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.

  Topics: New England Music News , Poetry, Theater, Theatre,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY CHRISTOPHER GRAY
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   CHARACTER IS POLITICAL  |  April 10, 2014
    Kelly Reichardt, one of the most admired and resourceful voices in American independent cinema, appears at the Portland Museum of Art Friday night to participate in a weekend-long retrospective of her three most recent films.
  •   LET'S TALK ABOUT SEX  |  April 09, 2014
    Throughout its two volumes and four hours of explicit sexuality, masochism, philosophical debate, and self-analysis, Nymphomaniac remains the steadfast vision of a director talking to himself, and assuming you’ll be interested enough in him to listen and pay close attention.
  •   ASHES AND DIORAMAS  |  March 28, 2014
    History, rather than ennui, is the incursion that motivates this, his most antic and most somber work.
  •   PASSION OF THE STRONGMAN  |  January 09, 2014
    The film’s aim is modest and powerful: to focus on the physical and psychological hurdles Schoeck must overcome not only to become a true strongman, but also to become an engaging performer.
  •   2013'S BEST FILMS ARE ONLY UNITED IN THEIR AUDACITY  |  December 19, 2013
     From murders to musings

 See all articles by: CHRISTOPHER GRAY