Make/Work Episode 19: Angela C. Villa and Thollem McDonas

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Episode 19 of Make/Work is the fourth of a sub-series where host Scott Pinkmountain interviews couples in which both partners are artists, addressing some of the unique issues that may arise in those relationships and talking about the challenges and benefits of building a life with someone who’s also engaged in a creative pursuit.

This week, Scott speaks with creative couple Angela C. Villa, a documentarian, and Thollem McDonas, a musician. As a couple, they have been living on the road on perpetual tour for the past eight years. Villa has captured Thollem in improvised performance with the likes of Nels Cline, Brian Chase of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Pauline Oliveros, and countless others.

Scott spoke to Villa and McDonas during a rare lull in their constant travels about the ups and downs of their perpetual life on the road.

We’re moving around and we experience people’s economic situations. People are not buying albums—not only because there’s so much music accessible for free, but also because people can’t afford it. —McDonas

Listen to Episode 19 (and subscribe to Make/Work!) now in iTunes. Or get the direct download. And you can now get Make/Work through Stitcher.

Watch a recent performance of McDonas with saxophonist Jessica Lurie, filmed by Villa, below (or click here):

Every creative laborer has a different story to tell about how they negotiate their relationship between their creative work and their paycheck and how they balance their lives to sustain their creative practice. In Make/Work, Scott will speak with emerging and established artists working in a wide range of creative mediums about how they survive, how they make a living, and how they maintain their work over the long term. New episodes will be released every other Thursday.


Scott Pinkmountain is a writer and musician living in California. He is the creator and host of The History Channeler comedy podcast and has written for This American Life, A Public Space, HTMLGIANT, and other publications. He has also released dozens of albums of both instrumental music and songs including the recent No Country Music. He can be found at http://www.scottpinkmountain.com/. More from this author →