A Sparklehorse remix installation proposal for the 2010 BC Buds Festival in Vancouver, B.C.
This is a proposed sound and art installation entitled "my bones wish to escape." The title is taken from a line in a song entitled "Box of Stars" from the 1999 CD release "Good Morning Spider" by Mark Linkous, who operated under the moniker "Sparklehorse." On March 6th 2010 he committed suicide and this project aims to be a tribute to the artist, and an effort on my part to speak to not only his influence on my early years as a musician and songwriter but also as an extension and ongoing echo of his work and artistic attitude in general.
Linkous was the kind of musician who ran from the spotlight that fame shines on those who gain international acclaim, preferring to move into areas that were previously undefined by predictable methods of description. Even though categorized by the press as working in the rock genre, he searched out more experimental territory and was a fierce collaborator, having worked with Tom Waits, PJ Harvey, Radiohead and many more influential artists. He continually pushed the boundaries of what constituted a "professional" artist through the use of kid’s audio toys and cheap microphones. In this way he influenced many musicians not only in a practical sense but in an important socio-political way approaching music as art rather than entertainment. His art seemed all encompassing; from the music within, to the artistic packaging to the way he himself spoke about his work. For me he encapsulated someone who made art out of his life and it was not something he considered his job, but rather part of a continually evolving state of being. I would not assume to imagine that this fact is what made him take his own life, but rather wish to celebrate the aspirations of living in this creative manner.
Through using samples from his body of work and sound processors, I will create an echo of his music into a dream-like Soundscape that will emit from a hollow body guitar hung in a secure manner in an area out of reach. The music will emit from speakers placed within the body of the guitar, hooked up to an Ipod that will be set on a continuous loop. The technical requirements of this installation are few but important. The guitar must hang securely in an area out of reach to anyone, and be close enough to a power source to run both an adapter to power the speaker, as well as an adapter to power the Ipod. There will also be a string of white LED lights within the guitar so in the evening it will emit light from a series of drilled holes in the body. The guitar itself will possibly be decorated with several curios that suggest song titles, moods and images invoked in the songs of the artist being paid tribute to. The title music will be 30 minutes in length, and be on a continuous loop.
In my own work as an artist I feel it important to say that this idea for the BC BUDS festival comes from a genuine place of working in the moment, and with what is available. The day before yesterday I was thinking about getting rid of an old guitar, the next day Mark Linkous was reported dead. The following day, I wrote this proposal with an idea to use things that were occurring right now, and have relevance in the moment. I believe the more we operate with creativity as the major focus rather than the outcome, our relationships to each other will always spring from a more genuine place than one of dominance and individual gain.