The ceremonial aspect of the work began at dusk with drummers hidden throughout the desert. The opening drummer and I called back and forth and as one of the children in the audience noted ‘The mountain talked back’. The echo was at least a whole second delay – and great participation of the landscape. When recording with drum group AFI in Cape Coast, Ghana in 2009, Kweku and I talked about how their elders used drums to communicate distances. Inspired by this ancient communication – I was excited to compose this drum performance for drummers scattered throughout the desert. Musician Seth Olinsky co-composed and lead the drumming. The night definitely aroused the senses, evoked an earthy celebration and left everyone with an imaginative story to walk away with.
Poet Dot Devota and resident artist and musician Jeremy Thompson concluded the ceremony with me by scooping water via earthen and brass bowls and pouring onto the desert’s well known Creosote plant – so all audience members could be ignighted with the familiar Sonoran fragrance of the rain.