Back in the 80s, when Walls Of Genius was in it's so-called 'hey-day', our fellow avant-garde and experimental musicians were always amazed that Little Fyodor and I were both such enthusiasts for wilderness activity: hiking, backpacking, camping and all that. It seemed as if underground music was perceived by its practitioners as an exclusively urban pursuit. We did occasionally set up microphones outdoors, but that was only in the backyard, to capture the sounds of South Boulder Creek at the Eldorado Springs house. So, yeah, most music of any kind, really, is an urban pursuit. Once in a blue moon you hear of an orchestra recorded at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, but it doesn't happen very often. The truth is that neither Fyodor nor I had moved to Colorado with the intention of making avant-garde music. We came to Colorado for the mountains and the associated outdoor sport. The music was something that developed over time.
Fast Forward to 2019 and the outdoor wild is still a passion for both of us. We came west primarily for the mountains, but an added bonus, of which we were unaware at the time, was the southern Utah canyonlands. This is a part of the country that has an almost fanatic fan-base and is currently embroiled in national monument controversy, as well as suffering the degrading onslaught of industrial tourism. Back in the 80s, it was an empty quarter and we both quickly discovered this incredible landscape, falling in love, like so many others in the wake of Edward Abbey's "The Monkey Wrench Gang", with redrock canyons. If the controversy and/or the landscape interests you, the Canyon Country Zephyr is the place to check in (www.canyoncountryzephyr.com).
This particular image comes from a photograph I took underneath Tower Arch, what was in the 1990s a quiet corner of Arches National Park. I'm not sure there are any quiet corners of this park anymore. Arches is now so popular and crowded that they're talking about instituting a permit system simply for access. You'd have to make a reservation just to get in! Among other things, I hope this painting reflects why so many people might want that access. It's a truly incredible landscape, but sharing an arch like this with a noisy crowd is very different than having it to yourself on a dry balmy desert afternoon.
You might ask why is this this image being posted to Electronic Cottage? After all, it's not mail-art, nor is it a socially relevant collage. Neither is it avant-garde, digital, weird, 'out-there' or experimental in any way. It's a traditional, nearly impressionistic or fauvist landscape oil painting. It's relevance to Electronic Cottage is that I painted it while listening to the Racket Fest #2 in its entirety, from beginning to end. It must have been just the right inspiration, because this painting came fast and easy. It was completed in less than 3 hours, needing no tweaks after the initial notan (sketch), underpainting and fine adjustments. I enjoyed the Racket Fest, amazed by all the fascinating and psychedelic sounds made by this eclectic collection of musicians and I was pleased by the results of my effort as well. You can see more paintings in this vein at my website: www.evancantor.com
Thanks for taking a look!
Walls Of Genius
formed in 1982, a musical performance-art comedy experimental noise ensemble, featuring everything from musique concrete, sound collage and extended rock improvisation to demented top-40 parodies, free jazz, industrial and audio experiments of all kinds, mostly fitting in no category whatsoever.