Friday, July 13, 2012

Take a breather at the Nightingale tomorrow

Posted By on 07.13.12 at 04:29 PM

How part of the performance works.
  • How part of the performance works
Tomorrow night at 8 PM the Nightingale will host a mixed-media presentation called Stress/De-Stress. The intimate spectacle brings together three separate 16-millimeter projectors, writings by Ed Crouse and Mairead Case, and music by local composer Joshua Dumas (who scored the imaginative stage productions Light Waves and Their Uses and One Thing, and Everything Else, the latter the subject of a rave review in the Reader a few years back). The project began when Anne Wells of the Chicago Film Archives approached Nightingale programmer Christy LeMaster to go through the annals and curate some programs of her most interesting finds. For this first endeavor, she landed on the theme of guided meditation, then approached the above-listed collaborators to help flesh out the idea.

Crouse's and Case's text meditates on the experience of watching projected images, heightening the spectator's awareness of what's happening around him or her so as to conjure a calming sense of presence, and Dumas's free-form music is comparably meditative. But while the images inspire fascination, they aren't exactly serene: LeMaster's selections include slow-motion footage of an explosion and time-lapse footage of a skyscraper's construction. (Also in the mix are extreme close-ups of popcorn erupting in oil and some extraordinary, kaleidoscopic images of frost seen under a microscope.) When I spoke to LeMaster yesterday, she said she was OK with that. Since she encouraged all of her collaborators to work intuitively, part of the fun of the project was not knowing what would result from her directives. The let-it-all-hang-out attitude should carry over to tomorrow's screening. As is the norm for Nightingale events, attendees are encouraged to BYOB.

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