Portland, Oregon - Local singer-songwriter and performing artist Holcombe Waller premieres a new multi-media song performance, "Surfacing," December 2nd and 3d at BodyVox Theater (NW 17th Avenue and Northrup). "Surfacing" is an all-sung performance weaving together story-telling, theater and immersive video projections. Inhabiting an emcee-like role and toeing the divide between realism and fantasy, Holcombe retells the intriguing testimonies of living characters who view the world as theirs to shape. These stories take the audience on a journey through time and place, invoking subjects as far reaching as Catholic beautification, anarchist communist revolution, health care activism and the history-in-the-remaking of contemporary performance art. All of these stories converge to explore the ephemeral, transforming and constructed organization of society.
"Surfacing" follows up on his 2007 folk-operetta "Patty Heart Townes," as well as the 2009 Portland premiere of his theatrical folk show, "Into the Dark Unknown: The Hope Chest," commissioned and presented by the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art at the Imago Theater.
Holcombe previewed an excerpt of the work at Seattle's On the Boards Northwest New Works festival, prompting Seattlest.org to write:
"Holcombe Waller's piece is something like a new form of singspiel. His beautiful, lilting singing style takes on the hard, matter-of-fact subject of Judith Malina's grandson, Tameron, ascending the heights of a mountain as he tells the story of his grandmother and her friend, the legendary Dorothy Day. His delicate voice speaks of such indelicate dactylic lyrics as "beautiful peaceful anarchist-communist revolution" in a way that evokes irony. But this is not cheap irony. This is the irony that proceeds from an actual exploration: how can we make this beautiful idea with an ugly hyphenated name sound like a beautiful idea, and convince our modern-day cynics of its truth? That he pulls it off as well as he does is rather remarkable. It has the roots of a fascinating piece. I have no doubt he will convince many in his quest to master the material."
Filled with humor and emotion, "Surfacing" is an exciting new installment in Holcombe's unique sensibilities as an artist, singer and composer. "Surfacing" was made possible by a grant from the Regional Arts and Culture Council, as well as a co-commission by Helena Presents (Helena, MT) and Out North Theater (Anchorage, AK) with funding from the National Performance Network. Development space was graciously donated by Artists Repertory Theatre and the Falcon Art Community.
BodyVox Theater (View)
1201 NW 17th Ave
Portland, OR 97209