Performance #5: "The Pequod" from This Middle Place
  • Performance #5: "The Pequod" from This Middle Place
  • Performance #5: "The Pequod" from This Middle Place
  • Performance #5: "The Pequod" from This Middle Place
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Created and performed by Julie Johnson on amplified flute and looping & effects pedals

Video editing by Tamara Ober:

In 2014, I used the work of four Minnesota artists and writers—Sean Hill (, David Sollie, Cheri Johnson (, and Patrick K. Pryor—in my show This Middle Place, which I premiered in Antonello Hall at MacPhail Center for Music. Working from the outset with director/film designer D.J. Mendel (, whose ideas about timing and presentation greatly influenced my composition process, I wrote new pieces that harmonized with works by the participating artists. I imagined “this middle place,” an image from Sean Hill’s poem “Bemidji in Spring,” as the space where two pieces come together, each offering its own distinct features to a kind of duet.

Patrick K. Pryor’s painting The Pequod—itself inspired by the doomed ship in Herman Melville’s Moby Dick—was a perfect fit. An example of Pryor’s highly refined expressionist idiom, the work has much in common with my multi-layered music. I like to stack different characters and colors with my looping pedals until they add up into a new entity, the way Pryor layers paint to create his final image. This is one of my “thickest” pieces; at one point, there are fifteen loops going on at once.

Upon purchase, you can download a PDF that contains a Vimeo link to the show.

Painting: The Pequod by Patrick K. Pryor:

Julie Johnson is a fiscal year 2021 recipient of a Creative Support for Individuals grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature; and by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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