Sunday, February 04, 2007

The Children's Hour

Inspired by the eponymous song by Charles Ives, The Children's Hour is a 75 minute program produced by Sidecar featuring the music of Fa├žade by William Walton, as well as art songs and piano pieces by Ives, John Cage, Jim Tenney, and Bunita Marcus. Sidecar's original audio and visual design, which includes interactive electronics and sound processing, tape compositions, and video, provides a nervy counterpoint to vintage texts by Edith Sitwell and Henry Longfellow. The menagerie of game and play is an eight year old's imagination cracked open, punctuated by expert vocal and musical evocations of intrigue and nightmare. "Between the dark and the daylight, comes a pause in the day's occupations that is known as Childrens' Hour." This third collaboration between Anne Hege and Heather Heise, their most thorough integration of musical theatre and new technologies to date, suggests nostalgia even as it speaks to a meaning of childhood in today's culture.

The production's high degree of flexibility allows for its performance in both traditional and popular venues, with or without sound systems, with or without pianos. The balance between acoustic and multimedia elements is scaled to each unique location.

The Children's Hour premieres this June.

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