Vic Hoyland: Dumb Show

Vic Hoyland Dumb Show
Dumb Show

Vic Hoyland: Dumb Show

Scored for:
for participants (male and female), percussion (and amp voice)
Composer:
Vic Hoyland
Duration:
17’
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Work introduction

Dumb Show waswritten specifically for the music theatre group Vocem and especially for the singer/dancer/actors Alan Belk and Fran Lynch. The workis radical in my output of music theatre.

The Anglo-Saxon poems are drawn from The Riddles of the Exeter Book and reveal a dream world of resemblances and crossed identities, full of shapes unknown, surreal and enchanted. I was reminded forcibly of the painter Magritte: a man with one eye and twelve hundred heads, a bird that sings through her wriggling foot, a cock-like Christ, an onion and a key pushing and throbbing for attention “full under shirt”. Of the ninety or so riddles I chose six: urine, loom-shuttle, key, mimic sing-bird, rune-maker, and onion. In re-creating the warmth, wit, bawdy fantasy, magic and joy, I’ve tried to create something very new out of something very old. Rune-maker is delivered in modern English and tells of the magic of words that heal separation. The remainder are delivered in Anglo-Saxon.

No matter: the vocal qualities and specific choreographed actions render meanings clear enough.

Dumb Show is performed as if in split-screen with the performers each tied to a square grid 8’ x 8’. The upstage percussionist/puppet master plays dance-band kit and his stick actions are coordinated with the activities on stage.

The work Head and Two Tails consists of Bitch, Dumb Show and Foxed.

Special prints

Dumb Show

Vic Hoyland: Dumb Show

score
for participants (male and female), percussion (and amp voice) , 17’

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