Saturday, May 28, 2011

Jim Cooper and the Marching Band of Gypsies

Some days sneak up on you and surprise you in the most incredible ways. It is not always the case that the incredibility is so positive as it was today.

As has been mentioned and is perhaps more than obvious, but by this time we were tired. Long hard days with little sleep, and today was just going to be that. And it started out that way. With nothing scheduled this morning, we took a little extra time before leaving our luxurious Bridgeport digs. We arrived at the space about an hour later than usual to do our routine of turning on the heater and checking out what really happened the night before.

We really were looking forward to this day, and hoped it would remain as relaxing as it was starting, because tonight we were all set to play with vibraphonist Jim Cooper.  We played with Jim Cooper back in 2007 in Holland, Michigan during our first tour of the US where we piggybacked our live painting with live music with Tali's original multi-media show, Mo(ve)ment. Since then we have stayed in touch and made a few attempts to work together again. As luck would have it as plans were being made for the Colorboration Project Chicago, Jim was already going to be in the city for a gig the next night.

2007 with Jim Cooper in Holland, MI

We said to each other several times during the day about how smooth it was going to be to have an easy going and relatively quiet evening being reunited with Jim.

About 4:30 or 5:00 Gabe showed up and said, "They can be here tonight." Whatever he was talking about did not register in either of our heads.

"Who can make it?" I asked.

"The marching band." Gabe replied.

Well this suddenly made me nervous because Jim was planning on playing solo and was not so interested in anyone being there to play unless he brought them. So I told Gabe it would be cool if they played first and then we would do a solo set with Jim. With Gabe set out to see if his marching band of gypsies could be there by 6:00 or 6:30.

A little before 7:00 at the appointed time Jim Cooper showed up with his vibes and a gig bag full of his favorite percussive instruments. And you guessed it no marching band yet, so I was all set to have them play after Jim or in between his sets depending on what he ended up doing.

As Jim was set up and thinking about starting his first set, the marching band started loading in and I was not sure what would happen next. But by the time Jim was well into his first ten minutes or so, the marching band made up of Gabe Patti and friends were sitting behind Jim quietly watching the show.

Jim Cooper and Gabe Patti
Jim Cooper is a quiet man and also a consummate improvisor. It was not long before he could sense that it might be a good idea to invite these musicians to join it with him. I figured he knew what he was doing and none of us had any idea as to what would happen next.

What did happen next was totally of the moment and a little bit crazy and a little bit out there.

Slowly, one by one the marching band musicians started to join in and as each started the colors shifted and things got more and more lively. As with all of the other nights before, when we paint like this it is very easy for us to slip into the zone, and it is just the paint and the music. In fact just about anyone could walk in and we probably would not notice. This was the case tonight as while we were completely in to the moment and were settled in at this point with full orchestration, improv style, suddenly something changed. Suddenly there was a bottom in the sound that was not there before. Not only was it not there before, but with the instruments that I knew were in the room, I knew there was no way that they could generate that full bottom sound and rhythm. Yet it was somehow familiar.

Enter Rick Neuhaus and reenter Corky and Donna from Sheboom.

Tali and I did not stop or turn around until the musicians stopped for a break. It wasn't until then that I understood where that new shape of sound was coming from.

We ended up doing two more sets that kept getting more and more obtuse. We decided that this would be as good a time as any to paint our second and final large painting, and we did... in a big way.
One trombone lead the big weird parade.
After painting on what was our video projection screen, I won't say things came apart, but if it was obtuse before it was off the charts now. I turned around in front of that huge painting and through the beam of light from the projector, I saw Gabe riding a vintage bike around in circles and man playing the sousaphone following a woman playing the snare drum in a fur cowled down coat. I looked at Tali and she said, "This is a Fellini film."

That is what we named the painting.

Fellini still wet.

©2011 The Colorboration Project is the property of Tali Farchi and Royce Deans.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Just down to Earth

Today started out with the usual getting things done, hanging and rearranging the art that had be painted last night with Erin Fay and Friends. And then we had workshops.

