Thursday, September 4, 2014

Recording: The Water Thief Ensemble

Artist: The Water Thief Ensemble

Song: [excerpt from a live soundtrack]

Recorded at SummerWorks Festival – St. John's Polish National Catholic Cathedral, August 13, 2014.

The Water Thief Ensemble - [excerpt]

This "audience-immersive spectacle" from Amy Siegel and Sean Frey was a sensation at this year's SummerWorks Festival, presenting a sort of dream-fable through a combination of pre-recorded video, projections, shadow puppetry and a live score. These were used to tell the tale of an unspeaking old man, the last resident in an abandoned seaside village who spends his days honouring the memories of his departed neighbours and tending to the title's water-powered clock. With so many evocative elements, no dialogue was required. This one lingered in my spirit well past the show's end, and I'm sure I won't be the only one calling for a re-mount.

The musical side was just as magical as the imagery. Under the direction of Snowblink's Daniela Gesundheit, the ensemble included her musical partner Dan Goldman (joining her on vox and guit), percussionist Evan Cartwright (also of Tasseomancy and Omhouse) as well as vocalist Alex Samaras. But the real discovery here was Taylor Nelles-McGee's evocative violin work. Gesundheit pulled not only from her work with Snowblink (one cue was an instrumental re-working of "Pray For Surf") but also her liturgical efforts and her explorations in interspecies communication. A wonderful production, imbued throughout with a sense of ritual, mystery and a sense that we, too, may be remembered someday in ritual, in mystery, in song.

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