Who: Holland Andrews, Morgan Bassichis
What: Live discussion about streaming performance film
Where: Baryshnikov Arts Center Zoom
When: Wednesday, March 24, free with RSVP, 8:00 (film available through March 29)
Why: Baryshnikov Arts Center’s free digital spring season continues with Holland Andrews’s Museum of Calm, a sixteen-minute performance filmed by Tatyana Tenenbaum at BAC’s John Cage & Merce Cunningham Studio on West Thirty-Seventh St. “For me, a lot of what I had been focusing on was channeling all of my focus on my interior world,” Andrews, who previously recorded albums under the name Like a Villain, says in a video introduction. “And meditation, thinking a lot about tending to what was going on inside of my emotional world because, with everything from the external being cut off, this was all I had,” they add, bringing their hands to their chest. “So the idea of Museum of Calm is your own self being your Museum of Calm, whether or not you like it because, you know, what we were attached to in finding peace, in finding calm, had been taken away.”
In the piece, a barefoot Andrews (Wordless, There You Are), whose recent Onè at Issue Project Room dealt with ancestral loss, family tragedy, and healing, incorporates a yellow ball — the kind generally used in physical therapy, but here it is more involved with psychological therapy as Andrews roams the empty studio, beautifully vocalizes words and melodies into a microphone (“I spent so much time feeling I was no good”; “How do I feel better?”), plays the clarinet, layers the different sounds into an audio palimpsest using foot pedals, and watches the sun set over the Hudson River. On March 24 at 8:00 — the day Afterwardsness, their collaboration with Bill T. Jones, was scheduled to premiere at the Park Avenue Armory but had to be postponed indefinitely because some members of the company contracted Covid even in their bubble — Andrews will take part in a live Zoom discussion and Q&A with performer and author Morgan Bassichis (The Odd Years, Nibbling the Hand That Feeds Me) about the BAC commission. The lovely and moving recording of Museum of Calm will be available on YouTube through March 29 at 5:00.