by Erin Bailey-Sun
Watching Predator Songstress last night was a reminder that every movement is a movement against society. I expected to see the push and pull between people and the controlling power, as Joshua Kohl said “re-appropriating the tools of totalitarianism for personal liberation,” set in a dystopian fairy tale. While you can clearly see the work in the framework of a totalitarian society, keep in mind we live in a “democratic” society, the songstresses’ experience is just another Tuesday night for me. Thinking about macro or micro pain, this is how I feel as a women in a society that continues to wage war on ourselves every day. I am constantly losing my voice and trying to recover it while shielding myself from microaggressions. All the while fighting against a society designed to oppress women and criminalize everyone. As the headline repeats itself daily we have become acutely aware that we live in a trigger happy prison complex that stretches from the Atlantic Ocean to the...
by Tessa Hulls
Before sitting down for a drink in the lobby, the only thing I knew about Jarvi Kononen was that he had never been to an On the Boards performance. As part of the OtB Ambassadors Program, I am taking my role as the liaison to a foreign country literally and am using my +1's to bring strangers to On the Boards for the very first time. Like the older cousin who passes you that first joint, I'm interested in exposing people to something that might not be their cup of tea, but just might end up changing the way they look at the world. In exchange for a comped ticket and a drink, my dates agree to talk to me about why they're interested in seeing performance art, and to have a quick decompression after the show.
I swear Jarvi wasn't a plant. I really had not met him before, and he really did leave the performance saying, “That blew me away and was better than anything I could have ever anticipated. It was beautiful, terrifying, and inspiring, and will stay with me for a long time...
photo courtesy okanomodé
One of the performers/collaborators featured in Predator Songstress is the formidable, multi-talented okanomodé. Poet, artist, singer - you may have seen okanomodé on the OtB stage in 2014 in Ahamefulé Oluo's Now I'm Fine.
Learn more about okanomodé's art, listen to music, and more here.
Creative Capital's Jenny Gill interviews artists/Creative Capital grantees Crow Nishumura and Joshua Kohl at the Creative Capital blog:
Jenny Gill: Predator Songstress centers on a female character (played by Crow) whose voice has been stifled by societal forces. Can you talk about the oppressive forces or societal issues behind this concept that you want to bring to the foreground? In the end, how does the character find her voice and expression?
Haruko Crow Nishimura: There is a central female character in this modern fairy tale named Ximena, who is...
*photo courtesy Path With Art
DAE teams up with local nonprofit Path With Art in the creation/performance of Predator Songstress. During the intermission, members of the audience will have the opportunity to be interviewed about the role voice has played in their lives by a fleet of specially trained interviewers from Path With Art. A select few of these interviews will be transcribed and transmitted as songs and projected images by our singing lieutenant.
Path with Art is a pioneering organization that transforms the lives of people recovering from homelessness, addiction, and other trauma by harnessing the power of creative engagement.
Learn more about Path With Art.
The configuration of the Degenerate Art Ensemble band has taken the shape of a string quartet, a punk-jazz big-band, a power pop trio performing on home made inventions as well as full orchestra. In all cases, at the heart of the creative vision is the collision of punk symphony and cinema - evolving and changing to fit the aesthetic of each project.
The band has released 8 albums that are all available for listening and purchase online.
by Tina LaPadula
Begin with a brusque cinematic exposé of the male lead. Make it uncomfortably up close and personal. Zoom in on his apartment, his family, his drug use, his genitals. Invite a strong female director to make it. To make demands. I mean really order him around. Objectify him.
Let this set the stage. Now that the audience is hip to the sad nitty gritty on this guy, we can start the live performance.
There’s a male protagonist, and an older male character. Both men sift through photographs, cutting them up and taping them together. Both utilize reel to reel audio tape machines. There’s a female character too. Her movements are halting and herky jerky. The protagonist leads her like a puppet. There is a relationship here. She reaches for him but he remains somehow unattainable. He keeps her at arms length. A tactile movement sequence on astroturf shows her appearing frustrated, repetitive and stuck. He is the main character, the hero. He has the power and she appears...
by Andrew J.S.
38 weekends ago I lost my mind. A bad trip. I awoke in an elastic semblance of my life, one that was permeable, one in which I could peer into flexing interstices of space, the gaps between reality’s essential structures. I clamored for order in a realm where opening doors yielded more doors opening, where scrolling proof of my identity spilled liquidly from the screen of my iPhone, where each sibilance I emitted would scuttle across the ceiling like a cockroach. The living room and couch upon which I laid writhing was a construct of my mind, or perhaps its interior.
I saw the present assembled in real time. Time had become place. I considered then the past. Not anymore just as things that had happened, but as destinations — physical as much as temporal. This materiality of time and my new uniform vision of it provided a terrifying, tantalizing insight. I could almost see the future.
I found these conditions...