I spend much of my musical life listening closely to singers as they express the words of operas, oratorios, and cantatas. As a continuo player, I have the pleasure of responding to a singer in empathy—joining in melody, "painting" words, and adding punctuation to sentences. Creating improvisations with my friends—poets, video artists, singers, and instrumentalists—calls upon the same desire to connect and respond to their work—perhaps with added freedom!
Haikus by Marilyn Miller
Reading and Cello Improvisation by Loretta O'Sullivan
I AM POPE is a video inspired by Kathleen's poetic elegy to Pope Joan. Loretta plays a ballad underscoring the poignant story of this legendary Pope.
BIRDS BEAKS is a poem without words. Kathleen's video of contrasting imagery is accompanied by Loretta's close response in short dramatic gestures.
ZEUS is a montage video based on a poem by Kathleen that tells an ancient and timely story without resolution. Loretta chose to play a lament that expresses contradictory feelings of anguish and anger.
BLACKBIRD follows a woman's stream of consciousness as she sips her cup of tea. Kathleen interweaves myth and current events to reveal our human tragedies. Loretta's playing reflects the rhythms of the story, ending with a lingering and haunting whisper from the cello.
Cello, Harp and Voice Improvisation with Ruth Cunningham