Saturday, March 10, 2012

Miscellaneous News

Shary Boyle

Promotional Image for Everything Under the Moon (2012)

I've have so, so, so much to catch up on here, seeing as I've been completely and utterly loaded down with school work for the past month at least.  Boy, am I looking forward to the summer, when I'll have the chance (hopefully) to blog more, make some new work, and have time to think about (or should I say linger on...) the things I see and do.

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to see Everything Under the Moon at the Enwave Theatre performed by Shary Boyle and Christine Fellows.  A nostalgic combination of theatre, song, overhead projections and shadowplay, the performance was rooted in a playful yet melancholy story about a honeybee and a bat and their fight against extinction.  The music was perfect for the fable-- Christine Fellows' brand of rootsy-folk accompanied by cello and percussion was part Feist and part Fred Penner (well, that may be a stretch, actually...!).  While the narrative at the root of the performance was picked on a bit in a review or two terms of it being a little sketchy and underdeveloped, I liked the fact that it was quirky and had an oddball, almost surreal quality to it that at times contained a surprising mix of humor and sadness.  I feel like all of my favourite things in the world walk this fine line, come to think of it...

For me, the highlight of the performance was hands-down Boyle's magical use of the overhead projector.  During a part of the performance, Fellows sang a verse about the first encounter between the story's protagonists, Idared the honeybee and Limbertwig the bat while Boyle slowly peeled away about five layers of transparencies that featured head-on illustrations of the anthropomorphic little critters.  As the layers were peeled away, the two characters became more and more human-- hard to describe and do justice, but it was visually moving to the point that I was reduced to tears.  There were other points in the performance where the projections were particularly poignant, too-- I can't help but connect this poignancy to the use of a "lost" or obsolete technology animating a narrative about the loss of living things through extinction.  Pretty amazing.

Strange Notes

Lots of other news to report as well, but maybe I'll save it for other posts.  On the topic of obsolescence and old-ish technologies, I thought I'd post this poster (0% Photoshop, might I add...) I made for my new solo DJ night at The Embassy Bar in Kensington Market.  I usually try to compartmentalize my various lives and try not to talk about music geek stuff too much on this blog, but this poster is definitely inspired by the projected light shows of the hippie era that Boyle is referencing at least a wee bit in her work.  Part of this new night is that the music will be accompanied by new projections every month.  Last Wednesday, I projected the Monkees' movie, Head on the wall next to the DJ set up.  Next month, who knows.  Gothic horror?  Primitive, early animation?  I'm still thinking about it.

No comments: