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Voices of Hunger's Brides"
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.
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.
lost treatise becomes a small but integral part of the novel Hunger's
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:
- Two interview clips featuring a delightful
musical group called The Voices of Sor Juana.
- A scene
or two from the actors' scripts...
- A deleted scene from the script,
in which the Sor Juana of Hunger's Brides presents a fanciful invention: the
Mexican musical clock.
- And for your delectation, a few digital video
clips shot the night of Caracol.
The author was sweating out a fever and laryngitis, the cameraman was pursuing
a quite indecipherable cinematic strategy, but the actors (when you can see
them) do just fine.
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.