“Knack,” by Andrew Choate

“Knack,” by Andrew Choate

  • Source: Andrew Choate
  • Year: 2013
  • Submitted by: Elana Mann



As part of KCHUNG‘s residency at the Hammer, I did a set in the Hammer courtyard before Robert Gober and Elisabeth Sussman’s talk on Forrest Bess. Read here for details about that set and my project with Bess’ paintings. The basic gist is that I chose songs whose titles reference colors. I prepared more Bess paintings for the same treatment, but didn’t have time at the Hammer to perform them. Here is one of them.

For Bess’ “Tab Tied to the Moon Film”, I chose Oscar Brown Jr.’s “World Full of Grey” to play by itself and paint all of the grey background in this painting. I like it because he sings so explicitly about the color, and the emotion, of grey. The central hieroglyphic-like “tree” (in Bess’ formulation) that dominates the canvas is represented in my sonic recreation by a very short sequence from the somber “White” by the trio of Michiel Braam (piano), Wilbert de Joode (doublebass), and Michael Vatcher (drums). I chose this short section because it contains three notes––or prongs–– that correspond to the tone of Bess’ “tree.” I also didn’t want to emphasize this portion of the canvas, as it’s the multicolored speckles that surround this form that truly color the experience of this painting. So those notes trickle into the intro of “Kaleidoscope” by Kaleidoscope (the UK not US Kaleidoscope), which plays in its entirety. It’s one of my favorite songs, and the lyrics deal explicitly with color: “lots of million-coloured lights/ some vermillion.” There is so much movement in Bess’ painting that I also think the notion of movement implied by a kaleidoscope corresponds perfectly to the slight vertigo induced by the painting. Plus, “million-coloured”: how wonderfully ambiguous yet exact is that? Thanks Forrest.  

Resonate-Reverberate-Roar (Re-Re-Roar) is a growing archive of original sounds that express an experimental, independent, and socially progressive spirit.  The sounds on Re-Re-Roar include field recordings, interviews, songs, speeches, experimental music, and more. Re-Re-Roar is a site for activ[ist] listening, with the purpose of distributing sounds of resistance to eager ears around the globe. Visitors are encouraged to add their own sounds of resistance to the archive through the website's submit function.

Re-Re-Roar originated from artist Elana Mann’s collection of sounds of resistance, which she began during the Iraq war in 2007 by recording commuters in Los Angeles and Iraq. The website was incubated during Mann's time as the 2013 Amy M. Sears artist-in-resident at St. Catherine University, St. Paul, MN, amongst a group of peace activists from the Sisters of St. Joseph Carondelet & Consociates. Re-Re-Roar was designed by Roman Jaster and Nicole Jaffe, with production assistance from Reilo Dahl. For more about Elana Mann visit: elanamann.com