FORM Arcosanti :: 2016

Sunday evening, just before the sun set over Arcosanti, the experimental city  founded by the late "arcologist" Paolo Soleri in the 1970s in Arizona's high desert, Bill Callahan and his band took the stage in the beautiful amphitheater. Quietly -- as is Callahan's way -- the combo began playing an elegiac version of Prince's 1992 jam "Money Don't Matter 2 Night."

"If there's any place Prince could hear us, we figured it was here," Callahan intoned.

The setting, with a steady breeze rustling overhead, was perfect. It's no mistake that this place, with its ornate domes and ancient-future feel, was chosen by electronic group Hundred Waters as the site of its FORM Arcosanti festival. A beautiful drive up the Black Canyon Freeway, an hour north of Phoenix, the third annual festival was stretched over a weekend in May, featuring sets dispersed throughout Arcosanti's theaters and incorporating non-traditional performance spaces: Bing & Ruth composer David Moore played a grand piano on the edge of a cliff, the wind coursing through cypress tress adding a sonic layer his rippling, minimalist arpeggios; Four Tet and Skrillex collaborated deep in a canyon, on the colorful Elestial Stage.

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