back at the drawing board with stravinsky and ramuz

Getting my hand in here re a revamp of images I made originally for a concert of The Soldier’s Tale in Washington DC last Spring. Conductor James Slater and I have new ideas for the Mid Wales Chamber Orchestra performance at this years Hay Festival of Literature, and come April it’ll be all stops out as I race to complete the revisions and additions ready for May 28th. My copy of the Ramuz libretto is full of pencilled notes for new maquettes, together with places where we can place more emphasis on the geographical settings. But right now I’m re-familiarising myself with the characters, filling a little spiral-bound workbook with fast sketches.

10 thoughts on “back at the drawing board with stravinsky and ramuz

  1. I attended this concert in DC last year and enjoyed it immensely. It was the first time I’d ever seen it performed with a narrator, though I own and have listened to the Cocteau-Ustinov recording about a million times. It’s one of my favorite pieces of music and your art work added a wonderful depth. A nice cross between expressionism and Russian folk art. Kudos! HERE’S my blog post on the piece.

    • Hello Kurt. I wish that I could have attended the Washington concert, but the whole thing was achieved at arms length, with me making the images here in Wales and sending them electronically to the US where they were edited for the performance by the conductor David Montgomery. This time around I’ve been able to collaborate closely with the artistic director of MWCO, James Slater, and I’m producing many new images to augment last years work. Together James and I will edit the visuals so that they’ll accompany the music to our satisfaction. James will conduct MWCO at the Hay Festival, and I’ll be present at the performance.

      James and I are also collaborating on a newly commissioned chamber work, The Mare’s Tale, with music by Mark Bowden and text by Damian Walford Davies. It’s been planned as a companion piece for the Stravinsky to make a double-bill. The new work also features projected imagery, some of it in the form of on-stage puppetry performed at a small scale, filmed and live-streamed to the screen. We start two weeks of rehearsals this August, with a first performance in September.

      Thank you for the link to your site, which is one I shall continue to enjoy exploring.

      (To get a quick overview of Kurt’s blog and sample what he has to offer, click HERE.)

        • Kurt, I think I’m pretty wedded to working the visuals the same way as I did for the Washington performance, which was with projected imagery of maquettes. (Though I’m adding a lot of new material for the Hay production.) If we eventually put The Soldier’s Tale and The Mare’s Tale together into a double bill, then I think it will be important to retain a distinct visual style for each piece, and right now the latter has the puppets. But I agree with you that puppets would indeed be a good way to stage the Stravinsky. Puppets are so much less distracting in terms of sitting well with the music than performers. For me the perfect Soldier’s Tale would be with an actor narrating and puppets for the ‘characters’.

          The process of making The Mare’s Tale is being recorded in a documentary, and there are plans to film the production. At this stage there are no plans to film The Soldier’s Tale, and though that may change I doubt we’ll film it at the Hay Festival.

  2. Beautiful drawings, I do love seeing pages from your sketchbooks, thank you for sharing; they may be quick sketches but they’re awesome

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