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FJORDS is a multidisciplinary/ multimedia/ collaborative work by Manual Cinema and the Chicago Q Ensemble based on the poetry of Zachary Schomburg (McSweeneys/ Black Ocean/ Octopus Press). It will consist of 10-15 musical/ visual shorts based on poems from Schomburg’s forthcoming book of poems FJORDS (Black Ocean Press March 2012).
Currently in creation (through Winter 2011/12), FJORDS will toe the line between live scored cinema and performance art. Using live shadow puppetry, actor puppet interaction, video projection and manipulated slide projection Manual Cinema will create haunting visual renderings of Schomburg’s pseudo-narrative texts morphing the real and the imagined, dream states with the everyday, the conscious and the subconscious.
Performed concurrently and in close collaboration, the original score (by Manual Cinema composer Kyle Vegter) for amplified string quartet, percussion, and live/fixed quadraphonic electronics will give voice to Manual Cinema’s visual realm. Employing extended string techniques, live audio signal processing, and theatrical staging, the musical portion of the work will be integrated with the visual elements of the show. Chicago Q Ensemble performers will manipulate amplified objects, play Peking Opera gongs, and interact with shadow puppets to create a unified and decidedly new theatrical performance experience.
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MANUAL CINEMA is a performance collective, design studio, and production company founded in 2010 by Drew Dir, Sarah Fornace, Ben Kauffman, Julia Miller, and Kyle Vegter. Manual Cinema combines handmade shadow puppetry, cinematic motifs, and live sound manipulation to create immersive stories for stage and screen. Using
vintage overhead projectors, multiple screens, puppets, actors, multi-channel sound design, and a live band, Manual Cinema transforms the experience of attending the cinema and imbues it with liveness, ingenuity, and theatricality. Their work has been featured at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC, The Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, The O, Miami Poetry Festival, The Tehran International Puppet Festival in Iran, and elsewhere around the world. They have collaborated with StoryCorps (NYC), Erratica (London), NYTimes best-selling author Reif Larsen (NYC), and three time Grammy Award-winning eighth blackbird (Chicago).