When he went to see The Walkmen at Atlanta’s Variety Playhouse in 2009, Matthew White hadn’t heard of the opening act – an Atlanta band with a long name. And, he certainly didn’t count on the creative journey he’d take over the next couple of years.
“First and foremost their show hit me like few other shows had,” Matthew says of indie band Today the Moon, Tomorrow the Sun. “Usually as a listener, like it or not, you approach an opening act with bias. But, out of the countless acts I’ve ever seen live, I knew these guys were different – they have it all.”
There is of course the rocker mystique and the chemistry between the members. There is the stagecraft and life on the road. And, at the heart of it all, Matthew points out, are four captivating personalities – artists who really believe in what they do. But, from a broader perspective, what interested Matthew most was the way in which culture consumers create their own mythologies. Regardless of scale, how does celebrity evolve?
The result of their teaming up is the one night only event, “Moon Phase,” on August 13 at King Plow Arts Center.
Matthew set out on the road with them for several legs of recent southeastern US tours. At first there was a lot of documentation as the concept for the Moon Phase event began to form. But, from the beginning, Matthew knew he wanted to avoid just generating “fan art” or simply documenting the rise of Today the Moon, Tomorrow the Sun.
“Documentation is being created constantly via social media and texts from all kinds of sources,” Matthew explains. “It is usually already done for us. The ability to call on so many resources so quickly is new to our culture’s collective psyche.”
“But,” he continues, “so much more processing is occurring now on the viewer’s – or user’s – end. How do we create celebrity and its supporting mythologies? How do our brains collect and piece together images and bits of information to make connections and create celebrity? How do we as viewers and listeners impact the experience?”
These are the questions being investigated at the heart of Moon Phase. In addition to mixed media works on display, Matthew is employing a new way – using sound – to enhance the experience of viewing and interacting with art.
“The works include the band members and things that are ‘Today the Moon related’ as components of the pieces,” Matthew elaborates. “In most cases, they are not so much the actual subjects.”
The night includes a full concert by Today the Moon, Tomorrow the Sun, where songs from their latest acclaimed release Wildfire will be showcased.
“We couldn’t be more excited or proud to work with Matthew on Moon Phase. The concepts, the images, and the integration of sound and music are truly fantastic,” says Lauren from Today the Moon, Tomorrow the Sun. “Many of the pieces make you feel like you’re on the road with us. And, some of them don’t have much to do with us per se, but comment on the ideas we all have about rock n roll or celebrity. It’s a collaboration made in art heaven. This one night only event should not be missed.”
Hosted at Atlanta’s landmark King Plow Arts Center, the night provides a unique event that is open to the public at no cost for admission. Matthew and the band both want to help make exposure to art and live music more accessible – on a number of levels. King Plow provides an extraordinary venue for this, and it is a perfect fit for the installation and performance.
One more interesting tie-in: August 13 is a full moon isn’t it?
Doors open at dusk. Admission is free. 18 and over only.
King Plow Arts Center
887 Marietta St. NW
Atlanta, Ga. 30318