lily[bloom in my darkness] & LUNG | October 11-14, 2018
lily [bloom in my darkness] & LUNG
October 11-13 | 8PM
October 14 | 2PM
Erickson Theatre Off Broadway
lily [bloom in my darkness]
Read the full lily libretto HERE
Concept by Kaley Lane Eaton & Karin Stevens
Music composed by Kaley Lane Eaton
Choreographed & performed by The Indigo / Amelia Love Clearheart & Karin Stevens
Music performed by Kin of the Moon & Strange Interlude
Heather Bentley - viola
Kaley Lane Eaton - electronics
Leanna Keith - flutes
Simon Linn-Gerstein - cello
Lily Press - harp
Rachel Yoder - clarinets
Costume design Sarah Mosher
Lighting design Meg Fox
Karin Stevens and composer/sound artist Kaley Lane Eaton present an evening of two works: a reproduction of the award-winning Lily[bloom in my darkness] and the premiere of LUNG. Together these pieces explore issues of migration, connection, and finding one’s voice in the world today.
Lily [bloom in my darkness] is a 35-minute electroacoustic opera for voice, live electronic processing, pulse sensors, viola, cello, clarinet, harp, and dance, with an original libretto by poet felicia klingenberg. Lily explores the psyche and heart of Lily Isabel Bunny, an orphan who fled England at the start of WWI. Through imagining a dream Lily may have had her first night sleeping in a cabin in the Pacific Northwest wilderness, this work examines her transformation upon entering a new world, exploring the experience of migration and displacement uniting our species.
LUNG is a collaborative work for dancers, musicians flutes, bass clarinet, concert harp, cello, viola, electronics, six loudspeakers, and audience exploring the process of finding one’s voice as both individuals and communities. Loudspeakers punctuate the space, laid out as a room-sized version of the respiratory system. Musicians and dancers move through the space as breath moves through the body when preparing to speak, and the audience is invited to follow, experiencing sounds from a variety of perspectives.
Stevens and Eaton seek to unlock the voices of the marginalized to tell the true stories of our time for posterity. Through both personal experience and observations of society, they understand that the voice can get caught deep in the lungs, never to escape and proclaim itself.But when the winning breath is taken – with help from those around us – the voice explodes in ecstasy, telling lost stories, and freeing the body.
In the winter of 2017 I created and produced Record of the Anthropocene Movement. After my work in 2016, (re)MOVE: Back Toward Again the (re)TURN Facing — a work of personal exploration through religion, science and lineage to examine separation within and violence upon the earth and the female body/spirit — I had wondered if I had said enough through my own performing body-voice. In this work that explored the idea that like a palimpsest — a term I learned in my research from Coll Thrush’s book, Native Seattle — the land and our bodies hold layers that have been written upon them by the movements of good and harm, I did not perform.
For years I have been perplexed how I have been compelled in a decades-long personal journey to examine, to move through and to surrender the grief and fear held within my body. Perhaps grief and fear goes back centuries in my tissues, as part of the collective conscious. I have come to recognize I have begun a journey: to transform pain into purpose so that I may join the birthing of a new time and space for love and mercy, within and between our body-selves, with the earth, and with all that is.
It has been a tremendously lonely journey…until this year. A tribe of artist women has arisen around me speaking the same examination and seeking release from grief and fear in their own lives. The artists in these two works bring full breath to their lives to speak exhalations of truth, a truth that has the power to transfigure the multiple layers of harm and return us to the source of love: always there, facing us in fullness, patiently and mercifully waiting for us once we choose to do the challenging work for each other.
Kaley with sound; I with movement; Collaborating artists with their unique contributions — we want to rekindle the fire in our collective heart for speaking together, moving together, healing together, building together a world that makes us one.
