Suzanne Bocanegra

Rerememberer is a translation of an old Danish peasant fabric into a performance / installation. I wanted to apply the instructions for the creation of a simple, honest textile to sounds, actions, lighting and staging, transforming a small, flat scrap of material into an hour of noise and unearthly atmosphere. The idea for the piece came from the realization that weavers codify their instructions on a 5 line staff – exactly how composers write music. The proportions of the thread count and the numerical ordering of the loom tie-up for the weaving pattern serve as the score and scenario for the entire installation, generating the music, the lighting and the placement in space.

Rerememberer is scored for amplified weaver, accordionist, dj, sound design, lighting, underscore, conductor and an orchestra of fifty violinists who have never played violin before. The entire performance / installation lasts a little over 60 minutes.

I started with the simple idea of having a weaver weave the pattern while the accordionist plays it and improvises on the pattern. I ended up adding an amateur string orchestra – fifty non-musicians who had never played violin before – in order to get the feeling of being inside the loom. The use of amateurs refers to the folk tradition of the weaving, returning the homespun quality of the fabric to its origins. The violinists show up one hour before the performance for a music lesson and are then conducted during the event in a very simple but sonically important contribution to the evening. To this I added an underscore and a lighting design, in order to highlight the theatrical nature of the event.

Rerememberer was performed at Judson Memorial Church in New York City on January 17, 2009 and again in October 16, 2009. It was also performed June 8, 2010 at the Teatre Republique in Copenhagen. Rerememberer was funded in part by the Danish Arts Agency. Original performers were weaver Gail Gondek, accordionist Frode Andersen, d.j. Ejnar Kanding, conductor and violin instructor Todd Reynolds. Underscore by David Lang, lighting by Laura Mroczkowski, sound design by Greg Hanawalt.

Original violinists were Kelly Adams, Marina Adams, Amanda Ameer, Fiona Berry, Georgia Berry, Ian Berry, Monica Berry, Ann Bobco, Tom Burkhardt, Kathy Butterly, Mark Dion, Will Epstein, Sarah French, Jacob Ginsberg, Christoph Gerozissis, Michael Gordon, Yael Gordon, Valerie Hegarty, Molly Hickok, Jenny Hibberd, Emily Holden, Cole Jackson, Frank Jackson, Ella Kim, Ike Lang, Thea Lang, Barbara Lapcek, Jack Lazar, Paul Lazar, Brett Littman, Suzanne McClelland, Jennie Monick, Honor Mosher, Laurie Olinder, Annie-B Parson, Richard Pieper, Sarah Pieper, Amy Podmore, J. Morgan Puett, Paul Ramirez Jonas, Arlene Shechet, Dana Sherwood, Lisa Sigal, Elena Sisto, Cassis Staudt, Sue-Ellen Stroum, Natasha Sweeton, William Whitney, Julia Wolfe, B. Wurtz.

Discounted parking is available in the Brazos Garage, right next to the museum on Martin Luther King Jr Blvd.  Bring your ticket to the Blanton Museum front desk to access the $4 rate.


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