So before I even get into how the Cummer thing went I want to first bring attention to one Olivia Carr. You may have seen her work recently in the Feast of Flowers pdf companion. Or perhaps in one of the recent shows at Cork (like Eskimo Kinship). She also has an Etsy store if you are in the market for a fine piece of jewelry.
Little bit of back-story:
The wonderful Mr. Jim Draper has been working on a massive project for a good long while called Feast of Flowers. It opened recently for viewing at The Cummer Museum in 5-points.
I’ll leave it to him to explain the project and it’s aims (which he did quite well in the most recent issue of EU jax) but along side this huge work, he (and his amazing team) also commissioned and put together a set of artwork based “reactions” from other local creatives that they compiled into a big PDF. It functions as a companion piece to the show and he was kind enough to include some of our sound work in this interactive document.
As is the case with gallery events like this, the Cummer wanted to host an “opening” to invite the donors and the public to view the work and have it introduced to them by Mr. Draper. During the planning of this particular event Jim was kind enough to mention our names when they were discussing the idea of a band providing music for the evening and this led to a representative from The Cummer contacting us about a month ago to begin work on a custom “set” for the opening. We based it heavily off of the work done for the Feast of Flowers PDF which meant it featured a DIY “hank drum” (manufactured from a propane tank and designed to sound like a much more expensive “hang” drum) I had cobbled together some time ago (with the generous plasma torch help of babyGhost) and over an hour’s worth of collected field recordings of animals and various nature sounds.
So this whole thing kind of hinged on the silly drum. It had such a strong sound and character and the mood fit right in with almost all of our recordings… So when it broke Thursday night and we still had so much more of the set to work out… our collective guts nearly fell out. We kept the faith though, hard as it was, and fortunately my roommate (good ol’ Lady of the Floyd) shares a studio space with a gifted metal-crafter known as Olivia Carr who was kind enough to pick “the hank” up the day after I called her, take the entire drum all by her lonesome all the way across town to fix it for us, and then bring it back the same day just in time for us to practice! Amazing!
Here are some photos of the damage and repair for anyone interested in stuff like this:
So as you can see the crack there is on what is probably the thinnest piece of metal on the entire drum. Even when building the thing that little joint gave me such a heart attack every time I had to shave off another piece of metal to get it closer to “in tune”. So it was only a matter of time before the bastard failed, I just kind of forgot we had to be delicate on it and… of course it had to blow when we had an actual contract to fulfill for the first time ever…. So yeah. That was fun. Look at that little jerk there. Such a tiny thing caused so much concern.
And here we see the work Olivia has done. So I mentioned how the actual joining section there was really small… Well apparently it was too small to weld. The metal was just too thin and narrow and as soon as Ms. Carr went in to start the heated metal bonding magic the whole thing just melted. BUT, here’s where it gets rad – Olivia was able to fashion a little bridge piece that would fit over the joint and hold it all together. She even managed to push the joint back into a position that, believe it or not, gave it tuning much closer to what it originally had when I first built the thing. So really she improved the tuning with this procedure. Yessssssss. I thought I was gonna have to stay up two days straight and build another…. Nope.
So. Extra special super-awesome-thanks to Oliva M Carr who saved our cans this week and allowed us to do this great show for the opening of Jim’s awesome project.
Speaking of which… it went well. I was happy with it. We were told many guests were as well. Goooood. Started a little rocky but we just weren’t used to that level of outside noise. I think tomorrow we’ll get ourselves setup with a better monitoring situation and that should fix things right up. The real test. Four hours. Should be fun. Eventually we are going to record and document this. We’ll put it up on the site when we do.
Okay lets wrap this up…
//Final info dump//
Tomorrow (Tuesday) is the public opening for the show so if you are in the neighborhood and would like to check out Jim’s great paintings then you are invited to please stop in, have a drink, eat some junk, listen to some animal jams, say hello, and enjoy a nice evening out at The Cummer between 4 and 8pm.
And if not, I’m sure we’ll see you soon.