So at Public Works this Thursday you can: watch veteran SF DJ Mophono and beat-driven gothsters Water Borders* live, learn about innovative advancements in music-making, peep some short films and new local art, and nibble tasty vegan treats. All in one event, from the safety of your own neighborhood club.
We all know there are overlapping circles between the arts – even the edible arts – and this is the belief that drives Overlap.org, a hyphen organization (music-arts-technology) that also has been hosting parties since 2006. In prep for the next installment of Overlap – which goes down Thursday – I spoke with Ghostly International's Christopher Willits (Overlap.org's founder, experimental SF-based musician) about music, food, and fostering local creativity:
SFBG: What will you be doing during the designing process workshop?
Christopher Willits: I'll be covering a popular music-making and production tool called Ableton Live. I'll be talking about the basics of this software system and how you can make expressive creative art with this digital tool.
SFBG: What are some other activities that will take place during this installment of Overlap?
CW: We have some great live music and a diverse lineup with Mophono, Water Borders, and Danny Paul Grody. Local films will be shown, we'll have local vegan food from Freedom Kitchen, food by Rocky's Fry Bread, and more local vendors announced the day of. We'll have an info booth for our friends at Mission Creek Festival, and this time we also have very cool art vendors - Dave Marcoullier, The Heated, and more.
SFBG: Can you describe the vibe? What has been most surprising about previous Overlaps?
CW: I connected with Public Works after a SF Forage event I performed at, and we found that we shared a common vision of where the Overlap event could go. Our first event with [them] was last October, it proved the concept and set the tone - a relaxed evening of diverse art and some really awesome people hanging out and meeting. It's cool to see people coming out of their usual scene and connecting with this idea of greater creative community overlapping, a community made from unique but interrelated groups.
SFBG: Why incorporate local food into a music event?
CW: We support the localization of food. Our last events have featured permaculture discussions about decentralizing our food sources. We can do this in SF. Plus we just want people to be comfortable with some delicious clean food and feature these hard-working culinary artists. They are so much a part of the creativity of this city.
SFBG: Do you see any connections in the art of cuisine and the art of music? If so, what?
CW: Absolutely, the process, texture, flavor, color, history. Music, just like food, is woven in the very fabric of our culture. I don't know of two other things that bring people together better than food and music.
SFBG: What are your personal favorite local places to eat?
CW: I'm really into Gracias Madre right now. Ask for the hot sauce, it's this paste-like mixure of a couple different chiles. Yum. I think you need to ask for it.
SFBG: Future goals for Overlap.org and Overlap parties?
CW: Our goal is simple - to grow creative community in San Francisco. The rest will fall into place. We want to provide that place and time for people to come together and strengthen new bonds.
I have this feeling that we're within a new creative wave in SF. We're living in an amazing place and time, we're all redefining how art and community interact and grow together. We have so much imagination and creativity. Together we are redesigning how our local communities can connect, come together and ultimately incite creative change.
*An absolute aside: Water Borders' Amitai Heller once casually told me he'd want to do a TED talk on the intersection of goth and baseball, and I think about this often, joke or not.