The Electric Grandmother Sessions

I have been missing from the internet lately! What have I missed guys?? Tell me all! Mostly I have been away from the lovely glow of my computer screen thanks to an insanely busy schedule that included three separate trips to New York City, three separate trips to upstate NY and have amounted to me sleeping in a total of three guest rooms, o,  and one weird old mansion...a mansion you might ask? Yes! A mansion in upstate New York filled with some of my favorite bandmates! An event brought about by our live studio recording of Gravity Was Everywhere Back Then up at the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center!

Argeo, the new music curator at EMPAC, brought us up to Troy as part of a DVD series the organization is working on that will feature dance, film, music and everything in between, documenting the history and the future of the emerging field of performance art, a series that will give a more concrete existence to an often overlooked, amorphous, ethereal genre! So, Brendan Canty, Drew Henkels, Todd Chandler, Alan Scalpone, Mike McGinley, Brent Green & I spent three days performing Gravity in a black box theater outfitted with the best of sound & video recording equipment, the most amazing (patient) technical operators and even, briefly, the master of filmed music documentation Jem Cohen!!!

It really was a surreal experience being inside a black sealed room all day while people climbed on the rafters of the ceiling hanging lights & mics, while others scooted around with a bonafide Jimmy jib camera and others positioned walls of acoustic tile panels with the touch of a computer screen....listening to playbacks in the sound engineering room made me feel like I was pretending to reenact sequences from Gimme Shelter... watching the film repeatedly, making the intricacies and work we did stand out in such a big way, growing and observing the soundtrack from a new place each the end of the night going "home" to a giant house where people took turns cooking up insane meals and doing piles of dishes and staying up late into the night to argue on the merits of graffiti and have a midnight viewing of The Electric Grandmother (a mildly terrifying childhood favorite of mine that just gets even more insane with age!)- it was all wonderful! The whole adventure was amazing and I am so glad I got to share it with people so dear to my heart! I really cannot wait to see and hear how it all came out! And share it with everyone else too!

...and also, I know I do a lot of EMPAC applauding over here but it is an organization worth applauding, any group that consistently supports progressive work in the ways that they do really should be celebrated in a big way by anyone working in the arts! Speaking of which, a new round of EMPAC residency proposals are open, due May 14th! Apply apply! Being a part of this international, forward thinking support system for artists has been so heartening for us I can only wish others to feel the same way! Now, to unpack the (stinky) tour van and try to figure out where we left our truck's spare tire during last weeks journey....? Hmmm....



Donna K. is a recent transplant to the Midwest where she can be found exploring culture at large through film programming, writing and her general interest in the world- both on and offline.