Lily [bloom in my darkness]
From Composer Kaley Lane Eaton:
“Lily [bloom in my darkness] is a 35-minute electroacoustic opera for voice, live electronic processing, harp, cello, viola, clarinet, and dance with an original libretto by poet felicia klingenberg. Lily explores the psyche and heart of the my great-grandmother Lily Isabel Bunny, an orphan who fled England at the start of WWI in 1915, alone, age 25. She took a ship to Montreal and then a train, which she rode to the end of the railroad, arriving at Cascade Tunnel east of Everett, WA. Through imagining a dream Lily may have had her first night sleeping in a cabin in the Pacific Northwest wilderness, this work explores her transformation upon entering a new world, and thus explores the experience of migration and displacement that unites our species. The live electronic processing, sensors, dance, and live instruments explore this interconnectedness through constantly influencing one another, transforming the role of each force throughout the work. As an abstract work, this piece does not outline a linear, temporal narrative, but rather uses sound and language to unearth the unconscious and visceral feelings that result from displacement. Using recorded language as social documentary, sensors as portals to the unconscious, improvisation as a reflection non-linguistic expression, and other forms of machine listening and live processing, lily is as much a retelling of a particular emotional story as it is the revelation of our contemporary social situation.”
In the winter of 2017, the day after my eldest daughter was lamenting to me that I simply can’t be done performing (I’ve never had a smooth love-relationship to myself as a performer/dancer), I received an email out of the blue from Kaley asking me to dance the role of lily for her PhD dissertation final performance.
We hardly knew each other only having met recently in the Seattle new music circles, yet in lily [bloom in my darkness] her work paralleled two areas I was thinking deeply about.
The first question was: What happened to Europeans that came to this “new world” and brought with them so much mental disease and environmental degradation that has written a story on this land of complacent and complicit movements of harm that are still blaring and resonant today?
The other: What needs to be done to transfigure white misery within and white misery drawn egregiously upon others? How can we heal our hearts with the ever-evolving movement of the earth, an energy ever seeking more life and beauty for all? Even as “allies”, what is the work we still need to do within our body-spirits to be effective movement makers for change?
From Librettist felicia klingenberg:
"When Kaley approached me with the idea to compose a musical work based on the life of her great grandmother, Lily, I was interested because, as the child of European immigrants myself, I’ve thought a lot about immigration. I also know something about childhood suffering, how it can blight a life. Lily suffered. Yet she had enough imagination, hope and strength left to undertake a massive one-way journey to a new land and a new life. I could imagine how terrified she must have been, and how that terror might have peaked the first night she spent alone in an isolated cabin in the Cascades. I felt that situation would either break her or transform her. I chose to give her an experience, in a dream-state, that would open her mind and her heart so that she could be an exemplar of the courage and openness that allows strangers to unite to create something new. There's a long tradition of people recording such visionary moments. We might label or explain them in different ways, but they are always profoundly life-altering. They always help reset our path on the human journey, and sometimes one individual's vision leads to an entire community's rebirth. Without this capacity to touch and be touched by something beyond the material world, I'm not sure the human race could survive."
It is too late to come to this land that is now the United States of America and create a “new life” for transfiguring the pain of what came centuries and centuries before. We must GRIEVE and atone and be transformed for another future. Underneath every layer of every city and state of this country is ancient land and people of the whole united earth waiting with open hearts of fire and drums beating patiently for all of us to open and dance renewed dances for democracy.
Like this imaginative story of lily, I wish a transfiguration could happen for me and for us in a night and that the dream could be realized today, but I choose to continue to dance the often ugly and painful truth to be an “exemplar of the courage and openness that allows strangers to unite to create something new” that heals the body of this nation.
Amelia and Me.
Two that came from one source,
their union of mind and heart and personal story
speaking from beyond what has been
vulnerability toward abundant howling truth.
A Composer and
a vision of beyond me too.
A collaborative journey birthed in honest
stuck in the heart of our collective beat.
A Choreographer and
an Art made of surrender
A response from Costume Designer, Sarah Mosher, in rehearsal during a practice of Movement 2 with the wind players:
“As I watched last night, my whole body and soul were engaged and I felt the work extracting dark, primal psychic pain from my core. It was like a thread being slowly drawn through me gathering pain as it went and releasing tears. It felt so societal, and global abuses of all kinds rose up from the deep in my mind. It felt like the essential core of pain, both self-inflicted and what we inflict on others. It was so raw and so consistent that it unlocked my chest gently and with compassion. I am so abusive to myself in every area of my life and the lack of mercy for all of my judgements and expectations about not being enough melted away as I was able to experience the truth, the communal and the personal in the work. I could feel the way that everyone was invited into the process and creation of this work. Watching it was magical and healing and painful.”
