THE ELECTROSENSE OF PADDLEFISH:
a live multimedia piece on Water in the American West
Charles Lindsay and David Rothenberg
Why did Floyd Dominy draw the instructions for how to blow up the Glen Canyon Damon on a napkin? It was his greatest creation as director of the US Bureau of Land Management. What did he know about the evils of damming up the water of the West?
This is a short compilation from the live premiere of a live multimedia performance interpreting the complex environmental, political and social issues involving water and the Western United States.
From the frontier days to 21st century silicon valley, water has been a lifeblood, transforming the western half of our nation from desert and wilderness into a booming region requiring vast quantities of this precious liquid resource — which westerners will stop at nothing to get.
Music: Lindsay’s pristine and processed field recordings, live electric cello and Moog guitar. Rothenberg on clarinets and overtone flutes, live explorations of found sounds and words depicting the strange struggle of water to fight back against those who would try to control it. Processed female vocals by Charley Paige, originally recorded in Costa Rica.
Video: From May through August, 2010 Lindsay traveled the west capturing video of all things affected by water. Locations included Las Vegas, Fort Peck, Mono Lake, The Hoover Dam, Idaho’s ‘Craters of the Moon’ National Monument and Silver Creek Preserve. He shot Yellowstone Park’s geysers and forest fire remnants, Paddlefish snagging, The Sip & Dip ‘Mermaid Bar’ in Great Falls, the open pit copper mine in Butte, which is the United States largest Super Fund site. He shot Noah’s Ark at a Creationist Dinosaur Museum, industrial irrigation, an abandoned depression era farm, water coolers and truck stops and 75 million year old ocean beds.
The full remixed video projection was structured in eight parts for a forty minute improvised performance.
This was the closing event at Ear to the Earth, 2010 – an annual festival of sound and music devoted to the environment, which is sponsored by the Electronic Music Foundation. The venue was Frederick Loewe Theater, 35 West 4th St. NY, NY.
Thank you Chen Serfaty + Liron Unreich, for superlative video editing, production and smiles.