The second installment of Traysh Island (titled Burning Mang) comes to 8550 Ohio this weekend August 1-2 just outside the little Appalachian town of Chesterhill. One of the more interesting gatherings of artists and musicians I’ve been at in the absolutely drop-jawed gorgeousness that only Southeast Ohio can bring, Traysh Island features live music and more for two days. The full schedule is waaaay below, but features everyone from Aquabear-ites and Ohio’s own Weedghost, Sport Fishing USA, and Speaking Suns to national acts like Kansas City’sÂ QuadrigarumÂ and Chicago’s Cooper Crain.Â 8550 OHIO ST RT 377,Â $10 admission (cash only) // $20 per tent (rsvp @ 8550OHIO@gmail.com).
Aquabear had the chance to ask a few questions to 8550 Ohio’s Jason Ajemian who filled us in on how a bunch of guys from various big cities ended up in the middle of Southeast Ohio.
How did Traysh Island get started?
Jason Ajemian: TRAYSH ISLAND was initiated last spring as a ribbon cutting ceremony for Conrad Freiburg’s Woodshed, the first permanent sculpture at 8550 OHIO, where we have been holding artist residencies for nearly ten years. More recently we developed TRAYSH NEW YORK at the Knockdown Center in Queens, which will be an annual effort. We are also thinking of introducing a Chicago edition in 2015.
How did 8550 get started? What brought the whole thing to Chesterhill?
8550 OHIO was born out of Harold Arts, a not for profit organization founded in Chicago by Jaimie Branch, Joe Jeffers and Nick Wylie. Joe Jeffers is the grandson of Harold and Elizabeth Jeffers, who raised a 3200 acre tree farm in Chesterhill. Jeffers and his team rented this property for a few months every summer in order to host a juried group of emerging and mid-career artists and musicians to gather in the hills for the purpose of interdisciplinary production. The organization became two organizations in 2010, Wylie and others founding ACRE in Wisconsin, while Jeffers moved (literally) to 8550 OHIO (state route 377), which continues to offer residencies for artists and musicians. 8550 OHIO is now run by me, Rebecca Beachy, Joe Jeffers, Frank Van Duerm, with a lot of help from the artists who visit us.
How did you guys all start working together?
Joe and I started working together in 2007, at that time I was working @ Harold as a producer, making records for others and of course developing my own projects. We met in Chicago at various places you might see experimental music.
What kind of things are going on at 8550 year round?
Not much unfortunately, the property is available for rent.
What are the plans for the future?Â
Next year will be the tenth year we’ve hosted artists out here, so we are taking that pretty seriously.
I dont want to say too much, but on the 8550 residency tip we plan to return to working with cultural partners to produce thematic residencies. We’re also hoping that Kelly Kaczynski’s stage may be done in time for TRAYSH ISLAND III : THE LEGEND OF MOLD MANG.
What band are you most excited for this weekend?
Im most excited for QUADRIGARUM, a Kansas city based group led by J Ashley Miller, will be building a “chariot” for their performance, which is a medieval looking device that strums two guitars with two captain’s wheels.Â Its probably the most spectacular thing on the menu.
TRAYSH ISLAND II: BURNING MANG is free for civil war reenactors.Â Here’s a radio interview we did for T-NY:Â http://clocktower.org/show/traysh8550-ohio
FRIDAYÂ AUGUST FIRST