Monday, May 31, 2010

Leaving Holyoke, MA

 I have had an amazing residency here in Holyoke at Parson's Hall. In particular, I need to thank Kari Gatzke who subtly and substantially shifted my residency from room to room and board. She has crafted and served amazing lunches and dinners most every day over the past two weeks. My gratitude is profound.

Last you heard I was watching the Lost finale and then visiting Melissa at Wistariahurst.
Let's get Lost out of the way. I was fine with the ending. I loathed that half the show was commercials (And particularly offended by the AT&T ad ripping off Jean-Claude & Cristo. This is a corporation that uses IP law to stifle competition and development - who keeps America's technological development retarded in comparison to the rest of the developed world's by abusing copyright and trademark law - stealing an artist's practice so blatantly that they need to put a disclaimer at the end of their ad. Just profound evil.) I was bored that half of the actual show was vaselined-lens memories. But the remaining 1/4 was about as enjoyable as any Lost episode. Of course, I stopped watching mid-way through the second season, so...

Melissa, the director of Wistariahurst Museum, was wonderful. She had great advice on navigating the project in Holyoke. In particular, she wondered if the city really needs a new park, or if 23E might not be better off trying to reach an arrangement to work in one of the many beautiful parks the city already has. I have biked around Holyoke a great deal in the past weeks, and indeed it is truly blessed with an abundance of parks and public spaces - commons that are under-used right now. If 23E can find a way to help activate or enliven these spaces, it may well be that we'll be doing far more good than trying to add another commons. Something we'll be thinking about in the coming weeks.

 Holyoke is an incredibly beautiful city.

Sadly, after my meeting with Melissa, a nagging computer problem erupted full bloom on my laptop. And I've spent the last four days sequestered in Parson's backing up data, recovering data, troubleshooting drives, re-installing drivers and software, etc. This is particularly important because I have a SleepWalks (one of my bands/performance troupes) show at Diapason Gallery in NYC on June 5, and need the computer and drives running seamlessly by then. SleepWalks runs from 9pm-9am, with my laptop pushed to its limits creating soundscapes, so any problems can be extra vexing. As of this writing, I have been BSOD free for 36 hours. Hopefully by this evening I can test my audio software and hardware.

That computer issue eviscerated plans for my second week in Holyoke. I snuck in a few bike rides around town, and went out to visit a few nonprofits in the flats of Holyoke, but these were abridged elements of my larger plan to go out and learn as much about the local communities as possible. I'll be back at year's end, I hope. And will continue to learn about and try to engage with the members of the city I now count as friends until then. Who knows, maybe we will even own a piece of property for an EbM site by then.

One of the potential sites I'm looking at for EbM and SG-23E

And now, the next four weeks, a whirlwind of EbM activity. it goes like this:
June 1, Lebanon, NH to look at a potential site.
June 2, Boston, MA to visit my uncle, a historian and researcher for the MA Historical Society.
June 4, Portsmouth, NH to look at a potential site.
June 5, SleepWalks performance in NYC.
June 6, Philadelphia, PA to see friends!
June 9, Baltimore, MD to put the finishing touches on the mixes of the 3rd and 4th Stowe-Pembleton Project albums.
June 12, Easton, PA to look at a potential city for EbM.
June 12, Pittsburgh, PA to meet folks about potential sites, and hopefully meet a potential member of one of my other collectives, The Berlin Office.
June 13, Chicago, IL; Champaign, IL; Manteno, IL to look at potential sites, and to record with my band My Special Porpoise.
June 20, Omaha, NE to meet a baby!
June 21, Lubbock TX; Bledsoe, TX; Plainview, TX to look at potential sites for EbM; to meet with folks in Bledsoe and Lubbock to prepare for September's installs in those cities.
June 24, SF, CA two weeks back in the bay working to pay for all of this!
July 7-July 21, Cascadia - Portland, OR; Lincoln City, OR; Tacoma, WA; Olympia, WA; Port Angeles, WA; Port Townsend, WA; and a few other places in the mighty NorthWest, all for potential sites and collaborators.

And now I am off to Wistariahurst to take the official tour!

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