Paintings to hang.
In the middle of the afternoon we had a group of 30 inner city kids that came to go through one of our painting with music workshops. There little teacher was a ball of energy and was able to keep all these kids in line, but 30 kids is a lot, maybe to much to try and get them all going in the same direction at the same time. But we tried. We had to set up and extra table to make enough room. We did it and in the end the kids had a good time and were appreciative of what we did with them.

Before we could really get too cleaned up Andy DeLaRosa, an artist/sculptor we met a couple of nights before came back with a group of artists to do a workshop. Andy has a studio/gallery called B13 where he facilitates art projects with artists that are either discovering or rediscovering their art or just need the camaraderie of like minded individuals. This session was different because Andy brought materials to make a mural.

Andy DeLaRosa
We started off with our workshop just as we always  do, it is a great way to get everyone loosened up. In the end we were all working on 12 foot canvas that Andy had prepared earlier.

It was interesting to work so spontaneously with another group of artists. We were able to see a whole new dynamic develop. We watched how much respect everyone had for each others marks of paint. Sure lots ended up being covered up, but we had to say that respect was what we observed.

The mural in progress
While the music was blasting and we were still painting the mural, the bands started to load in. That's what I said, 'bands.'

We were expecting The Earth Program, but they brought along another band to open for them. Donoma from Kenosha Wisconsin.

Donoma is Stephanie Vogt on keys guitar and vocals, Brian Sandburg on guitar and Israel Pizar on drums. They played and energetic set of punky sort of tunes that were really fun to paint with. Near the end of their set they played a Cranberries cover they had just worked up. A good time was had by all. Afterwards Israel told us that he had to actually stop watching so intently what we were painting because he found himself forgetting that he was supposed to be playing. LOL!

Donoma with art.
The Earth Program played next and they were just a pure joy to work with because the music they play just seemed to be touching all the right places. Let's be honest, we were getting tired by this time and so to have a band play such that both of us were able to totally reanimate and do some really cool work.

The Earth Program setting up.
Once more I will be brutally honest with you and tell you other than what I just said about the effect of The Earth Program on us physically and artistically, I am at a loss as to how to really describe their music. So I went to their web site, as I suggest you do too.

So I went there and copied this little description of their music in their own words.

Earth Program in flight.
"somewhere beyond the outer twilight...

Initially formied in 2008, The Earth Program is a multimedia cross-genre indie rock band based out of Chicago, IL and the fictional universe of Obbityville.

Describing their sound as "atomic rawk, stoner pop, mama jama, retro spooky, space punk", Earth Program's highly engergetic live performances noteable for stage antics, costumes, and projected visuals have stirred quite a buzz in the local music & art communities over the past few years.

Earth Program's musical & visual asethetic is influenced by bands and elements of retro pop culture, such as: The Beatles, Ramones, Nirvana, Pixies, Arcade Fire, RadioHead, Flaming Lips, Joy Division, Neutral Milk Hotel, Polaris, Pee-Wee's Playhouse, The Twilight Zone, Ghostbusters, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles & The Adventures of Pete and Pete.

The name, 'Earth Program' is a dialouge reference from the 1964 cult classic, "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians."

INVADE! is the debut album by Earth Program. It was officially released January 29th 2010. INVADE! was self-recorded, produced, released, and distributed by the band through their home based D.I.Y. label, Tastee Records. "

Earth Program is currently composed of:

Christopher Mondo - vocals/guitar
Shannon Candy - vocals/guitar/bass
Mister Bibbles - vocals/bass/synth
Michael Signal - vocals/drums/percussion

The Earth Program is a class act. They know their craft and they are having a great time doing it. The night was inspiring to all and as their van drove away, we each said that some day it will be great to work with them again.

©2011 The Colorboration Project is the property of Tali Farchi and Royce Deans.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Erin Fay and Friends

So what went down next? It's Monday and we were heading down the homestretch with mixed emotions. Sad that we were starting to be able to see that there was going to have to be an end to this project, happy that there was so much to look forward to and absolutely worn out from what we had done so far. Through all that the inspiration and drive was at an all time high.

It was this morning that we took the postcards we made up at Kinko's so that we could send our postcards out to those that supported us through Kickstarter, as we had promised. Again we want to thank all those that supported us, we really could not have done this without your help. Thanks again.

