Robert (gurdonark) wrote,


We landed yesterday in a driving rain, but our landing proved smooth. I drove my wife home, and then headed into my office. I arrived at our office in the late afternoon. I worked until the evening and then drove to the Nasher Sculpture Center in downtown Dallas. I walked around a bit before eight, and then went into the museum.

I was there to see a performance created by the Swiss artist Mai-Thu Perret. One of my on-line music friends, Tamara Barnett-Herrin, let me know she'd be doing the vocals for the performance piece. A dancer, a musician providing electronic accompaniment, a mannequin-sized puppet and a young woman with a red typewriter performed. The piece was quite good--not horrendously edgy, but very nicely done. I like very offbeat and experimental things, but I sometimes think that being subconsciously edgy or "bleeding edge experimental" is a bit of an affectation. I like my experiments to be a bit less self-conscious and a bit more tunnel-visioned.

After the performance I enjoyed the art exhibit. Then I had a quick chat with Tamara to formally introduce myself, experiencing that curious feeling when one has "known" someone for years but really does not know someone at all. Her charming English accent fit a sculpture museum. Years ago, Tamara had hosted a kind of remix project called Calendar Songs, in which she had posted twelve a capella tracks, one for each month. She invited folks to write accompanying songs.

I use samples to create music often. But I rarely use sung vocal samples. The business of syncing beats to words rarely interests me, though I can do it if need be. But I liked her project so well I did a couple of odd songs from the source material--I recall one with birdsong and simple percussion and another in which I substituted spoken word readers for the singer.

So I was glad when she wrote me to say she was in town and helping put on pieces last night and Saturday. She wrote the cool lyrics and sang them well.

I ate a very non-avant-garde-ish post-concert of egg whites, turkey bacon and fruit at a Denny's before driving home. We will go back tomorrow for the original piece that the artist and her assistants composed for Soluna this Dallas festival.

Friday I took an early walk in Muddy Bottom Preserve, where I saw a Great-crested Flycatcher. I worked a solid day. During lunch, I ate Church's fried chicken and walked in Salmon Park in Sachse. During that walk, I saw immature Eastern Bluebirds and a really fun Yellow-Billed Cuckoo.

Tonight we went to dinner at Thai Pan, where I dined on bahmee soup. Then we walked Beatrice in the park and settled in to watch a movie on television.

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