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Border Towns

[slideshow id=3]

Performers: Laura Bohn, Michael Chinworth, Chris Giarmo, Laryssa Husiak, Kamala Sankaram, Laura Stinger, Dax Valdes

Check out info and interviews about Border Towns also at the HERE Web site

Border Towns just had its full run at HERE Arts Center in NYC, this September 10-18, 2010. Read the great CultureBot and NYTimes reviews.

Border Towns explores how recordings have re-engineered the psychological landscape of the U.S., stitching together hundreds of recordings collected along the borders. Seven performers lipsync, sing, and move precisely with a dense map of song fragments, ambient sounds, and border broadcasts. Along the way, musical Americana gets reconstructed into a surreal theatrical collage reflecting on recording, location, and culture.

The evening-length show, for 7 performers, takes its cue from Seeger, Lomax, and Copland—musicians who have “all gone to look for America,” yet whose musical research often doubles as creation, idealization, and sometimes, exclusion. I’m interested in unpacking assumptions about locality and Americana, and try to re-imagine and skew genres that rest on that border between heartland and fringe.

This music has been created through long site visits to 11 towns at the literal borders of the U.S., and documentation through ambient sound walks, conversations and interviews, radio monitoring, historical society research, and statistical collection. Turning Lomax on his head, I go out, collect recordings, but then reassemble them into a cultural artifice, a tradition of my own making.