I’m always fascinated by the ending credits of a motion picture. I’m one of those people who stays to watch the credits roll as the rest of the audience heads home. By the time the final production company logos have scrolled into frame, an entire city’s worth of people have been thanked for their hard work and support. When it comes to contemporary opera, the credits are often missing. The information is there—sometimes in the program book—but that end-of-a-film ceremony is missing from contemporary opera. In my effort to find a way to roll credits—to try to thank everyone for their incredible contributions to Pauline Oliveros and Ione’s The Nubian Word for Flowers—I found myself retracing the steps of an incredible journey.
Pauline Oliveros and Ione began their Nubian journey many years ago with performances of excerpts and workshops in Los Angeles and New York. Along the way, the project has started, restarted, and restarted again, accumulating the most incredible community of creative and passionate listeners and performers.
It’s a nomadic community. ICE and the amazing production team have built the piece on a trail of connecting waypoints, made possible by incredibly loving and generous hosts. From Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), to the Park Avenue Armory, Abrons Arts Center, Mount Tremper Arts, the USC ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archive, Baryshnikov Arts Center, and Roulette Intermedium, The Nubian Word for Flowers has been a tireless caravan to which dozens of artists, producers, venues, and technicians hitched their wagons and added horsepower.
These forces have grown so organically and beautifully that it's hard to list everyone!
ICE wishes to sincerely thank everyone who bravely finished this beautiful piece in Pauline’s absence and in her honor. Whether on the stage or behind the scenes or in the audience, this was a truly memorable project with an international cast (including the Eqyptian singer and composer, Zizo) and novel, collaborative authorship. ICE will be forever grateful for your support in bringing this piece to its premiere!
The Nubian Word for Flowers continues to 2018 and beyond! Let’s keep making new music, new communities, and new adventures!
- Ross Karre, co-artistic director