A Cabinet of Curiosities

Take five creative artists, put them in an experimental environment and have them improvise together. The result is "A Cabinet of Curiosities" the latest production of Sonoluminescence. The group will present two performances, 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 5, and at 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6, at the Black Swan Theatre, 15 S. Pioneer St., Ashland.

Musicians Todd Barton and Terry Longshore have teamed up with dancer Suzee Grilley, visualist Michael Maag and digital artist Bruce Bayard to explore the boundaries of time, light, sound and space. The experience is created in the moment of each performance, which consists of a variety of segments: duets, trios and full ensemble, within which anything could happen. The evening's playbill is an electronic collage designed by Bayard.

Barton is the resident composer for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and director of composition studies at Southern Oregon University. His main instruments are the electronic valve instrument, an expressive instrument that allows him to control entire soundscapes with his breath; a battery of analog synthesizers; and the Japanese bamboo shakuhachi flute.

Longshore is associate professor of music and director of percussion studies at SOU. He has been active as a performer, composer and educator of percussion and has performed internationally and throughout the United States. He performs regularly at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and with ensembles Skin & Bones, Conundrum, Alba Flamenca, T2, and Caballito Negro. He is a Yamaha Performing Artist and an artist/endorser for Remo Drumheads, Vic Firth Sticks & Mallets, and Zildjian Cymbals.

Grilley is a dancer, choreographer, educator, and founder of the DanceSpace and the Suzee Grilley Dance Ensemble. She has choreographed for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and performed at the Oregon Cabaret Theatre and with Rogue Opera. Sonoluminescence takes Grilley back to her roots with the Nikolais DanceTheatre, where performance is always the integration of sound, light, image and dance.

Maag is a freelance visualist and lighting designer. He also is the lighting department manager at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. He improvises and mixes moving multimedia art with luminaires and projection equipment to sculpt space and time with light.

Bayard is a self-taught visual artist producing ink-jet prints of his electronic collages. He is currently in the process of completing a 1,000-image series called "The Weekly Press."

The five artists have a history of working with each other on various projects. Maag has been collaborating with Barton, Longshore and Grilley on a variety of creative endeavors for the last six years. He produced an audio electronic collage for Grilley's choreography "Drawn Onward. Grilley choreographed Barton's Genome music based on human DNA. Longshore provided music for Grilley's choreographies both as composer and as composer/performer. Their collaboration "Dum Taka Zing Bop" was performed in two seasons at SOU and at Britt Festivals, as well as a segment on SOPTV's "Arts Moment" series. Barton provided new compositions for Grilley's choreographies over the past 10 years and, like Longshore, performed live music with Grilley and her dancers. Barton and Longshore have been performing improvised music at various venues around the U.S. and Canada for the past seven years. Bayard has long been a supporter of dance in the Rogue Valley.

Tickets are $12.50 in advance and $15 at the door. Tickets are available at Studio A.B, 621 A Street, Ashland. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and Monday; and 9 a.m. to noon Tuesday through Thursday. Tickets also are available online at sonoluminescence.us.Call 482-2253.

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