Video, Images and LA Times Review of Santa Ana Sites #5: Steve Roden

June 20, 2014

On the evening of Saturday, June 14th, GCAC presented the fifth performance in our Santa Ana Sites series, with a sound performance by artist Steve Roden.

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The evening began with a reception at Downtown Santa Ana’s Q Art Salon, hosted by Jose Quant and Shell Martin. Guests gathered and connected with one another at this pre-event mixer.

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At 8:15pm, GCAC Director/Chief Curator and Sites Co-Founder John D. Spiak led guests, downstairs, down the street the a historic law building and a parking lot in front of roll-up gate leading to an underground parking area. When all had arrived, the gate was opened and guests made their way underground, where they then entered another space – that of a subterranean racket ball court located beneath the law building owned by Dennis Dascanio, who generously allowed GCAC use of the space for the evening.

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There, guests were greeted by Sites Co-Founder and Artistic Director Allen Moon and were introduced to Steve Roden for some brief pre-performance remarks.

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GCAC invited Steve to perform in the Sites series, as we admired and respect him for the constant risks he takes – through his painting, installation work, films and sound performances. He is always challenging himself and the audience, allowing access to those slight moments in life that we often forget, or don’t allow ourselves to experience or enjoy – the slight mark, the capturing of an actual shadow, an adjustment or shift of a tone. It is what Steve does best and what makes him such a remarkable individual.

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Over the course of his 5o-minutes performance, Steve didn’t disappoint, as he took the audience on a complicated sound journey – one that began with sound bleed from a cumbia band performing for a wedding at a nearby banquet hall, first collaborating with those sounds, then making that background beat truly disappear as his own synthesized composition took center stage. Through his skillful use and knowledge of sound, Roden was able to successfully transport the audiences to a place outside the confines of the Downtown Santa Ana location, to a space of “elsewhere” that was unique to each of the 108 individuals experiencing this live performance.

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GCAC was fortunate to have in attendance Carolina Miranda of the Los Angeles Times, who wrote a wonderful review of the evening. capturing her own images and sound of the performance that she shares through text and slideshow, available through the following link:
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/miranda/la-et-cam-steve-roden-sound-art-santa-ana-20140617-column.html

We were also able to record video documenting some of the sound check with the artist during the afternoon set-up, so we thought you might enjoy it as well.

We would like to also acknowledge and thank Dennis Lluy, along with his team at The Yost Theater for their continued support of Santa Ana Sites. Through their in-kind generosity, they have loaned equipment that makes each Sites performance possible.

Lastly, we thank all those who attended and who continue to support Grand Central Art Center, Santa Ana Sites and our community outreach activities!

More information on the Santa Ana Sites series, including documentation of past performances, can be found online at:
https://grandcentralartcenter.wordpress.com/santa-ana-sites/


Kronos Quartet’s David Harrington Kicks-Off GCAC Santa Ana Sites Series

March 23, 2013

Last evening, Grand Central Art Center kicked-off Santa Ana Sites, a series being developed by GCAC through community collaborations, which aims to present contemporary performance in public and private spaces, in and around downtown Santa Ana.

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Santa Ana Sites #1 featured David Harrington, Founder and Artistic Director of the Kronos Quartet.  Through our collaborative partner and the individual whose original conversation sparked this series, the inspiring Allen Moon, a select group of guests spent the evening in Moon’s downtown Santa Ana loft home, as Mr. Harrington shared his insights into Kronos’ creative process.

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The evening began with a sound check, fine-tuning the system prior to the arrival of our guests.  We wish to thank Dennis Lluy and The Yost for their support with staging equipment.

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As the guests arrived, they were greeted with appetizers, drinks and lively conversation. Our thanks to Dan Bradley and Diego Velasco of Memphis for their generosity of quality food for the evening, as well as an additional thank you to Dennis Lluy and The Yost for their gracious support with the beverages.   The mixer provided a chance to build new connections, meet those that are active with our community and visit with old friends.

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Seats were put into place and the program for the evening was set to begin.  Using samples of music that’s currently catching his ear, David first presented work that spoke to inspiration, influence and music that continues to affect the Kronos aesthetic.

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He invited the audience to be engaged throughout the evening, which they did, asking intriguing questions and receiving David’s thoughtful responses.  David shared information about current Kronos projects in development and spoke about the Under 30 project, an initiative that began during Kronos 30th anniversary, which cultivates the next generation of composers through commissions from  composers under the age of 30.  Kronos will announce the next selected composer of this honor at the end of this month..

