My old friend Frieder Weiss tootled over the cold Arctic wastelands on a barbarously early flight out of Nürnberg to come to the barren industrial wastelands of West Oakland to work on the Mordake opera. Or whatever we are calling it. There doesn't seem to be a good equivalent to the German word for musiktheater in English. It's either Opera, with all its connotational baggage of heavy breasted women caterwauling dying words of lament, lungs ravaged by tubercles, or it's the milksop of Musical Theater, prancing and skipping its way in to the listener's heartstrings by any means necessary.
Mordake threatens to be a radical departure for me in a number of ways, a primarily electronic piece with actual improvisational development, prying just the smallest iota of control from my cold dead fingers both socially and electronically. Plans call for visual and aural interactivity abounding throughout, controlled through John's movement and vocal pitch and spectrum and who knows what else. I'm feeling to be in my element this next week, parading with a cavalcade of the best and brightest, fingers on the keyboards, constructing something from nothing by the force of our will.