Houdini, Memories of a Conjurer

Instrumentation:  Cello, piano, percussion

Duration:  55:00

Commission
Core Ensemble

Premiere
1/23/10
Core Ensemble with Demetrius Klein
Portsmouth Music Hall
Portsmouth, NH

Program Note
Houdini: Memories of a Conjurer pioneers a new cross-discipline genre, combining chamber music, theatre and movement. It features the voice-over of a radio play, the visual action of silent film and a concert all rolled into one! The action is set in a theatre that Houdini breaks into the night before his comeback after the traumatic death of his beloved mother. The show is built around his intense relationship with her, and touches on many aspects of the American immigrant experience. The action includes his comeback preparations, including a number of exciting escape acts, with all movement performed by award-winning dancer Demetrius Klein as Houdini. Shatin’s kaleidescopic original score, composed for Core Ensemble’s instrumentation of cello, piano, percussion, and electronics acts as  a psychological partner to the action. The music comments on  the narration, and also features chamber music ranging from klezmer-inspired pieces to a lighthearted Presto! inspired by magic tricks. Itamar Kubovy’s script allows a glimpse inside Houdini’s psyche, while his physical being may be miles away. The music for Houdini: Memories of a Conjurer is also available as a variable length suite for cello, piano and percussion (7 – 16:00).–JS