"…at Venice California, I had seen the light show by the "Single Wing Turquoise Bird.” Like a thousand modern paintings flowing and sparkling, alive and dynamic, of incredible richness, a death-blow to painting in frames, stills."
Anais Nin, 1968 - From The Diary of Anais Nin
Single Wing Turquoise Bird was the most significant light show in Los Angeles from 1967 to 1975, a "collective improvisation performance group" that used film, slide, and liquid projections to marry the artistic possibilities of music, painting, and moving images. SWTB first played in large rock venues with bands such as Cream, The Velvet Underground, Pink Floyd, B.B. King, The Who and The Grateful Dead. The group also performed in museums and lofts to recordings by such composers as Steve Reich, Terry Riley, LaMonte Young, Pauline Oliveros and John Cage.
In 2009 Single Wing Turquoise Bird re-formed to rehearse, perform and record new work. Invisible Writing was commissioned by the Denver Museum of Contemporary Art as part of the traveling exhibition “West of Center: Art and the Counterculture Experiment in America”. The 47-minute piece is a high definition record of live improvisation in which the eight artists of SWTB blend intimate and cosmic images to music in real time on a single screen. Layered scenes of dream and nightmare, myth and legend, landscape and memory emerge from and melt back into a magical liquid world. The original score by Miroslav Tadic ranges from minimalist trance to psychedelic rock, with stops in the Balkans along the way.
Original members of SWTB in the current group include Larry Janss, Michael Scroggins, Jeff Perkins, Peter Mays and Night Fire Films producer / director David Lebrun. New members include Shayne Hood, Mike Pfau and Night Fire Films cinematographer / collaborating producer Amy Halpern.
“West of Center” and the Invisible Writing installation will travel during 2012 and 2013 to the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art in Arizona, the Jordan Schnitzler Museum of Art at the University of Oregon, Mills College Art Museum Oakland, and possible further venues in Europe. The complete performance is now available on DVD and Blu-Ray disk from the Night Fire Films Store.
47 minutes / 16:9 anamorphic /color /26-bit audio / 2011