02/16/2014 (Solo improvisation in a Yurt at Champaeg State Park)


Neil Welch, Continuous Resonance Project

Date: 02/16/2014

Location: Champoeg State Park, Oregon

Instrument: Tenor saxophone

Performed Acoustically


My wife and I spent the weekend exploring Champoeg State Park, located 20 or so miles South of Portland.  We stayed in a simple, canvas yurt.  The weather was severe, with flooding throughout the surrounding farms and lowland forests.  The mighty Willammut River itself was several feet above the typical water level, jumping the banks and is some spots and flowing onto the roads beside it.  We were told by local folks that this was typical during heavy rains this time of year.  

Between downpours, the wind would whip against the side of the yurt.  I recorded today’s improvisation during a rare calm in the weather, though during the improvisation the outer canvas windows can be heard occasionally slapping the side of the yurt when the wind picked up.  The howl of the wind in the trees beside us is audible as well.

The image accompanying today’s post is a still shot from a cell phone video, depicting Miami artist Maximo Caminero smashing a pot by Chinese artist Weiwei.  This act was done in defiance to the lack of local artist representation at the new Perez Art Museum Miami.  Caminero stated that “It was a spontaneous protest,” he explains. “I was at PAMM and saw Ai Weiwei’s photos behind the vases where he drops an ancient Chinese vase and breaks it. And I saw it as a provocation by Weiwei to join him in an act of performance protest.”