A Mess of Things, one of my biggest and proudest artistic creations, is back on stage. It’s been over a year since I took the piece on tour to Phillie, NY and Maine; right now, I’m polishing it back up for a stint in San Diego’s first ever Fringe Festival. There’s plenty of info about and video of the piece here.
I never know how to describe the work. I’ve tried “documentary musicplay,” “videographically illuminated radio opera,” “fusion of experimental music theater and sound documentary.” I created A Mess of Things as part of my MA thesis project, in 2011, and it’s become an anchor of my repertoire as a composer/performer/media artist/writer/etc. I think of it as my response to several of my favorite sound artists, many of whom work with spoken language, true stories and the latent potential therein: Robert Ashley, Ira Glass, the Books. The piece is driven by audio interviews I made with my grandfather over the course of several years, and by songs and quasi-songs I wrote in response to combing through and editing those interviews. Then, in the context of the Crossing Boundaries project, a collaborative group of intermedia experimentalists based in UCSD’s Department of Theater and Dance, I developed the video component and performance realizations of the piece. Like a set of songs I’d play with a band, the taking the show on the road and performing it repeatedly in different spaces has really given the performance life and breath. Like radio, the conversation between present and absent voices gives the piece an anywhere/nowhere/everywhere quality that has only deepened with time.
SO! If you come check out one thing I’ve made this year, please make it this show. I’m only doing three shows:
Friday 7/5 at 2:00p
Sat 7/6 at 8p
Sun 7/7 at 9:30p
Tix are available here: https://app.arts-people.com/index.php?show=34614
and more info is here: