Cole Bee Wilson

Cole Bee Wilson: Artist Resident at PlatteForum

Lightning Bells | Wonder Bolts
performance and interactive sound sculptures
with guest artists Ben Clary, Madeline Johnston, David Keeling, Megan Burns, Amelia Stickney and Jeanie Schroder.
Retrospective & Performances
Mi Casa’s Neighborhood Center at North

Opening Reception + Performances: Friday, March 6, 5:30 – 8:00, 2015
Performances begin at 6:15pm
Exhibition: Continues through March 20, 2015
Gallery Hours: Monday – Friday, 12pm – 4:00pm or by appointment

Cole Bee Wilson, Resident Artist at PlatteForum, completes his two month residency with an exhibition and performances at PlatteForum’s new home in the Curtis Park neighborhood. Wilson is an installation, performance and sound artist based in Austin, TX. He re-contextualizes history, myth and fable using contemporary and traditional musical aesthetics and techniques.

The focal point of the exhibition is an interactive motorized bowed piano that activates sound-sensitive lightning bolts when played. The work incorporates 58 micro motors which “bow” the piano strings with rotating wooden discs. This new instrument will be part of a permanent exhibition in Santa Fe, NM at Meow Wolf’s “House of Eternal Return” later this year. There will also be a retrospective from the youth workshops with Mi Casa’s Neighborhood North High program incorporating video, sculpture and aural works that document their learning process. Listening stations throughout the exhibition will allow the audience to experience compositions created by the youth. In Wilson’s work he asks “what is the difference between music and noise?” This question allows the youth to think about and experiment with the infinite qualities of sound in a new and personal way.

Opening night includes a series of live performances by the youth, artist and special guests. The performance will feature compositions on the bowed piano which promises to create a visual/aural adventure, a bowed banjo ensemble and excerpts from “H.THUNDERBOLT”,  Wilson’s most  recently completed composition which spanned three years in the making. The album chronicles the life and times of the ancient Mediterranean military commander Hannibal Barca and his role in the Second Punic War between Carthage and Rome circa 200 B.C.E.

The artist will be joined by special guest artists Ben Clary, Madeline Johnston, David Keeling, Megan Burns, Amelia Stickney, Wendy Warshawsky and Jeanie Shroder during the evening. Youth from Mi Casa will perform live works created during their workshops with Cole Bee.

In a unique collaboration with the Denver Theater District and Denver International Airport Wilson had full access to the DIA facillities where he recorded ambient sounds that will be scored into future compositions.  There will be a special free performance at DIA’s arrival theater on Thursday, February 26 between 5:30 and 6:30 pm and will feature artist and youth.

Photographs: Kim Allen

About the Artist
Cole Bee Wilson
 is an installation, performance and sound artist based in Austin, TX and Santa Fe, NM. His most current work, H. Thunderbolt, is a recorded composition that expresses the epic histories of the Second Punic War between Carthage and Rome, focusing primarily on the life of the General Hannibal Barca. This effort includes the collaboration of over 100 musicians, countless recording sessions that have spanned the breadth of America, subterranean field recording in the catacombs underneath the city of Austin and even the demolition of a piano with a sledgehammer recorded with home made contact microphones. The record is a blend of lush drones, walls of noise, aching melodies and earnest lyrics about what it is to fail and the victory theirin. Previous works include managing and composing for the 30 piece folk orchestra the Apple Miner Colony and developing the sound design for the Santa Fe based artist collective Meow Wolf. His work has been reviewed in the Chicago Tribune, Modern Painters, HyperAllergic and the Guardian, UK.