SOUVENIRS FROM THE CHIQUITA ROOM LIVE WEEKEND 21-23 MAY 2021.
June 27, 2021 § Leave a comment
One of the best surprises of my 2020 was getting to know Chiquita Room and the generous and energetic person behind it, Laura González Palacios. Chiquita Room is a unique place in Barcelona’s cultural landscape, and when I gave Laura an advance copy of The Tunnel and the Clearing and she asked me very shortly afterwards if I was into the idea of presenting the album at the gallery, I immediately said yes, even though neither one of us had any idea what we would do exactly, and I had never “presented” an album as such.
In the end, the “Colleen in da room” weekend became longer and fuller than anything we could have imagined, and I’m so glad about that, even though it was very intense physically and mentally: 6 shows over 3 days, 3 informal workshops, 2 Q&As… and I not only performed but also did the sound, bringing all the necessary gear and even a PA from my studio. We also showed the amazing video made by Daniel Barreto for “Hidden in the Current”, and the gallery produced a limited screenprint edition of the album’s original artwork by Andrés Gómez Servín.
As I expected, performing the entire album live is totally doable, though technically challenging – you can see below a list that I made while rehearsing of all the potential problems that can crop up and how to troubleshoot them.
If you are an Instagram user, you can see many short videos in the LIVE highlights of my Instagram.
On top of that, I had some misadventures with my beloved and so far totally trustworthy Roland RE-201 Space Echo, which led to a ton of stress, interaction with an incompetent and super rude technician here in Barcelona who made things considerably worse, and finally a temporary repair by yours truly, to a sound quality which I deemed acceptable for the shows (more about this in a future post). This confirmed that working with vintage gear is not for the faint-hearted, and that wanting to perform with vintage gear is potentially even more fraught with problems, given that by definition, the gear needs to be in good condition for the day of the show.
The setting was super intimate (attendance was limited to 15 people in the audience), and since I had already decided to stop live playing in the future, I savoured every minute for what it was.
I especially loved the informal workshops, as people could finally get real close to the machine and see what I was doing, and it was a treat to see eyes light up when I was demonstrating the Elka Drummer One on its own or when I removed the cover at the top of the Space Echo and people could see the tape loop doing its beautiful serpentine dance.
All the photos are from the 23rd May afternoon show, workshop and Q&A, and were taken by Lili Marsans/Lilinterna.