Meakusma 2017: “Wandering through a dream”
“After performing at the 2016 edition of Meakusma, where they seemed to have had an excellent time, Georgia came with the suggestion to document the festival”, David Langela, Michael Kreitz and Christophe Houyon recapitulate the beginning of what now comes by the name of “The Sky Is Very Very Vast”, the eight minute long documentation of the 2017 edition of Meakusma.
They keep going: “We liked the idea from the start on and started looking into a way to finance such a work. Georgia (Justin Tripp and Brian Close) and Blazer (Tony Lowe and Nathan Corbin), who cooperated for the production, seemed like a dream team for this ambition as the way they work on music, design and performance suites perfect the basic idea of the festival.”
That said, it does not come by surprise that al three, Michael, Christophe and David are super happy with the result of this team work. “The film catches the basic feeling of the festival. It offers rather an experience and not too much reflections. That´s what we like a lot: the film is not too intellectual, the pictures and arrangements and interview passages are intuitive. That´s how we experience the festival ourselves. One does immediately get that the artists behind the documentation are musician themselves.”
So let´s have a look at “The Sky Is Very Very Vast” now, before we talk to Justin Tripp and Brian Close.
Justin, Brian, your project Georgia is well known for its Gesamtkunstwerk character. By this I mean that all your artistic output, music, art, videos is defined by an over all aesthetic concept. That said: How much do you see the Meakusma documentation connected to the artistic world of Georgia.
Justin Tripp: First off, it’s surprising to hear of our project as being “well known.” That said, the doc is very much connected. Everything we make is from us; from the same place.
Brian Close: THANK U , we have never been called GESAMTKUNSTWERKers before! The documentation is a collection of sounds and images , animations, and glimpses into different musical moments. Thats definitly a reoccurring theme with georgia works.
The documentary got a very unique tempo and mood. Was this the first concept that came to your mind or how does one has to image the process of finding tongue and style here?
Justin Tripp: Our first idea was to not worry about interviews or narrative or any documentary tropes. Second was to make a piece that felt like being at the festival, which feels like wandering through a dream.
Brian Close: When editing this, I kinda just sat down, ate a really nice organic leaf orange, and started cutting the footage sequentially, as it happened in real life. Moments were based on their MOTION and sound, like picking samples for a rhythm track . The doc was cut as a series of shorter parts that made sense on their own, and then was all sewed up into the longer piece.
I like very much that you do not show the people talking (and not including any subtitles, also not for Japanese talking people). I have my interpretations of why so – but I would love to hear your thoughts?
Justin Tripp: See above 🙂 To further explain, when you attend the festival, it feels very intimate yet most of the people and performers are not immediately recognizable. As you wander about and meet people and watch people, you never have a clear sense of who you are seeing. You also miss a lot, as there are always four or five performances taking place at once. The absence of subtitles, similarly does not overexplain what is being shown, creating a similar feeling to being at Meakusma.
Brian Close: YES, I find that humanity is finding that people are more defined by their auras than their thumbprints , sometimes the brightest truth is in the space around the ACTUAL 🙂 Especially with language, words are nothing compared to WAVES, the intention is the most important.
It seems that you filmed pretty much everybody performing at the Festival and also tried to include as many of the people into the flow of the film. How important was the representative character for you?
Justin Tripp: Not at all. We simply filmed a lot and put the visuals together intuitively. At the festival, you never feel the manic pull that many festivals have where you want to see everything and are stressed about missing something. Everyone sort of lets go and is in the now and sees what they see and goes where they go.
Brian Close: YES, we just did a basic VIBE SNAPSHOT 🙂 The people performing at Meakusma festival were as important as the performers 🙂 Not making a point, and just being a fly on the wall is a top priority in films like these 🙂
The way you arranged the performances in the documentary one rarely sees and hears a lot of the artists, instead they and their art open up in what I wanna call the essence of Meakusma. As you are one of the artists handled like this yourself: How does it feel to dissolve into a higher state of artistic community?
Justin Tripp: Well, it feels great and is a privilege to experience. It’s very inspiring to be surrounded by so many people with a similar spirit.
Brian Close: Ah, It feels great to be dissolved into an artistic, high state , that’s the mission 🙂 It’s all because Meakusma is an extremely generous and genius label, with high sonic INTEGRITY ! Its so nice to be part of their ocean!
To come to an end here: We saw the result of your visual process of remembering Meakusma 2017. Could each of you name his favorite performance during the days and nights and name what´s the thing stuck with you most from last years edition?
Justin Tripp: There was so much great music and performance, but for myself, seeing a very extended ERRORSMITH set late at night on a massive system takes the prize.
Brian Close: It was all amazing, I really loved the newly forged friendships . My favorite performance was when me and Phoebe (ramzi) and Louise (LE DU) and a few others decided it would be a good idea to make a fire in extremely windy conditions. This quickly turned into a funky freak out fire prevention Performance LOL.