Over the past couple of months I've been writing music for an experimental theatre work called Chicago Chicago, written by Australian John Romiril, directed by Peter Dunn, and performed by the second year acting students at AIT Tafe. The script was written in 1968, and is a satire on the American way of life - with all its foolish granduer, malevolence and decaying culture condensed in 20 disperate though inter-connected scenes.
A presidential candidate is the central character, and as the play unfolds he mentally unravels in his apartment where he is visited by a host of demented characters and a reccuring woman who takes on a series of guises. The subject matter of the play has numerous unnerving parallels with today's global culture of fear, and the actors performances are pushed to absurb extremes - but remain ultimately affecting.
My musical contribution could be best described as a quasi-jazz noise accompaniment - a series of musical themes (mostly acoustic) which introduced each scene with Ruth Buttery on vocals. During each scene I would either play understated jazz/blues motifs on my acoustic guitar, or treat my electric guitar with a socket wrench, bulldog clip, lap slide and my bare fists. The electric guitar wasn't so much played as guitar, rather as an industrial music box - using the webs of feedback and mauled strings to articulate the action on the stage.
Once I get get hold of a recording taken from the last and most chaotic performance on Saturday I'll post some excerpts for you to hear. In the meantime here are some photos I took: