Favorite Memories: Garrett Ammon and Jesse Manley

Our upcoming production, Winter, is nothing short of a collaborative explosion. We’re bringing in musicians, a digital artist, perfumier and a host of chefs to join in the telling of this new seasonal tale. While some of these artists are new to the Wonderbound community, others, like Jesse Manley, are seasoned co-creators. In honor of our latest creation, we asked Jesse and Garrett to share some of their favorite memories from working together.

Jesse's Memory

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One of my favorite memories of working with Garrett has to be our first meeting for A Gothic Folktale. Garrett, Phelyx and I met at St. Mark’s coffeehouse. The purpose of the meeting was to sit down, get to know each other and see if the creative mojo was there to make a collaboration work between the three of us. I remember how easily we all started to delve into possibilities for the show and how it was apparent that there was an abundance of creativity, talent and skill amongst the co-collaborators. Phelyx was decked out in his full performance regalia—wearing an antique suit and his antique glasses. An older woman was completely enamored of him and kept petting his shoulder saying, “You never see anyone dress like this anymore!” Later, he used his mind to bend a fork into a beautiful piece of art. I walked away from this unforgettable meeting completely inspired by magic and art being part of the everyday. That meeting, and project, would turn out to be a major turning point in my career as a musician, in regards to my career goals and the development of my creative process.

Garrett's Memory

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Check out these stunning images from 2015’s Winter with Jesse Manley & His band.

Jesse and I actually met back when Dawn and I first interviewed to join Ballet Nouveau Colorado. However, it wasn’t until years later at a live show in Boulder that I actually got to hear him play. I’ve always been a fan of folk music, but Jesse’s voice adds layers of haunting and ache that I find to be truly unique. Our friendship continued to grow and when I listened to his first album, Devil’s Red, a ballet, that eventually became “Vagabond Hill,” immediately took shape in my mind.

One of my favorite facets of our collaborative relationship is its unique creation process. We simply don’t need to talk much. Instead, we get together for conversations, part ways and then develop concepts, lyrics and music around those ideas. When we return and share what’s been made, he’s always spot on. It’s such a pleasure to have that level of trust–a deep-rooted knowledge that we’ll find our way to the other side.