Paul PINTOS: UNINTELLIGIBLE RESPONSE from Thomas Paine and Violence
FIRST TAKE | Wild Up and the Industry
In 2015 we partnered with The Industry opera company to workshop a half dozen new works by composers including: Jason Thorpe Buchana, Nomi Epstien, Jenny Olivia Johnson, Anne Lebaron, and Andrew McIntosh, all as part of the second iteration of the new opera forum “FIRST TAKE.” These six new works were an exploration into modes of making vocal and narrative work. But moreover, they represented a searching into how those formal explorations could possibly illuminate a few brand new paths forward for the form of opera itself.
Thinking back, these works we were particularly interested in speech for its vocal and human qualities, and interested in humor for the unique way it lets the audience feel understood and included in art making. Paul Pinto understands both of these simple methods so perfectly. His work here in “UNINTELLIGIBLE RESPONSE” from “Thomas Paine and VIolence” is a shining example of what happens when you give musicians a bunch of prompts to respond to, a quasi open-ended script, a specific score that feels like it’s full of choices for the band, and add historical humor, and absurd bawdiness, delivered by a legend in our field: Joan La Barbara. From Paul, about Thomas Paine and Violence:THOMAS PAINE IN VIOLENCE is a high-energy electroacoustic psychedelic opera-sermon created by Paul Pinto [thingNY, Varispeed, Great Comet] set in a radio station in the afterlife of the Founding Father and international activist. Legendary vocalist Joan La Barbara portrays Paine struggling to broadcast a message of economic justice amidst a whirlwind of lightning-quick singing, autotuned shock-jockery, gadgets, voices, instruments, and sonic chaos. Presented in full after FIRST TAKE by and at HERE as part of their 25th Season commissioning and producing hybrid theatre work, in association with thingNY, Thomas Paine in Violence’s premiere production ran November 6-18, 2017.