a monodrama for soprano, 9 players, lost objects, and electronics + a cycle of concert works
When stranger things happen is about mysteries…of things we've lost, things we make together, and who we become along the way.
Each piece explores processes of detection and creative reassembly
In this project, I attempt to embed within in the music the collaborative development process.
The concert pieces in the cycle include:
where the moss glows for octet, commissioned and premiered by the Chicago Symphony’s MusicNOW
Amelia Earhart and the Queen of Spades, commissioned by Darmstädter Ferienkurse für Neue Musik, developed with Nico Couck and Jesse Langan
just water, no lemon, commissioned and premiered by Third Coast Percussion
video of premiere performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7ML91sRr4s
These concert works become source material for a monodrama commissioned by Ensemble Dal Niente featuring soprano Amanda DeBoer Bartlett, which premiered in October 2017, at the Edge Theater, Chicago. (Read this blog post for more!)
When stranger things happen is inspired by Kelly Link’s story “The Girl Detective.” Link’s story is a noir meditation on loss, myths of femininity, and the potential of the imagination. The Girl Detective’s investigation takes her up trees; into dreams - hers and other people’s; and down into an underworld where lost things accumulate and where stranger things happen.
There are three layers to the story WSTH: (1) Kelly Link’s story, “The Girl Detective”; (2) a feminist, creative coming-of-age story; (3) the mystery of the objects. Amidst these layers the singer acts as the detective / sound engineer / conductor / investigator through various processes of detection and reassembly.
Instrumental and vocal music confront and converge with sounds drawn from the imagery of Link'’s story’s and from a list of lost objects. I have compiled this list by freely drawing from objects mentioned in Link’s story, reflecting what I’ve lost, and by asking my collaborators to contribute insignificant and significant things misplaced or gone forever.
Here’s the list so far…
one shoe (left)
pack of cigarettes
a blue ribbon
a box of matches
17-year-old sansevieria plant (to root rot)
the person in this
photograph in a gold frame
roll of TP
my best fortune-cookie fortune
bass drum beaters
a small Japanese bell
a car (2011 Honda CRV)
all my CDs
packets of sugar
at least 2 bikes
keys (house, car, bike lock, office)
a precious plastic necklace
the Queen of Spades from
a deck of cards
my cat Cheddar
box of Christmas tree ornaments
7th grade HW
a $.50 coin
For scores or more information, please contact me.