Very thrilled to announce that You, My Mother – the Two-headed Calf’s 2012 collaborative opera project (with Rick Burkhardt, Karinne Keithley-Syers and Kristen Kosmas!) will get to live again at the River-to-River festival, this Summer. If you didn’t get to see this “a dense and sometimes perplexing meditation on maternity” the first time around at La MaMa, come out for these free performances.
Over the past few years, I’ve been toting around a small handheld recording device, and occassionally, when inspired, I’ll record my surroundings. I had no intention on doing anything to these recordings – I simply liked the sounds I found, and played them for others. But I then got interested in the musical material that I discovered within these recordings – the tone of the Metro in Paris, the rhythm of the frogs in a pond, the melody of a group of people in a park. I then began to tease out this musical material, layering in electro-acoustic materials – performed mostly by me.
I had a little sneak-preview of these pieces at the great Catapult space in New Orleans with a great group of friends and thinkers. And I’m not sure what the future is for them. Have a listen!
Another great time was had creating HOW TO BUILD A FOREST with Katie Pearl, Lisa D’Amour, Shawn Hall and the whole build team – this time at the Diller/Scofidio-designed performance space, The Granoff Center on the Brown University campus. With only 2 full 8-hour installations, we had about 600 people come through! It really is an amazing project. Here’s a link to a time-lapse video of the enitre intallaion-performance, this one form Duke University:
And I’m working on an audio track to give a sense of the ever-changing soundscape of the FOREST. More soon.
JACK SPICER’S BILLY THE KID is a mini-musical created by Lisa D’Amour and myself, directed by Brooke O’Harra and performed by ArtSpot’s Kathy Randels and Sean LaRocca, Todd D’Amour and Becca Blackwell. It was a great success at the New Orleans Fringe Festival in November and we are scheming up a longer run in New Orleans and a New York premiere.
Studio recordings coming this Spring. For now, here are a few live songs from the run (forgive the occasional cough and dog bark!):
JACK SPICER’S BILLY THE KID is based on the 1957 poem by San Francisco-based writer and thinker and drinker, Jack Spicer. His obsessions with American masculinity, outsider-ness and channeling ghosts are turned into fractured cowboy songs, and woven together by the stealth hand of Lisa D’Amour. It is a follow-up to the 2010 Du Fu, Mississippi (those songs, recording at the legendary Piety Street, can be heard on this site as well).
This Friday, a hot new production of Suzan-Lori Parks’ incredible Topdog/Underdog opens at Two River Theater in Red Bank, NJ, for which I designed the sound. It has been a really exciting process with an incredible team: Suzan-Lori, herself, directs; the sets and lights are by the amazing Chris Akerlind. And the actors are the real-life brother-team of Branden and Jason Dirden, who really drive the show!
It’s a mere 1:15 minutes on the train from Penn Station (and a lovely ride) – and Two River is an incredible theater and institution. Come on down!
So I was sorting through a digital mess of old audio files, and I came across a few samples from the 2004 production of A Mouthful of Birds, the incredible Charyl Churchill play – directed by Ian Belton. It was a really dark, apocalyptic production – voodoo and flying pigs and floating utensils. So, here, have a listen:
In the last year I have worked on a number of really amazing projects – a Two-headed Calf chamber opera, a project that took me to Peru and a chance to work with Ellen Burstyn to name a few highlights – and finally I’m getting a chance to post some sounds and music I created.
In the LISTEN section, you’ll find samples from a production of A Streetcar Named Desire at Southern Rep in New Orleans, some samples from the LAByrinth Theater production of David Bar Katz’s Atmosphere of Memory (directed by Pam MacKinnon), a collage of sounds from a production of Brecht’s In the Jungle of Cities (in Spanish, En La Jungla de Las Ciudades) directed by Gisela Cardenas, and some more samples of the chamber opera I wrote for the Two-headed Calf’s You, My Mother.
Hope you like!
You, My Mother, the Two-headed Calf’s two-part chamber opera performed at La MaMa, E.T.C. in February, was a great success – and an incredible collaborative experience (Kristen Kosmas/Rick Burkhardt and Karinne Keithley-Syers/myself. Directed By Brooke O’Harra. Performed by Mike Mikos, Laryssa Husiak, Beth Meyers and Kate Soper. Music performed by Yarn/Wire.
Here is brief excerpt on the 3rd section (The Gorilla Sequence) of my piece:
A few things to keep you posted on:
Finally, the Two-headed Calf is premiering our two-part opera project, You, My Mother – at the Ellen Stewart Theater, February 9th. It’s been a truly amazing and strange process to put this together and I think we have created something completely new and personal. Along with director Brooke O’Harra and the other collaborators (Rick Burkhardt, Kristen Kosman, Karinne Keithley, Beth Griffith, Kate Soper, Mike Mikos, Laryssa Husiak, Yarn/Wire, and more!), I really hope you can check out the performance.
Tickets here: http://lamama.org/ellen-stewart-theatre/you-my-mother/
Side-mentions: I will be composing music for the Southern Rep’s production of A Streetcar Named Desire, to open in March in New Orleans. SO if you’re down there, come on by.
And PearlDamour, along with visual artist Shawn Hall, will be re-creating the hugely successful 8-hour performance installation, “How To Build a Forest”, seen this past Fall at The Kitchen – it will run for 2 weeks in April at the Odgen Museum for Southern Art, also in New Orleans. And I will be re-envisioning the sounds of the forest!
This has been a whirlwind Spring and the Summer only gets more insane! Just got back from the TCG conference where I must have schmoozed with 200 people easy. Great conversations and great performances were had – particularly Toshiki Okada’s Chelfitsch company from Tokyo!
I also co-designed the sound for PearlDamour’s How to Build a Forest, an 8 hour performance/installation at The Kitchen. Here’s a great article about it:
And tomorrow I’m on my way to Lima, Peru to write music for Brecht’s early play, In the Jungle of Cities (or, as this production is titled, En la Jungla de las Ciudades). Directed by Gisela Cardenas, and a company of Liman actors, it definitely is going to be a great experience.
More updates soon!