ISSUE is pleased to stream Dust Dives Alive, a recording from multidisciplinary artist and 2010 ISSUE Artist-In-Residence Laura Ortman. The piece is part of the Isolated Field Recording Series, commissioning artists to produce field recordings to be streamed over the course of this challenging and isolated time.
A Note from Laura Ortman on Dust Dives Alive:
“Maintaining the vibrance of field recording is a long-lasting way to give attributes to a place where moments of sound lives, if even for a short period of time. Capturing times in this way enlivens worlds that creates beliefs of where we are and its ingrained messages of existence.
As a White Mountain Apache woman from Arizona living 23 years in New York City, I have recorded the subways, traffic, parades, block parties, middle of the night hollering on the streets, birds, dogs, fireworks, car alarms, bonfires, hiking, water, laughing, musical rocks, singing, rivers, insects and more that have ended up in many of the incessant ways I am influenced by as an artist. Vistas of stories they all bring up are amongst my everyday life and survival.
I am in and out of disbelief of what this virus has meant — to be worldwide vulnerable and isolated so that we can be safe and go on. I seek this world through the hardship’s gritty trying, love for my country’s family and wild friends, and intimate hearty nature. Tying our wild steps through where we are from and where we are will be my home forever.
I started out in my music life as an avid self-recording engineer in my small, mighty apartment here on Brooklyn’s Flatbush Avenue where I have lived since 1997. Noise bleed from these apartment recording sessions on my many Tascam four track cassette recorders I’ve worked with all these years were inspiring to me because it made me believe in the inevitable possibility of these bleeds I hear on the quietest of compositions to the rowdiest subway rumble that is crazily in sync with my violin. They appeared from within recordings and make up part of my influence which is to get to know these outside incidental sounds.
It made me remember even the tape hisses as does smoke — and made me love where I am and am from. Gives me solace to close my eyes and feel place in home…and home away from home away from home away from home away from home.
Dedicated to missing you and hoping to see you soon.”
Cassette tape, digital, Apache violin, violin, megaphone, sampler, piano, electric guitar, bells, percussion, pine cones, jewelry, and smoke. Recorded and mixed by Laura Ortman, Brooklyn, New York, 2020.
A soloist and vibrant collaborator, Laura Ortman (White Mountain Apache) works across recorded albums, live performances, and filmic and artistic soundtracks, and has collaborated with artists such as Tony Conrad, Jock Soto, Raven Chacon, Nanobah Becker, Okkyung Lee, Martin Bisi, Caroline Monnet, Michelle Latimer, Martha Colburn, Tanya Lukin LInklater and Loren Connors. An inquisitive and exquisite violinist, Ortman is versed in Apache violin, piano, electric guitar, keyboards, and pedal steel guitar, often sings through a megaphone, and is a producer of capacious field recordings. She has performed at The Whitney Museum of American Art and The Museum of Modern Art in New York, The Toronto Biennial in Ontario, the Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montréal, and the Centre Pompidou, Paris, among countless established and DIY venues in the US, Canada, and Europe. In 2008 Ortman founded the Coast Orchestra, an all-Native American orchestral ensemble that performed a live soundtrack to Edward Curtis’s film In the Land of the Head Hunters (1914), the first silent feature film to star an all-Native American cast. Ortman is the recipient of the 2020 Jerome@Camargo Residency, 2017 Jerome Foundation Fellowship, the 2016 Art Matters Grant, the 2016 Native Arts and Culture Foundation Fellowship, the 2015 IAIA’s Museum of Contemporary Native Arts Social Engagement Residency and the 2014-15 Rauschenberg Residency. She was also a participating artist in the 2019 Whitney Biennial. Ortman lives in Brooklyn, New York.