Craig Shepard is in the midst of his second On Foot project, which involves writing a new piece each week and walking to a new location in Brooklyn every Sunday to perform it in a public, outdoor space. The first of these projects took place in 2005 across Switzerland, and is documented in a book, On Foot, published by Edition Howeg. A number of the pieces written during this trek across Switzerland are included on a CD by the same name.
What follows is an interview with Shepard, conducted shortly before the start of On Foot: Brooklyn. It’s not just a window into his own creative process, but also offers some fresh ideas of how to weave creative work into everyday life, in the midst of all of its demands.
I’m interested in the idea of place, and how that intersects with music and with composition with the work you’re doing. Just as a basic place to start, with the project in Switzerland, there are a number of places involved for each piece in a way. The place of composition is separate from the place of performance. Is that right?
Every day, I walked from place to place, and then every day I composed a piece while I was walking. And then the place where it was performed the first time was what got the name of the piece, because that was the endpoint. There’s a nice word in German. This is the Tagesziel. And so I had this endpoint in the back of my mind each day while I composed. A lot of the actual composition would take place during the day. And then sometimes there would be sketches or ideas that I would not use on one piece, and that would still be there for the next one, or for a couple down the road.
So it was really on the route, as you were walking that you were composing?
That was one of the reasons to do the project, and one of the reasons that I’m doing the On Foot: Brooklyn project this year, is that a lot of my best work actually happens while I’m walking. I might have a couple ideas, a couple of notes, maybe a pattern that I’m interested in trying out. Then I go walk, and I kind of forget a lot of stuff. And it opens up a space for me, for the work to manifest itself, so the pieces happen a little bit on their own, rather than me sitting down and forcing every note. And so I’ve found that to be a very effective way of working, a way of composing.
What do you think it is about that? Is it the space and the transitions? Is it the physical activity? Is it the openness of it? Is there anything you can point to about that experience that’s conducive to composing?
When I studied for the CFA, our teacher recommended trying out different ways of doing things, and mentioned that some people actually learn better when they’re moving. And so she recommended listening to tapes of the material while you’re jogging, in order to learn it. You’d learn it better. And since then, I’ve been much more clear about my own learning styles and how I take information in. And I’ve noticed that I have to have somebody tell me something before I understand it. I can’t just read it. I’m not a visual person. I thought I was in school, but if somebody says it, then I have it. With composing, there are two aspects of it. One is the motion. You get into a groove, and it quiets everything down. Because it’s outside and away from my desk, I’m not thinking about bills, or doing the dishes, or wow, there’s that pile of dust in the corner. When I lived in Switzerland—also now in Brooklyn—I didn’t have my own music studio. So I didn’t have a place where I could go to just do the work. So it was a way of creating that studio. And the same thing with On Foot: Brooklyn. It’s a way of creating that for myself, this time and this space in order to do the work.
So it’s like Switzerland and Brooklyn each become your music studios, in a way.
That makes a lot of sense. It really opens something up. In the liner notes, you talked about the intention to frame the everyday sounds of the place in which they’re heard. Is that a sense of being reflective of or transparent to that place? Or could it be both? I’m thinking, for example, if you’re walking, you’re on the way to whatever place, so you’re somewhat close to wherever you’ll perform. But maybe it’s a matter of creating something that’s open to that place. I’m not sure if I’ve framed the question clearly.
This has come up in a couple of different forms, if I’m understanding your question right. It’s the relationship of the music to the place.
And is there a specificity in the music, or is it circumstantial, something that you can lay on that will allow the place to reveal itself more, regardless of which place it is? For example, there’s a superimposition of the place where it’s composed, the place where it’s performed, the place where it’s heard, in the case of the CD. So it seems to me that there’s an interest in that quality of transparency to place that allows for those superimpositions to happen. But is there something specific about what you’re writing towards the place that you’re writing it?
