Lucky Dragons, a performance-art collaborative started by Luke Fischbeck, includes Sarah Rara and a rotating cast of other performers. Together they create audio recordings, interactive audiovisual works, installations, and performances.Their name commemorates the Daigo Fukuryu Maru (Lucky Dragon 5), a Japanese fishing boat caught in the poisonous fallout from the 1954 U.S. hydrogen bomb test at Bikini Atoll, Marshall Islands, an event often cited as a major impetus for the anti-nuclear peace movement.
The Tang Museum's Elevator Music 14 features songs from Lucky Dragons' ongoing project, Hawks and Sparrows Anti War Songs. Originally produced in collaboration with the bands Big A little a, and Wrist + Pistols, each of the eighteen tracks is constructed from digitally manipulated recordings of 2003 anti-war protests in New York, Philadelphia, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. They range from fairly straightforward field recordings to heavily manipulated digital cacophony.
To create songs, the artists removed all recognizable traces of words, leaving sonic glimpses into these gatherings. Instead of the anti-war chants, songs, and shouts, the sounds of helicoptors, drums, sirens, machines, and thousands of marching feet weave throughout. Some of the songs transform captured drumming, chimes, and sirens into new arrangements reminiscent of anthems, while others offer challenging textures of digitally altered noise with no trace of familiar sounds. Far from a straightforward document, the collection offers an abstract impression of recent anti-war protests.
Originally released in a limited CD edition of one hundred, Hawks and Sparrows Anti War Songs came packaged in clear glass, along with a first flower of spring. Lucky Dragons distributed it by "shopdropping"— the inverse of shoplifting — placing copies in record store bins under the letter "H" for customers to take free of charge. Listeners may also download it from Lucky Dragons website, along with other works.