So What Is Music Theatre? Take everything you "thought" it was and wipe your memory clean. According to Eric Salzman, Music theater is as follows:
“Music Theater is the most ancient and the most modern of the arts, the most esoteric and experimental and yet, at the same time, the most popular. It is full of these contradictions which is what makes it exciting and relevant. In its recent manifestations, it is the off-off-Broadway of opera, the equivalent of modern dance as opposed to ballet. The only trouble is that it’s a still-evolving art form that is now about where modern dance was half a century ago.”From an interview with Eric Salzman at the Maison des Ecrivains (Writers House) in Paris, 1997.
Labor records continues their reissues of works by composer & music theatre pioneer Eric Salzman. Think of it as Monty Python goes off Broadway - just for fun. A wonderful marriage of the visceral and cerebral arts with classic and incredibly innovative recordings now available in a two disc set. One of Salzman's most ambitious works to date especially with the eye popping title is the multi-media music theatre presentation of The Nude Paper Sermon. Originally commissioned for Nonesuch this program includes actor Stacy Keach along with the New York Motet Singers and an ambient electronic assault on the senses.
This pioneering work was one of the first productions to make use of the new multi-tracking capabilities as well as including some of the first new music to be scored for Renaissance instruments in roughly fifty years. To sum up the story line consider one man's look and his inner thoughts on life in the sixties and seventies. Wiretap happens to be shorter works but still running the same conceptualized vision of life at one of the most important junctures in American history.
This multi-media presentation while eclectic is perhaps the finest example of Salzman's genius in tapping into the inner Psyche of an individual combined with some of the most advanced recording techniques of the day for an overall sound that is still contemporary and relevant to this day.
Tracks: The Nude Paper Sermon: Part One, Part Two; Wiretap: Helix, Wiretap, larynx Music, Queens College.