Trombonist and Performance Artist Conant to Perform in Emerson Suites

02/24/2006

Contributed by Erik Kibelsbeck

Trombonist and performance artist Abbie Conant will give a free concert at 8:00 p.m. in the Emerson Suites at Ithaca College on Thursday, March 2. William Osborne will collaborate in the role of composer and video producer. The performance will feature “Cybeline,” a music theater work for performance-artist, glove controller, trombone, video, and quadraphonic surround sound; and “Music for the End of Time” for trombone and quadraphonic tape.

Abbie Conant was solo trombonist of the Royal Opera of Turin, Italy from 1979 to 1980, and from 1980 to 1993 she was solo trombonist of the Munich Philharmonic. The International Trombone Association Journal has featured Abbie Conant in a cover article and described her as "in the first rank of world class trombonists".

"Cybeline” is a music theater work about a cyborg trying to be a talk show host to prove she is human. It is about nature, virtual reality, biotechnology, and the mass media -- about finding the heart and poetry in technology as it also contemplates its horrors. We explore our notion that the creation of a cyborg does not depend on the metalization of the body, but on the programmability of the mind. We live in a wired together, prosthetic world of global “cyberbia“ where our minds are programmed by the mass media. Since our minds are programmed, we are all cyborgs.

Among Cybeline's epsisodes are Schubert Lieder, the Egyptian Goddess Maat, Native American poetry, dismemberment, trombone playing, a talking hand, sacred cartoons, a vengeful opera singer, a martyred math geek, Hildegard von Bingen, fighter jets, commercials for synthetic flesh, cyborgian attack dogs, and personality-enhancement chips, Psalms, a country western song, Mother Nature, and a tribute to Joni Mitchell....all integrated into a 45 minute surround sound mini opera with computer-generated accompaniment, video and live electronics.

For more information about the performance, visit http://www.osborne-conant.org/Tour-2006.htm

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