CYCLOPS (2013) 30'

Cyclops is based on Episode 12 of James Joyce’s Ulysses. The text functions on two levels: on the first level four men are talking in a bar in Ireland, the first being the Citizen, who is Joyce’s equivalent of the Cyclops, the second being Leopold Bloom, the hero of Ulysses, the third being the narrator and the fourth being a man identified as Joe. In the novel there are many more characters that appear in the bar, but in my excerpt I have limited them to just these four. On the second level, Joyce spins elaborate parodies around each of each of the topics discussed, imitating various literary styles. I have mirrored this in setting these fanciful “riffs” in a wild variety of musical styles, including a 19th century dancehall tune, Baroque oratorio, silent-film era soundtrack, a quote from Tristan and Isolde, the William Tell overture and many other familiar and not-so-familiar melodies. Because Joyce names specific musical works in this episode, I have been faithful to these references in my musical choices, arranging, distorting and adding my own personal take on each. The cast includes four actors who will play the parts of the four men in the bar, singers from the Manhattan Choral Ensemble, who, together with the instrumentalists of the PULSE chamber players will perform the parodies, and artist Timothy Decker, whose artwork illustrating the various sections will be projected during the performance.

Posted: Jul-18-2016
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