Friday, May 17, 2013

Adding Style Through Music and Sets

As we move toward our Season at BAM Fisher, we are excited to be collaborating with two talented artists: Composer Jonathan Melville Pratt and Scenic Designer Ian Trask. Hear from them, in their own words, about their experience with the Company...

Composer Jonathan Melville Pratt:

Working with Tiffany Mills Company on this iteration of The Feast has truly been an enlightening collaboration and introspective experience. Upon first hearing Tiffany's ideas for the piece and its four clearly defined sections, and while viewing the movement in its first stages of conception, i was struck with an impression of something quite ancient and very human- insidious, innately violent, yet somehow desperately loving.... reminiscent of the Burroughs quote, "We don't like the word Vampire round here. We're trying to improve our public image.... Interdependence is the key word. Enlightened Interdependence..." All this in my mind... all this juxtaposed in a mesmerizing, stark, yet limitless realm of technology and crafted space. It drew me into a unique yet totally familiar perspective where I could look with ancient, more human, eyes at some of the most vicious cycles of modern consumption and hunger, some of which are very traumatically occurring in my own life. In an attempt to relay what I've found, I've used my voice, sampled and treated body percussion, 13 specially created synthesizers (most created from my voice), drum set, african djembe, hand made wood blocks, metal scraps, hand made shakers, and pencil and mat board (recorded a sketch i made attempting to rhythmically consume the page in the given time that the piece was occurring) among many other things. Thanks to Tiffany for her confidence and inspiring words, and to the dancers and their beautiful work during this process. And of course to my favorite venue in brooklyn, BAM

Scenic designer Ian Trask:
I have an incredible amount of respect for Tiffany and her amazing cast of smart and talented dancers. Fun collaborations like this fuel our passion and creativity as artists, regardless of what form our art takes. 

For this performance, my responsibility was to infuse paper, an otherwise inert medium, with the tension and personality necessary to mirror the dynamism of the performers on stage.  Knowing that the source of the paper would greatly impact both the possible scale and aesthetic, we settled on using books, specifically hundreds of discarded law books.

Check out his work:

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