Yeah. I think I understand the question, and this has come up a couple of times. There’s no one-to-one relationship, so it wasn’t like I was in the Jura mountains in French-speaking Switzerland and I wanted to use the folk songs from that region. What might be less obvious, and is difficult to trace, is how the place flows through the process into the piece. In the On Foot project in 2005, the first two weeks were in the Jura mountains, which are sparsely populated. When I got half-way through the project, I began following the Rhine, and it was much more populated. So I had these longer walks in the mountains, which were isolated. And these shorter walks between towns, where I was interacting with people more. That may have affected the pieces; it’s not clear, when you look at the them. There does seem to be a character of the ones that were in the Jura mountains, as opposed to the ones that came later. It’s not clear if that was because of the way the project happened, or because of the landscape, or because my mode of working changed. So from the aesthetic side, there’s not an intentional relationship, although because it’s happening there, there’s things that I’m not aware of that are flowing through the piece. From a practical side, the pieces themselves, when they’re effective, create a sonic frame for what’s going on wherever it is. So it highlights the melodies or the pitches or the harmonies that are actually present there. And in that sense, the piece itself allows people to experience the place where they are.
Along those lines a little further, could you anticipate, based on the premises of the project, substantial differences between the Switzerland project and the Brooklyn project in terms of the specific musical results? That may not be a fair question to ask.
Just from the structure of the project, there are some things that are going to have an effect. I don’t know what effect they’ll have. It’s much different to write a piece every day for a month than it is to write a piece every week for three months. So I’ll have much more time to doubt myself between the time that the piece is finished and the first performance. The walk in Switzerland was a straight line with stops along that line. The structure in Brooklyn is more hub and wheel, where I always start from and return to the same place. A lot of the walks during the week will be through Queens, over the Queensboro Bridge into Manhattan and back, whereas the Sunday walks will be through Brooklyn. So it’s less likely that on the walk to East New York, the piece that’s composed there will actually be influenced by that walk. But the walk the next week might be influenced by what I experienced on the walk to East New York.
So there’s more cross-referencing of other influences through how it’s laid out in time and space, and how you’re working and moving. Along this idea of transparency to a place and the nature of a place, what are some of the musical and, if you can call it, pre-compositional strategies that you’ve used towards finding that transparency—resources or tools or techniques?
So the question is, how do I compositionally work out these frames before I start composing?
Either musical tools and materials, for example, I think silence is a very clear one. Or it sounds like the walking itself creates that openness and that open frame. And it’s not even pre-compositional. It’s during the compositional process. What have you learned along the way that contributes to that openness to place and that revelation of place that happens in the work?
When I first started playing on the street, it was from practicing. I had a small apartment in Zurich. I had roommates at the time, or flatmates. They did not want me practicing at home, and to create a space to practice, I went and practiced on the platforms of the train station. What I realized on the first day, is that I wasn’t practicing, I was performing. And so when I played a scale, I was performing for anyone that could hear me. In the beginning, it was mostly railway workers and commuters. And so I practiced pieces that would work out my technique, which were also things that were nice for people to listen to. So rather than go and run excerpts, or go and run etudes, I would play some Bach cello suites. I approached my scales differently, as melodies, and I approached the long tones then differently. Very soon after that, I had the idea to do Manfred Werder’s stück 1998 on the street. I had seen a video of István Zelenka’s AIR(E)S (which is outside. It’s a live installation), and had been interested in that situation, and then when I did Manfred’s piece, I realized that it wasn’t silent anymore. In that piece, if you take that piece and you play it outside, you play 6 seconds of sound, and then 6 seconds of silence, and there are longer silences. In those silences, you hear the ambient sounds of the site.
There was one decision that was clear with On Foot, is that I wanted the trumpet. The trombone blended too much with the frequencies of traffic. It’s in that same range. So it wasn’t a clear distinction. With the trumpet, the range it’s in and the volume, compared to a lot of the ambient sounds, it cuts through. You hear it. And so that was one clear decision with the first On Foot. And in order to do that project, I took a year of trumpet lessons to get in shape.
It was all for trumpet, and it was all things that I could play. And there was one other condition, which just arose from the situation, is that I realized that any sound I made at the performance site became part of the performance. So I couldn’t warm up, and I had to play everything cold. So the first note, I had to be on, which meant I couldn’t write something at the extreme range of the trumpet—high or low. All the pieces started in the middle register.. And the other part was that anything that I composed, I had to be able to play without a lot of practice. I had a day to do it, and most of them, I had to sight-read, and it had to be something that I could play. I also knew that I couldn’t carry the trombone walking on the—
Yeah, I thought it was mostly because of portability. I didn’t realize it was the blending issue as well.
Yeah. That was something that is also important.
I can’t remember where I read it, that you took the Switzerland route and mapped it onto Brooklyn? Am I remembering that right?
To celebrate the release of the CD in August, I did six concerts. And for each one of those, I played each of the pieces from the CD, and I played them where they were in Switzerland, but in New York and Brooklyn.
Okay, so it was really associated with the CD release.
And we spoke a little about this before. But in terms of the advantages of limiting your transportation to walking for that period of time, I know that includes creating that open time to think and to work. Is there anything else about not using other means of transportation that helps?
Absolutely. I noticed, when I did the On Foot 2005, I had been walking for 30 days, and I took this train ride. And I remember feeling that, what a waste. There was all this countryside that was going by, and it was just wasted. And I realized that my thinking had changed, because I’d changed the mode of transportation. The situation of the daily life, the decisions that I make in the course of my day affect my thinking and my consciousness, which affects what I create. And so in New York, it’s really tiring sometimes to be in New York, and you spend so much of your time just getting from one place to the next. Part of the thinking in New York is that it’s one city. So from Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, Manhattan, if there’s a concert in any one of those, your friends think that it’s one town and you should come. Now some of the farther reaches of Queens, maybe you won’t be expected to go to.
Staten Island, you might get a pass.
But even then, you have someone like Joe Kubera, who regularly comes in to concerts, and he lives in Staten Island. And he’ll come to Brooklyn from Staten Island. Or people with cars, that’s the other thing. If you live in Brooklyn, you have a car, it’s much easier. And to spend two hours round trip to get to a concert, it’s unusable time. I spend an hour a day, hour to an hour and a half getting from my house to the office. Because of the nature of the commute, I can read a little bit, nothing too serious, nothing too demanding. Usually I read bridge books. I’m learning bridge, so bridge books. Sometimes, I might listen to something. If there’s a short score that I’m looking at, or a passage, just a short passage, I might practice it, if it’s a rhythm or I can get the melody out. But for the deep concentration that needs to happen in order to compose, it’s not usable time. And so one of the reasons to walk the whole time was to make that hour to an hour and a half as usable, creative time. So it doesn’t take any time out of the day. It’s a way to substitute. So that was one of the reasons. And then the other one was, because I’m walking, it’s very easy for me to say no, I can’t go to your concert up in Harlem. I’m doing this project.
I’d have to walk there, yeah.
So a good friend of mine, Christian Kobi, from the Peckinpah Trio, he’s going to be in town. He’s going to be doing a solo improvisation. He’ll also be playing in Boston. And he’s going to be in town at Phill Niblock’s place, Experimental Intermedia. And I was very happy to say to him, it sounds like a great show. I’m so sorry that I cannot walk down there. There’s one or two in midtown that I can get to, and in my neighborhood too. There’s some good rock clubs, so there’s one or two rock shows that I’m going to go to. But other than that, it’s a way of just clearing out the time.
And do you find that if you’re in that mode, taking another form of transportation kind of cuts into the creative process too? Not just in time, but in terms of your own thinking and experience?
I don’t know. This will be something that I’ll find out during the trip. I think that has a little bit more to do with how you approach the transportation. Cause if you show up like a half hour early, and you’re waiting for the subway, you can look around. But if you’re rushing, and this may come into play when I’m walking. I’ll have to take a note of this, to leave an extra time, so that if something comes up that I might want to stop and contemplate or take a look at something, then I have the time to do that without thinking I have to be there. One thing though, to point out, and people who live in the suburbs who don’t depend on public transportation, there is this quietness with driving. If you don’t put on any music, or even if you put on some music. But there’s a way where you can really think about stuff. And there’s something about the eye movement of moving the eyes back and forth, and the act of driving, which actually is, for some people, very good for thinking.
It has been for me. I’ve gotten some good ideas on road trips. But just thinking about this, I’m realizing, I am in suburbia, and I haven’t walked a lot, but when I have, I’ve found I can relate, in those small pockets of experience to this sense of its opening up a creative space. And I’m realizing, why am I not using that more? It’s really interesting to think about. It seems like the sense of time, and the wider stretch of time that’s created with the walking, time and space are sort of opened up with that process. Is that something that you consciously relate to the musical result, or that you think has an inevitable impact on the result, that sort of spaciousness?
