The Curious Tale of Ed Leedskalnin
for flute(s), bass clarinet,
& puppetry (shadow and marionette)
WORKS FOR THEATER & PUPPETRY |
The Curious Case of Ed Leedskalnin (2015)
for flutes (piccolo, flute, alto flute), bass clarinet, violin, & percussion
Meet Ed Leedskalnin: a small unassuming Latvian immigrant who is responsible for singlehandedly constructing the monument Coral Castle in Florida. This was an impossible feat for one man to create, but he claimed that he had discovered the secret of the Egyptians and constructed this monolithic coral city using nothing but a small mysterious box set on a tripod that he claimed could reverse the magnetic forces on Earth and levitate these huge structures. To this day no one can explain how these coral formations could have been moved from the sea miles away to the location where he built this and he did it for a woman he loved who never came to see his creation. Ed's story is retold through live music by Whitney George, performed by The Curiosity Cabinet and staged drama with puppets created by Daniel Fay.
The Crimson Hand (2012-13)
for chamber ensemble and three voice actors
At the turn of the electric century, Aylmer, brilliant scientist-philosopher, grows obsessed with the crimson birthmark he believes stains the beauty of his wife, Georgiana. At first repulsed by the dark grail of his intentions, she too is soon overwhelmed by a consuming passion for the removal of the mark.
Adapted as a radio drama for actors and live ensemble, The Crimson Hand is hosted through the deceptively crude eyes of the assistant, Aminadab, as he leads us through a tale of Science and Nature, of alchemical and supernatural wonder, and finally, through the forever entwined hopes and anguishes in the mutual, inevitably tragic pursuit of human perfection.
The musical accompaniment engages the role of the perennial birthmark: an obsessive, pervasively circular motive that with its crimson grip perpetuates and colors the narrative. The leitmotif, a simple 6-bar ostinato, is re-contextualized from scene to scene, to-and-fro, never in Aylmer’s grasp.