I found some old video that I (inadvertently) made while David Wake and I were rehearsing Ed’s dance piece Sin City this past winter. I had forgotten to turn the camera off after one rehearsal and fortunately, this resulted in a few brief but poetic gems that I feel do a wonderful job of evoking Ed’s unique personality. I think these brief clips really encapsulate an aspect of Ed that I especially admire: his desire and ability to embrace chaos. It is also the aspect of him I encountered the most frequently as his sound designer. If I came to Ed with a soundscape I was worried he would think was far too unruly and cluttered he would just say something along the lines of ‘well sure, we just need a lot more of that’. He didn’t want a galloping horse. He wanted a dust-cloud-inducing stampede. And when the sound system was rattling nails from the walls in tech rehearsal, Ed would politely ask if we could turn it up a little. I saw this quality in him both as artist and as a department chair. In the chaos of the usual bureaucracy mixed with massive budget cuts his overall reaction always seemed to be to chuckle at the amusements around him and carry on, to weather the changes and keep looking ahead. I think these quotes below say a lot about Ed’s spirit of resilience, (yes, his charming neuroses), and his ability, when confronted by turmoil, to resist the temptation to recoil from it and instead kindly ask it to dance.
I wrote out the quotes below in case someone doesn’t want to watch the actual video. If you are feeling up to it, however, I recommend it. For me, as difficult as it is to watch, I hear his peculiar cadences and I see his unmistakable mannerisms (and that P-Town shirt, my god, did he wear that thing every day!) and I can’t help but chuckle. I also can’t help reminding myself to keep looking ahead. And for Ed, I will do my best to keep embracing everything that is thrown at me and to throw everything I’ve got back.
One thing that’s fun for me is that everything starts with a big emotional exclamation point.
Anything we can do that is epically histrionic is good.
The more we do it, the more of a nightmare the whole thing is and there is no subtlety at all.
It felt really annoying and great...you know what I mean...screeching and like….like a knife going in the head... and that's all good…because that scene can take a lot…basically whatever you can throw at it...