BITE: New Music Concert and Multimedia Installation Featuring Vocal Soloists from the KC VITAs Chamber Choir and Dancers from the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance
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BITE is a multi-media installation that features all new music in an entirely immersive space. There is no complete, written score for the full performance. Instead, there is fixed media with semi-improvised, cellular vocal motifs and spoken word. The concept is to create a space in which activity can entirely surround the audience. By placing the audience inside the activity, there is nothing to directly watch onstage. In this way, audience members become protagonists as opposed to viewing a character outside of themselves. This use of space is an attempt to move people more fully inside of their own bodies and minds, allowing them to better experience and appreciate the present moment. More specifically, the music, setting, and actions of the performers express my personal struggle with drug and alcohol addiction, bipolar disorder, and sexual orientation. They are the impetus for creating something that moves from isolation to inclusion. The event takes place in the Alexander Major's Barn in Kansas City, Missouri. The space is manipulated using installed lighting and a custom-built platform housing a live-triggered spotlight. The performers weave through and around the audience. The music utilizes fixed electronics with six vocal soloists, though the full libretto also includes pre-recorded spoken text. Each performer interacts with the space, audience, and other performers by both sonically and physically pushing themselves through the extreme emotional progression that is the performance. Even though the emotional journey portrayed through the music is autobiographical, it is meant to express core themes of the human condition that are innately relatable to everybody. BITE addresses the questions that are repeated throughout our lives with severe starkness at some points and with the tenderness of humility at others. Ultimately, BITE reveals itself as a true celebration of life, showing that one of the greatest human gifts is the breadth and strength of our own sheer emotional capacity. BITE provides an entire environment that provokes self-inquiry and challenges audience members to extend beyond their comfort zone both physically and emotionally.
Table of Contents
Conceptual materials -- Performative materials -- Installation -- Outreach and aesthetic development