BrooklynVegan is currently streaming “Wind” from activist and luminary Butoh dancer VANESSA SKANTZE’s Writhing Treasure Feast.
Writhing Treasure Feast is a soundtrack to SKANTZE’s solo dance exploration. Here, SKANTZE explores the sounds of the fierce beauty, pain, resourcefulness, and resurrection of the land, the people, the creatures, and elements of the original Americas, dancing with the gods of Mexico, North America, and Haiti primarily. Writhing Treasure Feast draws from the artist’s travels to Mexico and Haiti, her experience and initiation into a Vodou Sosyete (community) in New Orleans, and her residency in Seattle, the traditional land of the Duwamish People.
SKANTZE produced, directed, choreographed, and performed the live dance elements of the piece as well as conceptualized, co-produced, and commissioned the music, photography, original text, and painting aspects of this magnum opus which incorporates the skills of a host of vanguard sound artists including Masaaki Masao, Erymanthe (Joy Von Spain and Susan Dumett), Pink Void, Greg Campbell and Sioux City Pete, Morher, and Noisepoetnobody with Uneasy Chairs and Cailleach.
Divided into seven sections: Stone, Sea, Wind, Fire, Serpent, Muck, and River featuring lush and unexpected soundscapes, the offering was recorded and mixed by Marc Tweed, mastered by Casey Chittenden Jones, and includes artwork by Ambrosia Bardos and photography by Anima Nocturna.
Stream “Wind,” alongside previously released footage of SKANTZE’s hypnotic dance work courtesy of BrooklynVegan HERE.
The Writhing Treasure Feast project will be released digitally (audio only) and as a 2xCD with a 72-page art book of photography prints and original text by SKANTZE. Find preorders via SKANTZE’s Bandcamp page at THIS LOCATION.
VANESSA SKANTZE is a Butoh artist and teacher of yoga and dance in the Seattle area. A student of Atsushi Takenouchi (founder of Jinen Butoh), she has performed in the U.S. and Europe for over twenty years, has led hundreds of classes as part of the Yoga Behind Bars program, and participates in the Freehold Engaged Theater residency. Her multi-disciplinary collaborations with artists such as Tatsuya Nakatani and Jarboe reveal an attention to detail, intensity of emotion, narrative skill and wide dynamic range.
Masaaki Masao is a sound collage and electronic music artist, creating intricate textures from dark ambient to harsh wall noise. He also is a member of the avant-garde metal band Eye Of Nix, multi-disciplinary group Caligula Cartel, and the post-industrial duo To End It All. He has often collaborated with butoh performers in the Seattle area.
Susan DuMett (Erymanthe) explores themes of myth and mysticism, of non-ordinary states of consciousness, of catharsis, of opening and awakening, and of transition and transformation with a voice that ranges from the celestial to the subterranean. Her work ranges from the sacred to the avant-garde, often driven by intuitive soundings rather than words. As a solo artist she layers vocalizations over organic sounds and synths to create multidimensional, harmonic soundscapes.
Joy Von Spain (Erymanthe) is a vocalist and instrumentalist with a background in avant-garde classical and early European music. Currently active in the avant-garde metal band Eye Of Nix, multi-disciplinary group Caligula Cartel, and the post-industrial duo To End It All, she has worked with several butoh artists in the region including many collaborations with Vanessa Skantze.
Pink Void is the moniker of Crystal Perez. Since 2011 she’s created sprawling landscapes of layered sound with guitar, keyboard, field recordings and samples that speak to the subconscious mind.
Greg Campbell plays drums, percussion, French horn, and other instruments in Seattle and beyond. He works with the traditional Ghanaian drumming ensemble Anokye Agofomma and works with the Gansango Music and Dance group. He teaches at the Cornish College of the Arts and Cascadia College.
Sioux City Pete is a guitar slinger, poet, and outlaw. He started his first band in 1979 at age ten and hasnt stopped since. His solo sets are both electric and acoustic and his performances with his band The Beggars are extraordinary immersions in the essence of deep blues and rock and roll. He currently fronts extreme punk band the Convictions and lives in Seattle.
Ambrosia Bardos (Morher) creates work that is cohesively interdisciplinary – synthesizing sound, movement, image, and object to achieve conceptual impact across the sensory spectrum. Their performances are improvisatory and multisensory, utilizing the body as a sound source and manipulating the air around them to overtake our perceived reality and hand-hold us through the void.
Patrick Neill Gundran (Uneasy Chairs) has been exploring free improvisation, pure sound, and deep listening after moving past many years of conventional writing and playing guitar. His approach is rooted in minimalism, using the least number of tools to allow for the maximum amount of expression and connection between his sense of self, others and the environment.
Noisepoetnobody (Casey Chittenden Jones) utilizes homemade instruments and modular synthesizers to create haunting, discordant, and broken sounds to express the need for creativity in a dying ecosystem. NPN is always seeking to promote mental deprogramming through anti-commercial sonic immersion through playing live, recording, remixing, and mastering audio.
Cailleach (Benj Cameron) is a solo hurdy gurdy project, sometimes incorporating Japanese sho and resonant metals. A founding member of Seattle’s Caligula Cartel, he is also a longtime collaborator of Noisepoetnobody in an analog synth/hurdy gurdy duo, and an ongoing exploration of Ladino folk songs with Vanessa Skantze.
Anima Nocturna is the sanctuary for the sacralized work of multi-media artist Carlos Melgoza. Art as a ritualized digestive process of experience – whether philosophical, intellectual, or esoteric. Photography, the medium most often used to describe “reality,” appropriated to reify magico-mystic experience. Evidence as praise to the absolute.