Brooklyn Babylon is a multimedia performance that uses live instrumental music, animation, and live painting as its language of expression and communication. All three elements are presented onstage simultaneously, and work in concert to present the central narrative: a story about the highest tower in the world being constructed in the heart of futuristic Brooklyn. The main character, an old carpenter named Lev, is commissioned to create an elaborate carousel to crown the top of the monumental building.
It's maximalist music of impressive complexity and immense entertainment value, in your face and then in your head. — The Village Voice, of Argue's big band, Secret Society
"a tribute to the refuge and grace of imagination.” —The Boston Globe (about Zezelj's graphic novel, Stray Dogs)
“For a wholly original take on big band’s past, present and future, look to Darcy James Argue.” —Newsweek
The music, performed by Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society, compliments the visual aesthetic, seamlessly combining and juxtaposing influences from a variety of genres and time periods, functioning as an equal partner with the projections and live painting in creating the narrative. The animation follows our characters through a decaying metropolis where past, present, and future melt together in a decaying urban labyrinth. The atmosphere resembles that of silent movies from the 1920’s, with sharply contrasting light and shadow, expressive gestures and movements, and minimal use of text. The live painting is created on a large horizontal panel attached to a scaffold above the screen. Black and white acrylic paint is applied with large brushes and rollers. Each painting gradually evolves from the abstract towards the figurative, and then slowly dissolves into the next image. The painting mixes a Baroque chiaroscuro aesthetic with graffiti and wall-writing textures.
Brooklyn Babylon is commissioned by the Brooklyn Academy of Music for the 2011 Next Wave Festival and is supported by a grant from The MAP fund, a program of Creative Capital supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Brooklyn Babylon was developed and received a preview performance at SUNY Purchase, Wiley Hausam, Executive Director.
WORLD PREMIERE, Brooklyn Academy of Music, November 9-12, 2011
photo by Ali Hossaini
composed/ created by Paola Prestini
April 8, 2011 for the 21c Liederabend, op. 2 festival at The Kitchen with the Brooklyn Youth Chorus
June 23, 2012 at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.
June 25, 2012 at the PACE Schimmel Center Theater as a part of the River to River Festival, New York, NY
LIFE: A Journey Through Time
“Seven years ago I stood at the tide line of an estuary and begun the personal journey through time. It is humbling to imagine the immensity of time covered by the history of the Earth but that is what I plunged into, with curiosity and wonder ... ” FRANS LANTING
LIFE is a multimedia orchestral presentation of the interpretation of life on earth combining photographic images by Frans Lanting, music by Philip Glass, and visual design by Alexander Nichols.
Commissioned by the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in 2005, it was premiered in California the following year under the music direction of Marin Alsop. Since then it has been presented by the Baltimore Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande and Turin Philharmonic Orchestra. It will premiere in New York with the Orchestra of St. Luke's in June this year and in London with the London Symphony Orchestra in February 2010.
LIFE: A Journey Through Time is appropriate for most symphonic venues and orchestras and provides a multimedia concert experience of wide audience appeal. It merges art and science, photography and music, sight and sound - “majestic photographs dance lightly across a huge screen over the orchestra while some of Glass's most elegant music pulses underneath ” Washington Post.
Please visit website, www.LifeThroughTime.com
FRANS LANTING has been hailed as one of the great nature photographers of our time. His influential work appears in books, magazines, and exhibitions around the world. For more than two decades he has documented wildlife and our relationship with nature in environments from the Amazon to Antarctica..... more: lanting.com
Tour produced by Beth Morrison Projects in association with Frans Lanting Productions and Dunvagen Music. Worldwide touring available 2011-12 and 2013-14.
Song from the Uproar
mezzo-soprano Abigail Fischer as the female explorer Isabelle Eberhardt, photo by James Matthew Daniel
created by composer Missy Mazzoli
in collaboration with director Gia Forakis, filmmaker Stephen Taylor and librettist Royce Vavrek
conducted by Steven Osgood, featuring Abigail Fischer as the radical historical female figure Isabelle Eberhardt
with NOW Ensemble
and vocalists Tomas Cruz, Kate Maroney, Celine Mogielnicki, Peter Stewart, and Amelia Watkins
The Website: http://www.songfromtheuproar.com
LISTEN to selections from the score:
download an info packet HERE
Missy Mazzoli was recently deemed "one of the most consistently inventive, surprising composers now working in New York (New York Times), as well as "Brooklyn's postmillennial Mozart" (Time Out New York). Following a workshop version of the piece that sold-out Galapagos Art Space in Spring 2009 and workshops at New York City Opera's VOX: Contemporary American Opera Lab, Carnegie Hall and Bard College, BMP brings a full directorial and design team to the newly expanded score for its world-premiere. Song from the Uproar is a multi-media chamber opera conceived by composer Missy Mazzoli and filmmaker Stephen Taylor. Directed by Gia Forakis, it will feature musical performance by the five-piece chamber group NOW Ensemble with vocals by mezzo-soprano Abigail Fischer and new vocal ensemble M6. The premiere performance will include scenic design by Zane Pihlstrom, sound design by Dan Bora, costumes by Alixandra Gage Englund, and lighting design by Scott Bolman. The world premiere production will take place over two weekends in February/March 2012 at The Kitchen in New York City.
Song from the uproar is supported by a grant from The MAP fund, a program of Creative Capital supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Song from the Uproar was commissioned in part by Linda and Stuart Nelson and Chris Ahearn and Marla Mayer.
“If Brooklyn is becoming a Vienna of the new millennium, Mazzoli may well be its Mozart.” – Olivia Giovetti, Time Out New York
“An ambitious opera company would do well to take note. The Met or otherwise, Ms. Mazzoli is going places fast. Bank on it. “- Steve Smith, The New York Times
RESIDENCY, The Kitchen NYC, August 8-12, 2011
WORLD PREMIERE, The Kitchen NYC, February 24-March 3, 2012
Press for Song from the Uproar
Madame White Snake
A new opera with a Pulitzer Prize winning score by Chinese-American composer Zhou Long and librettist Cerise Lim Jacobs, MADAME WHITE SNAKE is a classical transformation myth, the story of a powerful white snake demon who transforms into a beautiful woman so as to experience love. This simple myth has become an icon in the hearts and minds of the Chinese people, and explores the always-timely question of what it means to be human.
Co-commissioned by Opera Boston and the Beijing Music Festival, after its acclaimed premiere in Boston in February 2010, Beth Morrison Projects will be touring Madame White Snake to the Beijing Music Festival in Beijing, China in October 2010. World-wide touring available for 2011-2012 and 2013-2014.
for press, videos, and more vist MADAMWHITESNAKE.ORG
listen to the score: