“Black Inscription keeps breaking my heart… Every single moment comes from a place of truth… it is a journey both devastating and exhilarating! “
— Osvaldo Golijov, composer
WHAT IS BLACK INSCRIPTION?
Black Inscription, from Carla Kihlstedt, Matthias Bossi and Jeremy Flower, is a multimedia song cycle that follows a deep sea diver on her Odyssean journey. Written with guidance from experts at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and brought to life by a seven-piece band fronted by three singers, the immersive world premiere is a symbolic, scientific, and emotional plunge into the ocean where wonder, discovery, and reckoning entwine.
In Black Inscription, a free diver inspired by the late and great Natalia Molchanova, descends into the depths of the ocean, never to resurface. As her terrestrial ties dissolve, she encounters a mystifying underworld with billions of bioluminescent creatures, endlessly inventive structures of coral, gyres of human detritus, and abandoned nets still fishing for no one – sights both awe-inspiring and devastating.
WHAT DOES THE TITLE MEAN?
The name Black Inscription comes from pioneering ecologist and writer Rachel Carson’s description of the line of microplants that universally signifies the place where water meets rock. It is “…a message only partially legible although it seems in some way to be concerned with the universality of tides and oceans.”
Black Inscription deciphers some of these messages through music, sound and imagery, and plunges us into our oceans, filling us with wonder, outrage, and hope.
“With lyrics about coral spawns, dislocated aquatic creatures and the water cycle, [Black Inscription] reads... like a love song to the changing sea... “ — Zara Abrams, The Huffington Post
Join the Black Inscription crew and help bring this project to life in January, 2018 in New York City at the Prototype Festival, described by the New York Times as “...the city’s most important spotlight on contemporary opera, broadly defined.”
IS MY CONTRIBUTION TAX-DEDUCTABLE?
YES!!!! All contributions go through HERE, a non-profit and our fiscal sponsor. HERE is the venue in NYC that is presenting Black Inscription. Soon after the end of this Kickstarter campaign, HERE will send you an official letter for your tax records.
WHAT WILL MY CONTRIBUTION FUND?
As we dive deep, your contribution will provide the oxygen for two big projects: The release of the album, and the creation of the live performance.
The Black Inscription album will take 2 forms:
• For those of you with an insatiable appetite for vinyl, we’re creating a gorgeous 180-gram double gatefold LP.
• For those of you who prefer their music digital but have a deep love of tactile fine art, we’re creating a dark blue envelope that contains a set of hand silkscreened prints by Lisa Carroll, one for each song, with the lyrics on the back… an instant exhibit for your living room!
(Both formats will include a CD of the album as well.)
Your contribution will also give life to our rehearsals, artist fees and the transportation, housing and feeding of our artists. That's 7 band-members, 4 theater designers, a visual artist, a graphic designer, 2 engineers, a writer, a voice actress! And last, but certainly not least, it will fund the creation of our immersive theatrical world, including a video installation created from both sourced deep sea footage and from our own underwater video shoots... that includes an underwater videographer, a suba-certified dancer, renting the accompanying gear... and much more!
WHO IS INVOLVED IN BLACK INSCRIPTION?
COMPOSERS Matthias Bossi, Jeremy Flower & Carla Kihlstedt / BAND Carla Kihlstedt (voice, violin), Matthias Bossi (drums, voice), Jeremy Flower (guitar, keyboard, electronics, voice), Kristin Slipp (voice, keyboard), Ariel Parkington (voice, viola), George Ban-Weiss (bass for the live show), Jon Evans (bass on the album) & Michael Abraham (guitar) / LYRICIST Carla Kihlstedt / DIRECTORS Carla Kihlstedt & Mark deChiazza / Environment & Video Designer Mark deChiazza / Sound Designer Quentin Chiappetta / Lighting Designer Mary Ellen Stebbins / Costume Designer Sylvianne Shurman / SPOKEN TEXT Hannah Silva / VOICE ACTOR Tatyana Gessen / Visual Artist Lisa Carroll / Visual Artist Anna Singer
WHERE AND WHEN IS THE PERFORMANCE?
Our premiere is a 6-night run at the PROTOTYPE Festival on January 11-13 and 18-20 at 9:30pm At HERE's Dorothy B. Williams Theatre:
145 6th Avenue, New York, NY - Entry on Dominick St.
Tickets are on sale HERE!
WHY DOES IT MATTER?
WHAT IF YOU RAISE MORE THAN $42,000?
Our entire budget, including the fulfilling the kickstarter rewards and the fees, is actually $64,500. I haven't posted the full number as our goal because of the high all-or-nothing stakes of a kickstarter campgain. We have had a few generous contributions outside of kickstarter which have gotten us started. $42,000 is the absolute bare bones figure that we need now to support the many elements of both the live performance and the album release.
If you help us go beyond our full budget goal, we'll use the funds to bring the show to other theaters and create a digital web presence for the project that connects it to oceanographic information and resources. If we truly shoot the moon on this campaign, we'll create a Virtual Reality music video for one (or more) of the songs! And, once that’s done, we’ll take the entire cast and crew out for a round of drinks to celebrate!
BEINGS OF LIGHT!
Risks and challenges
The songs of 'Black Inscription' are already in the can. We're working now on the elements of the live show in January. I'm happy to say that, barring acts of god, uprisings of vengeful mermaids, or total debilitating natural disaster, there is no risk of us not reaching the goals set for this project!
The timeline of the 'Black Inscription' album release is a bit tight between sending the tracks to the press and getting it all back in time for opening night in NYC, but I have mapped it out and am optimistic.
The worst-case-and-somewhat-unlikely scenario would simply be having the album in hand a few weeks later than our January NYC shows.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (32 days)