RESTLESS is the open catalogue of Rulon Brown’s creative works about by The American Dream. It began with music and now includes film, jewelry, community art, and interactive art installations
Rulon was first inspired to create art about the American Dream during a 2011 artist retreat in Costa Rica. He fell ill and received emergency medical care from a Costa Rica clinic (publicly funded universal healthcare system). The emergency care cost him the equivalent of $20 USD. Meanwhile back home in Seattle, one of Rulon’s family members was skipping doses of the medication that kept her Multiple Sclerosis in remission because insurance companies rationed her life saving prescription drugs (non-universal, exclusive, private system funded by public and private funds).
“The America Dream has inspired some of the world’s most intoxicating ideas. Yet no matter how vivid, all dreams are just improvisation and synthesis. We make them up and then we wake up. But the ideas we cherish from our dreams inspire our best and worst actions. So I set out to synthesize sound dreams about America’s greatest export—our ideas of happiness, individuality, community and success.” – Rulon Brown
U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT TOUR WITH BAND
while touring Nicaragua for the U.S. State Department sponsored Nicaragua International Jazz Festival. The band features interdisciplinary artist Paul Rucker (cello, electric bass), experimental improviser and composer Bill Horist (electric guitar), and Rulon’s long-time rhythm collaborator Jeff Busch (world percussion, drums).
“I began RESTLESS to vent specific frustration with America. But creation is a healing act, cathartic. RESTLESS became a portrait project about my homeland, the things I love and the things I hope to help improve.” – Rulon Brown
RESTLESS, Rulon Brown solo album
features 12 songs written, performed, and produced by Rulon Brown while touring North & Central America. Rulon crafted this concept album about the American Dream using only a simple microphone, laptop, and keyboard. Every sound from RESTLESS is Rulon playing real instruments, or triggering synthesized sounds, midi loops, and audio samples. The music comments on American ideas of opportunity, prosperity, safety, equality, exceptionalism, immigration, the environment, community, the common good, and much more.
VIDA, Rulon Brown band album features prog rock anthems from RESTLESS and is a tribute to the people of Nicaragua. The group recorded the music live at Seattle’s Gravelvoice studios with renowned audio wizard Scott Colburn working the faders.
WEARABLE SCULPTURE – Handmade Jewelry
by Rulon Brown
Rulon began working metal at age 14 while working as an apprentice in band instrument repair. He started making jewelry as an adult after inheriting silversmith tools from his late-grandfather and namesake.
Each piece from the RESTLESS jewelry collection is wearable sculpture hand-made by Rulon and elegantly paired with music from his RESTLESS CD. These unique artisan designs make memorable gifts and are handcrafted from precious metals and coins from the U.S. and Canada. Available exclusively by special order or gallery exhibition.
ART EXHIBITION & INTERACTIVE PERFORMANCE
“An oddly communal, intimate experience. Headphones usually isolate the listener, but in Restless they unite [the audience]… It’s a neat bit of group choreography, with the 50 different compositions suddenly joining together in the high-ceilinged space.”–Seattle Weekly, Arts Editor Brian Miller
Rulon shared an interactive art installation, hand-made jewelry, and performances June 6 – 16, 2013 at Paul Rucker’s Open Studio Project located at 301 Occidental Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104. All events were free.
JUNE 6, 2013, 5:30 PM, First interactive performance w/ six repeat performances every half hour. Nightly Performances continued at 6 PM through June 16.
MATINEE CONCERT, 2 PM, Saturday, June 15 with Jeff Busch, Bill Horist & Paul Rucker
COMMUNITY ART PUZZLE, MUSIC & FILM a limited-edition commission for Seattle Artthrob
SPECIAL THANKS TO:
- Paul Rucker for his musicianship, friendship, and mentorship
- John Hubbard at EMKS, Finland for amazing visual design and creative collaboration
- Stick & Tell for providing custom graphics for the RESTLESS installation
- VM Innovations for providing audio gear for the audio art installation performances
- Seattle Storefronts for providing space in the heart of Seattle’s gallery district
- U.S. Department of State for the extraordinary chance to serve my country as a cultural ambassador
- ISLAND (Institute for Sustainable Living Art & Natural Design) for an inspiring composer residency at Hill House
- Seattle Artthrob for commissioning new music, film, and visual art from RESTLESS
- iClick for providing USB flash drives that became the digi-guts of a multi-media art puzzle
- Velocity Dance Center, Brian Rogers, and Zoe Scofield for the solid critique session
- Mrs. Brown for her astounding patience, love, and sense of adventure that inspires me and our little family
- Ron Brown for his great photography and years of devoted support.