Departments Collaborate to Present John Gibson’s “Uncanny Valley”
English, Music, UCA 5th Anniversary, University Center for the Arts | October 31, 2013
In Collaboration with the Creative Writing Reading Series at CSU, the University Center for the Arts Brings this Hypnotic Reading to Life
In association with the Department of English and the Department of Music, Theatre & Dance, the 2013 Creative Writing Series at CSU presents John Gibson’s Uncanny Valley, featuring collaborative performances of spoken word, piano, and electronics by special guests Oni Buchanan, piano and Jon Woodward, poet. The performance is Tuesday, Nov. 5 at 7:30 p.m. in the Organ Recital at the University Center for the Arts, 1400 Remington St.
Tickets are $7 for CSU Students, $1 for youth (under 18), and $12 for adults. Tickets are available at the University Center for the Arts (UCA) Ticket Office in the UCA Griffin Lobby, by phone at (970) 491-ARTS (2787), or online at www.CSUArtsTickets.com. Advance purchase is recommended to avoid at-the-door fees.
Uncanny Valley is a long serial poem in 16 sections, meant to be read aloud, with numerous optional repeats throughout the text. These repetitions act as accumulations of sound and, along with the music, can be maddening as well as hypnotic.
“The Creative Writing Reading Series seeks to present students with diverse readers and performances.” said Mary Ballard, assistant director of the series in CSU’s Department of English.
Although the pacing is determined by the two performers, the musical specificity of each section reflects the poem text in ever-different ways. Digital samples triggered by the reader enmesh the piano and spoken text, haunting the music with echoes of itself.
Composed by John Gibson, his music couples with the spoken word poetry of Jon Woodward and a piano performance by Oni Buchanan to create an environment in which the text and music can truly blossom.
“Woodward’s collaboration with pianist Oni Buchanan is an example of the exciting innovation occurring in contemporary poetry, a crossing of mediums and genres.”
The poem reflects roboticist Masahiro Mori’s hypothesis of the “uncanny valley,” which he identified as the emotional and empathic response of humans to humanlike entities, a response created by subtle imperfections in the entities.
This program searches out what is most uncanny, and most human, in both language and music.
Read more about the project.
The University Center for the Arts at Colorado State University provides an enriched venue in which the study and practice of Art, Dance, Music and Theatre are nurtured and sustained by building the skills and knowledge needed by future generations of arts professionals to become contributors to the essential vitality of our culture and society. During the 2013-2014 season, the UCA celebrates its fifth anniversary and features several celebratory events that highlight connecting our campus and community with impactful arts.
For more information, visit UCA.Colostate.edu.