Two Years And A Wall Piano Later

1. WALL-TUNG DRUM 2. WALL PIANO 3. WALL-WIND HARP 4. WALL-A-PHONE Two years ago this May, The Anta Project was born. I wish I could say I knew the moment I applied my cello bow to the Nogales wall and drew those first raspy drones that a global transformation of the US/Mexico border was underway. But I honestly hadn't a clue. I simply thought it would be an interesting experiment to embark upon. Could a symbol of division be transformed into an instrument whose sound was capable of creating unity and awareness while challenging our ideas about borders and identity? It was a mystery at the time, but today, with listeners from roughly 100 countries having downloaded roughly 100 gigs of sound and images I'm pretty confident it is working. On a personal note, I have been fortunate to meet many wonderful people via The Anta Project who have generously shared their ideas, comments and support. I've also found myself immersed in some rewawrding collaborative endeavors and it has all been very humbling. While I could go on forever, I want to focus on my two year collaboration with Nogales, Sonora artists Alberto Morackis and Guadalupe Serrano from Murales Frontera. We met in Tucson shortly after The Anta Project was released, and Alberto and Guadalupe said they were interested in my ideas about transforming the border into an instrument since they were doing something similar with sculpture. I asked them if they would want to try blending our interests by building an oversized "wall piano" or kalimba which could be affixed directly to the Mexico side of the wall. At the time we first met we also had high aspirations for creating an international arts event on both sides of the border. Alberto, Guadalupe and I discussed the potential economic opportunities an international art event would create for the communities on both sides of the border. We also talked about it being an opportunity to change the incorrect perception that Nogales is a place with little more to offer other than human smuggling, drugs and day tourism. We met with Casa de Cultura in Nogales, Sonora and I presented them with a detailed and perhaps overly ambitious proposal for an event that included music, art, interactive events and performance. Sadly for various reasons, both political and economic, the event did not take place. This year the process was once again put into play and a couple of meetings in Tucson and Nogales yielded more ideas and people interested in participating. At the center of this "event" has been the core idea of building a handful of oversized instruments and attaching them to the Mexico side of the wall, transforming it physically into a sprawling resonator. Whether an event in October takes place or not is still not known. As a guerilla sound artist, I do what I want on my own budget, which is often minimal at best. Because I can work cheaply, grants and other funding sources have never impacted my ability to create or take action. I use whatever materials and tools are available. The world is my instrument and I love working with junk and found objects. And in this freedom I credit The Anta Project's success. However, building a sculpture and launching an event around it which would require funding with many hands in the pie was/is something alien to me. Today I was pleased to learn from Alberto via email that he and Guadalupe have decided to go ahead with my designs (Also a huge design shout-out should go toPadma Sound System sound pioneer Lewis Humphreys/ Yeshe Dorje for his stellar thoughts about building a wall-wind harp). Below and above are links to the sketches so far. As anyone who works with metal knows, prototypes require some trial and error. So I'm sure this will be an organic process. There is work to be done but I think we're off and running. I look forward to see where Alberto and Guadalupe take this next. If you are interested in building similar instruments on the walls where you live, contact me via email and I'll be happy to collaborate/share details. Now further into year three! What will be? Stay tuned and in touch. Glenn 1. WALL-TUNG DRUM 2. WALL PIANO 3. WALL-WIND HARP 4. WALL-A-PHONE