I’m delighted to announce performance dates for Pretty Boy, with the Paul Dresher Ensemble!!
December 14 & 15, Z-Space, San Francisco, CA
Pretty Boy is a new electro-acoustic composition, a mono-drama for tenor and instruments focussing on the last minutes in the life of the American bank robber and folk-hero Charles Pretty Boy Floyd. Floyd is an interesting character for so many reasons, notably his daring, legendary heists and preternatural ability to escape law enforcement. He was often romanticized as an depression-era Robin Hood, and in fact he did give large portions of his “earnings” to family, friends, and even to mere acquaintances. But the narrative thread that most inspired both me and author David Brock this cycle had to do with Floyd’s ever increasing isolation. A gregarious family man, the more his fame increased, the more he became a valuable target of an ambitious, young J.Edgar Hoover. As such, he was constantly hunted, and unable return to his beloved wife and young son.
The Paul Dresher Ensemble interprets the ideas and sounds of today’s most innovative and irreverent composers. With energy, virtuosity and incredible attention to the theatrical dimensions of performance, it produces and tours its own works of opera and experimental music theater (developed in collaboration with Obie Award-winning performer Rinde Eckert), and as the Electro-Acoustic Band performs the work of an amazing range of contemporary composers with instrumentation that combines traditional acoustic and contemporary electronic instruments. Virtuoso solo performers like Terry Riley, Joan Jeanrenaud and David Abel frequently join the Electro- Acoustic Band for concerts that redefine contemporary chamber music.
Author David Brock
David Brock is a playwright, poet and librettist. He created a beautiful set of original poems for this project that weave a vivid picture of Floyd – his bravado, fear of capture, loves, deep regrets and final last words. David is the winner of the 2011 Herman Voaden Playwriting Award for his play Wet. His chapbooks of poetry are Gasmask Summer (Emergency Response Unit) and Black Metal Melody (Ferno House). A first collection of poems is forthcoming from Wolsak and Wynn in 2014. His operas have been produced across Canada, the United States, and Europe. He has an MFA from the University of Guelph and currently lives in Toronto. He is currently writing text for a black metal opera (bands and sopranos wanted).