US - Pennsylvania - Full Moon 53 - 02/08/01
This month my notable mention goes to Pittsburgh's Squonk Opera. Squonk Opera's [post,
post] modern opera Bigsmörgåsbørdwünderwerk is a hypnotic hallucination into some sort
of reality and a post-modern mixture of minimalism, Kurt Weil, and the multi-dimensional ethnic
voices that go beyond known boundaries of heretofore operatic experiences.
Pittsburgh's Squonk Opera is the creative collaboration between Jackie Dempsey and Steve
O'Hearn. Musically joined by vocalist Jana Losey, bassist T. Weldeon Anderson and
percussionist Kevin Kornicki the five have created an eclectic group that ventures into the
popular aspects of the thematic opera creating "opera for the people, by the people, and of
the people!" This album is the recording "ghost" from the stage presentation of the work in
New York and even though the visual aspect is missing (as with all recordings) the music is
a delightful conglomeration of diverse elements into a whole that is excitingly new and
unexpectedly irreverent. Minimalist elements mingle and make love to ethnic sounds and ethereal
vocals while various instruments and sounds make guest appearances and run into the corridors
of emotion and logic in opposite and unforeseen yet agreeable directions.
In vino veritas and in Bigsmörgåsbørdwünderwerk aural/emotional/intellectual satisfaction.
Copyright © 2001 Stavros Moschopoulos