Dan Kaufman

Beyond the Valley of Sleep

Dan Kaufman and The Exponential collaborated on this amazing video in the Winter of 2011


The collaboration with Dan Kaufman, Ben and I started last summer when we were still rehearsing at Drumface. We started having almost weekly improvisational sessions after we all played some shows together and decided our sounds would work well together. A few months later, Dan relocated to the Bay Area and began working on video art more. It was a pleasant surprise to learn that Dan was not only an amazing sound artist and musician, but also really talented and expressive at video composition.

Ben and I had some prior experience incorporating video into our work from a project we did with Mike Dune  that started with an HD shooting of a performance that we did at Eric W. Stephenson’s  metal sculpture studio, in the Central Park Arts building in Chicago. Mike shot both literal performance footage, incorporating extreme angling, as well a more abstract captures of the art around us. We were all happy with the way our sound meshed with Mike and Eric’s work. We turned a brief edit of the footage into a loop that was presented as an installation in the Chicago Art Department’s Tube Gallery in the East Pilsen Art District.

Dan approached us last winter about working with him on a long distance video collaboration. He posted a cut of his idea online, and sent us a link. Ben and I watched the piece, and spent some time discussing what we thought would be complimentary out of our own library of approaches. We then went into the rehearsal space and just let it poor out with the recorder running. The Zoom recorder worked really well in the room, and created a nice high quality stereo recording with enough sense of space to match that part of Dan’s aesthetic. We sent the recording to Dan, and he edited the composition to create a sharp sync between the rhythmic intervals. He also added another layer of samples from the recording on top, which eerily accomplished what we intended to add ourselves, even though we had not discussed it. The last version he sent was the final. Sometimes you just know you’re working with the right people.

We look forward to more collaborations of this nature, and sometime soon we’ll be releasing a few of the tracks we recorded with Dan at Drumface.

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