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FORM is a festival unlike any other. It takes place in the “eco-city” of Arcosanti, an architectural marvel in the middle of the Arizona desert. Attendance is limited to 2,000, but they still bring in massive headliners like Florence + The Machine and Anderson .Paak. Fans get to see their favorite stadium artists in an incredibly beautiful and intimate space — and discover their next five favorite bands, all in the same day. There’s no VIP section, but there is a cliffside pool with DJs, rooftop yoga, and immersive listening stations. I’d been hearing rave reviews for years from musicians who’d played the fest, so this spring Talkhouse Podcast producer Mark Yoshizumi and I headed out to FORM to get our glamping on, and record some amazing artists in convo. As an added dimension, we also paired them in musical collaboration.
Pulp Arts and Patreon teamed up to co-present The Conservatory, a backstage visual arts installation and recording studio. Talkhouse recorded six episodes there throughout the weekend, so subscribe to make sure to catch upcoming shows, including:
Snail Mail, Fred Armisen & Mary Lynn Rajskub
Kelsey Lu & Yrsa Daley-Ward
Julianna Barwick & Mary Lattimore
American Football & Pelican
L’Rain & Melanie Faye
Our first episode from the fest features jazz and hip hop legend Robert Glasper with a giant of African music, Malian guitarist Vieux Farka Touré. The two were excited to meet and chop it up, and immediately found a lot of common ground. They get into a lot, including: the role their musician parents played in their own artistic development; the difficulties of being a professional musician in Mali; Vieux’s fear of playing jazz; and the inspiration Vieux drops that Robert wants tattooed on his… well, check it out.
After the talk, keep it locked for a trio of breathtaking improvisations between Vieux on guitar and Robert on keys, accompanied by Vieux’s rhythm section of bassist Marshall Henry and drummer Tim Kiper. The uniquely brilliant singer, songwriter, and sculptor Lonnie Holley, who’d stopped in to watch the session after his own incredible set at the fest, also jumped in to sing on a jam.
Sinat Giwa, Events Director at OkayPlayer, OkayAfrica, and OkaySpace, joins me to intro this first episode from FORM.
—Elia Einhorn, Talkhouse Podcast host and producer @eliaeinhorn
Today’s episode was co-produced by Mark Yoshizumi. It was recorded at FORM Festival in Arcosanti, Arizona, and at Hook and Fade Studios in Brooklyn by Mark Yoshizumi, Danny Clifton and Ian Jones.
Research assistance provided by Madalyn Feltus. The Talkhouse Podcast’s theme song was composed and performed by The Range.