A response from Clarinetist Rachel Yoder:
“After giving birth to two kids, and coming back to playing the clarinet more and more last year, my body just wasn’t feeling great. I had some uncomfortable physical symptoms and often felt as though I couldn’t breathe, especially in stressful moments. I had (and still have) very little time to exercise and had the added physical stress of caring for two small children, putting kids in carseats, baby wearing, etc.
Through physical therapy over the past few months, I was able to relearn how to use my body, and how to play the clarinet. Among other things, I learned how to support my body by strengthening my core muscles that had never really returned postpartum, which allowed me to expand my ribcage, improve my posture, and BREATHE.
It just so happens that Kaley Lane Eaton’s new piece LUNG starts with the breath. Twenty-four breaths, in fact, make up the first movement. With this work, Kaley has tapped into some very intense feelings and sensations that have turned out to be particularly poignant to me and many of the musicians and dancers involved. I invite you to come experience this performance and explore what it might mean to you.”
LUNG MOVEMENT 4:
air is made of oxygen and nitrogen
carbon based life can't exist without it
air is necessary
it fills up our lungs and helps us speak
breathing calms our nerves
breathing activates sound
breathing together makes us one
speaking happens as
sending out grief that is stored in the lungs and heart
what if we all exhaled together
moved our bodies in accordance with our lungs
Karin Stevens is a Seattle based choreographer and dance artist who believes in the power of movement to help us connect move deeply to ourselves, each other, and the environment. Since 1999, she has created over 70 dance works, touring to Florida, Maryland, California, Montana, Washington, and most recently performed in the 73rd International Choreographer’s Showcase in Guatemala.
She has danced for VOCI Dance, Double Vision, Omega West, Push Up Something Hidden Dance, Westwick Dolder Dance Theater, Molissa Fenley and Dancers, and Penny Hutchinson, among others. Stevens was an Associate Artist at the Atlantic Center for the Arts (2009), and the Fremont Abbey’s inaugural Artist in Residence (2009-2011).
Her company, Karin Stevens Dance, has produced thirteen evening-length concerts, including Record of the Anthropocene Movement (2017), named a 'must see performance' by City Arts Magazine. Stevens studied dance at the University of Washington and received her MFA from Mills College.
Dr. Kaley Lane Eaton is a composer and soprano currently based in Seattle, WA. Her work has been performed across the US and internationally, in venues ranging from Hong Kong concert halls, to the streets of Skid Row in Los Angeles. Eaton's work crosses genre boundaries, exploring how the voice, body, and unconscious world of the performer can provide musical narratives through live digital processing, machine listening, sensors, and improvisation. Her "startling," "intriguing," "fresh," and "thoughtful" compositions are quickly gaining notoriety for combining innovative digital technology with ancient performance practices. As a soprano, she is sought after for her lively and creative interpretations of experimental music, especially in collaboration with living composers.
Eaton's work has garnered recent support from the Allied Arts Foundation (2018 Listen Up! top-tier grant recipient), 4Culture (2017 Tech-Specific Grant recipient), the Atlantic Center for the Arts (2017 Associate Artist with Master Artist Derek Bermel), the International Alliance for Women in Music (2017 Pauline Oliveros New Genre prize for lily [bloom in my darkness]), and the Hambidge Center for Creative Arts and Sciences (2017 Distinguished Holland and Knight Fellowship). In June 2019, Kin of the Moon will premiere blue eyes, a new commission by Eaton written for ultra-soprano Emily Thorner.
In addition to frequently performing her own work as a vocalist and laptop wizard (usually at the same time), she is an avid collaborator, enjoying both traditional commissions and unconventional creation with choreographers, solo artists and chamber ensembles across the country. With flutist Leanna Keith, Eaton is co-founder of Stack Effect, a flute and voice duo. Also with Keith and violist Heather Bentley, Eaton co-directs Kin of the Moon, an improvisation-centric and technology-friendly chamber music series in Seattle. Both Stack Effect and Kin of the Moon have been recent features at new music festivals such as Oh My Ears! in Phoenix, NUMUS NW in Seattle, and the National Flute Association Convention.
