About this project
I always knew I'd end up writing orchestral music. - Kip Winger
Kip Winger, lead singer of the rock band Winger, is an accomplished, award nominated ballet composer. For his next symphonic piece, Conversations With Nijinsky, he wants to record exclusively with students of Oberlin College.
Winger has arranged with the Dean of the Music Conservatory to hire the school's orchestra. They will practice and record his composition for an upcoming CD. The project will be filmed. The money raised through Kickstarter will hire approx. 60 students, conductor Scott Yoo, and a sound engineer. It will also subsidize travel and accommodations for a small documentary crew.
Should we go over our funding goal any extra money will be dedicated to more time at Oberlin and other out of pocket expenses that were not included in this budget.
CONVERSATIONS WITH NIJINSKY ARTIST'S STATEMENT:
Conversations with Nijinsky is my imaginary musical dialogue with a great historical figure. Universally cited as one of the greatest male dancers of the 20th century, Vaslav Nijinsky was celebrated for his virtuosity, for the depth and intensity of his characterizations, and his legendary gravity-defying leaps.
I spent the winter of 2010 reading several books on Nijinsky, composing sketches of music I heard while reading his story.
In 1909, Sergei Diaghilev created what became the Ballet Russes in Paris, and commissioned Nijinsky to choreograph numerous works that extended the limits of traditional ballet. But in 1919, at the age of 29, Nijinsky's career suddenly ended when he suffered a nervous breakdown and was diagnosed with schizophrenia.
He spent the rest of his life in and out of psychiatric hospitals and asylums. During the last days of World War II, Nijinsky danced in public for the last time. He encountered a group of Russian soldiers outside of Vienna, playing traditional folk tunes. Inspired by the music and his reunion with his countrymen, he leapt into an exquisite dance, astounding the men with the complexity and grace of his figures. The experience restored some of Nijinsky's capacity for communication, after having maintained long periods of silence.
Particularly when I read Nijinsky's Diaries, I felt both disoriented and inspired. The Diaries reminded me that creating art can feel like a dangerous, psychologically unstable enterprise: long stretches of nonsensical meandering may be followed by small moments of searing lucidity. My reading inspired me to imagine all the ways Nijinsky would have fulfilled his artistic expression through dance had he not had his illness.
I conceived of my new work as the accompaniment to the "unseen" dances of Nijinsky.
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