Experimental Music Returns to Vallejo’s Mare Island With ‘Channel’

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Building 34, Re:Sound's new home, next to sweeping views of the water and the Mare Island dry docks.  (Courtesy Re:Sound)

Re:Sound, Vallejo’s experimental music series, returns with a Saturday, Nov. 6 afternoon performance in a new, yet still-resonant space on Mare Island. CHANNEL, the series’ first event since the summer of 2019, will feature performances from Evicshen, Suki O’Kane’s Ensemble of Revered Collaborators and “sonic imagery” from John Davis and Keith Evans.

Previous Re:Sound events (the series started in 2015) took place in a building called A-168, a concrete and therefore extremely echo-y former munitions storage magazine often surrounded by head-high fennel plants. Jen Boyd, the sound artist and organizer behind the series, says the new venue (1024 Nimitz Ave., Building 34) is smaller than its predecessor, but “feels just right.”

“The environment around the building is spectacular,” she says. Located in the historic core of Mare Island near the dry docks, the new site offers glimpses of osprey nests in the shipyard cranes, Boyd says. Re:Sound has always been about a thrilling juxtaposition of experimental sounds, semi-abandoned spaces and natural beauty. The name CHANNEL no doubt reflects on the event’s proximity to the narrow strait of the Napa River.

On Saturday, Evicshen (sound artist, experimental music performer and inventor Victoria Shen) shares a practice concerned with the relationships between the physical properties of sound and the human body. One of her self-built electronics projects is “Needle Nails,” a set of deliciously pointy red acrylic nails with turntable needles embedded in their tips. Users can play records with the touch of a finger—or play five different tracks of a record all at once.

Oakland-based musician, composer, improviser and instigator Suki O’Kane says to expect “the big drum and the small, hand-held projections, the slow things and the ambiguous things, realized with subtle practitioners” from her performance. Her revered collaborators will include Adria Otte (electronics), Jacob Felix Heule and Kevin Corcoran (drums and hand-held projections).

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And last but not least, moving image and sound artist John Davis and “paranaturalist” Keith Evans (who primarily works in expanded cinema and performance) will create works on the theme of transfiguration using visual and sound artifacts.

Boyd suggests guests bring a chair or blanket to insulate against Building 34’s concrete floor, noting that food and drink is available at nearby Coal Shed Brewery. “We are so excited to see you all,” reads the Re:Sound event announcement. “It has been a long time.”

Re:Sound ‘CHANNEL’ will take place on Saturday, Nov. 6 at Vallejo’s 1024 Nimitz Ave., Building 34. Proof of vaccination is required for guests ages 12 and up. Details here.