Country Western
Country Western
Country Western

Country Western

April 2008

Visual performance at The Meridian Gallery, San Francisco, California. Collaboration with composer Zachary James Watkins. Real-time animation with MIDI controller, tablet, networked data, two projectors, two computers and custom patches in Quartz Composer. Landscape photo credit: Zachary Watkins

new music visual performance

Country Western is a complex, long toned structured improvisation of texture and harmonics composed by Zachary Watkins a Texas native, and California resident.

The name would suggest a cowboy and horse vision, yet the work is derrived from a sense of displacement by many younger US Westerners created by their own real experience of the West and the oftentimes opposite “Western” ideals. Conceptually it is a reaction against the classic Western mode, and a comment by Westerners who have a different perception of their native homes: one fed by a communications-age fueled awareness coupled with a respect for the land.

The video was added as an additional improvisational instrument by visualist Joseph Gray, a California native and Washington state resident. The performance tool created focused on ethereral texture fields whose origin are photos taken by the composer and visualist of earthen landscapes in the American West.

Country Western premiered at Meridian Gallery in San Francisco. Meridian Gallery is well known for their experimental composers series whose performances often include a video or digital animation element. The gallery is also active in local at-risk youth education and providing exhibition opportunities for under-represented artists and artistic forms.

Zachary Watkins

Shayna Dunkelman (percussion)
Kanoko Nishi (koto)
Noah Phillips (prepared guitar)
Marielle Jakobsons (violin/electronics)
Emily Packard (violin)
Theresa Wong (cello)
Aram Shelton (woodwinds/electronics)
Jen Baker (trombone)
Dennis Somera (voice/poetry)
Zachary James Watkins (laptop/network)

Joseph Gray (video/network)

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