Nick Lesley is a video artist and a drummer for the band Necking. He most recently occupied drum set #43 at the Boredom’s 8/8/08 drumming event (known as 88BoaDrum) on the Williamsburg waterfront. His fellow Necking band mate Dong-Ping Wong was at #44, and after only 20 minutes of practice time the normally improv Brooklyn band joined 86 other drummers in a structured performance that can only be described as “massive”.
Next week, Nick is doing a live-feed, generative video project that incorporates choreographed dancers and sound as part of the one-night Power 2 show at the Issue Project Room (232 3rd Street, 3rd Floor). I shot a few questions via email to Nick earlier this week to get an idea of what it was like preparing for a crazy event like 88Boadrum, and what we can expect from him in Power 2.
You can catch Power 2 at Issue Project Room next week. Doors are at 8:30, show’s at 9pm; $10 suggested donation; on Saturday, August 30th. The following video is a *test video* for Power 2, shot w/o sound but gives you an idea how the dancers affect the generative video on screen. The actual show will of course feature a sound element, more screens, and that sense of real-world interactivity that never fully comes across in web video.
After the video, click on through the jump to get behind the scenes at 88BoaDrum, Necking, and Power 2 in our e-interview with Nick Lesley.
Power 2- rehearsal pt. 2 Aug. 17 from Power Series on Vimeo.
FREEwilliamsburg: I understand you participated in 88boaDrum. Can you elaborate on your role, how you got involved, and what it was like?
Nick Lesley: It was a blast. Last year I’d heard about 77BoaDrum through the dudes from Big A Little A (who I used to play with sometimes). They suggested I email Hisham Baroocha about playing in it then but it was already full. Hisham was really nice about it. However, my drums got to be in it that year. My professor, David Grubbs, borrowed my kit to play in it. So afterward I was trying to feel the vibe from them. Yeah.
So anyway, as soon as heard there was going to be an 88 BoaDrum I wrote to Hisham again and he forwarded me to Ryan Sawyer, who ran it here in NY this year. Then I passed Ryan’s correspondence to my bandmate Dong-Ping Wong and we both got to play in it. We both drum in Necking and have been like best buds since high-school. We were also side by side for BoaDrum, which was nice. I was #43 and Dong was #44.
It was really good being around a ton of other drummers. And being able to play that much in one day. Necking doesn’t really practice (we’re mostly improv) and we don’t have a rehearsal space, so Dong and I were both stoked to be able hit for most of the day, outside, not bothering people besides other drummers. Then we only practiced the BoaDrum piece for about 20 minutes to get everyone acquainted with the cues and such. It was a great day. Oh and the actual performance was fun too. It felt massive. Parts were very structured and maybe more repetitive than I expected, but the ending and the whole thing felt very liberating; free though still part of a giant collective mind, to put it hippy-dippily.
FREEwilliamsburg: What are some of your past projects you’ve worked on, and what’s coming up in the future?
Nick Lesley: I play in Necking regularly, which is soooo great. We used to have a rotating line-up but in the last year have settled into a regular 4 piece with Dong, Rop Vazquez (electronics), Daniel Martens (guitar), and myself. It’s great, I love those dudes. I also play in Gunung Sari, which is a kind of organic, electronic, noise, multi-media thing with Stanley Ruiz and Michael Dotolo. Also fantastic, genius dudes. I met them through grad school.
This spring I finished my MFA in Performance and Interactive Media Arts at Brooklyn College. Through that, I became involved in working with dance and other multi-media performances. I did music for a few dance pieces and have been working with video more lately. I’m doing video for a dance piece that will be performed August 30th at Issue Project Room, choreographed by Kristina Donello with a sound contribution from Finland’s Avarus.
FREEwilliamsburg: Can you tell me a little about your upcoming show?
Nick Lesley: It’s called Power 2 and is curated by Lisa Baldini. She’s done a great job organizing all of the contributors and it’s been great having her lead the way and keeping us on task, more like a director. The choreographer, Kristina Donello, and I have been collaborating a lot in figuring out the structure and movement of the piece.
FREEwilliamsburg: What exactly will you be doing and what you’re most excited for?
Nick Lesley: The video I’m doing is all live-feed and processed/operated live, so there’s an improvisational element as well. Working that way keeps me excited in that there’s so much room for me to work off the dancers as well as the sound element. I think it’s gonna be a really great show. The more we rehearse the more excited we are all getting about it.
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