Electrelane week: The Art of Touring by Mia Clarke
Electrelane week continues with guitarist Mia Clarke talking about her co-curated book, The Art of Touring...
As any touring musician in an independent band knows, life on the road is far from the glamorous experience put forward by popular culture. Touring is frequently tiring, boring, arduous—but also inspiring and stimulating, a unique mode of travel that establishes strange and fleeting relationships to cities, towns, and countries. And touring isn't just about playing music; many musicians are also writers or visual artists who find touring an inspiration for their other artistic pursuits. Drawings scribbled in the back of the van, photographs taken during gas station breakdowns, stories dreamt up during interminable sound checks—all are productive outlets for reflecting on the peculiar, temporary bubble that is touring life.
With this in mind, Ex-Errata guitarist Sara Jaffe and I curated The Art of Touring (more info), which was published by the great folks at Yeti in 2009. The book is a collection of artwork and writing based on firsthand touring experiences, and includes a DVD. We invited musicians to submit work that moved beyond the traditional “tour diary” entry to an exploration of the manifold ways musicians use other art forms to make sense of touring life. Our contributors include Devendra Banhart, Nick Zinner (Yeah Yeah Yeahs), Drew Daniels (Matmos) and Johanna Fateman (Le Tigre).
Here is a small selection of some of my favourite pieces from the book by Emma Gaze (Electrelane), Annie Hart (Au Revoir Simone) and the New York City-based filmmaker, Jem Cohen.
More information here: yetipublishing.com/images/Art-of-Touring.html