Musical Composition by Robert W. Stevenson
e-mail to Mary Alton: email@example.com May, 1995
The Rondo collaboration began with the use of the surviving fragments of poems of the 6th century B.C. woman Sappho whose sung lyrics, rich in the imagery of light, sound, colour and memory provide a focal point for the interaction of the media of holography and music.
The silence created by these fragments leaves room for reflection.
What we read and can know about Sappho is connected to what we'll never know and can only surmise. The nature of the language allows for the kind of performance we envision. For it's a fugitive elusive language; as such, it holds a relationship to the holographic image.
To reconstruct a history of women (the history of Sappho) through scraps of text, text that has been censored (through willful destruction of printed materials) fabricated and retranslated through the centuries, is to project a partially obliterated reconstruction.
What remains still has strong personal visual references and speaks with a female voice.
The poems we chose to work with allude to the passage of time, age, memories, death, and the immortality of the artist. Considered as a group, several translations of a particular poem of Sappho's illuminate the fluid meanings of language and mythology.
The Pleiades, the daughters of Atlas and Cleone turned into a flock of doves, turned into stars, stars that set before the winter and summer solstice, a harbinger of death and rebirth.
During Sappho's life time one of the Pleiades disappeared. The absence of the star was explained by the Greeks as a halcyon star, banished from the heavens because she married Sisyphus, a mere mortal.
The connection between the missing star and Sisyphus' burial place, rarely seen except at the time of the two solstices; is a summons of the fertile season and death.
Performers Robert W. Stevenson, Fides Krucker and Rick Sacks
Performers Robert W. Stevenson and Rick Sacks
The creators of Rondo extend special thanks to Holly Small for choreographic advice, Kim Derko for cinematography, John Perry and Holographics North for holography production, the Canada Council, the Ontario Arts Council, the Toronto Arts Council, and the Laidlaw Foundation.
Mary Alton and Robert W. Stevenson
I see it still and feel it, the
...shall be to me
...shining back at me
Attributed to Sappho, translated by: Paul Roche
Tonight I've watched the moon and then
the Pleiades go down;
the night is now half gone; youth goes
I am alone in bed
Attributed to Sappho, translated by Mary Barnard
1958 University of California Press
The moon and Pleiades
half the night is gone
I sleep alone
Attributed to Sappho, translated by Diane J. Rayor,
1991 University of California Press
The moon has set,
and the Pleiades as well;
in the deep middle of the night
the time is passing,
and I lie alone.
Attributed to Sappho,
Translated by: Susy Q.Groden 1966 Bobbs-Merrill
The silver moon has set
The Pleiades are gone
Half the long night is spent
And yet, I lie alone
Attributed to Sappho,
translated: by A.J. Merivale, 1883
Although they are
words which I command
Attributed to Sappho, translated by:
still searching for this rare and elusive translation
ROBERT W. STEVENSON
Clarinetist-composer Robert W. Stevenson began his career in Toronto in the
mid-70s, where he quickly established himself as an important force in the
contemporary music scene. He has performed with most of the contemporary music
ensembles that have existed in Toronto since the 70s, and has been a founding
member of several (Evergreen Club, Hemispheres, Critical Band, etc.).
In '79, he helped found the musicdance orchestra, an ensemble dedicated to music/dance
collaboration. This lead to a long and fruitful relationship with the dance
community. He has collaborated with choreographers such as Holly Small, Terrill
Maguire, Joan Phillips, Maxine Heppner and Bill James.
In 1982 he became a member of the Arraymusic ensemble, with whom he is a featured
performer. He has toured extensively with Arraymusic both nationally and
internationally, and is featured as soloist in Steve Reich's "New York
Counterpoint" on the ensemble's recent CD release "Chroma".
Mr. Stevenson's own compositions focus on issues relating to performance practice
and physical space. Recent works also involve improvisation and inter-disciplinary collaboration.
Visual Artist, has worked in diverse media including sculpture, multi media electronic arts and holography, current and recent projects include:
Critical Mass - Researching use of InterNet for virtual project on the crowd and the individual. to explore the phenomenon of the crowd and its behaviour through video, sound and interactive media.
Future/Present/Tense - an interactive CD ROM of music by composer Robert W. Stevenson.
Graduate of Ontario College of Art and grateful recipient of funding from OAC, CC and TAC. Pieces have been exhibited at Museum of Holography, New York, IMAGES ' 93, Eastman House Museum, Rochester, Image du Future, Montreal, and in October 1995 with Net@Works at the Centro Nacional de las Artes in Mexico, Pieces in the Collections of the Art Bank, Goodyear, the Musé des Art Decoratifs Lausanne.
Singer/actor Fides Krucker is committed to performing the music of living composers, working in a collaborative context and pushing the boundaries of her own vocal and theatrical expression. She has performed throughout Europe, Britain, the U.S., Canada and the Middle East and is heard frequently on CBC Radio.
Rick Sacks, active freelance percussionist in contemporary music, opera and theatre; performs with ArrayMusic ,the Glass Orchestra , the Canadian Opera Company, the Evergreen Club gamelan ensemble. Mr. Sacks multimedia performance Toy Weather played at the Music Gallery in the Fall of 1994.