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Featuring Thollem McDonas & ACVilla 

Friday, October 28, 2016 

Crowley Theater



Marfa Live Arts closed our 2016 Season with musician Thollem McDonas on October 28, 2016 with a new silent films of ACVilla and live piano accompaniment at the Crowley Theater.


We experience the contemporary sounds of renowned pianist Thollem McDonas as he defied time and space through a rigorous and fast-paced piano repertoire, experimenting with the Crowley Theater’s natural acoustics. Silver Ochre: Who Are US is a collaboration between video-grapher ACVilla and composer/keyboardist Thollem McDonas. A series of ‘moving stills’ accompanied by a live original score and field recordings, Silver Ochre trains the eye on small moments of time and the ear to the moment of the times.


Thollem Electric and ACVilla will make a stop in Marfa, TX during a tour throughout the lower 48 states. Accompanied by a live original soundtrack, Silver Ochre illustrates America today by two perpetually traveling artists. As the duo travels around the country, they will be recording moments and places in each state, weaving the new footage into the original version of the film.  With every screening/performance on this tour, Silver Ochre will represent a greater diversity of this country, eventually interweaving aspects of all 48 states. They will begin and end the tour at Guild Cinema in Albuquerque, screening the initial version of the movie March 31st and the final version two days after the elections.   


The movie focuses the eye on the myriad points where people meet each other and their environment. The intention is to wake up each day to experience this country as it is in this moment in time, and to share the findings through creative means. A quest guided by questions with no precise answers:  Who Are US?  How do we find out?


The music is inspired by a lifetime of traveling this country, weaving together elements from different sources in unique ways. Thollem's intention is not to emulate any music specifically but to find commonalities and interesting differences that express appreciation for, and the experience of, an extremely multi-cultural country. Thollem is developing the music on an instrument that gives him almost infinite sonic possibilities.


When asked what motivated them to embark on such a vast encompassing tour, Silver Ochre replied, “We felt a need to participate in this participatory democracy during this election year.  While not about the national elections, Who Are U.S. does focus on this nation. However, it is as sociological as political and as artistic as sociological.  Using our skills as peripatetic artists, we felt that our role would be to provide audiences an opportunity to experience this country perhaps in a way never assembled before. To come away from the experience with both a heightened sense of who we are as an incredible diverse people, what we all share as well as an encouragement to be awake to one's own experiences from day to day, moment to moment, person to person.”


After the performance Thollem and ACVilla had a discussion with the audience.


Silver Ochre in Marfa is produced by Jennie Lyn Hamilton. 


This event was free and open to the community.

About the Artists:

Thollem McDonas is a peripatetic pianist/keyboardist, composer, improviser, singer-songwriter, author and teacher. His many musical approaches range from the sub-genres of post-classical, free jazz, noise, and experimental rock. He has been touring perpetually throughout North America and Europe since 2006, performing solo works as well as collaborating with an array of musicians, dancers, and filmmakers including ACVilla, Martha Colburn, Manucinema (Tuia Cherici) and Matthew Barney. As leader or co-leader, he has released over 50 albums in the past decade on 20 different vanguard labels to international critical acclaim. “Thollem is an astounding pianist who understands the huge scope of the instrument.” (Terry Riley)


ACVilla has learned to live in three places at once: the past, the present and the future. However, her work as an artist, through an array of approaches, reveals where she feels most at home: the present. Her work is the hostess, welcoming viewers with her photography and providing rooms for dialogue and reflection through her videography. Villa has been nomadic since 2008 working as an artist manager, promoter and photo-videographer. A summer nomad since her second decade, she had become a perpetual peripatetic traveler by her fourth. After living in a log cabin in the California coastal redwood forest and helping rebuild a 100 year-old adobe abode in the high desert of Northern New Mexico, she found herself receiving mail in Mexico City, Prague and Thessoloniki, among many others. She has seeded ideas and plants, penned thoughts, shaped clay and wire, and witnessed sunsets over both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, all the while seeing and listening to Life in new and unique ways.


Silver Orche: Photo By Emma Rogers

Silver Orche: Photo By Emma Rogers

Silver Orche: Photo By Emma Rogers

Silver Orche: Photo By Emma Rogers

Silver Orche: Photo By Emma Rogers

Silver Orche: Photo By Emma Rogers

Silver Orche: Photo By Emma Rogers

Silver Orche: Photo By Emma Rogers

The official hospitality sponsor for Silver Ochre is Thunderbird Hotel Marfa & The Capri Lounge. The official spirit 2016 Season Spirit Sponsor is Pura Vida Tequila

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