The Fisher Ensemble will premiere Kocho, with music by Garrett Fisher, choreography by Christy Fisher, and presented by the Fisher Ensemble. Kocho (“butterfly”) is the 10th full length piece that Fisher has created that bridges the ancient and the modern, archetypal and urban, the ritualistic and the improvised.
Kocho is based on Nobumitsu’s drama of the same name, and tells the story of a wandering Priest who meets a butterfly and “liberates” it by letting it dance under the plum blossom. It is considered to be a “woman play” (Noh is divided into separate categories). The elements of dramatic conflict in the play are intended to be either very scarce, or are sublimated into pure lyricism. The audience is not bound by the narrative but is instead encouraged to experience the “drama” from the inside out – through the appreciation of site and sound as it unfolds around them. The score includes a combination of 6 string fretted acoustic bass, flute, trombone, Indian harmonium, gongs and percussion, and includes 5 vocalists and silent dancer.
The premiere will also feature an installation by Internationally acclaimed sculptor Louise McCagg.
Fisher sees Kocho as complimentary to his opera At the Hawk’s Well, which was premiered in 2010 in Seattle, Boston, and New York City (“a groundbreaking hybrid” -The New York Times). Both operas incorporate elements of Noh theater, and feature a chamber ensemble as well as a silent dancer who plays a lead role (the guardian in At the Hawk’s Well, and the butterfly in Kocho). Each opera weaves in additional texts: At the Hawk’s Well includes haikus by Basho and Buson; for Kocho, Fisher has commissioned poetry by Seattle poet Amy Schrader.
This project is made possible by support from 4culture’s Special Project Awards (2010), and the Fisher Ensemble, a nonprofit organization.
“Noticed: Garrett Fisher Wows WSJ” (City Arts Magazine, March 26, 2010)
“Using Japanese Noh to Lift a Celtic Myth” (The New York Times, March 21, 2010)
“He Cross Borders” (The Wall Street Journal, March 16, 2010)
“Garrett Fisher – At the Hawk’s Well” (The NewMusicBox, March 16, 2010)
“Opening Nights: At the Hawk’s Well” (Seattle Weekly, March 3, 2010)
“The Fisher Ensemble ‘At the Hawks’ Well’” (The Gathering Note, February 28, 2010)
“Fisher Ensemble offers a daring take on Yeats work” (The Seattle Times, February 25, 2010)