It was an evening enjoyed by all, the perfect kick-off to our new GCAC series!

David is in town to perform with Kronos Quartet, as they present Sun RingsSaturday, March 23rd at The Carpenter Center for the Performing Arts.  The center is located on the campus of California State University, Long Beach. Information on the concert can be found online at:

http://www.carpenterarts.org/2012-2013/kronos-quartet.html

Kronos Quartet Website

http://www.kronosquartet.org/

Further information on Sun Rings can be found online at:

http://kronosquartet.org/projects/detail/sun_rings

Here is the annotated list of the selections David played last night, we thought you might enjoy it!

1]    Beethoven String Quartet #12 Op. 127 in E Flat Major [opening] Budapest String Quartet [recorded 1961 Sony Classical]

2]    David Harrington ‘Drone Forever’ Kronos Quartet –E Flat Minor Chord–from ‘Dirty Wars’ soundtrack

3]    David Harrington ‘Drone for Children’ Kronos Quartet–E Flat Minor Chord [rhythm]–from ‘Dirty Wars’ soundtrack

4]    ‘Llanero, si, soy Ilanero’ [Plainsman, Yes, I Am a Plainsman] from Joropo from the Orinoco Plains of Columbia [Smithsonian Folkways SFW CD 40515]

5]    Fela Kuti ‘Sorrow, Tears and Blood’ Kronos Quartet [Red Hot to be released July 2013]

6]    Mahalia Jackson ‘God Shall Wipe All Tears Away’ [recorded 1937 Vol. 1 complete Mahalia Jackson–Fremeaux & Associes]

7]    trad. Swedish ‘Tusen Tankar’ [A Thousand Thoughts] Kronos Quartet [released on Kronos website]

8]    Bob Dylan ‘Don’t Think Twice It’s All Right’ track #7 from The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan [Columbia]

9]    Bob Dylan/Philip Glass/Kronos ‘Don’t Think Twice It’s All Right’ track # 20 CD #3 from Chimes of Freedom-The Songs of Bob Dylan [Amnesty International]

10]  Antarctica Doug Quin ‘Weddell Seals–Underwater’ track #3 [Wild Sanctuary]

11]  Animal Music: Team of Jeremy Roht–West Dawson, Yukon Territory [Suppose]

12]  Sounds of North American Frogs ‘The Biological Significance of Voice in Frogs’ tracks #1-3 recordings and narration by Charles M. Bogert [Smithsonian Folkways]

13]  Don Walser/Kronos Quartet ‘Danny Boy’ live recording UT Austin [1999] -soon to be released

14]  George Crumb ‘Black Angels’ Kronos Quartet track #1 ‘Night of the Electric Insects’ [Nonesuch]

15]  Nicolas Repac ‘Black Box’ track #1 ‘Chain Gang Blues’ [No Format-Naive]

Individuals he mentioned during his program:

Studs Terkel [radio announcer/author]

Terence Blanchard [composer for Spike Lee’s ‘Katrina’]

Nikki Finney [poet–National Book Award]

Howard Zinn [historian/activist/writer]


KEEPING ACTIVE @ GCAC!

September 18, 2012

Over the past few months, Grand Central Art Center, through Artist in Residence Jules Rochielle, has been actively working on developing a collaborative project with the Santa Ana Public Library.   The proposal, titled The Raitt Street Chronicles, will be an oral histories project that deals with recording of stories of the survivors of violence.  Centered around a neighborhood known as the Townsend district in Santa Ana, the artist and GCAC are work collaboratively with the Santa Ana Public Library administrative team, Cheryl Eberly and Manny Escamilla, and teen program “young historians”, as well as Sharon Sekhon, PhD, Professor in Cal State University Fullerton‘s American Studies program. The recorded oral histories and video components will be archived at the Santa Ana Public Library and will be developed into a visual/sound art component exhibited through GCAC.

As a part of the process, collaborative partnerships with community organizations are being developed and strengthened in hopes of greater outreach and mutually beneficial outcomes.  Late last week, we had the great fortune to visit The Grain Project‘s community and teaching garden at Jerome Park in central Santa Ana.  We met with The Grain Project‘s Co-Founder & Executive Director Lara Montagne and were provided a complete tour of the garden by local community expert Marco.  Marco shared so much valuable knowledge, providing insight into each plant’s characteristics and health benefits.  A remarkable tour by a truly passionate individual!

