The winter storm exited Flagstaff Jan 8. The evening prior, I’d anticipated visiting the site in the morning to document whatever snow had accumulated overnight in the final throws of the weather pattern, planning to leave the pile intact to return and record the next storm in hopes of greater snowfall. We arrived to an exceptional scene – not full coverage as I’d hoped, but rather a snowdrift had created its own unique form on the north side of the pile of instruments, while the windswept south side left the instruments partially exposed. Photographs of the south side depicted sufficient accumulation to meet the vision behind the project, with the added aesthetic development of the wind-fabricated sculpture, which was well beyond the initial vision.
Diandra Markgraf, Arts and Culture Reporter for the Flagstaff Daily Sun, joined us the morning of Jan 8 to observe the project. Her article “The Sound of Silence” details the interview.
Acknowledging that the forecasted warming trend would result in further melt rather than additional accumulation, and feeling content with the results of the two-and-a-half week undertaking, we returned later that day to dismantle the pile of instruments. The act of visiting the pile had become a ritual, and the site had become sacred. Therefore, deconstructing the form under overcast skies was a somber experience. A time-lapse video honors the final event, but not before nature offered a glimpse of late-afternoon sunlight that projected a perfect shadow of a cello’s head across the snowdrift – yet another example of circumstance that culture could never predict.