Leralee Whittle and I (Paul Sprawl) live in the Chihuahuan Desert in Terlingua, TX on 20 acres of land we’re building on. We’re both artists. We’ve owned this land for six years. No building codes. It’s off-grid and 3 1/2 miles off the pavement. We catch rain for all our water. Process our own waste. Generate our own electricity. Use a phone for an internet connection and a local bar’s fast connection for livestreams. Our idea has been to provide living/working space for ourselves and other artists. We call the place, Glint.
We both grew up in California. I’m a musician. She’s a dancer. My first paid gig was in 1973. It remained a part-time occupation until I quit my wage slave job and started touring North America and Western Europe in 1997. It’s been full-time ever since. I moved into my van two years before quitting my day job and after the record deal, started touring all over the continent and heading over to Europe when I could. I had no home base, so I stayed on the road about ten months a year with the occasional boon dock to slow down. It’s been way better than being a smart obscure musician with a real job, playing where I lived and touring a few weeks a year while maintaining an apartment and home.
I started Vagabond Records in 2000, after a record deal with a well established company failed to continue being viable for me. I’ve mostly put out my recordings, but I produced a couple other artists too and helped them tour. Leralee and I started living and traveling together in 2005. We perform together and independently. We do some teaching too, especially Leralee.
The lockdowns cancelled my shows and my income, so I started live-streaming at one of the bars in Terlingua I’d been playing at. They have a fast and more reliable internet connection than we do at our place. At first I made some money. I was doing two shows a week with no ads. Over time, traffic and money slowed. I knew I needed to find more people, but I didn’t wanna do ads. I started recommending good music every day on a Facebook page for Vagabond Streams. It took me around two hours to find something I could honestly recommend as worth listening to. I enjoyed the process; finding new music is something I’ve done my whole life, which is about 62 years. I discovered a movie site called Mubi.com and thought the idea would work well for music. I’m copying a lot of what they’re doing and adding livestreams.
Leralee has been making videos for many years now. She’s starting a weekly video podcast called Lee Lee et Le Bus. Vagabond Streams is going to present it on the site with a new episode every Thursday.
Here’s the bio from Leralee’s website:
Leralee Whittle is a dancer, performer, choreographer, teacher and video artist. She toured from 2005 to 2018, performing multi-media productions and in performances with musician Paul Sprawl in North America and Europe. Extensive studies with luminaries, as well as her own choreographies and research are foundational for her approaches to art and teaching. She trained and performed in the San Francisco Bay Area from 1990-2005, performing for Anouk van Djick, Nita Little, Rosy Simas, Regina DeCosse, Tandy Beal, Scott Wells and others. Leralee Whittle held a dance, somatics and healing practice for 15 years in the Santa Cruz, Ca. During that time she was a lead collaborator with Nita Little in relational intelligence research and improvisation performance. Besides dance she also trained in Physical Theater, Taoist Chi Kung, Energy Medicine, Acupressure and Process Oriented Psychology.
Her work has been experienced in theaters, galleries, dance studios, living rooms, and as public art in parks and sports facilities. She’s been presented in Dinamiche Scomposte Festival, Italy, Twin Cities Film Festival, Twin Cities/Montreal Choreographer Exchange, PWNW, Portland, La Esquina Gallery, Kansas City, CAPSULE, KCMO, Rosy Simas Danse/Southern Theater, Minneapolis, UCP, KCMO, and Aria, Barcelona. She is the recipient of a public art commission, MN (2018), a video and performance installation commission by Charlotte Street Foundation, Kansas City (2018), Project Space Residency, Counterpulse, SF (2017) and grants from PLRAC, MN (2017), KU Spencer Museum, Lawrence, KS and Puffin, NJ and Theatre Bay Area, San Francisco, CA .
Leralee Whittle created Somatic-Field Coherence and (un) Threading Dance to teach internationally. She’s been a guest teacher at Wayne State University, Performance Works NW and FLOCK, Portland, OR, Counterpulse, San Francisco, Sudstern Jam, Berlin, The Cowels Center, Minneapolis and more.