O Sleep

O Sleep is a multi-dimensional improvised opera which focuses on the synthesis of improvised and composed music, text, movement, video and use of architectural and natural space in performance. Inspired by the drama, science and conundrum of sleep and dream life, this project began during an artist's residency in 2009 at the Headlands Center for the Arts and was performed at Southern Exposure, San Francisco in May 2010. The piece is an ongoing inquiry into the nature of improvisation and performance. Can we apply the parameters of free improvisation to larger scale works that involve elements of theater as well (use of space, lighting, movement, text, abstract narratives, video), in order to challenge the expectations and perceptions of the audience and performers alike?  As a trio of three improvising musicians come together as focused individuals to create an often magical outcome which includes simultaneity, chaos, chance and order all at once, can a group of diverse performers who incorporate different media come together to produce a totality of theater which is composed and undetermined at once? The intention is to create an integrated reality (of simultaneously disparate realities) of performance which would synthesize visual and musical expression, resulting in a ritual-like event that engages all the senses. For more information, visit the project blog: The Orange Route

Theresa Wong (cello, voice, director)
Ellen Fullman (Long String Instrument)
Luciano Chessa (dan bau, guitar)
Shayna Dunkelman (drumset and percussion)
Preshish Moments (electronics)
Kanoko Nishi (koto and bass koto) [*Headlands performance only]
Dohee Lee (Korean percussion, taepyeongso, voice)
Heike Liss (set design, video, performance)

Alice Wu (costume design, live drawings) 

Performance at Southern Exposure, San Francisco May 21 & 22, 2010. Photos by Courtney Costello, Maribeth Keane, Diane Carter, James Fei, Michael Zelner, Heike Liss and Theresa Wong.

Costumes by Alice Wu

Special thanks to the following friends and supporters of O SLEEP: Blyth Hazen, Jennifer Hall, Genine Lentine, Glenn and Harriet Wong, Patti and Joel Deuter, Andrew Solomon, Gregory Moore, Denah Bookstein, Maysoun Wazwaz, Mike Lai (video documentation), Michael Zelner (sound recording), Headlands Center for the Arts & Southern Exposure.