l'Artiste Ordinaire presents: SOFT SERIES No.3 an arrangement of Kenneth Gaburo's MALEDETTO by thingNY & Varispeed
8:00pm (doors open at 7:30) SOFT SERIES [a series of soft premieres] is created and directed by Melissa Grey & David Morneau
Scored for seven voices, Maledetto is the second act (a 50-minute sliver) of LINGUA, Kenneth Gaburo's 6-hour music-theatre written between 1965 and 1970 and never performed in its entirety. thingNY and Varispeed have teamed up to try out their new arrangement of Maledetto at a large dinner table, with invited guests within spitting distance of the innuendo-laden-speech and often-bizarre vocal noises.
NOTE ON THE ARRANGEMENT As with Robert Ashley’s Perfect Lives and John Cage’s Empty Words, Varispeed likes to shake things up a bit with our arrangements by taking a single authoritative voice and splitting it up among a collective. Kenneth Gaburo’s Maledetto was written for Speaker A, indicated as male who at times may “appear to be a historian, a mere ‘reader,’ a pontiff, a circus barker, a teacher, an auctioneer”; Speaker B, indicated as male who is “always cursing”; Speaker D, indicated as female who is “transformational” and “comes to realizations and acts on them positively”; and an SATB chorus. The experiment that Varispeed is trying in this reading is to break-up each of these roles amongst the collective, so that who is reading which part shifts throughout the piece. Why would we do this? The quickest answer might be: to undo the drive toward mansplaining, to look beyond a mode where each gender is confined to particular kinds of vocalization, and, by extension, where certain sexual innuendos – which this piece is replete with – are primarily implied toward male-female couples. We wanted to do more than simply switch the genders of who did what. So this arrangement is infused with a Star-Trek-esque idealism about collective experience and power relations, in hopes that it furthers the spirit of the piece but updates it for a twenty-first-century world. - GB
Varispeed is a collective of composer-performers that creates site-specific, sometimes-participatory, oftentimes-durational, forevermore-experimental events. Founded by Aliza Simons, Dave Ruder, Paul Pinto, Brian McCorkle, and Gelsey Bell, Varispeed came together in June 2011 to perform Perfect Lives Brooklyn, a 12-hour celebration of Robert Ashley’s landmark opera. varispeedcollective.com