is a multidisciplinary / multimedia / collaborative work by Manual Cinema, Chicago Q Ensemble, and Kyle Vegter based on the poetry of Zachary Schomburg (McSweeneys / Black Ocean / Octopus Press). It consists of 14 musical/ visual shorts based on poems from Schomburg’s third book of poems FJORDS VOL. 1 (Black Ocean, March 2012).
FJORDS toes the line between live scored cinema, chamber music, and performance art. Using live shadow puppetry, actor puppet interaction, video projection and manipulated slide projection Manual Cinema creates haunting visual renderings of Schomburg’s pseudo-narrative texts morphing the real and the imagined, dream states with the everyday, the conscious and the subconscious.
Performed concurrently and in close collaboration, the original score for amplified string quartet, percussion, and live/fixed quadraphonic electronics gives voice to Manual Cinema’s visual realm. Employing extended string techniques, live audio signal processing, and theatrical staging, the musical portion of the work is fully integrated with the visual elements of the show. Chicago Q Ensemble performers manipulate amplified objects, play Peking Opera gongs, and interact with shadow puppets to create a unified and decidedly new theatrical performance experience.
FJORDS premiered February 23-26, 2012 at the Poetry Foundation in downtown Chicago. The show then toured the east coast in March of 2012 with Zachary Schomburg.
An album of the music from the show is included with every hardcover of FJORDS VOL. 1 purchased through Black Ocean Press.
“. . . strangely mesmerizing and thoroughly modern. . . The young artists behind Fjords have managed the very risky blend of an ancient art with modern technology. The result is a touching, unmistakably 21st century tale.”
- WYNNE DELACOMA, Chicago Classical Review
Adapted from the book FJORDS, Vol. I by Zachary Schomburg
Original Score by Kyle Vegter
Adapted and Designed by Drew Dir, Sarah Fornace, and Julia Miller
Music performed by The Chicago Q Ensemble with Eric Streichert
Puppeteering by Lizi Breit, Drew Dir, Sarah Fornace, and Julia Miller
Produced in part by High Concept Laboratories