Richard Chartier plays a set at Tonalism, LACE's overnight ambient music happening.

Richard Chartier plays a set at Tonalism, LACE's overnight ambient music happening.

Tonalism Nurtures Lost Art of Introspection

This was not the first time LACE (Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions) has hosted an intriguing overnight event in their gallery. But this time, LACE’s partnership with dublab, LA’s super fresh, freeform online radio station, brought the event to new levels of spectacle.

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Hosted annually by dublab, Tonalism is an overnight ambient music happening inspired by La Monte Young’s “Dream House” as well as the work of musicians and composers like Terry Riley, Yoko Ono and John Cage. This year, Tim Ottman’s neon art and Alex Pelly’s live analogue video feedback installation perfectly complimented the live sets by DJ’s Hoseh, Frosty, Jimmy Tamborello, Victoria O’Hanlon, Richard Chartier, Farbod Kokabi & Farzad Moghaddam, Ale Cohen, and Sage Caswell. Until 6 AM, guests immersed in their unique sensory experience, sinking into bean bags and sleeping bags while sipping endless complimentary tea and coffee.

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And although Ale Cohen, Executive Director at dublab, whispered to me early on that he wanted to keep the space intimate, quiet, and still, the evening was packed with energy. The atmosphere was full and alive despite the fact everyone was laying on the floor whispering, if even speaking at all.

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Spewed out on the floor at 3 AM, I felt the vibrations of Hoseh’s dynamic set through my yoga mat. An air of joy and sadness floated about the gallery, and as I fixed my gaze on Alex Pelly’s video installation, I thought about the tranquility of collective isolation: The beauty of individual experiences experienced collectively.

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So many of us feel the need to talk incessantly about the art that we see or experience when we go to public events. What was great about Tonalism was the introspection, the collective willingness to let the vibrations wash over us, deepen our experiences, and ultimately, bring us closer together. There was no need to mingle, to chat about ourselves, rub each other’s egos or complain about politics. There was unity in the ambient simplicity of it all — Tonalism was truly an oasis in the midst of Hollywood Blvd on a Saturday night.