In collaboration with D. Blake Love
We all live in the Mortal City. Much of our life, it is an aching, chilled, stiff, ill-protected, fragile, complicated place. We fight off the chill and aches as best we can. We brave ice storms to go on blind dates and eat spaghetti while wrapped in blankets inside the body of the city. We use tools to compensate and create a spark, find warmth, keep warm. Puppets are tools we use, simple tools that mirror us creating the spark. Cities are elaborate tool sets in which we all go about trying to strike a spark, keep the spark alive, and pay our rent. Here we are in a room in the middle of this city.
Inspired by Dar William’s song of the same title, Mortal City also uses music and imagery to create a poem of a city that feels, breathes, gives and takes. We explore creating this city live – its music, its infrastructure, its lights, its characters, its periwinkle skies. Our process has been an exploration of the richness of having two creators/performers, and we’ve sought to stay true, to the simplicity, sustainability, and elegance of two-ness in our collaborative process and in our show. As two non-professional musicians, the creating and performing of music has been a challenging, vulnerable, and fun step for the both of us. We invested a lot of time in exploring sound, and invested all of our materials budget on a piano and looping pedal.
We have worked together on many puppet projects over the past few years but Mortal City is our first show created in partnership. We aimed to find the strength of Mortal City in full collaboration and feel very pleased to have authentically achieved this goal. We feel our ideas, images, music, and aesthetics layered in a cozy way. Thank you to HOBT’s new Puppet Lab program for providing a warm, supportive Petri dish to grow within. -Bart Buch and D. Blake Love, performed at Heart of the Beast in March, 2011
all photos by Bruce Silcox