We decided on having our next band of musicians on this day so that we could give them a full weekend to unwind from a week of mid-term exams. Tonight brought us Erin Fay and Friends. They are a group that has found themselves all at Colombia College studying music.  The group is made up of Mike Campo on drums, Justin Canaran on guitar, Zach McIntire on bass, and Erin Fay on keyboards.

Zach McIntire with Erin Fay in the background.
Finding Erin was perhaps the most interesting of all the musicians we worked with. Erin is the daughter of someone that went to high school with me way back when, and when she read on Facebook about The Colorboration Project, she immediately got a hold of me and said that Erin would love to do it. After a few text messages and voice mails later we finally talked and  figured out what we would do.

Mike Campo
From the minute this band walked in the door their youthful enthusiasm melded with the already room full of creativity. As the evening many of their friends streamed in and basically the night turned into  real happening in the best since.

Tali under the lights and under the influence of the music.
They played three sets. Two very smart jam band sort of sets with a set of solo piano where Erin played Beethoven Sonatas. First of all it goes without saying that if these kids were good enough to get into Columbia that they know how to play their instruments.  It was truly fun as it could be as we mixed our age and experience with their youthful exuberance.

And the paint went on.
The music was fun and loud and went on and on, during a pause in the action about 1am I went and asked Erin what she thought about much longer they wanted to play. This is the thing when you tell musicians that there are no rules and you can play as long as you like. Well, she said they would like to play one more song, and I guess it was 2am before the last drum and amp rolled off the stage.

...and the band played on.
What a night!

©2011 The Colorboration Project is the property of Tali Farchi and Royce Deans. 

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Sid Yiddish and The Candy Store Henchmen

Sid Yiddish and The Candystore Henchmen for this the night of March 20th was a quintet of quirky proportions featuring: Sid Yiddish as conductor, playing, vuvuzela, shofar, Marc Gee on keyboards,Chad Wynes on guitar, Rat Niptikwith his electric violin, and John Hardwick on keyboards. The Candystore Henchmen perform an avante garde approach to music that is as refreshing as it is weird, and I mean that in the most complimentary way possible.

Royce's painting from the night of March 20th.
This was the only band we had work with us that had a conductor. Sid Yiddish has developed his own version of conducting based deeply in the style of Soundpainting. This sort of conducting is a language that comprises more than 1200 hand gestures and was created by the New York composer Walter Thompson in 1974. Watching Sid Yiddish conduct is reminiscent of the fancy arm movements and hand gestures that I have not seen the likes of since Don Zimmer was positioned as third base coach for the Cubs.

Instructing the Candy Store Henchmen.
During sound check and rehearsal, I got to hear Sid instructing the band on what they would be playing. Maestro Sid said to Rat Niptik, that when he made this movement with his hand that nearly looked like the dance Uma and Travolta did in Jack Rabbit Slim's Twist Contest, but it wasn't. Rat's instructions were to play "Cloud over a Metal Bathtub" when he saw that signal.

Are you getting the picture here? This was not about to be anything close to a normal set of music. And thank goodness, it wasn't. But it was exhilarating and inspiring such that we found ourselves inventing new things we had never thought of doing before. During the first set the Candy Store Henchmen played four movements from the thirty-three movement Paul Hartshaw composition titled, Scatter
Movement 2 of Scatter.
 Yiddish  introduces each of his songs  by showing the band and the audience some marks on a sheet of musical score and then giving a description that would go something like, "Man using a rake, picking his nose."

The second set consisted of two of the Henchmen, Marc Gee and Chad Wynes, made their world debut as the improvisational duo Lack of Trying. Marc and Chad both added their vocals to the mix as well as playing their keys and guitar. Their accomplished musicianship was the perfect vehicle for their sometimes humor lyrics and Marc incredible shouted ramblings.

Lack of Trying
Following Lack of Trying's debut performance, The Candy Store Henchmen took the stage again and performed an original Sid Yiddish spoken word poem, Cumming Up for Air, and a new improvisational piece title BAGism, as it is based on the major chords B, A, and G. They also played some untitled pieces by Chicago composer Christopher Priessing and ended with Nursery and Machine Houses, by Berkeley, CA composer Eric Glick Riemen.

