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In Performance: Whispering Pines 10 – Shana Moulton & Nick Hallett (NYC)

The Kitchen presents Whispering Pines 10, new work by artist Shana Moulton and musician Nick Hallett,
Friday and Saturday, April 16 and 17 at 8pm
The Kitchen
512 West 19th Street
Tickets are $10.

The Kitchen will present the premiere of Whispering Pines 10. The piece is the latest in video and performance artist Shana Moulton’s ongoing video serial about Cynthia, an anxiety-ridden hypochondriac whose constant search for health and happiness leads her to fad cures and new age kitsch, creating situations in turn comic, contemplative, and surreal. Moulton collaborates with composer-vocalist Nick Hallett to transform the work into a live electronic chamber opera, woven out of pop melodies, extended vocal techniques, alternative sound controllers and a flexible instrumentation performed by Hallett along with the soprano Daisy Press and harpist Shelley Burgon.

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In Whispering Pines 10, Moulton stars as Cynthia, enveloping herself in her original multi-channel video design, which tackles the divide between low and high production values through the use of green-screen compositing and interactive technology. An adventurous use of multimedia —produced at Harvestworks Digital Media Arts Center—assists in realizing the dreamlike worlds of Cynthia’s subconscious. Music plays an important part in the Whispering Pines series and there is a musical theater-like sensibility which Moulton and Hallett mine in the creation of this original opera. Cynthia, who does not typically speak, experiences her thoughts as voiced in songs by Hallett, Press and Burgon.

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Over the course of nine video episodes and related installations and performances, the Whispering Pines series has probed various aspects of new age culture, reveling in its allures of self-realization and otherworldliness, while also questioning its appropriation of non-Western spiritual belief systems and drawing comparisons to “visionary” approaches to the creation of art, such as those of Georgia O’Keefe and Kenneth Anger.

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Caden Manson is a director, media artist, and teacher. He is co-founder of the media ensemble bigartgroup.com and network, blog, and publisher, contemporaryperformance.com. He has co-created, directed, video- and set designed 18 Big Art Group productions. Manson has shown video installations in Austria, Germany, NYC, and Portland; performed PAIN KILLER in Berlin, Singapore and Vietnam; Taught in Berlin, Rome, Paris, Montreal, NYC, and Bern; the ensemble has been co-produced by the Vienna Festival, Festival d’Automne a Paris, Hebbel Am Ufer, Rome’s La Vie de Festival, PS122, and Wexner Center for The Arts. Caden is a 2001 Foundation For Contemporary Art Fellow, is a 2002 Pew Fellow and a 2011 MacDowell Fellow. Writing has been published in PAJ, Theater Magazine, and Theater der Zeit. Caden is currently an associate professor and graduate directing option coordinator of The John Wells Directing Program at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Drama.

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