Friday and Saturday this weekend and Fridays and Saturdays for the month of February, FRED Wildlife Refuge will be hosting FHYSICAL GRAFFITI, an audio/visual dance happening with installations by street artists Weirdo, Baso Fibonacci, NKO, and Kevin Krow. Original musical landscapes are mixed live by Kirk Huffman (Kay Kay & His Weathered Underground/Wild Orchid Children), which include material from Mad Decent's Schlachthofbronx. Sari Breznau (Circus Contraption) also contributes, and there’s a full band, with special guest New Orleans bounce artist Vockah Redu.
10PM doors – 3AM close. RSVP Required: HERE. 128 Belmont Ave East, across from Captain Black’s. Picture yourself inside Andy Warhol’s balls staring off a cliff 500-feet high at a kaleidoscopic ocean, with aerial artists. Kirk Huffman and Chris Snell spoke:
What is this Fhysical Graffiti? There’s so much shit going on. Music, dancers, and visuals. What’s happening? Is it all a metaphor for sex?
Kirk: Anything at any given time can be a metaphor for sex at FRED. I've had trouble explaining the evening to folks myself. I'll let Chris give you his grand idea breakdown, but I will say that you will be thoroughly entertained and in a way that is unlike anything going on in Seattle right now. Side note: this shit is ideal for psychedelics, just a heads up.
Chris: It's an enormous conceptual-art piece with visual, both painted and digital, music and dance elements all combined to create this experience we are calling Fhysical Graffiti. To put a cherry on top we brought bounce poster boy from New Orleans, internationally renowned artist/dancer, VOCKAH REDU. Dance and aerial artists include Liza Rose, Paris Original, Trojan Original, and Amy Clem, with choreography by Ellie Sandstrom, Liza Rose, Amy Clem, and Fae Phalen. Massive 60 x 20 projected visual wall designs and installations were create by Jonathan Womack.
Kirk, for the show, you remix music from Schlachthofbronx (MIA producer). What’s it like? What was your process for it? Do you play live during the show with a full band? Or do you DJ it?
Kirk: The Schlachthofbronx stuff, at least from my perspective on the tracks I remixed, incorporates elements of break, Miami bass and bounce, but there's heavy Calypso/Caribbean music influences, too, that give it its own uniqueness. I was given all the individual stems from the original sessions from Schlachthofbronx's Carimbo EP and chopped them up into new compositions and remixes. Sari Breznau and Scott MacPherson both wrote horn arrangements over a good deal of the remixes and play live with a band, including drummer, baritone sax, tenor/alto sax, tuba, trumpet and synths that play with the tracks.
Basically, because the show is one long production that operates with lighting/visual/sound cues, I'm operating a large 90-minute ProTools session with click track sends to a headphone splitter for a couple band members vs. building the set each night with triggers in Traktor or Ableton.
How did you go about composing? What guidelines did Chris give you?
I composed from the raw files sent from Schlachthofbronx, and I added a lot of my own samples. On certain tracks, I added real bass, percussion, and keyboard elements. I composed the tracks in ProTools and then had them mixed by Elan Wright (Kung Foo Grip, Riff Raff, SOL) in Logic. There weren't a lot of guidelines going into the project, I remember at first that the project idea sounded really grandiose, but vague, too. As things progressed, Chris sent me a few tracks he liked as well as the Schlafchthofbronx material, a handful of Vockah's recordings to marinate on. A lot of the music was inspired by descriptive words we all used and whatever was going on with the visuals/dancers or horn lines.
Have you done this kind of remixing before?
The remixing and composing electronic music stuff I've been doing as a hobby on the side for a while, but have been involved with it a lot more recently since I spent 6 - 7 weeks last year in LA working with producers/songwriters who primarily work in this genre/medium. I was able to observe and pick up a lot of things that enabled the Fhysical Graffiti music to be produced more comfortably.
What is the difference between a “musical landscape” and a “song”?
Um, I don't know, one has trees and mountains and the other is just bummin' on the corner? I guess I think of musical landscapes as something Sergio Leone-sounding. Music made to enhance something visual rather than standing alone on its own.
At any point does anyone twirl from their teeth or hair? I went to the circus when I was a kid and a girl was twirling around on a rope by her mouth. It scared the shit out of me.
Yeah, the stuff the dancers are doing is fucking nuts. Pulleys, ropes 'n' harnesses, chandeliers. I keep saying, “Y’all are gonna hurt yourselves.” [Laughs]
Fhysical Graffiti happens Friday and Saturday this weekend, and Fridays and Saturdays in February. 10PM doors.