Madison, WI – MindStorm is a multi-media experience by Thomas Ferrella and Aaron Granat intended to be showcased in a planetarium setting. Both the visuals and music are performed live and have an integral spontaneous connection. The visuals performed by Granat are sourced from footage Ferrella has shot and cataloged over the past 20 years. Ferrella’s interest lies in documenting repetitive motion he observes in everyday encounters. With this vast archive encompassing Ferrella’s unique visual perspective, Granat uses the footage as the raw materials for a dynamic visual collage that is organically composed in conversation with the accompanying music. Granat uses moving images to defamiliarize ordinary phenomena to discover the underlying shapes, tonalities and rhythms that unify all perception. The live performance of video material aspires to dissolve the boundaries delineating motion picture media, music and visual art.

Music is from a group that Ferrella has co-led with Kevin Schaefer for the past 25 years. The music is described as improvisational soundscapes and the current band incarnation includes Ed Ahrens [sax, guitar], Kevin Schaefer [keys, electronics, percussion], Nick Orlowski [guitar, electronics], Phil Redman [bass, electronics], Steve Tyska [trumpet, violin] and Thomas Ferrella [percussion, trumpet, field recordings].

Madison Metropolitan School District Planetarium, 201 S. Gammon Rd.
Dates: March 6, 7 8pm
Tickets: $15, $10 student, available through MMSD,
Sponsored by BlueStem Jazz


Dr. Thomas Ferrella worked as a specialist in the field of emergency medicine for 30 years. Throughout his medical career, he also maintained an active art practice, working in photography, painting, sculpture, music, video and large-scale outdoor installations. MindStorm is the culmination of a band that he co-leads and his capturing of 20 years of nature-based film footage. The impetus of this project stems from his love of jazz [he runs the non-profit BlueStem Jazz,] and specifically Sun Ra’s trumpeter, Kelan Phil Cohran. In 1993, Mr. Cohran created and presented a body of work titled African Skies for the Adler Planetarium in Chicago. African Skies is the springboard to Ferrella/Granat’s new film.
For a further look inside Ferrella’s world go to


Aaron Granat is a Madison-based video artist, Associate Lecturer for UW–Madison’s Communication Arts Department, and Staff Video Producer for UW–Madison’s Division of the Arts. His work spans feature-length narrative, screen dance, documentary, and video installation. He maintains a robust experimental artistic practice centered on live performance of video material, which draws heavily from avant-garde traditions represented by Stan Brakhage and Bruce Connor.
For a further look at Aaron’s video work go to