—and the devil’s number—13—is the basis for the whole piece. All of the musical material is based on the two numbers. It’s obsessive compulsive genius. I enjoy looking at his scores as much as I do listening to his music. John Fahey, Lee Hazelwood. A mix CD of Macedonian music. I don’t know the names of anyone on the CD but the music is full of so many good times, it comes right through the speakers.

What have you been watching? Recent Youtube searches: Hurdy gurdy videos. Jodorowsky interviews. Jay-Z/freemason conspiracy videos. Harry Partch videos. Giant panda in china rips off mans jacket. Kwele music. Daniel Kachamba. Tom Waits videos. Latarian Milton, 7-year-old badboy videos.

Favorite spot in Long Beach? Acres of Books: genie magazines and maps. Two of my favorite things.

Favorite Dinosaur? It’s a tie between T-rex and Donovan.

More with Cabeza de Vaca Arcestra @ the District

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