Hand2Mouth & Third Angle New Music Present A FOND FAREWELL
The profound influence of Elliott Smith (1969-2003) continues to echo long after his death, and to honor and explore the music of this Portland icon, Third Angle New Music has commissioned 6 leading young composers to reimagine his repertoire. In a blockbuster collaboration, Hand2Mouth & Third Angle will create an evening-length performance piece that illustrates and celebrates Smith's musical talents and legacy. This project aspires to give a new perspective on Smith's music for those lucky enough to know him or see him live, those who lived with him through his music and those who have not yet heard any of his songs.
This is the third and final piece in Hand2Mouth's Portland trilogy, focusing on the PNW and what makes it unique, showcasing artists who have changed the world with their work, created here. First was an adaption of The Left Hand of Darkness, produced with the incomparable Ursula Le Guin. Second was a project created in collaboration with renowned film director, Gus Van Sant, entitled, Time, A Fair Hustler. This project, A Fond Farewell, is the culminating piece of the trilogy, honoring Elliott Smith, a kind of poet laureate of Portland.
Tickets are $35 for adults, $30 for seniors over 65, and $10 for students with valid full-time ID. Tickets can be purchased online at www.thirdangle.org or by calling the Alberta Rose Theatre 503 764 4131. More information and biographies for the performers can be found online at Hand2Mouth's website hand2mouththeatre.org and Third Angle's website at www.thirdangle.org.
This piece presents the grungy punk/squat house, street level, unpolished Portland experience found in his lyrics and music represent-ed juxtaposed with a staging that is near-baroque, with classical choreographic elegance and a lighting and scenic transformation of the stage, all to lift and illuminate those elements of his poetry and music. Jonathan Walters, Artistic Director of Hand2Mouth, is staging this performance, and is excited about this work because "this project brings together three very different types of artists all whose art is always pushing to adventurous places; contemporary composers, new music artists and new theatre makers. Together the hope is to join forces to create a new art form; the 'composed concert' that elevates Elliott Smith's art into a different place than it has been experienced before, and to leave the audiences with sensations, images, and sounds that open the door to Smith's indelible legacy."
H2M is collaborating with 3A to present these new chamber works in a 'composed concert' theatrical event at the Alberta Rose Theatre on Thursday April 12 and Friday April 13 at 7:30pm. A Fond Farewell is scored for four voices and small chamber ensemble, and will be performed by mezzo-sopranos Hannah Penn and Chloe Penn, tenors Daniel Buchanan and Sam Adams, with pianist Maria Garcia, clarinetist James Shields, violinist Holland Phillips, and cellist Valdine Mishkin. Also featuring a performance by The Secret Sea on guitar and vocals. The composers commissioned to dive deeper into this rich catalog are Robert Honstein, Jacob Cooper, Chris Cerrone, LJ White, Scott Wollshleger, and Ted Hearne. All bring a probing musical ear and creative mind to the unique situation of exploring a different genre of music and reinterpreting it for a more concert-hall setting, while still staying true to the musical roots of the original songs. Honstein has described the project as "a through-composed, immersive, and unified experience [that] creates a web of references to Elliot's work and between our pieces, builds a powerful structure, and creates a compelling flow that will work together create a really strong show."
Third Angle's Interim Artistic Director, Sarah Tiedemann, feels very connected to this music. "Having grown into adulthood here in Portland at the height of Elliott Smith's popularity," she says, "this music is deeply personal to me. It's thrilling to see everyone intertwine their unique experiences and creative practices to communicate his songs in ways that feel fresh and original but no less nostalgic."