Behind the Crumb Madrigals Project

Monday, February 27, 2012

Due East is thrilled to be joining Duo Borealis and harpist, Jacqui Kerrod, to mount this multi-media production of George Crumb's Madrigals with video artist Bart Woodstrup. We gathered together in early January in our cozy Bronx apartment to begin working on the music. Everyone sounds fantastic and there is a lot of natural chemistry between the ensemble. Erin was at the center of the network, as she had worked with Evan in Carnegie's Academy program and with Jacqui in a "Debussy" trio. In just days we were able to take successful first passes at all four books. It was a joy.

Our video artist, Bart Woodstrup, is a colleague of mine here at Northern Illinois University and we applied for and received an inaugural internal grant specifically geared for this sort of multi-media collaborative project. We have used our funds to purchase three matching video projectors and a video card that allows these projectors to be controlled by one computer. Bart has been steadfastly developing content that lends color and added depth to the poetic language of Garcia Lorca, whose poetry runs throughout Crumb's cycle.  

Furthermore Bart and I have begun developing materials to build portable video screens to take on tour with us. This will allow us to create a three-dimensional video environment for the work; rather than only projecting on a singular flat surface behind and above the stage, as is typically the case with multi-media musical productions. Ideas in this regard are still nascent and "in progress" and we are thrilled at the idea of taking a week in mid-March at Yellow Barn to flush out logistics and meld it into our interpretive take on these haunting yet starkly beautiful works.

A big shout out to Seth Knopp, Catherine Stephan and the rest of Team Yellow Barn for making this upcoming residency possible! We are so thankful to have the opportunity and cannot wait to put poetry in motion. We hope you'll consider joining us on Saturday, March 24th, for our first performance of this project. It promises to be unique and beautiful.

Signing out,