Murderous Little World
Experimental Music Theatre
Voice, trumpet, piano, accordion and trombone
Commissioned and premiered by Bellows and Brass; Toronto, Canada
Organized around seven poems excerpted from Men in the Off Hours, by Anne Carson the work brings together gifted artists from diverse experiences to create a new evening length multimedia performance that fuses music, poetry, theatre, video art, and lighting.
Three musicians/actors perform on trumpet, trombone, accordion and piano live against an electronic score integrated with video projections -both live and pre-recorded.
Murderous Little World takes as its inspiration the terse yet epic poetic work of Anne Carson. The poems conjure up a textured universe of “little worlds” that span continents, and ages of human existence. Carson’s phrases seem to be made up of fragments or artifacts and point to individuals’ searching for truth against waves of corruption and cruelty. Bouchard’s musical compositions bring to mind the title of Carson’s book, from which the poems are taken and the collegiality, competitiveness and brutality that this title implies. The music, like the poems, deals in fragments and strange juxtapositions to form a compelling set of concise, interrelated themes or motifs whose brightness and audacity lend themselves to the splashes of color and light that is possible with current video projection technologies.
The musical and dramatic response to each poem is unique with each selection having an individual voice expressed through specific vocals – i.e. whispered, slow recitation, fully voiced, in a range of emotional pitches and vocal styles, etc. At the same time the three musicians/actors play live and move around the stage creating different dramatic interplay with the visuals. Live music is performed against an electronic score that is manipulated with MaxMSP using pre-recorded sounds of the musicians’ voices and their instruments in the form of a “hyper-trio”.
Murderous Little World has received support and funding from individuals through an Indiegogo Campaign 2012; Matralab, Concordia University, Canada, residency Summer 2012; The Canada Council for the Arts Touring Grant 2011; Composers Assistance Program 2012, New Music USA; The Canada Council for the Arts Music Program 2004,2006; Le Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec 2007; Oboro Laboratoire Nouveaux Medias, Montréal Canada, Production Assistance Program 2005 and 2007; Composer Assistance Program, American Music Centre, USA 2005; Tesuque Foundation, USA 2005.
Performed by Bellows and Brass: Guy Few, Eric Vaillancourt and Joseph Petric.
Poems from Men in the Off Hours by Anne Carson
Video by Yan Breuleux and Fredéric St-Hiliare
Director, Keith Turnbull
Artistic Director and composer: Linda Bouchard