A Bookmobile for Dreamers

Elizabeth Brown

Lothar Osterburg

Watch on YouTube
Video 1

A Bookmobile for Dreamers

Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 7:30pm
Target Free Thursdays
David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center, Frieda and Roy Furman Stage

A Bookmobile for Dreamers combines live theremin, recorded soundscape, and video into a meditation on books, reading, libraries, and culture.

Inspired by the joy of browsing, A Bookmobile for Dreamers celebrates the imagination as triggered by the printed word. Elizabeth Brown and Lothar Osterburg, who have been collaborating since 2003, have drawn on their diverse talents to create this piece. Osterburg, who is a sculptor, photographer, printmaker and filmmaker, has created a dreamlike model world using real time video, stop motion animation and some special effects. Brown's theremin sings over an electronic soundscape which she built from transformed field recordings of everyday sounds. Brown uses the theremin's spatial playing technique to interact with the virtual world of the video projection.

Osterburg builds his small models by hand from memory, from readily available materials—vegetables, toothpicks, electronic debris—often rescued from dumpsters and piles of refuse on city streets. Stripped of superfluous detail and appearing in unlikely settings, the scenes draw the viewer into a world suspended between the real and the imaginary. Brown, who collects sounds the way Osterburg collects sculptural materials, hears music everywhere. A very moldy piano, mating frogs deep in the Grand Canyon, Aunt Irma's grandfather clock at midnight, dropped silverware, a friend's washing machine, rushing water in the drains of Lucca, Italy during a rainstorm, squeaking doors and groaning pipes, spinning tops, jawharps, footsteps in cinders, chickens . . . . all these sounds coexist as books dissolve, refold themselves, and march along city streets, and the theremin plays on.

A Bookmobile for Dreamers was commissioned through Meet The Composer's Commissioning Musc/USA program, which is made possible by generous support from the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, the Ford Foundation, the Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trusts, New York Department of Cultural Affairs, New York State Council on the Arts, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the Helen F. Whitaker Fund.

Presented in collaboration with The Bogliasco Foundation


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