That’s been my experience. I did have an interesting talk with Christian Wolff, where he talked about when he had kids. He raised four children, and he was active as a father in the day to day childrearing. He knew he would only have 15 minutes at a time to compose. And he had to create–I think you called it pre-composition–He had to create these structures or formulas or chance procedures. I don’t think they were chance procedures, but these procedures to compose, to generate pitches or to generate melodies or harmonies. And so that when he had his 15 minutes, he would go and he’d run the procedure, and then do it that way. So he didn’t have time to try things out on the keyboard or— I’ve noticed myself, that I tend to, there’s two parts. I have been working on this one piece now for three or four years. Where I have 15 minutes, I just create a melody. It’s usually a fragment, four or five notes, maybe 10 notes. I write it down. It’s finished, and I put it in a box. And at some point, there’ll be enough fragments, or I’ll then have to take longer times to organize them. And so that’s one way that I’ve come up with to deal with the situation of, you have the office, you have dinner, you have friends, you have other responsibilities, laundry. The other way that I’ve dealt with it is, I’ll wake up at 5 in the morning, have two hours before I go into the office to work. And then it’s not just that two hours on that one day, I need to do that two hours every day for a month in order to write a piece. That’s how the Trumpet City piece was written. It was commissioned by the Musikpodium der Stadt Zürich, to write a piece for 100 trumpets. And so that was written that way, where I woke up and, it’s actually interesting. Also, I would take my trumpet down the end of the block, which, then, I was living in Weehawken, New Jersey. It overlooked the Hudson River. I would improvise, record it, bring it back home, manipulate it using Logic, then make notes about that, come up with another test, refine it that way, then go back out there, record it, come back in. And then once I was able to manipulate it a little bit with Logic, then I would write out the final piece. And so that, and again, I had to create a space, not just a physical location, where that piece could be born. So it’s interesting that you brought that up. I hadn’t realized that. But I think that’s been the case with most of my pieces I wrote, actually, maybe almost all of them. When I first started composing— This is just coming to me now. I hadn’t realized this, so thank you for—
Yeah, go for it.
I was at Northwestern, and then I moved to Connecticut, and I rented out an old factory space, 1,000 square feet. I paid 100 bucks a month. And so I would go there and do all my work. Then when I moved to Switzerland, I was playing outside, and then I remember I got a commission for a piece for the Wandelweiser composers’ ensemble. And a friend of mine needed a house-sitter for two weeks, so I basically moved into his house and wrote it there. I hadn’t realized that. So I guess it is maybe an essential part that I have a space where this work takes place.
And I think we’ve been talking around this question for a while, too, but is there anything else that you can look back to, to look at the importance of place in your work? I know it’s true for a number of the Wandelweiser composers, but for you specifically, is there anything you can trace of why that sense of place is so important to you?
There was one other very practical reason, was as a trombone player, especially doing the wandelweiser music, you either stick a mute in the trombone, or you spend the whole time feeling like you’re playing too loud. You compare how quiet a clarinet can play, or violin, to a trombone, and the dynamic range is just completely different. Clarinet maybe has as large of a dynamic range, especially if you consider some of the high notes. They can really belt those out. But I spent so much time fighting the instrument, and I just got sick of it. I just got sick of it, and I realized, this is not what this instrument does. It was made for large cathedrals. The trombone was created, and a lot of the best trombone music to this day was written for those places. And so I said, well yeah, I had done marching band in high school, and I said, well, okay, this is an instrument for outside. Let’s see what happens to the music when you take the trombone outside. And I found almost immediately, I remember that first project with Manfred’s Stück 1998 on the street, is I immediately felt more comfortable, that I could just be a brass player. And I hadn’t had that feeling really before in wandelweiser music. There was, I’d always had this feeling that they wanted me to sound like something else. Now Radu’s developed a very great technique playing quietly.
That’s his specific thing.
Right, and Jim Fulkerson also, my quiet chops are also pretty good. I can do it, but I feel sometimes as a brass player that I have to almost hide a little bit of what my instrument is. The interesting part is, because I can play quiet like that, also my loud playing has improved. It’s the same mindset: you have to be on, very precise, or else the sound becomes very unstable.
