Immaculate Conception (2016)

Conceived and developed by You Nakai, Dee Ali & Kay Festa | Commissioned by ensemble mise-en

Premiere: January 21, 2016, Mise-en_PLACE, Bushwick, Brooklyn

Composed and Performed by:

 

NO COLLECTIVE as ENSEMBLE MISE-EN:

Lindsey Drury as Maria Johnson (flute)

Siv Lie as Sabina Torosjan (violin)

Masami Tomihisa as Yumi Suehiro (piano)

Matthew Gantt as Evan Runyon (contrabass)

Brian McCorkle as Mark Broschinsky (trombone)

Davindar Singh as Carlos Cordeiro (bass clarinet)

You Nakai as Moon Young Ha (conductor)

ENSEMBLE MISE-EN as NO COLLECTIVE:

Maria Johnson as Lindsey Drury (flute)

Sabina Torosjan as Siv Lie (violin)

Yumi Suehiro as Masami Tomihisa (piano)

Evan Runyon as Matthew Gantt (contrabass)

Mark Broschinsky as Brian McCorkle (trombone)

Carlos Cordeiro as Davindar Singh (bass clarinet)

Moon Young Ha as You Nakai (conductor)

 

IMMACULATE CONCEPTION is a play of revelational music in two halves, six acts, and one intermission, which intends to reverse causalities (remove all stains) through the miraculous workings of uncanny resemblances (between a type and an antitype, so to speak), or at least give a fleeting impression thereof. Through three rehearsals each, No Collective and ensemble mise-en, both comprised of exactly the same instrumentation (flute, violin, piano, bass clarinet, contrabass, trombone, and conductor) and gender/race distribution, worked to become exact doppelgangers of each other without ever actually meeting one another. In the process, each group derived its own music through imitated gestures and (re-)imagined sounds of the other. The effect of doubling further proliferates in the concert, where the three-times-two rehearsals is unfolded in the three-times-two acts, the first half enfolded in the second, and each act is explained by the next while containing the one before. The resulting sequence stages performative faith to something that never existed, something that appears as foreshadowing the events but only in retrospect. The hope is for such perturbation of causes to save us all from our original sins (which is of course that of conceiving and being conceived), not through expiation, but through sleight of hand. To see is to believe, to hear is to doubt, to concert is to bind.

* Two doppelgänger reviews:

A) A DOUBLE ACT: IMMACULATE CONCEPTION BY NO COLLECTIVE (The Brooklyn Rail (TBR), September 2016) by Cody Eichman

B) MUSIC AND ITS DOUBLE: THE IMMACULATE (AND NOT-SO-IMMACULATE) CONCEPTIONS OF NO COLLECTIVE (TDR, MIT Press, Spring 2017) by Cody Eikman

London, Tokyo and New York, December 21, 2015-January 21, 2016