Composer Paola Prestini
Artist Erika Harrsch (Designed and created ©Erika Harrsch-LEDCello and Visual Art for Room No. 35) and Carmen Kordas (House of Solitude)
Cellist Maya Beiser
Violinist Cornelius Dufallo
Director Michael McQuilken
Projections Designer Brad Peterson
Producer VisionIntoArt and Beth Morrison Projects
LABYRINTH, two conjoined installation concertos for violinist Cornelius Dufallo and cellist Maya Beiser tightly incorporate sound, lighting design, and projected visuals, with the musicians’ performance through the use of the K-Bow, (a sensor bow that can wirelessly transmit detailed real-time information to a computer) and LED technology.
April 2015, VIA Records released “Labyrinth.”
House of Solitude and Room No. 35: Labyrinth Installation Concertos is the labyrinth of man and a woman’s journey through life told through advanced technology and a breathtaking visual realm.
This 70 minute work premiered in its full multimedia version at the Krannert Center/University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2014, and has been performed in segments as a work in progress over 2011-2013 at the Atlas Theater in Washington D.C., the River to River festival in NY, California State at Fullerton Strings at 21st Century Festival, SUNY Fredonia, the Harare International Festival in Zimbabwe, Africa, and Bay Chamber Festival.
LABYRINTH is the first work to include the K-Bow’s interaction with sound, video and lighting, and is thus an important work in the realm of live technology and the first project to integrate LED technology with instrument design to create the ©Erika Harrsch-LEDCello.
Part One, House of Solitude, is written for violinist Cornelius Dufallo and occurs in an installation-like setting on stage. Three scrim walls are used to project video by Carmen Kordas, who will create a three-dimensional hologram to represent the solo performer’s thoughts including solitude, extreme communication and connectivity, and the ultimate search for one’s self. Images of bodies appear—those of humans, other life forms, and hybrids, and Kordas’ artwork follows their journey through the four elements as they become part of the man’s life story. The imagery gradually dissolves into the forces of nature and the fluid shapes of dreams and take on a life of their own. They contort, grow, fuse, and age, reminding the audience of where life originated and the unknown dimension to which we are headed. The man’s journey through the labyrinth of his mind is represented by a solitary house. The bodies symbolize human connection from which he is offered a path of escape. House of Solitude ends with the man leaving on an unknown road.
Part Two, Room No. 35, created by Paola Prestini, Maya Beiser, Erika Harrsch and Michael McQuilken, is a sculptural multimedia experience inspired by Anais Nin’s surrealist novella “The House of Incest” and features the preeminent cellist Maya Beiser. This half focuses on a woman’s point of view in which she tries to escape a hotel room in which the recesses of her mind have taken her. Room No. 35 maps the labyrinth of the heart and seeks to unify the impulses of the human spirit. The woman gains courage throughout the work to leave the room, and eventually leaves for the industrial real world where she united with the ©Erika Harrsch-LEDCello, which amplifies, distorts, deconstructs and re-imagines the images that have told the story thus far, through live interaction. Erika Harrsch’s video pulses visual landscapes blooming from negative space between two bodies. The work includes a stunning visual staged realm by Michael McQuilken. During this thirty-minute piece, the room collapses in on itself through a symbolic tidal wave of sound and visual effects.
The K-Bow is invented by Keith McMillan, the famed instrument designer who created the ZETA electronic instruments. The K-Bow is a blue tooth sensored bow that responds to movement to interact with sound. VisionIntoArt and Beth Morrison Projects have developed the technical interface of the K-Bow’s aural capacity for House of Solitude. Through this interface a unique language and vocabulary have been established allowing Cornelius to to gain fluency in the manipulation and control of his sounds, and how they interact to light and visuals: something that has never been done before. Working with a core ensemble of designers and lighting specialists, the K-Data and K-Apps (the K-Bow software) we will be able to interact dynamically to adapt to the realm of visual design.
The ©Erika Harrsch-LEDCello is invented by Erika Harrsch. The visual and sonic world for Room No. 35 will exist as a collaborative venture with Illinois eDream Institute (Emerging Digital Research and Education in Arts Media Institute) and LED specialist Meric Adriansen, who are helping our team of artists create a multilayered and multidiscipline creative system for the LED cello. The visual realm to be projected on a scrim and the ©Erika Harrsch-LEDCello will be built as a collage on white canvas, paper and screen– an elaborated scenario in which various materials such as stills, photographs, drawings, pieces of paper, colored fluids, videos, digitally created images and animation will be arranged to create the moving image.
World Premiere, February 2014 at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts/University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Workshopped at the Harare International Festival of the Arts, Bay Chamber Concerts, and the Atlas Theater.
This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.