Monday, April 4, 2011

Rooms within rooms

Building Children's Games has been a bit like playing with nesting dolls - one piece fits inside another which fits inside another, etc. ...and the nested could at any point become the nester, inside becomes outside. Another example of chiasmus?

Two days ago I held an enjoyable recording session in the reverberant space above, with string players Tom Thorson, Jordan Dykestra, Morgan Hobart and Mary Sutton. These recordings will, after much studio manipulation, become soundtracks for video segments, which could become instigators of choral response, all of which will be embedded within the live performance. My task is to keep these multiple streams flowing - before they finally merge and co-mingle.
Meanwhile, the overall structure of the piece has been emerging from my year and 1/2 worth of notes. This amazing maple tree behind the home of Sara Mapelli and Theodore Holdt will become a central figure in section one, the Runaway Camp. It's hard to capture the gnarled girth of this tree in a photograph. There's a natural attraction one feels for such a tree, and the solidity it can provide for a tarp shelter, campsite, fire pit and video shoot.

In this section, the five runaways keep themselves entertained with non-linguistic games. Snow White stumbles upon the camp, an outsider to their outside. Hilarity ensues.
In section two, the wild child will be captured, separated from the camp, and taken to a Lab/Classroom by a scientist/teacher/film director. The chorus will come to the forefront in this section, rhyming and playing off the repetitive interactions between teacher and child.
The third section will dissolve into mediated abstraction and noise band. This section, the Horror Movie, will tell a story of acculturation and spectacle.
In the coda, we enter a home where a Seance is being held, in an attempt to communicate with the now-dead child. Here, games of entrainment and possession allow a message to be imprinted onto magnetic tape.