Silver Ochre is a collaboration
between two traveling artists:
videographer ACVilla and
They are traveling
throughout the lower
forty-eight states from
March to November
developing Who Are U.S.
as well as gathering footage
for their Live show, their
documentary project about artists
engaged in socio-political-communal
action as well as performing along the way.
Silver Ochre trains the eye on small moments of
time and the ear to the moment of the times.
Like many, ACVilla has learned to live in three places at once: the past, the present and the future. However, her work as an artist, through an array of approaches, reveals where she feels most at home: the present. Her work is the hostess, welcoming viewers with her photography and providing rooms for dialogue and reflection through her videography.
Villa has been nomadic since 2008 working as an artist manager, promoter and photo-videographer. A summer nomad since her second decade, she had become a perpetual peripatetic traveler by her fourth. After living in a log cabin in the California coastal redwood forest and helping rebuild a 100 year-old adobe abode in the high desert of Northern New Mexico, she found herself receiving mail in Mexico City, Prague and Thessoloniki, among many others. She has seeded ideas and plants, penned thoughts, shaped clay and wire, and witnessed sunsets over both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, all the while seeing and listening to Life in new and unique ways.
"A snapshot of a little girl crouching, braids hanging, as she observes something below her. Wisps of hair try to fly away... I often reflect on that photo. What was she focused on? What was it about the scene that caused the photographer to focus on her? Was it the moment, a time when both were completely in their respective presents? Nuances of the moment have captivated me for 47 years: seeing what may otherwise go undetected; observing Life happening while I am busy becoming; when the opportunity arises, experiencing my work through the translation of others’ personal points of view. I seek unique perspectives from which to record a moment, often outside of time and place, separating the context from the content, accentuating colors, patterns, textures, relationships and actions that are otherwise lost in the scene. I encourage the audience to puzzle over, question or simply get caught up in the moment of viewing while interpreting it through the filter of individual experiences and cultural fabric. The present moment is an elusive unit of time that offers me respite from the past and future. It is a grounding which is, at once, mine and non-existent."
Thollem is a peripatetic pianist/keyboardist, composer, improviser, singer-songwriter, author and educator. His compositions and performances range from the sub-genres of post-classical, free jazz, noise, punk rock and ecclecticism. He has been touring perpetually throughout North America and Europe since 2006, performing solo works as well as collaborating with an array of musicians, dancers, and filmmakers including ACVilla, Martha Colburn and Manucinema (Tuia Cherici).
Thollem was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, rigorously studying the standard classical piano repertoire, composing and improvising since he was a young child and absorbing the myriad of sounds of his culturally diverse upbringing. After dedicating his 20s and 30s to grassroots political activism, he's refocused his attention these last 10 years on a breadth of musics that incorporate his myriad experiences and curiosities. In this last decade alone, he has played well over 1,000 concerts throughout N. America and Europe as a soloist and in collaboration. As leader or co-leader, he has released over 50 albums in that span on 20 different vanguard labels to international critical acclaim. “Thollem is an astounding pianist who understands the huge scope of the instrument” (Terry Riley) and who continues to delve into the furthest reaches and sub-genres of Post-Classical, Free Jazz, Noise, Punk, dance and film. A brief cross section of his many recent collaborators include William Parker, Pauline Oliveros, Stefano Scodanibbio, Nels Cline, Mike Watt, Martha Colburn and Matthew Barney. He is the founding director of Estamos Ensemble, a Mexican-American cross border ensemble for musical exchange as well as the lead singer of the Italian agit-punk band Tsigoti. He's also a published author about art, politics and his travels in The Anthology of Essays On Deep Listening, Full Moon Magazine (Prague) and First American Art Magazine (New Mexico) and is presently working on a documentary about art and community from his experiences along his extensive travels and collaborations.
The music for Silver Ochre is inspired and influenced by the incredible array of music heard in this multi-cultural country including but not limited to: Corridos, Gamelan, Taiko, Free Jazz, Noise, Bluegrass, Post-Classical, Arabic, Blues, Circus music and more filtered through the lens of an experimentalist piano player.
Silver: from the 'silver' screen
Ochre: the pigment used in paleolithic cave paintings