CORVALLIS, Ore. – “Boldly Launched Upon the Deep,” a unique, radio-style live performance by the AnyWhen Ensemble and featuring the Oregon State University Jazz Ensemble, will be presented Wednesday, March 2, at the Majestic Theatre.
Part chamber music concert, part radio drama and part literary reading, “Boldly Launched Upon the Deep” is a collection of musical dramatic episodes for chamber ensemble, singers/speakers and tape. The work will use original music and text to present a contemporary interpretation of Herman Melville’s classic novel, “Moby Dick.”
The production is sponsored by the Oregon State University School of Arts and Communication’s SAC Presents series in conjunction with the Majestic Theatre. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. at the theater, 115 S.W. Second St., Corvallis.
Portland-based composer, trumpeter and writer Douglas Detrick, longtime leader of AnyWhen Ensemble, joined forces with Chicago-based writer, composer and violinist Ellen McSweeney to create this new work for six performers.
Detrick originally commissioned McSweeney to write an original piece of prose and then composed music to surround a live reading of the essay. That project, “In a Past Life,” is now a part of “Boldly Launched upon the Deep,” It begins with an arresting moment in which Captain Ahab, consumed by his obsession with the whale, refuses to help a fellow captain whose son is missing at sea.
This poignant moment leads McSweeney to tell her own story of self-forgiveness about her divorce at the age of 29. Her text, surrounded by Detrick’s brooding and atmospheric score, sheds a fresh perspective on Melville’s story while exploring McSweeney’s personal connection to Ahab’s inner struggle. Other pieces include contemporary reflections on physical labor, inspired by the colorful description of the girding of the ship’s cooks, and music that explores the human connection to, and alienation from, the natural/nautical world.
The production will feature McSweeney, Detrick and AnyWhen players Hashem Assadullahi (saxophone), Shirley Hunt (cello), Steve Vacchi (bassoon), and OSU Jazz Band and percussion instructor Ryan Biesack (drum set). The Oregon State University Jazz Ensemble will also perform.
Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door, all seats reserved. Majestic members, seniors, youth and non-OSU college students, $15 in advance, $20 at the door. OSU students will be admitted for free with a valid ID card at the door while seats last. Tickets can be purchased online: http://bit.ly/1STbClS.
SAC Presents is supported in part by generous gifts from donors, including donations made during the Cornerstone for the Arts Challenge that raised more than $6 million to support the arts at OSU. For information on giving to the arts at Oregon State, go to: http://bit.ly/1TW5BUB.