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University of Montevallo to present A Bookmobile for Dreamers

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The College of Fine Arts at the University of Montevallo will present A Bookmobile for Dreamers on Monday, Sept. 9, at 7:30 p.m., in the Library Theater at Parnell Memorial Library in Montevallo. The performance is free and open to the public. A multimedia chamber opera for theremin, electronic music and video, A Bookmobile for Dreamers is supported by the university’s Concert and Lecture Series and the Martha Allen Lecture Series in the Visual Arts.

Inspired by the joy of browsing, A Bookmobile for Dreamerscelebrates the imagination as triggered by the printed word. As a bookmobile makes its rounds, the audience enters a series of books – and is carried away with the leaps, associations and meanderings of the imagination in all its unpredictability. Designed to be as portable as a bookmobile, A Bookmobile for Dreamers can be presented anywhere there is a blank wall and an electrical outlet.

Music for this program is created by composer and performer Elizabeth Brown, whose music has received grants, awards and commissions from organizations as diverse as St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble and the Asian Cultural Council.

The theremin, originally known as the etherphone, is an electronic musical instrument controlled without physical contact by the performer. Patented in 1928 by Russian inventor Léon Theremin, the device produces electric signals, which are converted to sound and controlled by the relative position of the player’s hands.

The video is created by Lothar Osterburg, a sculptor, photographer, printmaker and filmmaker, whose work has been shown worldwide. Osterburg, a Guggenheim Fellowship recipient, teaches at Bard College and Cooper Union and has also served as a visiting artist at notable art institutions from Cleveland Institute and Columbia University to Lacoste School for the Arts in Provence and Liguria Center in Italy.

Brown and Osterburg have been collaborating since 2003. Osterburg has created a dreamlike model world using real time video, stop motion animation and some special effects. Brown’s theremin sings over an electronic soundscape, which she built from transformed field recordings of everyday sounds. She uses the theremin’s spatial playing technique to interact with the virtual world of the video projection.

A reception and informal question and answer session with the artists will be held after the show. Light refreshments will be served.