Tali's monochromatic impressions.
And what night with Sid Yiddish would be complete without a shofar clinic?

Sid Yiddish demonstrating proper shofar embouchure.

©2011 The Colorboration Project is the property of Tali Farchi and Royce Deans.


Some days start off with a bang, But today started off with a boom, actually it was more of a SHE-BOOM! 

Sheboom booming.
We met Aimee Bass of Sheboom when she played percussion on the 15th with Elie Kaplan's band, the gHOST project. After that show Aimee told us about Sheboom, the all women drum ensemble she was a part of. American women playing African rhythms, we loved the idea and invited them to come and do a rehearsal here in our space.  Today was the day, Sheboom is four women, Aimee Bass, Corkie Neuhaus, Donna Donahue, and Beth Pestka.

Tali and the girls.
At this point we have worked with and observed a lot of musicians, not only do these women rock, they do it with style and more joy than anyone we know. Let's put it this way, you can't see and hear Sheboom without dancing with a big smile on your face. 

Sheboom in action.
The acoustics of our space were really interesting, because of the open beams of the ceiling there was not a lot of reverberation, yet at the same time the wide open brick walls and cement floor gave a real clarity to any sound. In fact, for the most part amplification was hardly needed most of the time. Well, volume is one thing that Sheboom has no problem with.

How Sheboom inspired Tali.
If you have seen or participated in any sort of drum circle sort of thing you have a jumping place for what Sheboom is all about. First of all these women don't sit, as they play their own version of these West African beats you are more like to feel like you are watching the fancy synchronized moved of the Four Tops.

Kickin' it!
From the first "Pa pa pa Bam Bam, ba Ba Bam BAm BAM" we were off and running, or rather, painting. They play for about an hour and when they stopped for a break Tali and I looked at each other and then to Sheboom, and said, " They can't stop now!" Then we turned to them and said, "You can't stop now!"

Royce's impressions.
Finally we agreed to let them have a break, and after a short breather everybody got back into it. We went on for another hour and took another break. While we were just hanging out, I think it was Corkie, asked us if we minded if they played a little more.  All I will say is that after another hour they packed up. 

Until next time.
I think we all learned a lot in that three hour session, and what was so cool is that we weren't finished in the least bit. We were energized by the Sheboom experience, which was a good thing because we had a session scheduled for tonight with the infamous Sid Yiddish.

©2011 The Colorboration Project is the property of Tali Farchi and Royce Deans. 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Good Old Chicago

Today was the 19th of March, compared to the last couple days it was low key and honestly it was really good to have a day that was less than jam packed.

The daytime hours were filled with busy work around the studio and errands to Jewel, Aldi and Home Depot.  Part of the project for us was finding ways to display the art that we created the day before. It was fascinating to us and were told by those that would come into the space, that it was really something to see the collection grow and the arrangements on the walls change from day to day.

Arranging every morning.
It was days like today that we could sit for a minute and contemplate what was happening here. To see what was being created by our hands. To consider the essential importance of the music. To be so grateful for the music and amazed at how good it all was.

It was comforting to be surrounded by these paintings we made, but at the same time they represent so much energy that was expelled in the moment they were created. I guess that is really what it is mostly all about. And while we could feel great accomplishment, and some twinges of exhaustion, we were totally inspired and ready to do more and more.

Tonight we really switched it up musically. Our musical guest was Chicago native, guitarist, singer, songwriter, Mike Felton.

Mike Felton by Tali Farchi
Mike comes from the tradition of what I like to refer to as Chicago Folk. His songs, very many of them are paintings unto themselves. Well, wait, there are so many stories and history in his work that I think I should say that each one is like a mini Ken Burns documentary film. Mike's music is filled with imagery and tones that really pushed our paintings into places that very literal. 

Mike Felton
It is interesting how as soon as there are lyrics to a song that are understandable the inspiration we get from the song will take  a very different direction.  Mike's songs are about how things were. When a buck was a buck and a hard days work meant you earned a buck. He took on trips to old Maxwell Street, and even up to the mines of Michigan's Upper Peninsula and told stories of crooked politicians and lovers that weren't coming back.

