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Basin & Range 2005 DVD $20.
I recently returned from a colorful journey of sound, mind, and vision across some far-flung corners of the wild and sparkling West. The covered ground included California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah. And I didn't burn one gallon of gas.
The armchair tour was guided by Arthur Durkee through his new DVD "Basin & Range." This montage of Stick music and still photography begins wherever you want it to. From the main screen, just click on one of four itineraries and you're off.
The short films, each about 10 minutes, use beautifully rendered cross-fades and graphic collages to pull you through centuries of natural beauty: desert landscapes and rock formations, ancient shamanic light, and Durkee's own labyrinths of vision, timbre, and poetry.
The music is mostly Stick, flavored with flutes, percussion, and violin. The mix is deep stereo, a lush scape in itself, with haunting ECM-like distance and otherworldly spaciousness. This is truly organic sound and imagery, painted with the eclectic brush of a well-traveled soul. Deeper eyes and ears will detect a subtle commentary, and the messenger's gentle yet striking language leaves plenty of room for you to interpret the message for yourself.
- John Edmonds
It's an artistic joy to watch, with an abundance of photographic art and evocative Stick music. There are four themes, including "Basin" with striking shots of New Mexico landscapes, "Visions" with superimposed art, charts and photography, "Gateway Arches" with dramatic rock formations, and "Western Lands", also with a travelling theme.
Art's Stick music is mostly looped and overdubbed, and his graphic art also has this kaleidoscopic quality - natural scapes merging and superimposed with "prepared" scapes, with fantastic drawings, with geometry of the mind. Galaxies, flowers, bodies, rocks, all blend with his mountain range of music to express an artist's opinion about the universe of everything. I don't believe that Art can ever avoid making these opinions known.
- Emmett Chapman