Darcy James Argue, composer
Danijel Zezelj, story, animation, and live painting
Featuring Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society
Jim Findlay, scenic and projection design
Paloma Young, costume design
Scott Bolman, lighting design
Isaac Butler, directorial consultant
Produced by Beth Morrison Projects
Brooklyn Babylon was commissioned by BAM for the 2011 Next Wave Festival.
Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society is one of the most admired ensembles in contemporary jazz. The band has toured in Europe, Brazil, and North America; been featured twice at the Newport Jazz Festival; and topped the Big Band category in the 2015 DownBeat Critics Poll. Weaving progressive jazz, early-American popular styles, Balkan folk music, and the sounds of Brooklyn’s diverse contemporary music scene, Argue creates in the multimedia work Brooklyn Babylon an evocative musical narrative that’s at once timeless and unlike anything heard before.
Brooklyn Babylon was conceived in collaboration with Croatian-born visual artist Danijel Zezelj, whose narrative inspired Argue’s mash-up of musical styles. Zezelj’s artwork, created live on stage, places the action in a larger-than-life, mythic Brooklyn in which past, present, and future coexist. Plans are afoot to construct an immense tower—the tallest in the world—in the heart of the city. Lev Bezdomni, a master carpenter, finds himself torn between his personal ambition and his allegiance to the community when he is commissioned to build a carousel that will crown the skyscraper. It’s an urban fable about an artist torn between his ambition and his connection to the people of his neighborhood.
Live music, live painting, and projected animation combine to create a uniquely immersive experience that David Krasnow of public radio’s Studio 360 called “a masterpiece… a new work of originality, power, and beauty.”
Performers will also participate in a post-performance discussion with audience members.
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Juniper Village at Brookline