We’re kicking things off in January with two DAM veterans, composer Nathan Hall and choreographer Laura Ann Samuelson. As former Creative-in-Residences and Untitled regulars, you may have already met these two amazing Denverites, either here at the DAM or elsewhere around the city. These two are busy making names for themselves all around town, like at the MCA, Buntport Theater, and Boulder Public Library, among other places.
Nathan Hall is a former Fulbright fellow with a doctorate in musical arts from the University of Colorado and was our very first Creative-in-Residence in the spring of 2015. Laura Ann Samuelson is a choreographer, dancer, and teacher of contemporary performance and a current master’s candidate at the University of Colorado. She was the DAM’s spring 2017 Creative-in-Residence.
Laura Ann and Nathan worked together through our Creative-in-Residence mentoring program and we’re excited to announce that the two are collaborating together, for our very first DAM Untitled Final Fridays Creative Takeover. Their night, January 26, will feature an evening of music and dance, performances and workshops, centered around the idea of “micro-experiences” (more on that later).
First, let’s sit down with Nathan Hall to learn a bit more.
DAM: Hi Nathan! Thanks for joining us! Let’s start things off with a big question-WHAT do you do?
Nathan Hall: I’m a composer and artist, so primarily I write music and make art installations and experiences related to sound. Plus, I also do some jewelry design and manage a clothing store part-time.
DAM: Great! If you could express yourself in any other medium, what would it be?
NH: I always wanted to learn modern dance. I feel like I get a little experience vicariously through collaborating with Laura Ann!
DAM: That’s awesome; we love collaboration here at the DAM! If you could collaborate with anyone else (past or present), who would it be?
NH: I would love to do something with Björk, whose work I’ve been inspired by since I was a kid. And maybe if I could go back not too far in time to work with John Cage, I would love seeing how we could make something very interdisciplinary (before that was even a common phrase).
DAM: Sounds like a pretty creative dream team! “Creativity” and “creative” are words that get tossed around a lot these days. From your perspective, how do you define a “creative”?
NH: I think of a creative as someone who doesn’t pigeonhole themselves within their field; they’re always looking for new ways to understand their work, communicate their ideas, and are ever curious.
DAM: You’ve been in Denver for a long time now. What’s your favorite place in the city?
NH: Besides the DAM? Is there anywhere else? Well, perhaps I would say the Botanic Gardens. It’s different every time I go, and all the shapes and textures and places to explore are really inspiring.
DAM: Now for something a little silly. What’s a movie that you can quote every line?
NH: Mean Girls for sure. You go Glen Coco!
DAM: We’ve had the pleasure of working with you many times at the DAM and you’re certainly no stranger to making work inside the museum. But, if someone has never heard of a museum before, how would you describe it? What is a museum? (I know, we’re getting pretty deep here ;)
NH: Oh gosh, that’s a toughie. A museum is a collection of things worth knowing about, and people finding out about those things? I can’t even think what a museum isn’t, ‘cause there’s probably a museum out there that could defy any of my preconceptions.
DAM: Good answer! Now for another tough one. What’s an exhibition that doesn’t exist, but probably should?
NH: Oh boy, so many. Tori Amos: Myths and Power. The Art of the Telephone. Gratuitous Male Nudes. Celestial Music Scores of George Crumb. Sometimes the most ridiculous or peculiar ones are the deepest and most memorable.
DAM: If you could do anything you want in a museum, what would it be?
NH: Well, I already tried a few crazy things like putting musical instruments in a museum for people to play, and had a piano lounge in a gallery… but if I had my way I’d make a giant Meow Wolf-like sensory experience for people to explore, somewhere between immersive theatre and a curiosity cabinet of strange artifacts and objects. And throughout would be a soundtrack that I’ve composed to lead you along.
DAM: We’re super excited that you and Laura Ann Samuelson are taking over the DAM’s January Untitled Final Friday! Can you say a few words to get visitors excited for the night?
NH: 64 Very Short Dances!
People Moving Infinitely Slow!
Live music designed by you!
And maybe Tiny Hamburgers!
I’d hope that might get you interested…
Don’t miss Nathan Hall and Laura Ann Samuelson’s creative takeover of Untitled Final Fridays, happening on Friday, January 26, from 6–10 pm at the Denver Art Museum. Stay tuned for more information on the night’s events here on the DAM blog and social media, leading up to the event.