As a writer with particular interest in the role of musical composition's relationship to our larger culture, Eaton has been published by KING FM's Second Inversion ("Women, Creativity, and the Classroom"(2016) and "Reflections on Wilderness" (2017)) and Common Tone Arts ("Things I wish I had known when I thought I couldn't be a composer" (2017)).
Eaton holds a DMA in composition from the University of Washington and is Director of Music Technology at Cornish College of the Arts.
The Indigo is the multi-genre expression of Amelia Love Clearheart. Amelia received both her dance & music training at Cornish College of the Arts. As composer of music, poem and movement, Amelia is known for expressing spontaneous and intricate weavings of logical, emotional and spiritual sensibilities, exploring & exposing their truths, perceptions and impacts. Her sonic shares range from spontaneous identifiable word-scapes to channeled medicine songs and statements thru 'root language'. By this unlimited language, vibrations are relayed, with the potential for shifting frequencies in the listener in favor of enhanced well being.
Amelia creates and relays art in service to that mysterious Good Thing which causes us to Be.
Kin of the Moon is an improvisation-centric, technology-friendly chamber music series incubated in Seattle's rich musical scene. Headed by violist/improviser Heather Bentley, composer/vocalist Kaley Lane Eaton, and flutist/improviser Leanna Keith - Kin of the Moon explores sonic rituals, promotes cross-pollination of genres, emphasizes the communicative power of specific performance locales and celebrates the creativity that multiplies itself through the collaboration of performers and composers. The artists of Kin of the Moon devote their lives to reaching higher vibrational levels through sound creation.
Currently based in the Los Angeles area, Strange Interlude was founded by harpist Lily Press and cellist Simon Linn-Gerstein who have been performing as a harp and cello duo since 2007. As both a duo and larger ensemble Press and Linn-Gerstein design intimate salon-style concerts with programs that are carefully curated to include seldom-performed works, pieces by contemporary composers and transcriptions and arrangements for their unique instrumentation.
Strange Interlude’s performances combine their love of chamber music with their passion for crafting non-traditional concert experiences that incorporate story-telling to bring the audience further inside the works they play and the technical, artistic and personal process of making a piece of music come alive.
Strange Interlude has performed as part of the Advent Library Chamber Series, the Nave Music Series, the Salem Arts Festival, the Candlelight Concert Series and at ArtShare LA and Spectrum NYC and has also created music for performances by Monkeyhouse, a Boston-based dance company, and for the Dance Department at Endicott College. They have collaborated with numerous composers to premiere new works for harp and cello, including Daniel Lemer’s “Lone Tree Music,” Mike Frengel’s “On Thin Ice,” and Kaley Lane Eaton’s “subtle energy.”
Canadian author felicia klingenberg has worked as a copywriter, journalist and educator. Her poems and personal essays have appeared in literary publications across Canada. She has twice collaborated with composers at Vancouver’s Art Song Lab, an intensive annual program dedicated to creating contemporary art song. She has several works in progress including a full-length memoir, and an opera that will explore the territory between jazz and contemporary classical music. She also works in the film industry as a story editor. She believes that personal life stories are powerful tools for social change. In combination with music, she believes they have an even greater power to effect catharsis and transformation.
Sarah Mosher is honored to be working with Karin Stevens Dance and all of the talented artists who are a part of these pieces. Primarily a costume designer, her recent work includes Big Rock produced by Onward Ho!, American Hwangap produced by West of Lenin and The Saci and the Greater Trumps co-produced by Karin Stevens Dance and The Universal Language Project. Sarah teaches at Seattle Pacific University in the Theatre department where she leads the costume program and serves as the resident costume designer.
Meg Fox has been designing lights in the northwest for a very long time. She designed for many of the major theatre houses and independent companies in Seattle, but for the past 20 years has focused on lighting dance/new performance. She has been commissioned by Alvin Ailey dance, toured with Urban Bush Women, and designed for Seattle based choreographers and companies too many to name. In the past year she has worked with AnJ Theatre, Markeith Wiley, Alicia Millikan, Au Collective, Grief Girls, Marlo Martin, Men in Dance, and Tint Dance among others.
Meg is on staff and teaches in the Dance department at Cornish College of the Arts where she gets to work with some really fabulous faculty choreographers.
This is the first time Meg has gotten to work with Karin Stevens and she is very excited about their collaboration.