Jon and Tania are setting a selection of poems from “The Book of a Thousand Eyes” to music. Tania and Jon have a history of working with text and music and this work offers an excellent forum for a very orchestral approach to integrate the poems with a wonderful array of small electronics, piano, clarinet, concertina and other surprises.
Lyn Hejinian’s “The Book of a Thousand Eyes” was written over the course of two decades, The Book of a Thousand Eyes was begun as an homage to Scheherazade, the heroine of The Arabian Nights who, through her nightly tale-telling, saved her culture and her own life by teaching a powerful and murderous ruler to abandon cruelty in favor of wisdom and benevolence. Hejinian’s book is a compendium of “night works”—lullabies, bedtime stories, insomniac lyrics, nonsensical mumblings, fairy tales, attempts to understand at day’s end some of the day’s events, dream narratives, erotic or occasionally bawdy ditties, etc
Tania Chen is a pianist, experimental musician, free improviser and sound artist, working with pianos, keyboards, found objects, toys and lo-fi electronics.
She has performed the music of John Cage, Earle Brown, Schoenberg, Webern, and Chris Newman. She is equally known for free improvisation, collaborating with musicians including Roger Turner, Lol Coxhill, Terry Day, Bruce Ackley, and Henry Kaiser, while last year Tania toured John Cage’s Indeterminacy with Steve Beresford and Stewart Lee. She performs with Ben Salomon and Bryan Day in the band Bad Jazz, and with Gino Robair and Tom Djll in the band Tender Buttons.