I’m starting to get nervous that I’m not going to be able to go camping this summer. Wondering about the sad state of affairs in which, as time goes on, I’m likely to be lured toward the camping way only when there’s a concert or a delightful piece of art I must camp to see. I attribute this condition to the most kind, most awfully talented David Wilson.
It’s just that these days, I’m feeling so rushy busy, that I think only a show of the grandest scale could lure a practical wooly sweater to my back and boots to by feet. Well, that or my similar slim white suit with a spread collar shirt.
On September 18, 1979, after 20 years of imaging, Marden Abadi organized a team of forty people to help carry his one and a half ton rosewood grand piano to the rim of the Grand Canyon so that he could play selections from Debussy, Gershwin, Chopin, and of course Grofe’s “Grand Piano Suite” before several hundred people. And in that suit.
Marden now teaches piano lessons in La Jolla. Playing the Grand Canyon, for him, was like playing the greatest hall in the land. I know I would have lent a hand and camped out to see him. (Though I recognize why Cold Splinters doesn’t see it as I do.)
And I love the point that for proper Beethoven, a bathroom would do. But he would not abide playing Beethoven honky tonk (whatever that is, and which sounds kind of great to me) whatever the venue.
drawings by david wilson
600 guerrero st, sf
opening, April 22nd, 9pm
curated by brianna toth
Given how much I love this stuff I can’t believe it’s taken me until now to go on about about Lucky Dragons and Avocet. To my great pleasure I caught both in Oakland this November performing inside a perfect cave made of paper by the ever enchanting David Wilson.
Lucky Dragon’s Luke Fishbeck & Sarah Rara (top 10 best names for sure) create performances that feel like interactive happenings. At The Cave show, beautiful and endlessly tall Luke folds himself over his laptop and begins to generate sounds by shaking electrified seed pods with a great deal of reverb. Handing them to people in the crowd, the sounds multiply. Luke then unfurls rainbow colored, tentacle-like electric cables attached to sensors and puts them in outstretched hands, gently pressing people to make contact with one another. The cables respond to touch. Ahhha. Making music by touching each other. Pretty good. The sound itself is just what it should be coming from a mass of folks swaying together—an unearthly delight that is tonal, but joyous and soothing. Lucky Dragons has become something of an art world darling, appearing in museums the globe over, and the praise is right on.
Luke Fishbeck sheds some light.
Superb lady Meara O’Reilly has been steadily working her way toward the priestess-like presence she channels in recent Avocet performances. Watching and listening to Meara is utterly disarming. You no longer know what era you are in, nor what land, as you are transported to a space of stark, eerie, gorgeous sound. A true experimenter, Meara creates amazing instruments to boggle the mind. Her set at The Cave show included the belladonna, which generates silver noises from silver forks and a more recent addition….On a square of black metal Meara spreads table salt. Then she stands, back lit, above the salt covered plate and begins crooning crazy tones in a mic. The salt rearranges itself into patterns—making me pretty sure I am witnessing a sacred mystery. First a wave-like arrangement, then criss-crossing lines and on. I’m still trying to understand how it works, but I do know that Meara is awe inspiring.
Meara treated us to some ancient sounding Greek and Mongolian songs with guitar as well. Delicate and fierce at the same time they were totally stunning. Avocet resonates deeply.
Friend of the shop and excellent human David Wilson has recently installed a new landscape drawing at The Library, a gallery space over in Oakland (well, technically Temescal). David joins a stellar lineup of talents, including Meagan Donegan, Ryan Donegan, Kathleen Henderson and Dwight Mackintosh. If you find yourself in the area, go check ’em out! And if you don’t lurk Oakland often, but love really good art, make a point to get there for that purpose alone.
470 A 49th Street (behind ever-scrumptious Pizzaiolo)