Myself, being a filmmaker, I found Kennedy to be a fascinating subject. Each Sunday morning during his residency at Harrison House, I arrived iPhone in hand to document his work. The first short piece https://vimeo.com/513235133 followed by https://vimeo.com 481761666 turns out to be only the beginning!
The Sunday Kennedy took me on a walk though a little valley in the neighborhood adjacent to the National Park, and with the utmost respect and understanding for every plant, rock and creature showed me how the wind creates polyrhythms among swaying plants, what melodies are suggested by majestic rock formations and how the birds and scampering creatures are all part of the rhythm and subtlety of the sonic environment, was stunning.
I immediately called David Smith, Superintendent of Joshua Tree National Park and asked “Can we present a piece in the park for visitors?” David, immediately understood Kennedy’s gifts for experiencing nature through sound, said yes! On Earth Day, April 22, 2022, SoundCheckEarth, composed by Kennedy for 17 acoustic musicians, will be the culmination of his 16 month exploration in the park and an ear opening opportunity for a strolling audience to experience the natural sound environment of the earth, animals and the people. Of course, it will be followed by a film.
EVA SOLTES is a prolific performing arts producer, dancer, and documentarian, who has championed the work of gifted artists and underserved art forms for decades. She is the Founder/ Director of Harrison House Music, Arts, Ecology, a residency/performance program based in the late Lou Harrison’s straw bale retreat in Joshua Tree, California. Soltes enjoyed a multi-faceted personal and professional relationship with Lou Harrison that spanned nearly 30 years. During that time, she developed a large body of media on the composer, culminating in her feature length documentary, LOU HARRISON: A World of Music, which has been called “wizardly” (SF Chronicle) and “affecting” (The New Yorker).
All photography by Eva Soltes
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