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Todd and the Vampire - World Premiere.
Manhattan School of Music, Miller Recital Hall.
120 Claremont Ave, New York, NY 10027-4689l. Sunday, 12 February 2017

The 'animated opera' Todd and the Vampire is a rebellious and multifaceted work, filled with conflict, questions and contradictions. It is a snapshot from the author's unedited stream of consciousness, a surprising subject matter for an opera, and breaks the boundaries of its genre by touching on themes of trauma, neglect and failure.

Filled with allusions, it employs traditional music and narrative forms in a radically shifting context, disrupting cohesion to produce special impact. Drawing on familiar and sometimes beloved works, such as Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf, Schubert's Lieder, and the Faust story, the piece undermines, reconfigures, subverts these works. Instead of serving as signposts these familiar elements serve only to confuse and agitate, ultimately invoking loss rather than recognition in the audience.

Juxtaposed with these canonical works is a host of references to postmodern digital culture, clearly relevant to Todd and the Vampire's animated form. Aware of its own contemporaneity, the piece consciously reflects its place in the digital era, 'in which all operations are performed using one source' while freely borrowing from utterly different time periods.

The result is an austere work, which seeks to place everything about itself under rigorous investigation, in this way achieving an uneasy, but highly charged expressiveness.

Todd and the Vampire contains elements which may not be suitable for people with photosensitive epilepsy, it may also not be suitable for children.


A solo version of Guy & the Graphics at La MaMa's Sound Departures series on Sunday, January 22, 6PM. I will continue to explore strange, rare, and often overlooked repertoire represented through the use of graphic symbols outside the realm of traditional music notation, including video score by Ronen Shai and Lorna Mills. This installment of Guy & the Graphics invites audience participation. You are encouraged to bring small instruments, toys and other noise-making devices and jam along to Earle Brown's iconic December 1952.