The Tuba Thieves began in response to a rash of tuba thefts from high schools across Southern California between 2011 and 2013. Reporters often focused on the thieves, but O’Daniel imagined students in band practice with no instruments, just engaged in the act of listening. Three composers were commissioned to make musical scores based on random lists of references. Reversing the usual order of filmmaking, O’Daniel began to piece together a script in response to their scores. The Tuba Thieves weaves together the stories of Nyke Prince, a Deaf drummer based in Los Angeles, the marching band students impacted by the thefts, and re-enactments of three historic concerts: the 1952 premiere of John Cage’s 4’33,” the 1979 final punk show at The Deaf Club in San Francisco, and a 1984 Prince concert at Gallaudet University.
Alison O’Daniel (b. 1979, Miami, Florida) works in Los Angeles. She received her BFA from Cleveland Institute of Art, in 2003, and MFA from University of California, Irvine, in 2010. She has exhibited, screened, and performed at the Ford Theater with FLAX French Los Angeles Exchange (2018); Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery (2017); Art in General, New York (2016); Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2016); The Drawing Center, New York (2016); Top-kino, Vienna (2016); Centre d’Art Contemporain Passerelle, Brest, France (2015); Aspen Art Museum (2016); LA Louver, Los Angeles (2013); and Samuel Freeman Gallery, Los Angeles (2013). She has completed artist residencies at Wexner Center for the Arts (2014), Fine Arts Work Center (2012–13), Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (2007), and others. She has received several awards and honors, including a Rema Hort Mann Foundation Grant (2014), Center for Cultural Innovation Grant (2013), Art Matters Grant (2012), Franklin Furnace Fund Fellowship (2012), and California Community Foundation Emerging Artist Fellowship (2011).