Commissioned by the Krannert Center. House of Solitude for solo violin and electronics.
The labyrinth is a mysterious enigma and emblem of the modern world in which we can see ourselves as trapped, caught in a web of winding paths from which it is not easy to disentangle. However, every labyrinth offers the possibility to escape, and because of the performer's interactivity with their instruments (KBOW and LED CELLO) combined with improvisational elements, each performance will vary in terms of the "answer" or "exit" to the labyrinth of life, enhancing the deeply personal experience for each viewer.
The Installation Concertos explore the labyrinth theme with music, visual art (through film and live performance), and advanced technology. Through these explorations, each interdisciplinary creative team adds to the ever expanding relationship between music and visual art. Art for House of Solitude by Carmen Kordas. Art for Room 35 (inspired by the semi novella by Anais Nin) by Erika Harrsch, animation by Brad Peterson, direction by Michael McQuilken.
House of Solitude is a violin concerto with multiple layers of the self represented in a symphony of prerecorded violins, and live and fixed electronics ok. It is presented in a simple hologram-like setting on stage, creating a three-dimensional snapshot of the solo performer’s thoughts, including solitude, extreme communication and the subsequent lack of connectivity, and the search for the lesser known sides of one’s self. The sound world is created from everyday sounds: a drum set made from the hiss of a washing machine, the beats from an EKG, and finally the human voice. Images of bodies appear — those of humans, other life forms, and hybrids — and Carmen Kordas’ artwork follows their journey through the four elements as they become part of the man’s life story. The imagery gradually dissolves into the forces of nature and fluid shapes of dreams take on a life of their own. They contort, grow, fuse, and age, reminding us of where life originates and the unknown dimension to which we are headed. The man’s journey through the labyrinth of his mind is represented by a solitary house. The bodies symbolize human connection from which he is offered a path of escape. House of Solitude ends with the man leaving on an unknown road.
“Paola Prestini invited listeners into her sensually saturated dreams…soloists Tim Fain, violin, and Maya Beiser, cello, performed the two captivating concertos of Prestini’s ‘Labyrinth,’ surrounded by a phantasmagoria of visual projections.”
THE WASHINGTON POST