Hunger's Brides
Page Updated On: 04/16/2013

"Caracol, the Voices of Hunger's Brides"

SeashellThe evening was created by multimedia composer Richard McDowell, with texts by Paul Anderson, for presentation at Wordfest in Calgary at the Vertigo theatre on October 12th, 2004.

The idea for this show was to bring to local audiences a flavour of the deep well of imagery, music and poetry that the novel draws from. Interviews with Mexican artists, Sor Juana's poetry set to contemporary Mexico bolero music, prehispanic instruments, musical maps....

The evening was inspired by a lost musical treatise that Sor Juana was known to have called Caracol. Caracol is Spanish for the spiral shell we call conch. Caracol may refer also to a spiral staircase, or even to the spirals of the inner ear. 

The lost treatise becomes a small but integral part of the novel Hunger's Brides. And providing glimpses of it seems to have become, for the author, a form of reclamation project. We have an email from him somewhere where he refers to it as a "conjectural reconstruction." The structure of Sor Juana's musical treatise seems to have been a series of poetic demonstrations for an audience, perhaps much like you.

Interactive sound and digital effects presented live by Richard McDowell.

Performed by Denise Clarke, Onalea Gilbertson, Michael Green.

Narrated by Paul Anderson.

A sampling of elements from the evening:

Still to come:

More video and audio clips from the evening's performances.

Other excerpts from the novel that pertain to the theme of music.

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