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We had the opportunity to walk the surrounding neighborhood, hear directly from Manny about his experiences growing up on these streets, and connected with artists currently working on a public mural with The Grain Project.  It was an amazing afternoon and has helped us to continue to develop new partnerships towards the realization of The Raitt Street Chronicles.

@ The Grain Project – Lara Montagne, Marco, Jules Rochielle, Manuel (Manny) J. Escamilla

Saturday afternoon, the Tijuana based team from bulbo collective, Omar Foglio, José Luis Figueroa Lewis, Ana Paola Rodriguez and Blanca España, arrived for a short residency at Grand Central Art Center.  This was their first site visit to the Center and provided an opportunity for a tour of our institution and a walking tour of Downtown Santa Ana.  GCAC brought bulbo to town to screen their feature film Tierra Brillante (Brilliant Soil).  As we walked the town, we talked about possible collaborative projects through a future extended residency, so we will keep you posted as that conversation continues to move forward.

On Sunday, after an early afternoon sound and visual check, we screened Tierra Brillante (Brilliant Soil).  The bulbo collective project film was screened in association with the OC Film Fiesta, through the collaborative effort of the Fiesta’s Director Sandra “Pocha” Peña and Creative Director Victor Payan, at The Yost Theater.  GCAC would like to thank OC Film Fiesta, and especially like to thank the generosity of The Yost Theater Owner Dennis Lluy and his amazing team.

Sound check for Tierra Brillante (Brilliant Soil) screening @ The Yost

Tierra Brillante (Brilliant Soil) screening @ The Yost

Tierra Brillante (Brilliant Soil) screening @ The Yost

The documentary follows Herlinda, an indigenous Purepecha potter, one of the few artisans in her community who uses alternative lead-free glazes, as she faces the difficult task of finding a market for her impressive pieces. The screening was truly a moving experience, an emotional journey of spirit, joy and family.  A quality audience was on hand who clearly appreciated the film, staying for 45-minutes following the screening to ask questions of the filmmakers.

OC Film Fiesta Creative Director Victor Payan leads discussion with Tierra Brillante (Brilliant Soil) Co-Director José Luis Figueroa Lewis and Producer Omar Foglio Almada @ The Yost

After the question and answer session, individuals had the opportunity to see works by Herlinda, and fellow Purepecha potters, who are now using lead-free glazes, on display in front of The Yost.

Community viewing works by Herlinda and fellow Purepecha potters @ The Yost

Blanca España, Omar Foglio, John Spiak, Jose Luis Figueroa, Victor Payan, Sandra “Pocha” Peña @ The Yost

Community viewing works by Herlinda and fellow Purepecha potters @ The Yost

Omar Foglio, John Spiak, Jose Luis Figueroa, Blanca España, Ana Paola Rodriguez @ The Yost

Grand Central Art Center thanks all those who attended the evening and each of our collaborative partners for their continued support of our programs and activities.


Lisa Bielawa – Artist in Residence – Site Visit #1 @ Grand Central Art Center

June 30, 2012

It’s been an exciting week, with Grand Central Art Center having been extremely fortunate to host artist/composer/vocalist Lisa Bielawa as a visiting Artist in Residence.  This was Lisa’s first site visit to Downtown Santa Ana, as she begins the process of developing a larger project and an extended residency.

We worked to introduce Lisa to individuals in our community and sites around Orange County of possible interest.  The visit allowed her to experience our community, this region and to begin developing ideas for projects that could be realized through her artistic vision.

Tom Burke, Flying Bull, Inc. and a Special Events Consultant, provided a tour of the airstrips of the former Marine Corp Air Station El Toro in Irvine, now part of the development in process of the expanding Orange County Great Park.  Lisa was interested in visiting the site as she is currently developing projects on former runways as part of her upcoming Tempelhof Broadcast.  the Tempelhof Broadcast will be performed on the Tempelhof Airport runway in Berlin, and in development for performance on Crissy Field, San Francisco.  Tom shared brief histories of the site and recent activities, as we walked the runways and Lisa tested the sites sound qualities at distances.  It was a clear morning and the songbirds in the adjoining fields were clearly happy.

Lisa met with Allen Moon, of the David Lieberman Artists’ Representative, as they discussed the current international creative scene and the many individual acquaintances and friends they had in common.  Allen shared his perspectives of Downtown Santa Ana, along with his vast knowledge of the greater Orange County community and the individuals here for whom Lisa would benefit by meeting.

