Devendra Banhart & Noah Georgeson
August 21 & 22, 2021
Getty Museum, Los Angeles
Ever Present: Refuges was a unique listening experience held in Robert Irwin's Central Garden at the Getty Center. During the weekend-long sound bath, a collection of images and texts distributed by the artists Devendra Banhart and Noah Georgeson. The original poetry, contributed by Lita Albuquerque, Stephin Merritt, Adam Green, Ali Sethi, and Mark Epstein, were offerings for wandering minds, refuges from daily thought, each accompanied by photographs by Devendra Banhart.
Refuge is the title of an album of new ambient music by Banhart and Georgeson. Born out of a dialogue between two friends and long-standing collaborators during the tumultuous events of the past year, it seeks to create an experience of meditative beauty which offers the listener a much-needed sense of peace and renewal.
At the Getty, the music played throughout the garden’s circular pathways, creating a space for meandering and contemplation. Marking the return of music to the Getty Center, the first public event since lockdowns took effect in 2020, it provides a moment to reflect on the engagement between people, sound, and site, as sonic vibrations cleared the air for a new era.
“We’re hoping to create a sense of comfort and coming back to the moment,” they say. “It’s really important to have a little bit of space between us and our anxieties and impulses. What you do with that space is up to you.”