Please forward the following performance proposal to the appropriate committee and/or director. It may be modified so that it can better fit the needs and expectations the department sponsoring the event (i.e. play more clarinet for an event sponsored by the Music Department). I have many other pieces that may be substituted for any of these. I have been doing a great deal of research in Southeast Indian (Cherokee, Creek, etc.) culture and have incorporated a lot of it in this performance. This includes some Cherokee texts. Also my costume for this performance is an adaptation from an image found in a mound in the Southeast United States. I am Cherokee and Creek and am a member of a Texas band of Cherokee called the Tsalagiyi Nvdagi. I also managed to blend these ideas with ideas relating to my Welsh and Scottish heritage. The entire performance is really about my own individuation (Jung), pathologizing (Hillman), mythologizing (Campbell) as an American Southerner who can do some excellent bird sounds.
These pieces do require some technical support as will become apparent when reading the proposed program below. I would also like to work with a local drummer for A New Song for the Old South . You may get a more complete idea of each piece through the text for each which will be provided on request. I am "taking this show on the road" and am charging a modest $1,500 fee for the performance. This is, of course, negotiable in lieu of the possibility for future employment, residencies, etc. I hope we can work something out.
Robert H. Price
Present Time Dream Factory
6137 SW 30th Avenue
Portland, OR 97239
Birdman Performance (Program 1)
Birth of Birdman - This a Butoh-styled dance piece. I'll dance like the Lizard and the lights will be Mockingbird's eyes. My back-side will be painted with textures suggesting a chameleon. I will dance against a textured back-drop with my back to the audience. The lights projected on me will be produced by various slide dissolves. Birdman will be born from an egg.
The Great Dragon - I will recite this poem while I put my wings on.
Play Abime des oiseaux from Messiaen's Quatour pour la fin du temps after reciting Bird Poem intro.
Bird Poems - I will complete my costume little by little, with each
piece, and dance at the end.
Cardinal - add Clan Scott kilt on the line "Oh hero of St. Joseph."
Yellow-Hammer Woodpecker - add mask with beak.
Red-Winged Blackbird - add necklaces
Eagle - add head-dress.
Prothonotary Warbler - add tail.
Before the Bird Dance
Bird Dance - I dance while making bird sounds through randomized electronic effects.
After the Bird Dance
Song of Amergin - from Robert Graves' The White Goddess- I will let the lighting designers go wild while I display my completed costume and recite this poem through the pitch-change effect on the digital delay. I will do a dance incorporating sign language to poem.
A New Song for the Old South - I will improvise music with a drummer on bass clarinet while the poem is being read on tape.
Wings - This will be read on tape while I act the poem out in a shadow dance.
There is Waiting Heaven Unites Us - for
my Great Great Grandmother. A
slide of her will be in the background while I read from my blanket which is mentioned in the poem.
Sermon - This is a Baptist-styled sermon about mercy and the resurrection (sort of a satire, sort of not). It requires audience participation and the drummer and organizers will be "ringers" in the audience (literally with gongs and such).
Rapture - Put on tennis shoes. I will read it as if I am reading to children while words of the Cherokee burst periodically from a recorded tape. The poem is about the birds deciding to leave this world for a paradise in the sun, thus leaving humans to their own destruction.
After Conclusion - children doing Jump-Rope Rhyme (a very short art advocacy piece performed by child volunteers).
The poem, A Thousand Words, has been made into a video piece and will be shown in the lobby. This piece displays locations of past and future performances of The Novena Project juxtaposed with text from the poem.
A Brief Biography of Robert Price
Robert Price has been best known in Dallas as the clarinetist for the new music improvisation quartet, BL Lacerta. During his 17 year tenure with the ensemble he performed with John Cage, played in India with Pauline Oliveros and participated in numerous collaborative multimedia events with such artists as Ellen Fullman, Deborah Hay, Cathy Ward, Robert Dunn, Fred Curchak, etc. He used these experiences to develop his own approach to interdisciplinary performance.
Robert Price is now residing in Santa Fe. The focus of his work has been a series of nine-day performances he calls "Novenas." Each is site-specific and often requires audience participation. The term "Novena" is borrowed from the religious practice of honoring a saint and/or praying over a nine-day period. New and unusual environments are created for every Novena by altering the sights, sounds, and behaviors of every participant. The purpose of the Novena is to enhance the perceptions of every participant in ways that will last longer than those effects created by a two-hour performance or a passive gallery installation.
Robert Price is a member of a tribe based in East Texas called the Tsalagiyi Nvdagi and has incorporated many ideas from his Native American heritage into his very post-modern performances which also draw on all human traditions.
Robert Price himself states that his expertise in imitating birds songs (which he has had since age three) forms the very core of his musical perceptions. The same attention to detail has become a common element in all of his musical performance. He has also developed an "alter ego" and/or archetype he calls the Birdman. This Birdman seems to tie into all the rich bird lore of the human species; from Native American to Bardic themes. "He truly plays the bird's role of messenger to the gods from the depths of the soul."