Hello Death with Jozef Van Wissem at the Milwaukee Opry

Last night Hello Death was honored to open for Jozef Van Wissem at the Milwaukee Opry in the Fortress Building.  This new venue provides a wonderful room for delicate music with generous natural reverb, but not too lost or messy a sound.

We had never been to the Opry before, and with no signs yet posted and a maze of doors, halls, wings, floors and stairwells we ended up being guided finally to a dilapidated freight elevator by a whimsical young artist who has a studio in the building.  After loading our gear and convincing Marielle that our chances of dying were quite slim, we closed the broken door, slammed down the gate, and grumbled and climbed to the seventh floor, the ancient steel wheels spinning as the counter weights dropped to the ground.

Erik Ljung captured the visual meat of the evening with some beautiful shots.

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Thanks to the wonderfully respectful audience members who made it out on a frigid Sunday evening, to Martha Joe and Aaron for organizing and to Jozef Van Wissem and R Keenan Lawler for the music.

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Hello Death photo shoot

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Though the snow looks light and fake like PVC shavings or soap suds, today finally looks like winter.   Three weeks prior, on January 12, we were standing outside in the Seminary woods, just minutes after dawn feeling the temperature slowly dropping from the fifties.  All the snow had melted, the heartier plants were still green below a blanket of fallen leaves, and some of the trees had been tempted to bud.

Margaret Muza got us all dolled up and we met Photographer Erik Ljung and assistant Ben Wick on site.  The shoot had been planned only days before when we saw a temperature spike in the forecast.  We were all quite sleepy, having been kept up late for various reasons.

It was cold, despite being balmy for January, and I had a moment of respect for models that dissipated quickly when I thought about it.

But the sun shone strong and a lovely day emerged as we laughed and shivered and tried to keep each other warm with hot coffee and desperate hugs.  A big thank you goes out to Erik, Margaret, Ben, and the grand swathe of beige, naked trees, dead leaves, icy waters, and electric green moss that provided a serene backdrop for our frozen brains and glazed eyes.

More photos are forthcoming.

-Nathaniel