cooper union

cooper union

Here’s a clip of me performing the word-picture “Cage dies bird flies” at the {Re}HAPPENING. In my mind I thought I sang a tad better than this – too bad, I guess. As this is the first of the planned performance video posts, I‘ll offer a little explanati

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Here’s a clip of me performing the word-picture “Cage dies bird flies” at the {Re}HAPPENING. In my mind I thought I sang a tad better than this – too bad, I guess. As this is the first of the planned performance video posts, I‘ll offer a little explanation. I thought of this performance as a sort of memoriam to two friends long departed. I came up with the delivery of the “Cage dies” tune from an old gospel song. Whilst practicing it in my studio, swaying with my arms upraised – a tree for the freed bird! - I thought of a video that an old friend and classmate from high school and college, Bill Lafferty, made at Cooper Union in his last year there. He’d been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease, from which he died, 22 years old. Many of his videos incorporated his love of Spanish culture. He performed – with sunglasses and tree-like crucified pose against a white brick wall – Federico Garcia Lorca’s “Song of the Barren Orange Tree.” I will never forget that video so full of anticipatory loss and annihilation. The sunglasses and inclusion of the Garcia Lorca poem are a reference to his video, 39 years ago. My other dear friend, Steve Walsh – a wonderful sculptor and bass player - was killed in an accident at his construction job a few days before his 24th birthday. These memories and associations were part of my conception of “Cage dies bird flies.” The tune for the Garcia Lorca poem was off-the-cuff. The poem translation is by W.S. Merwin. Thanks to Mark Jones of Asheville, NC for the great video (and many more to come!).