Rachel Mason to Premiere THE LIVES OF HAMILTON FISH at Spectacle Theater, 5/30
Rachel Mason is a highly prolific New York-based sculptor, songwriter and performer. Both solo and with her band, Little Band of Sailors, she has shared stages and collaborated with artists such as Prince Rama, Light Asylum, Josephine Foster, Joan of Arc, Sharon Von Etten, White Mystery and Ed Askew, among others. Her art has been exhibited worldwide at such prestigious venues as the Whitney Museum, Queens Museum, Detroit Museum of Contemporary Art, School of the Art Institute in Chicago, Henry Gallery in Seattle, Sculpture Center, Kunsthalle Zurich, The New Museum, Park Avenue Armory, Art in General, La Mama, Galapagos, among many other museums and galleries. Now, as writer, director, producer and performer, Mason is proud to announce the NYC premiere of her eagerly awaited new project, the cinematic rock opera, "The Lives of Hamilton Fish", on 5/30 at the Spectacle Theater in Williamsburg (124 South 3rd Street). After the film's international premiere at the Pineapple Underground Film Festival in Hong Kong last year, this one night only event, with two screenings/performances at 7:30 and 10PM, aims to be a new kind of multimedia storytelling combining music, cinema, performance and an exhibition into a theatrical experience, with its foundation in art and song. Mason will be joined by special live guest performers, including Camilla Padgitt-Coles.
Here's a link for the event:
"The Lives of Hamilton Fish" is inspired by a true story. A serial killer and a statesman - both named Hamilton Fish - die on the same day - January 15, 1936. Hamilton Fish II, a descendant of one of the most prominent families in New York State, was a former Speaker of the New York State Assembly who served as assistant treasurer under President Teddy Roosevelt, and Hamilton "Albert" Fish, was a psychopath and a notorious child murderer. A newspaper editor becomes obsessed with this coincidence after publishing their obituaries on his front page. The film's story is told entirely through songs in the editor's voice (played by Mason), telling the story as she developed it in real life - compiling facts from newspaper clippings over a period of years. A surreal tale unfolds where supernatural events and historic facts merge in a wild, musical journey.
Learning about this bizarre coincidence, and the fact that the "Peekskill Evening Star News" ran their obituaries together, Mason spent seven years, 2005-2013, writing a 20-song cycle imagining the ways their lives intersected - both real and fantastic. The stirringly beautiful songs create a seamless soundscape with elegant layered musical arrangements, and according to Rachel, "The film's score, which will be released in the Fall, is intended for performances with live musicians playing in the presence of the audience as in a silent film."
Originally the project started out as a musical piece, having written the first song, "The Duel", on her bicycle after a chance meeting with the living Hamilton Fish V, but as other songs started to come out of the research and trips that she made to Garrison, NY, where the name Hamilton Fish still carries great significance, she shot a feature-length film as a kind of extended music video in which actors mouth the lyrics to her songs.