Free Static

Free Static Performs Live Score to Short Film "View of the Red Forest"

My sound project, Free Static, is performing a live score to a film by my friend and ECA colleauge Julia Oldham, in January and February. See the info below.

We’ve been working on this project for a few months now. Though we’ve performed it several times in rehearsal, it never comes out exactly the same. We only have a rough starting point for each section of the film. This makes it really exciting to perform, as we are still able to react to each other, as well as the film. Throughout the piece, I am manipulating a set of samples (some I’ve created, and some I’ve found), and Chris is working through a set of drones and rhythmic patterns on his modular synth. We both employ delay, reverb and ring modulation effects, so the sounds get pretty spacey and wild.

Free Static (Chris Ruiz and Courtney Stubbert) in the studio rehearsing for “View of the Red Forest” - photo by Julia Oldham

Free Static (Chris Ruiz and Courtney Stubbert) in the studio rehearsing for “View of the Red Forest” - photo by Julia Oldham

"View of the Red Forest" an installation by Julia Oldham with a special performance by Free Static

January 12

Oregon State University Woodshop Projects
Located in basement Room No. 004 in Fairbanks Hall, 220 SW 26th St., Corvallis  
Opening Reception Saturday, January 12, 7-9 PM

Performance at 8:00 PM - More information

February 16th - “Fallout Dogs” Eugene Premiere

Drawn Brands, 545 Monroe Street, Eugene, Oregon, 97402

This performance of “View of the Red Forest” also features the Eugene premier of Julia Oldham’s short film “Fallout Dogs” - a documentary about the stray dogs living in and around Chernobyl. Read about this event on ECA’s website.

Event begins at 7:30pm

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About “View of the Red Forest”

Julia Oldham's multimedia installation "View of the Red Forest" is a portrait of both the dilapidation and rebirth of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, combining large prints of windows looking out of abandoned buildings onto lush landscapes with video documentation of Oldham's visit to the zone. For this project Oldham is teaming up with Free Static (Courtney Stubbert and Chris Ruiz), a Eugene-based improvisational sound duo blending modular synth and musique concréte. Free Static will perform a live score to the film in the installation space on Saturday, January 12 at 8:00 PM.

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In April of 1986, an explosion in Reactor 4 of the Chernobyl Power Plant in the Soviet Union precipitated the worst nuclear disaster in history. The explosion created an enormous dust cloud carrying deadly radioactive isotopes which spread across Europe, affecting much of eastern Europe and Scandinavia. The the most severe contamination, however, settled in what is now known as the Exclusion Zone, a 1000 square mile area in Ukraine surrounding the power plant. 

The Red Forest is a 4 square mile wooded area that received some of the highest levels of radioactive contamination resulting from the explosion. After absorbing huge doses of radiation, all of the trees died and turned a rusty red color, which is where the name of the area derives. In the clean-up effort, the forest was bulldozed and buried underground, and a new forest was planted to stabilize radioactive isotopes. The Red Forest is now green and beautiful, and both flora and fauna are flourishing in the absence of humans. It remains one of the most radioactive areas in the world.