There is something too about the On Foot: Brooklyn. This is more of a personal thing than necessarily an ideological one. I had gone to school in Chicago, moved back to Connecticut. And then I would go to Europe to do concerts, and then I lived in Switzerland. And then when I moved back to New York, I found myself organizing projects outside of New York. There was something about New York that, it takes a long time to feel at home in the city, to know your way around. And part of it is just spatial. And I noticed that when I had walked stretches of the subway, then it was a much different experience riding than when I had never walked that part. And driving didn’t really cover it either, or bicycling. There was something about walking a certain stretch of land that gave me— there may be research about internal mapping, the way that you internally map places in your mind, place, location. But I had this experience where I would pop up out of the subway, and it was like I had teleported somewhere. And so it just, I think a lot of people living in New York are constantly disoriented. And so one of the ways people deal with that, they don’t leave their neighborhoods. You’ll see this. In a way, it’s this metropolitan city. But what happens is, a lot of people, they fall into their routines, and that’s all they do. They don’t go to a place they haven’t been before. And you’ll see this, when places open up, it takes them a couple years for people to even know where they are and for them to show up there. So Roulette has just moved to downtown Brooklyn, and there’s this hurdle for a lot of people to go there. Once you’re there the first time, you know how it is, then it’s much easier to go back a second time. But it’s that first hurdle. And I didn’t experience that so much in the suburbs, that it was easier, once you know where, somebody gives you directions, you drive there and it’s okay. And now with GPS, you just punch it in. People are much more comfortable doing that. But there’s something in New York. That situation creates almost a provincial mindset. And so I’d been around, and then I’d say, okay, I want to know. I’d been to parts of Brooklyn, but there are these black holes in my internal map, and that’s where I live. And so I said, okay, I want to be able to basically map out Brooklyn for myself, from my own experiences. And so I chose all the walks. I wanted some long ones to go all the way to the other end of Brooklyn, cause I live in the north end. And then I had to alternate those with shorter ones. So I would do ones closer that didn’t take as long. And some of the routes I took were purposely to go through this black hole in my my internal map. And so you’ll notice from the place where they originate, I try and go on every street around there. And I try and go (some of them are a little bit out of the way) to open up that map in my head.
So it really fans out and stretches through Brooklyn, as well.
Yes. And a friend of mine had said, Craig, you’re organizing all these projects in Switzerland. Why don’t you just bloom where you’re planted? And so I said, okay. There was another aspect to it too, and this is— A lot of it was a pure financial reason, is there’s a Brooklyn Arts Council. And your chances of getting a grant if you live in Brooklyn and do a project in Brooklyn are higher. And so part of me was, I don’t mind, there are some times when I’ve done things because there was a situation in a grant structure that’ll set something up. And I don’t mind, I find some of those situations to be very interesting. The standard one in Switzerland is that you have to do a tour with three concerts in three different locations in Switzerland. So you have all these concert tours. And they take the same program, and they go to different locations in Switzerland, and maybe one or two outside of Switzerland. And so what’s interesting when you start playing with that, well what does that mean? And that’s part of how the On Foot project, the original one in 2005 was, well, okay. You want me to do a tour. So I’m going through these cantons and I’m playing these places, and so this is my tour of the country. And I like that, too, to be playful with these structures that that grant guidelines imply. And so there was another reason there.
I was going to ask specifically about the last piece on the CD. Can you talk a little bit about the specifics of how that one came to be?
Oh sure. And that is one where there is almost a direct relationship. I had walked from Kleinlützel, on the German-French language border, to Dornach. It was a nine hour walk, and it poured rain the whole time. So by the time I got to Dornach, everything was wet. Everything. You can see on some of the scores, if you look in the book, the water damage. And I had things wrapped up in plastic bags. Luckily, there were a couple of things that had to be dry. One was, my batteries were dry, which was good, and I had a cell phone with me, which I managed to keep dry. But the book didn’t. And so I walked nine hours in the rain, and I sat down to write this piece, and I said, I should write a 10-minute piece. And I said, no. I’m writing a 50-minute piece.
It’s more like 27 on the recording.