Dr. Pamela Madsen, composer, performer and scholar, California State University, Fullerton’s Music Department, met with Lisa at the recommendation of Allen.  She shared information on her role as director of CSUF’s New Music Festival, including her vision for the 2013 festival.  They talked about the current voice, music and composer communities of Southern California, including individuals involved with our colleague SoCal universities of CSU Long Beach, Chapman University, University of California Irvine, Los Angeles and San Diego, and the possibilities for collaboration.

Dennis Lluy, owner of Downtown Santa Ana’s Yost Theater, connected with us for even more inspirational conversation.  For a bit of background, the Yost Theater it the oldest theater in Orange County, originally built in 1912 during the Vaudeville movement.  Dennis has spent the past five years renovating the theater to an original feel and passionate authenticity.  Dennis is an amazing thinker and long-term generous supporter of Grand Central Art Center, as well as the OC Arts community in general.  After grabbing a bite to eat at Chapter One restaurant, we walked over to the Yost to spend some more time in the venue.  Lisa visited the site on the first day of her residency, but this return visit provided her the opportunity to wander through the space and test the theaters natural acoustics.  The space is amazingly live, with a hammered tin ceiling that helps to project a voice throughout, engulfing the site with beauty!

Along with the individuals from our direct community, we were also able to engage Lisa with artists currently connected with Grand Central Art Center.  We attended the UCLA Hammer Museum Yearbook Signing Party hosted by the Hammer for artists Adam Moser and Harrell Fletcher.  You probably recognize Adam’s name, since he just completed his Artist in Residence project here at GCAC, The Cut-Off Men.  At the event, Lisa was able to engage a bit with the Hammer‘s Curator of Public Engagement Allison Agsten and Senior Curator Anne Ellegood. She was able to have extended conversation regarding Social Practice, recent projects and the contemporary art scene of Southern California with Adam, Andrew Douglas of the Metabolic Studio, and Contemporary Art Curator Cassandra Coblentz (full disclosure, Cassandra is married to John Spiak, GCAC Director/Chief Curator).

We were fortunate to also have back at GCAC artist in residence Jules Rochielle.  She is here for another site visit, as she continues to connect with our community and further develop her project – meeting with individuals from El Centro and the Santa Ana Public Library.  Jules visit provided the opportunity to gather a few other Southern California artists for conversation and a quick breakfast gathering.  Joining us were recent OTIS MFA in Public Practice graduate Christina Sanchez and Los Angeles based artist Nancy Popp, who was recently named InterArts Chair at the Idyllwild Arts Academy.

More site visits were worked into the schedule, and through the recommendation of Jules, Lisa toured the Santa Ana River, which stretches 29 miles from Huntington Beach to Corona, and is located a couple of blocks from GCAC.  Walking the bike path, she explored the space and considered its concrete valley and closed railroad bridges as possible project sites.

Wednesday afternoon, Lisa hopped on the train at our local Santa Ana Train Station (again, a few short block from GCAC) and made the quick one-hour trip down to San Diego.  Once there, she first met with Steven Schick, Conductor of the La Jolla Symphony & Chorus.  She shared with him her experiences as artist in residence at Grand Central Art Center and her current thoughts related to project ideas.  They were able to brainstorm together and consider collaborative possibilities.  In the evening, she connected with Jim Rosenfield, President of the Mata Festival Board.  Lisa is actually one of the co-founder of the Mata Festival, with Philip Glass and Eleonor Sandresky.  Lisa had the opportunity to share more information regarding Grand Central Art Center’s vision with Mr. Rosenfield and talk about concepts for her project to be realized through our institution.

Thursday, before departing for the airport, Lisa met with Cathi Douglas, Editor of CSUF’s Titan Magazine.  The Titan Magazine team is working on an article about GCAC.  Lisa sat down with their team for a photo shoot, before meeting with Cathi for an interview at the Gypsy Den Grand Central Cafe.  Make sure to keep any eye out for an article on GCAC in an upcoming issue of Titan Magazine!

And with a packed schedule, somehow Lisa still found some quiet time throughout the week to sit within our GCAC Black Box Theatre, at the piano, working to compose new work for additional upcoming projects in her life.

Yes, another extremely successful visit by an outstanding artist who we are excited to have back in the very near future.  We’ll keep you posted as the project continues to develop and we will let you know dates for Lisa’s return when they are official.