And so we continue, day 2 less coffee and cigarettes but just as much adrenaline pumping through my veins and it’s not even midday yet. I’m writing this at the start of day 3, looking back over the second day of the Original Cultures pilot, where the highs were kept and lessons were learnt.
Something ticked in my head in the morning of day 2, as I walked to the venue for more workshops. I realised that we (the organisers) had been working to ensure everything was as perfect as possible, without thinking twice about it, and yet this was still just a pilot – if things went wrong it was ok, it was ‘supposed’ to happen because we were there to learn more than anything. This didn’t mean I wanted us to take it easy, but in a way it made me feel better about the possibility of things not going according to plan.
The artists meanwhile were as happy and productive as the previous day. I met up with them following their morning of workshop, where they told me that they’d managed to put together another 6 tracks in the space of 3 or so hours. Productivity is definitely the word there.
As the afternoon kicked in we continued the music workshop, and started to set up in the Spazio Si for the first open activity of the pilot, a 2h q&a/seminar session with the musicians. We fed a stream from their room into the Si, while people came in and sat down for 50 mins or so, watching and hearing what the guys were doing as they did it.
And this is when things started to deviate from the plan, and lessons started to be learnt, for me as an organiser at least. A professor of music who was supposed to come with his students could not make it at the last minute, leaving us with an audience of passers by, curious music fans and producers and DJs, I’d say about 15 people.
As I brought the musicians out to start the seminar it hit me that I should have prepared this a lot better than I did. Due to time issues, other duties and importantly my high level of tiredness I made some simple organisational mistakes when it came to moderating the panel, taking it on me to not just moderate but also translate, and within about 20 mins, my brain was so frazzled from doing it all at pretty much once that I started to slip.
In the end though the seminar was a success I think we can fairly say – the audience enjoyed it, the feedback questionnaires showing some interesting points and great reception. The artists enjoyed it and so did we, but the lesson was definitely learnt, and soon as the seminar finished I was sitting with Cristian, one of the other organizers, and discussing how to avoid these mistakes on the evening of day 3, when we do a second seminar and q&a session at the bookshop Modo Infoshop, where we will also be presenting the project to the public.
Day 2 was also the first time I got to see what the visual artists, DEM, Ericailcane and Will Barras, had been cooking up in Erica’s workshop as they set up in the Spazio Si in the evening to do some tests for the final showcase. The simple rehearsals and tests of their visual ideas left me simply speechless… and I won’t give away too much but enough to say that they’ve come up with ideas, both artistic and technical, to essentially create projections on the walls using cut out characters and a Chinese shadow technique that has been modified. And that’s just one bit of it!
Talking with them and seeing their ideas take shape was not just a pleasure but also essential to allow me to start understanding just how everything might fit together on Saturday. Talking to Will we agreed that ultimately regardless of preparations and aims, the visual and the musical will come together because they always do, and a narrative will come out of it, whether or not we aim for it (and by the way we’re not really). And beyond that, the beauty for me is that this narrative will most likely be different for everyone who witnesses the showcase.
The day wound down with another beautiful dinner courtesy of our splendid chef Lisa and some very deep and pleasant chats with 2tall, Will, Tatsuki and my homie Hentsix (who has joined us for the rest of the week) about art, culture and the internet. More on that later, maybe.
For now though I have to rush back to the Spazio Si and see how Bruno Briscik, the famed Italian multi instrumentalist, is getting on with the musicians. That’s right, we’ve managed to get him to join them for 3 tracks where he’ll be playing his cello alongside their more or less electronic compositions. I’ve already seen about 30 mins or rehearsals and discussions and I know it’s going to be something very special too. Bruno, a classically trained musician who loves to play in non classical situations, and 3 producers and DJs who are as far removed from classical training as you can imagine. Check our Tumblr and other sites for sneak peeks as it happens!
I’ll leave you for now. Be sure to check our other blogs too, and stay tuned for the last two reports of day 3 and 4 as well as more video and audio.
Bacci da Bologna!