Our summer kicked off in June with a two week trip to Spain for our residency at La Casa Del Herrero in Torralba de Ribota, Spain. Torralba is one of those magical rural towns: a beacon of life in the middle of the desert that somehow though barely obtaining wifi and electricity manages to boast three marvelously thriving artist residency centers. Francesc Oui, the risqué performance artist that hosted us, kindly invited us to multiple barbecues that featured equally exotic and delicious Spanish meats. It's the sort of cultural environment that demands no work after 6PM; that's a tall order for Passepartout, but was no doubt a wise precaution for what turned out to be a very busy summer ahead.
A 14 hour flight later and we were in Los Angeles, preparing for the inaugural Eighth Blackbird Creative Lab. A two week intensive with the Grammy-winning ensemble that generated not six, but thirty new role-models for the duo. Seriously, the people here inspired us everyday, and we still can't stop thinking about it. Our work with Mark DeChiazza on Mayke Nas's DiGiT#2, and Matthew Duvall on Molly Joyce's new piece was especially inspiring. It laid for us the groundwork for the recordings we would do later in the summer.
Our stay in Ojai was followed by two residencies that focused on filming two new works that were featured at the Eighth Blackbird Creative Lab: Molly Joyce's piece Less is More and Mayke Nas's piece DiGiT#2. In Saranac, NY we were in residence at Hill & Hollow Music. Highlights included playing a concert for the locals, celebrating with cocktails prepared to perfection by Angela Brown, and learning more than our fair share about 'haying.' We're thrilled and grateful for Benjamin Pomerance, who wrote a marvelous article describing our stay and concert at Hill & Hollow for the Lake Champlain Weekly.
Avaloch Farm was a very different kind of retreat. We were given the time and resources to rethink lighting ideas and storyboard for our short film of Molly Joyce's Less is More. There was no shortage of inspiring people and projects, but we'd be remiss if we didn't mention Peter's famous catering. Our film was completed just after the residency at the Baltimore War Memorial with our dance collaborator Jacob Storer.
The final stop of our summer was ChampdAction's LAbO at DeSingel in Antwerp, Belgium. Besides meeting thirty wonderful mentors and collaborators, we continued working with our colleague from MaNaMa in Brussels: Nina Fukuoka. Nina wrote us a piece that could only be described as an improvisatory musical response to extra-violent video gameplay. A pastiche of various musical video game moments, she not only focused on the action but the unnoticeable background quirks of these games.