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February 12, 2003

A Call to Be Heard New!

Everyone is connected. Cell phones, pagers, instant messenger, there is always some way to be reached when we do not want to be. Voicemail -- and more specifically answering machines -- can be a saving grace for all the times when we just miss the phone. These ideas are the foundation of Sorry, Your Call Did Not Go Through by Linda Dusman, chair of the Department of Music.

The composition has now been put into motion as the score for a new dance by Carol Hess, chair of the Department of Dance. The work receives its premiere during Phoenix Dance Company's concerts at the UMBC Theatre.

Hess' dance involves the intricate manipulation of sounds, as movements by dancers interact with a "wired" set piece to create layers of random rings, buzzes and beeps from telephones and cell phones. Underlying these sounds is Dusman's score, which includes a mixture of voice messages from answering machines.

A series of speakers will be lined up at the front of the stage and each of the dancers will take a message and bring it to life. "The dancers attempt to take the sonic aspect and make it larger," Dusman says. "It's fun because we are taking a piece that was not meant to be performed and turning it into a performance."

Dusman's composition has been in the process of creation for over two years."A couple of years ago, I spent a chunk of my summer listening to answering machine messages," she says, "This piece of technology is omnipresent.

"We think we have privacy with this device, but you don't know where it will go," Dusman adds. "Given that we move very much now, this is a way people can stay so called 'in touch' with each other. We just leave sonic residue in one another's houses."

Phoenix Dance Company will perform Sorry, Your Call Did Not Go Through as part of its program at the UMBC Theatre on February 14 and 15. For reservations and information call the Box Office at (410) 455-6240. To read more about the concert click here.

- Jennifer Leigh Gibson

Posted by dwinds1 at February 12, 2003 12:00 AM