Wayfinders Apr 15, 2014

by Willow Heath

Wayfinders by Willow Heath
Oil, acrylic, and ink on clay board.

This painting was inspired by Holcombe Waller's Wayfinders performance. Previous to the performance I wan not familiar with the musical artist Holcombe Waller. Personally this was a huge challenge as an artist who typically plans every inch of my paintings it was quite a challenge to produce a painting in 48 hours without forethought. I went away from The Wayfinders show with a series of words and images in my head, the message, inspiration, and imagery was so vivid and clear.

Some of the themes and words that helped shape this painting....

* Organic juxtaposed with digital.

* God as an organic being and god as a digital navigator.

* Our lost connections and our present inability to operate without technology.

* The colors red and blue.

* Where road meets horizon meets a digital highway.


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"Singing Toward Consciousness" – The Sunbreak reviews Wayfinders Apr 12, 2014

by Erin

"When the houselights dim the record scratches. After a few bars in the Baroque and some distortion Holcombe Waller and his ensemble delight while vaguely indicating food for thought in a fast-paced show that, dramatically, is mostly reveal with the slightest of conflict and resolution sequences. It is as entertaining and accessible a production as one is likely to see at On The Boards.

There is dialogue, movement, and video, along with lighting effects, and some powerful emotions. It’s almost musical theatre. Through a healthier variation on 2001: A Space Odyssey with a flipped twist of the recent film, Her, Waller ruminates on our relationship with technology. His questions aren’t discomfitingly provocative or challenging, but there aren’t any easy conclusions either."

– Read the rest of the review at The Sunbreak

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Post Show Conversation Apr 11, 2014

by Tim Smith-Stewart

In this blog post, I decided to try and capture my honest first reaction to the performance. My friend who I brought to the show agreed to hold any conversation about the performance until we got to the bar and started recording from his smart phone. We talked for about an hour. This afternoon, I transcribed pieces of the conversation. We went on a journey that included topics such as George Winston, David Hasselholf, Neil deGrasse Tyson, The Matrix, Paul Simon and many other strange references.  There are lots of spoilers in here, fyi. Hope you enjoy!


First Thoughts
A: What did you like about the show? What was Working for you? 

B: I liked his voice. He has a really pretty voice. I liked the songs. A lot of arrangements were super pretty. I liked the first two minutes-

A:  Yeah me too…..

B:  I thought it started off really strong-

A: Yeah, because remember when we walked in, before the show...

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Navigation is ancient Apr 11, 2014

by Whitney Ford-Terry

The ways in which we traverse our physical and psychological landscapes have always been informed by our relationship to variable technologies. Because, as it turns out, technology is not new. Technology is creative problem solving. A map. A technique. Technology is language. It is not (just) smartphones - it is a toothbrush. A System. A method. A solution to a perceived problem. Technology is navigation - wayfinding - “Navigation is Ancient.” 

Technology is not autonomous, it is an extension of ourselves. A means. A mediator. A buffer.  It is the manifestation of our best intentions as well as an acknowledgement of our limitations. Technology is a caricature of our perception of self and our interactions with the people, places, and systems in which we operate. When it works well we praise it - oh the cleverness of us. When it fails us, we blame it. Technology is our shadow. 

We develop technologies to support us in our endeavours but our reliance upon...

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Swimming Football in a Party Room Apr 11, 2014

by Joyce S.C. Liao

It was probably the lake, and the fog on the water, which made me think of a story I have known in my childhood. In the story a tiny raccoon saw an ever-mind-blowing sight of the Giant Great Mink Mother giving birth to her mink babies in a swimming pool. 


The tiny (4-inch tall) raccoon danced next to a football stood by a bush. The raccoon glorified the witness of the magnificence with its kung-fu practice and continuous dancing, inhaling and exhaling – for three-and-half hours before having its breakfast…………………………….……


I saw in the dim light, a birthday boy danced on his knees with a red bow around his neck. 


In the black-wiped-out film screen, phantom seduced and sang with Christine. His arm around her waste was reflected in the mirror. Her excitement trembled in her tears.


Women with such intense demand stared into the eyes of a totem-like statute, which would grant miracles to those who...

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Musicians of Wayfinders – Leander Star, French Horn Apr 9, 2014

by Erin

Leander Star is a French horn player and an award-winning chamber musician. His quintet, The City of Tomorrow, is the only wind quintet to have won the gold medal at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition in over ten years and the only wind quintet to ever be invited to the Shouse Institute at the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival. Leander has performed with members of the Chicago Symphony in concerts with the Chicago Chamber Musicians and presented new works with Fear No Music and the faculty new music ensemble at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon. Leander...

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Musicians of Wayfinders – flautist Elise Blatchford Apr 9, 2014

by Erin

Flautist Elise Blatchford  is the assistant professor of flute at the University of Memphis Rudi E.Scheidt School of Music and a member of the City of Tomorrow, a contemporary music-focused wind quintet that took first place at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition in 2011. Since then, the City of Tomorrow has toured the United States and Canada, making appearances at Old First Performances in San Francisco, the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Series in Chicago, and the DiMenna Center in New York City. The City of Tomorrow collaborated with Schoenberg scholar Henk Guittart and Gruppo Montebello on a group of recordings by Second Viennese School composers at the Banff Centre in Alberta in...

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Musicians of Wayfinders – violinist Ellen McSweeny Apr 9, 2014

by Erin

Ellen McSweeney is a Chicago-based violinist, writer and songwriter. She is the founding violinist of the string trio Chicago Q Ensemble, a co-founder of the record label Parlour Tapes+, and the Chicago regional editor for NewMusicBox.

Read more about Ellen and follow her performance schedule here.

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