The tree that grew like Mike Felton's tales.
The paintings we did this night were very figurative, In fact Tali painted a haunting piece that was a Chicago scene that we actually saw a few days later.

Tali's Chicagoan vision.

©2011 The Colorboration Project is the property of Tali Farchi and Royce Deans.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Three Directions No Waiting

This was one incredibly full day as you will soon find out.

One of the things we had built into this project was that we had time set aside everyday in the studio space to present Painting with Music Workshops. From nearly day one, we saw that this was going to be difficult. We really felt like this was an important part of the project as we wanted to be in touch with the community as much as possible. I talking to Alpha Bruton, the chief curator for the Phantom Gallery, we expressed our want to do some workshops. Alpha had made some calls and while she couldn't get a group to the space this day, she did arrange for us to go to Chicago Christian Alternative Academy, a charter school at Pulaski and Roosevelt.

This school is in a serious neighborhood. The school itself is a small building that looks a bit like a school once you are inside and past the metal detector, but it is too small to actually have always been a school. But it functions quite well as one and as far as we could see it is a good thing it is there.

We showed up and unloaded our gear. Tali was escorted with our stuff to the art room while I went in search of a parking place that I hoped I would find my Yukon in when we were done.

We fully expected this to be a tough crowd, and when we walked in and introduced ourselves we were not sure at all what would happen. The teachers told us they were not sure how things would go either so we simply decided whatever will be will be.

We were amused and surprised when we were told by the teachers that these kids, that were all between about 15 and 18, would not want to get their hands in the paint and would require rubber gloves if there was a chance the paint would get on their hands. When we started, the kids didn't know that we would eventually end up working with finger paint. LOL!

This is why they have to wear gloves to paint.
Ok so the workshop starts off with Mozart, as soon as it began, the teacher looked around to see what the reaction might be. These kids don't know Mozart she said. The reaction was slow, but at least it was positive.

Now, we were told that we had 50 minutes and that  we were the last activity of their half day of school that day that got out at 11.30. We started at about 9.30 and by the time we finished at 10.30, they didn't want to leave. They said, can we do more? So we just kept putting on music and getting out more paper and paint and they continued on till they had to leave. 

It was amazing to see the transformation of these students. It was great to see them play. We were all having so much fun that other students stuck their heads in the door to see what was happening and we even had some other teachers join in. One teacher said after being there only about 10 minutes, "I came to work stressed out today and in a bad mood. Now, I can tell it is going to be a good day."

After cleaning up, and getting all our things back into the Yukon, which was still there and in tact we drove back up north to 2515 N. Milwaukee Ave. As we drove we were both in a bit of a shock from what we had just experienced.

Heading North.
It is really something how art and music has a way of calming the savage beast and it is indeed a common language that all of us can speak and communicate with quite nicely.

We arrived back to our studio by 1pm and we excited about seeing in the light of day the large painting we did, or rather started last night with Marbin. We had already discussed between ourselves that neither one of us felt like that painting was finished yet. But we also had no idea what to do about that. Would it mean that we would just gesso over it and start over or would it mean that we work on it some more. Either way, we knew that we were stepping into a place that we had never really been before with any of the art work we had done in the past.

What we started the night before with Marbin.
This notion of going back into a painting for us launched us into a huge discussion about what  we wanted it to be. What could it be? What should it be? How should we approach this? No matter how or what we already knew that compared to how we typically work, and compared to how we started this painting, that what we were about to do would be a set of calculated moves. This again was unsettling.

Tali starting back into it.

At least we had bought a CD from Marbin so we had their music to work with. We decided that we would each work on the painting separately while the other one watched on. This was not an easy task. I put the music on and Tali took the first swipe at the painting. Listening the music of Marbin made it easy to get back in a place that we pretty close to where we were the night before. When Tali was done I took a few stabs at it.

We talked a lot about the movement and the flow of the piece, the lights and the darks and where your eyes were taken. It was a conversation that was as serious as we have ever had about art. We both felt like we had so much at stake here.  Bottomline, we wanted to end up with a painting we were happy with, not only that, we both knew that what we had was a really good start that was completely inspired. No pressure there.

