|"Schnappviecher (snapping beast) on Shrove Tuesday"|
Photograph by Charles Fréger
via National Geographic
I've been talking with a dear friend about resurrecting a music festival project that is very near to my heart. After a very successful 3 year run, the people in charge needed to take a step back and re-evaluate goals and direction, but as with all good ideas, the return was perhaps inevitable.
I prodded him with questions, as I am wont to do. Mood? Intent? That sort of thing. He talked of costumed dancers emerging from the darkness in Ixtapa, flickering flames, delusions in gold, change, despair, provocation...a kind of visual throwing down the gauntlet. I asked him more questions. He gave me more, yet vaguer, answers. And then he said,
"You know what I really want...is for you to tell me what I want."
And just like that, he cut to the core of my creative heart.
What's that? A blank slate to art direct an interactive visual and aural feast in the heart of the Canadian wilderness, surrounded by many of my most creatively sophisticated companions and collaborators? A sky full of stars and music literally to my ears? Oh, I do so love a challenge.
I've begun the Thinking Process. And what that means at this earliest, earliest stage in the game is not so much thinking, but more looking and absorbing. I am searching for an answer, without really knowing the question, and all the while, the question lingers in the backburner of my mind, like a pot just turned on to simmer.
What follows are potential answers, or the keys to an answer, bubbling to the surface...
- Europe's Wild Men, as seen in National Geographic April 2013
Photograph by Charles FrégerCZECH REPUBLIC
When jolly St. Nicholas visits the villages of Vysočina,
he is joined by someone dressed as Smrt, or Death, whose scythe catches sinners.
Photograph by Charles FrégerPORTUGAL
During Carnival in Lazarim characters called “caretos” parade through the village
in hand-carved masks to a bonfire where effigies known as the comadre and compadre are burned.
- Pet Shop Boys at the Beacon Theatre, as told by Door Sixteen (images below are from a review by the New York Daily News; and there are also these images by Robert Altman on CMJ)
I don't know where we'll go from here. But no matter what, I am very, very excited.