A Sculpture/Sound Installation in collaboration with Audio Engineer Nick Tipp. The music is a Grammy nominated composition: Pieces That Fall to Earth, by Chris Cerrone, with orchestra Wild Up, conducted by Chris Rowntree. Mixed and produced by Nick Tipp.
What I gained from the task of companioning Kenyth and shepherding him over the River Styx, was courage. A fearful person all my life, I am grateful for the gift he gave me of facing death and loss. Still, it felt particularly painful, because as an elder I had finally found my True Love; and our connection was a deliciously romantic one. I learned that it’s not what happens to you that counts, it’s what you do with what happens to you – what matters is your relationship to it. You can make it hellish or sublime.
Our relationship was a heart completion for me; thus, I was called to use this heartbreaking situation of Kenyth’s dying as a means of growing spiritually, growing into a bigger self. I used it to grow a new courage I’d never known before.
The year after Kenyth died, and during the pandemic, my son Nick experienced an intensely difficult life crisis. I was moved to travel to Los Angeles for six weeks to lend him my support. It felt like a pilgrimage, given the Covid crisis happening all around. Sure enough, the courage I’d acquired from Kenyth’s death seemed to have some positive impact. Not that I “did” anything or was responsible for any change; it’s more as if Nick took that courage and used it creatively to turn his life around into a positive direction that is uniquely his own.
Thus, this sculpture/sound collaboration between the two of us is a celebration of healing and wholeness, an acknowledgement of what a joyful ecstasy it is to be embodied humans on this magnificent planet Earth – we are Gaia, in human form.
The Bassist.“This one’s for Keith”
The Violinist.“This one’s for Nick”
The Flutist.“This one’s for Kenyth”
The Oboist.“This one’s for Miles”
"The Musicians" left to right: violinist, oboist, and flutist with bassist behind violinist, all made with wire netting
"The Musicians" video
Frequently Asked Questions
Did you use colored wire?
No, I add paint color to acrylic gel medium and apply the medium to the outer surface of the wire netting. This allows the viewer's eye to rest upon the surface rather than going straight through.
What are the instruments made of?
The oboe was made from an aluminum deck chair I foraged along with a small funnel. The violin and the bass were made from hollow aluminum tubing. The flute was made from an aluminum cast off handle of a window cleaning tool.
How do the pieces move?
They are suspended from the ceiling and move through organic air currents and people turning them.
How does the music fit into the installation?
Each musician's body has a compartment with a mini speaker. The audio engineer ran separate tracks of music through each mini speaker, corresponding to each instrument. This allowed viewers to listen to both the symphonic whole and the individual parts when standing next to each sculpture.