I’m collaborating with Alexander Gedeon and the Now Hear Ensemble on a piece I’ve been wanting to do for a very long time, titled Concerto for Having Fun with Elvis on Stage.
We will premiere CHFES on October 18 at Automata!
CHFES combines live music and theatrical performance to reframe the cultural significance of the “worst album in rock and roll history.”
“Having Fun with Elvis on Stage” is a 1973 album collaged entirely from Elvis speaking on stage between songs at live concerts – no music. AllMusic’s Mark Deming declared “hearing it is like witnessing a car wreck, leaving onlookers too horrified and too baffled to turn away.” Concerto for Having Fun with Elvis on Stage reimagines this vilified recording as the libretto for a sort of ghost opera, combining pop art nostalgia with new technology and classical instruments to create a memetic hologram of the endless purgatory of celebrity afterlife.
Members of the Now Hear Ensemble (Federico Llach, Brian Walsh, and Daniel Corral) will perform my original live musical score along with the original LP as if they were the pit orchestra for opera or musical theater – sometimes harmonizing with the words, painting emotions in the spaces between, or reacting theatrically. Meanwhile, Gedeon’s “Elvis” persona becomes a vehicle to explore all things banal and absurd in pop idolatry, as well as the performative aspects of ‘stage presence.’
The performance of CHFES will be preceded by a screening of Count In, a video piece by Daniel Corral that combines the voice of Poly Styrene (from 70s British punk band X-Ray Spex) with musical minimalism and colorful video. The result is a mix of Steve Reich, James Turrell, X-Ray Spex, LaMonte Young, and Sesame Street Pinball Number Counts.
October 18, 8:30pm
504 Chung King Ct, Los Angeles, CA 90012
$15 students/seniors/Automata members