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Stetson Low Res MFA (Atlantic Center for the Arts)
a Sound uttered, a Silence crossed

flashes through the arc of our desire to communicate and connect. Cast in six continuous movements, the work enacts the transitions in our relationship to language over the course of a lifetime: from our first awareness of sounds (subSong), to the promise offered by the mastery of skills needed in order to reach out to others (Dawn), and on to the joy in connection. As the chorus builds meaning from phonemes, a large battery of percussion buttresses and provides context, engaging the materials of our means of communication as instruments (Letters). a Sound uttered, a Silence crossed ends with multiple confrontations with the limits of language at the boundaries of understanding and life itself (Babel). Here questions about the entanglement of sound and sense are translated or exposed as questions about body and spirit (Dusk). The libretto is drawn from writings by chorus members and others, as well as letters, instructional manuals, and lyrics created for this occasion. The audience is invited to participate in the process of connection with their cellphones, prompted by supertitles, in a space haunted by previous attempts to reach out to those we’ve loved (openSong).

Trash Bride at Naropa, summer 2011