3 paragraphs for the program notes
Margaret Moore asked me for a couple of paragraphs to add to Chris van Tuinen’s program notes:
When I was asked by Margaret Moore and Chris van Tuinen to create a visual work to accompany the keen voices of Gesualdo’s Responsoria, my starting place, with the kind consent of Joseph Nolan, was to change the order of the songs they had selected to create a 3-act structure based on the Passion story. I tried to be true to the music’s lyrics and origin.
I imagined the 10 pieces as moments from the story, a series of tableaux vivants with stationary or very slow-motion dancers bathed in light rhythms, and I have worked closely with James Berlyn to create not scenes from a play, but rather glowing frescoes where the choir also has its place, along with floating words, and a video fragment. The aim is to create a visual polyphony that combines luminous characters, voices and emotions.
The visual narrative is designed to help the audience enter into the inchoate world of luminous rhythms. While the varying lights sometimes represent recognizable rhythms like heartbeats and voices, they can also evoke and elicit amorphous emotions. I decided early on to abandon the idea of synchronicity between light and music, because it is so commonplace and often lacks mystery. Instead, with the help of technology created by my friend and fellow artist Jim Campbell, we are offering compositions of light and color that I hope will serve as a distinct, visual counterpoint to the magical music of Joseph and the choir.