So, we painted and talked, and argued and painted some more until we could agree that we would do no more.

We moved the painting we now call Marbin to the south wall, and when we saw it there and could really look at it... Well, we didn't really have words other than we were both collectively afraid of what that painting represented.

Marbin on the wall.
Would be able to ever make a painting like it again? We knew we wanted to, but could we? This, by the way, are still some questions we talk about from time to time.

Tonight was set to be our artist reception, and it was. Finally the weather had broke and it was actually warm. So much so that we were happy about having the door open. Until now we had it open so that passers by could see there was something going on, but it had been so cold that it also was a bit ridiculous that we had the door open.

People streamed in most of the evening. By this time as was our hope we had a quite a bit of art on the walls, so that anyone that came by could certainly see that we had been painting.

The steady flow of visitors stopped at about 7pm when while we were standing around talking several gunshots were fired directly outside the door of our studio. I think I counted six shots. Well this changed the flavor of the evening rather immediately. Prior to the shots, Margaret Larkin  a Facebook friend, originally someone we knew from Deviantart was there, and an old American Academy of Art classmate of mine, Jackie Karng Gwynne.  I had not see or heard from Jackie say some 30 years, so it was really great to be able to catch up with her and talk about all the places we have been in the last many years.

When the bullets started flying, we closed the door. That seemed like the most obvious thing to do and moved away from anything that was like a window. Alpha called the police and Tali said, "I was not expecting this, I didn't think this would happen." Tali was visibly shaken.

Eventually we relaxed, but not before the police drove by at 30mph about 20 minutes later. They never stopped, I guess they are not interested in being shot either. At that point Margaret thought it was safe to go so she ran across the street and sped off into the night as fast as she could.

So there we sat in our cavernous cavern, Tali, Alpha and I. We tried to break the mood a little by making some  funny comments about what just happened or may have happened. About the time we felt more relaxed there was a knock at the door and that was in fact a cause for alarm.  Eventually Alpha went to the door and who was it but Tali's childhood penpal Bill and his wife Karen. We brought them in and closed the door. We told them the story of the gunshots. Karen said she heard people talking about gunshots as they walked towards our place, but Bill and Karen thought they must have been talking about years ago when this block of North Milwaukee Ave. was gunshot central, and back then a lot of the shots hit people.

Bill and Tali
It was great to be able to show Bill and Karen all the work we had done so far, and soon things picked up and there were more people strolling in again, like nothing had happened. Luckily no one was shot, and chances are the shots were just someone's over-exuberant  reaction to the warm weather.

Art openings can be a lot of things and we have learned over time that just about anything can happen and that will continue to be the case, but I wouldn't mind if that was the last one we have with gunfire.

©2011 The Colorboration Project is the property of Tali Farchi and Royce Deans. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


So far, our method has been to make each post on this blog specific to a particular day, but we are going to change that up a bit right now. While yes, Marbin did come and play on March 17th, St. Patty's Day, directly after The Flabby Hoffman Trio, Marbin was such a complete and utter change up for us and to the evening that we thought we had better make the Marbin portion of the evening its own post.

Now, Marbin came to us via the masterfully artful arrangements of SeƱor Flabby Hoffman, and once again we have to shower our many thanks on to Flabby.

After the first part of the evening with Flabby's band we had to get ourselves together to work with Marbin.

It must have been a little after 10pm when Marbin took the stage. The band is lead by Danny Markovitch and Dani Rabin. They were joined by bassist, Ian Stewart and drummer, Justyn Lawrence.

Switching gears from the eardrum shreading jamming of the Flabby Hoffman Trio to the loud yet, fully sculpted sounds of Marbin was more difficult in theory than it was in reality. Typically that is not usually the case, reality is usually more challenging than theoretical situations. But indeed this was not the case with Marbin.

These guys have chops. Check out their site to hear some samples of their music. Danny and Dani write and arrange all their stuff and when we heard them play and started to paint; well, it was like putting a hand into a well worn glove.

Dani Rabin, guitar and Danny Markovich, sax
The first day we were in this space we stretched a canvas that was 8' X 5.5' . We planned to paint on it, but up until tonight we had only used it as a screen for the projection of our paintings. When Marbin began, we started to paint and within a short period of time Tali came over to me and asked if tonight was the night we should paint on the large canvas that was our screen.  

Tali working big.
I couldn't have agreed more. We were so moved by the sweet and intelligent sounds of this band that we knew we had to do what we had not really ever done before. 

Royce in the paint.
That said we moved our palettes over to the screen and began to paint right on the surface that every one assumed was an expensive projection screen rather than just an expensive canvas.

Tali in her realm.
Moved completely by the moment without any idea as to what would happen next, Tali and I attacked the canvas with color. As it was, this was the first time in years that Tali and I were once again working on the same painting surface at the same time. We have come to figure out over the time we have worked together that this is not such a simple thing to do, but the time and energy was right. The music was taken to such a point as to be able to carry us over that place of anxious fear.

Once the visual statement had been made we stepped away from the canvas without really knowing what had been said. We finished out the set back at our usual places at the table and easel.

Tali's Marbin.
The evening we thought we wouldn't have the where with all to finish turned out to be simply fabulous.

Finally there was one more thing that made us smile. We had been laughing to ourselves that we had without planning hooked up with so many jewish folks, from Eliezar Kaplan and then Sid Yiddish. There was so much going on in our plans for this project that we were not always able to learn as much as we would have liked about everyone we were going to work with so we had no idea that Danny and Dani were both from Israel. As they were packing their van, Tali heard them speaking Hebrew. This was just such a funny way to end a St. Patrick's Day celebration in Chicago of all places.

Layla tov.

©2011 The Colorboration Project is the property of Tali Farchi and Royce Deans. 

Erin Go Braughless with The Flabby Hoffman Trio

Some of the day time hours sort of turned to a blur from one day to the next and some days are just plain forgotten. The reason they are forgotten are not perhaps exactly why you might think. Today it was because of the musical extravaganza we had that night. It was so intense that it pretty much erased anything we had in our direct short term memories.

March 17th, St. Patrick's Day, brought us a double bill. The evening started off with The Flabby Hoffman Trio and ended with Marbin.

Flabby Hoffman is regionally famous and equally flamboyant personality. Flabby has a cable access show in Chicago that airs on channel 19 at 11:30pm every Thursday night. It is a no-holes-barred talk show if you will that is sure to shock, amaze, entertain and of course offend a relatively large portion of the population. He is also a rock promoter and knows lots of truly amazing players in the city.

But Flabby, by his own admittance likes being a musician first and foremost. He is indeed the lead man to the Flabby Hoffman Trio which usually is made up of between eight and twelve musicians. This night they showed up with eight.

The Flabby Hoffman Trio
Did I mention that the electrical power we had in this place came from two simple outlets with two very long extension cords. I don't have to tell you that I became more and more nervous as over the period of an hour and a half  as amplifier after amplifier was rolled in the door. By the time we had two banks of amps set up I was sure we would blow a fuse, and I was not so sure I would know what to do at that point.

Flabby, who is a big man with a hand-drawn mustache walked in just in time for sound check. He said his hellos and off we went. Just about the time it was obvious all the amps had been turned on and nothing had blown yet, Flabby took me aside and asked, "Do you have any ear protection? If you do, you might want to put it in now."

Flabby Hoffman
He wasn't kidding, and it was a good thing that I brought my gallon of earplugs I used to keep at my old studio for when we did rock and roll shows there...  Needless to say it was good thing I had the gallon size.

Click on this link to download a sample of the wall of sound we had to work with compliments of the Flabby Hoffman Trio.

Royce's painting as it looked after a couple of Flabby's sets.
 Once again, we were impressed by how the influences of a few decibels and a few more musicians can readjust just how we reacted and responded during this particular collaborative situation. To be honest, we were exhausted. But exhausted in the best way possible. 

Thanks to Flabby and his band mates, we really had a great time and really enjoyed what came out of this experience. We were not really so sure how we were going to deal with the fact that we were only half way done with the night. Because as Flabby and his minions were breaking down, Marbin was setting up. More on Marbin in the next installment.

©2011 The Colorboration Project is the property of Tali Farchi and Royce Deans.