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Carnelian

Spare Titles

Details

Categories: Theater, Music, Visual Art

Dates: September 5, 2023 - September 9, 2023

Run Time: 60 mins

Venue: The Icebox Project Space

Overview

Carnelian is an eclectic musical written by Lex Brown and co-composed by Samuel Beebe. In the course of a day, three mythical figures – Necyria, Bicyclus, and Orachrysops – await the imminent arrival of a cataclysmic event: the “Boom.”  Throughout 8 songs, each character contends with their own definition of power, whether it be natural, political, technological, or spectacular. Carnelian’s debut at the Fringe brings these genre-bending songs to life with the original cast and a 5-piece band, led by Beebe on the piano and Brown playing the character of the Auctioneer. 

Carnelian’s characters are based on archetypes associated with the animistic qualities ascribed to fire, earth, air, and the void. These elements are personified in the cosmologies of many cultures, and form protagonists that exist somewhere between human, figurine, and muse. Their Latin monikers also beckon associations with classical greco-roman mythology but are actually the names of moth and butterfly genuses found in Afrotropical and Neotropical realms— zoological regions of sub-Saharan Africa and South America. 

Known as the “artist’s stone,” carnelian is a mineral believed to bring creativity, inspiration, and clarity to the voice. This association speaks to the heart of this transformative work which has been manifested as a film, album, and video installation. Carnelian began as an immersive installation in Brown’s solo exhibition at the M.I.T. List Visual Arts Center (April 3 – July 16, 2023).

Through Carnelian’s rich use of symbolism, its language addresses how issues like the climate crisis and extremist ideologies exert themselves on individuals. As a vibrant musical work, it asks when we will recognize that the Boom is already here, and how our humanity endures, in spite of itself, through these existential changes?

 

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Cannonball, produced by Almanac Dance Circus Theatre, is the first and largest independent festival hub of the Philadelphia Fringe that presents risk-taking independent artists in back-to-back performances next to delicious lounge spaces, fostering creative collisions and community conversation.

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About the Artist

Spare Titles is a production company established by Lex Brown, an artist who blends immersive installation, music, movement theater, video, painting, and sculpture. Finding the poetry within the mess of the Information Age, Spare Titles takes on timely themes such as algorithmic control, corporate monopolies, militarization, mass media, and climate change with an eye towards absurdist humor, arresting imagery, and and thought-provoking lyricism.


 

Credits

  • Lex BrownWriter
  • Lex BrownDirector
  • Lex BrownCo-composer
  • Samuel BeebeCo-Composer
  • Samuel BeebeMusic Director
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