Sincere, Outdoorsy, Trippy, a Music Festival Breathes Los Angeles


Answering the cellphone and having the particular person on the opposite finish sing softly for 10 minutes, only for you. One other vocalist, this one stationed exterior your home for a five-minute live performance. A piano recital stretching from daybreak to nightfall.

An hourlong piece constructed from discipline recordings of the wind roaring by means of bristlecone pines. A guided sound hike by means of the desert. A pair of do-it-yourself chimes, every touring round Los Angeles, a duet throughout a metropolis.

Candy, deeply honest, outdoorsy, a bit trippy — all in all, very Los Angeles: These are a few of the performances that may unfold by means of Feb. 14 as a part of Darkness Sounding, a solstice-inspired festival from the native ensemble Wild Up. Billed as “spaced out music throughout the shortest days of the 12 months,” the occasion blends refined music-making and Wild Up’s back-to-basics ethos.

“So most of the trappings of latest music are about cerebral ideas of kind and timbre,” Christopher Rountree, the group’s founder, mentioned in an interview. “We wished to return to one thing of the physique and for the physique. Easy magnificence and observing nature.”

Shaped in 2010, Wild Up gained essential visibility throughout a residency at the Hammer Museum in 2012, and has been increasing a close-knit household of composers and performers ever since. Darkness Sounding, organized by Rountree, premiered a 12 months in the past with an all-night drone live performance, a collective track circle and extra.

Here’s a nearer have a look at 4 of this version’s shows. (Occasions could also be affected by altering coronavirus restrictions; updates will probably be out there at darknesssounding.wildup.org.)

When Rountree requested the composer Chris Kallmyer what he may need to do for the pageant, the reply, after months of digital performances, was: one thing actual. “What wouldn’t it be wish to have individuals host your music in their very own area, to let individuals come into your bubble?” Kallmyer recalled considering.

He has lengthy been curious about bells, and has constructed chimes — which he loves as a result of they’re “not the hippest medium” — for earlier initiatives, together with works proven on the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Pulitzer Arts Foundation in St. Louis. For his Darkness Sounding piece, which takes its title from a Bruce Springsteen lyric, Kallmyer got here up with the concept of forming two units of chimes: the pipes hand minimize, the wooden left over from renovations he made to his bungalow over the previous 12 months.

Every set will journey to 4 completely different houses throughout the four-week pageant. (Potential hosts can apply on Wild Up’s web site beginning on Monday by describing the sounds they hear of their outside areas.)

“I’m very curious about having just a few individuals have a really intimate expertise with these works, and a really significant expertise with them,” Kallmyer mentioned. “Having it within the house, after which not having it within the house — the story they are going to inform about internet hosting a chunk for per week.”

A textual content message arrived simply earlier than the cellphone name. “Keep in mind to breathe,” it learn. “I invite you to consider the kindest factor anybody has ever executed for you and what that felt wish to obtain.”

5 minutes later, the vocalist Holland Andrews referred to as; it was time to press play on the audio file that had arrived by electronic mail that morning. The music — a smiling, shimmering, gently rising drone — performed as Andrews sang in a recent warble: “It’s no accident the individuals round you like you.” She repeated the piece’s title, time and again.

“I do know it may be scary to listen to that,” she sang, “from a stranger on the cellphone.” It was, coupled with the ideas Andrews had prompted, a poignant, barely teary 10 minutes. (Signal-ups start Tuesday for performances Jan. 26 by means of Feb. 7.)

The impetus for the piece was, as with Kallmyer’s “Two hearts,” a recoiling in opposition to months of digital substitutes and screens. “Screens are the place every part is true now,” Andrews mentioned. “They’re the place we work, they’re the place we textual content, they’re the place we masturbate, they’re the place our ego is. It’s an excessive amount of.”

“There You Are” is an experiment in whether or not the cellphone generally is a extra private efficiency medium. “The objective is for it to be releasing or therapeutic not directly,” Andrews mentioned. “I do my greatest to sing proper at that spot: to create a softness, to create the permission for that to crack open. As a result of why not?”

Deliberate in its tempo, each stark and luxurious, intimate and inward but typically grand and loud, Andrew McIntosh’s new piece was constructed from his violin and viola — harshly bowed throughout improvisation periods to create a metallic roar — in addition to from piano, bowed wine glasses and bowed cymbals.

“I hike quite a bit, and do some mountaineering,” McIntosh mentioned. “So I began taking a discipline recorder alongside, making an attempt to report the wind in numerous species of pine bushes.”

The ensuing recordings of the wind passing by means of bristlecone pines within the White Mountains, east of San Francisco, add a mushy whoosh in essential passages. All these parts had been stitched collectively electronically and shaped right into a four-part however steady work; the third half, “Different center,” is a quietly expansive oasis, nicked by mild, glinting shards of sound.

As a part of the pageant, the hourlong “A moonbeam” will probably be streamed at dawn and sundown on three days (Jan. 22-24). “To me, when digital music is at its greatest, it creates a dream world or one thing,” McIntosh mentioned. “All of the sound right here is acoustically made, however because it’s pretty intensely processed, I feel it lives on the threshold: What’s digital dream state, and what’s acoustic?”

“When this pandemic began, I mentioned, ‘I simply need to carol exterior individuals’s houses,’” the vocalist Odeya Nini recalled. “I simply wished to face and sing, providing music and that sort of connection.”

Her Darkness Sounding piece is a bit late for Christmas, however retains that caroling spirit. She’s going to spend Feb. 11 and 12 touring round Los Angeles for five-minute performances a secure distance from individuals’s houses — from driveways, entrance yards, backyards, porches. (Signal-ups begin on Wednesday.) These probably will probably be wordless occasions, with an improvisatory spirit at their core. “There’s often with my work a highway map, an arc,” she mentioned. “However what occurs is fairly open.”

She in contrast what she hoped to convey to the little pleasure that also, virtually a 12 months into the pandemic, greets package deal deliveries: “Thanks for coming to my house and bringing me one thing.”

“I don’t wish to carry out on levels,” Nini added. “I wish to be dealing with individuals, the place I’m not above them. After I can see them, come towards them; we’re eye to eye.”



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