Not a death-metal Billy Idol cover band but a lyrical tragedy written by Federico Garcia Lorca in 1932, last weekend's production of Blood Wedding at SPACE Gallery was at turns graceful and punishingly fraught. In a welcome break from the diminutive "pit orchestras" and perfunctory, piped-in transition music of local community theater, Tess Van Horn's show incorporated the diverse talents of a six-member band, consisting of members of Hersey State, Selbyville, and other local ambient/folk projects. The play's score, with lyrics derived from Lorca's poetry, was sold in multiple formats at the show, and limited physical and unlimited digital copies are available at teafirstrecords.blogspot.com.
Ingeniously, the musicians began the play separated from the story, with a mournful overture of wordless comforts and unsettled Americana, then slowly integrated themselves into the fabric of the tragedy. A lullaby sung by Aren Sprinkle and Emily Dix Thomas, two of Portland's most beatific voices, slowly gave way to the vocal talents of the cast. The transition culminated in Blood Wedding's stirring centerpiece, the five-minute "Wedding March," a procession of ultimately naive, rustic sentiment sung by the entire cast as they approached the altar; amid the pomp, both musicians and characters portray an inkling of the thorny doom to come. The symbiosis complete, a percussive "Fight Theme," adorned with atmospherics and electric guitar, is amplified by the determined, rhythmic stomping of three actors chopping down a tree.
The soundtrack album, well recorded and mastered with vocals exclusively by the band, is as solid an EP as it is a charming memento. More of this interdisciplinary entrepreneurialism, please.
: New England Music News
, Poetry, Theater, Theatre, More