We took a faster tempo. The original tempo was much slower than that. Maybe 45. But depending on how long you take the beats, it can be a longer or shorter piece. We went quicker on the recording, mostly because of the decay of the vibes. If you let it go out too long, then it’s just pure cello. And the way it is now, it’s sometimes not clear what’s going on with the cowbells and the chimes. So we wanted a break at the end too. But that day, it was pouring, and I was on the Nepomuk Bridge, which leads into the old part of Dornach. And I wrote out the piece, and then I’d go. And you can see it on the score. I had to write around where the water was, cause the ink wouldn’t write through the water. So I had to write around it. And I sat there, 6 o’clock at night. And there were a couple of commuters who were going by on bikes or walking, and they were the most appreciative audience of the project. One said, “You know, this has been a horrible, rainy day, and you’ve given me the sun”. So I was very, very glad to get that remark on that day in the middle of the rain.
As far as the specific impact on the piece, you talked about writing around the rain, but was there something else? Oh, it was the length of the piece.
Yeah, it had to be a long piece. I hadn’t had a lot of time to sit down and do a lot of notes. So I’m not sure if that one was through-composed, but it might have been. No, there was a chance procedure for that one. And so I did the procedure, and I said, okay, long tones. And that’s it.
It’s beautiful. Is there anything else you wanted to talk about specifically?
There’s two changes in this project. One is that people can join on the walks. So if you want to come down, you’re welcome to come down. And the starting time is going to change depending on the walk, so people do need to RSVP. And they’ll be silent walks. And no cell phones. So you’ll have to give up, either don’t bring it with you or you give it up. You give it up at the beginning, you can get it back at the end. The reason for that is to invite people to create an empty space for a couple hours in your life, and listen. You can talk after the performance, before we return, but no talking in between, just listen, just be together. For some people, that’s uncomfortable, but my experience is, after about a half hour, when you’re walking, you relax into it. So that’s one change. And it doesn’t really affect the composition work, because most of the composition work will be during the week. It won’t really happen that much on the weekend. The other change is that Katie Porter and Christian Kobi will be joining on March 25th in Red Hook, and I’ve been open to other people joining as well, who want to come and play on the street. [Jack Callahan will join on May 13 in Sunset Park.] So those are two changes, and because we do have a little time now for rehearsal, so we can rehearse on Saturdays. The other thing that’s changed is, there’s a parallel project going on with photographer Beth O’Brien, who did the design for the CD. She is going to be photographing for the documentation. She’ll also be doing a parallel project called Passing By, where she sets up a camera in a fixed location at the performance site and takes still photographs of the site during the performance. Afterwards, she’ll be animating the still photographs. Last time, I worked with Silvia Kamm-Gabathuler, who did her own independent project; she photographed things along the way. So at the end, we’ll have 13 animations. And we will be producing an art book of photographs from the walk, but also just from the routes. Beth will be biking. She won’t be walking with us. She’ll be biking along and photographing, because the problem with walking is, when she needs to stop and take photographs, then she’s either always running to catch up—— And then John Hastings, who curates the Sound series at the Presents Gallery—it’s tentatively June 15th—will be presenting pieces from the trek, as well as Beth’s animations and some of the photographs, in a concert situation.
It turns out, shoes for me are very expensive, because I have these very wide feet. And so I’m going to need at least three pairs of shoes. So shoes are going to be about $800 for me, for the trip. Also, for the documentation for the project, we need funds for the design for the book. Last time, on the On Foot: Switzerland, there were funds from the Swiss government. This time, the funding is from people who are interested, participants, which was very successful in the On Foot CD. I like that very much, because there’s much more of an interaction.
Yeah, and there’s some buy-in from people too.
Right. So that’s the other change that’s happening now.
The one other thing I realized, we’ve talked around, too, is the experiential quality of it, that you’re bringing the audience into a wider experience of the walking and the piece. And it relates to what you said earlier about learning by hearing something, and taking something in in a more— It’s more of what’s in the air, rather than just sort of an abstract thing on paper. It all connects in a really interesting way.
The remaining On Foot: Brooklyn performances are:
April 15, Coney Island, at the end of Stillwell Ave, on the Boardwalk
April 22, Downtown Brooklyn, BAM Triangle Park
April 29, Cypress Hills, southwest corner of Force Tube and Ridgewood Avenues
May 6, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Von King Recreation Center, in the field behind the ball field
May 13, Sunset Park, top of Sunset Park
May 20, Sheepshead Bay, on the Sheepshead Bay footbridge
To participate in any of these walks, contact:
Craig Shepard (firstname.lastname@example.org, www.craigshepard.net)
You can learn more about the project, and see footage from one of the walks, at thirteen.org.