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Friday, September 25, 2015

In Context: Reconfiguration: An Evening with Other Lives

Reconfiguration: An Evening with Other Lives comes to BAM on October 9. Context is everything, so get even closer to the production with this curated selection of articles and videos related to the show. After you've attended the show, let us know what you thought below and by posting on social media using #OtherLives.

Curator's Note

BAM Executive Producer Joseph V. Melillo discusses his selection of Reconfiguration: An Evening with Other Lives for the 2015 Next Wave Festival.

Program Notes

Reconfiguration: An Evening with Other Lives (PDF)

Watch & Listen

Other Lives at Music Apartment (YouTube)
A live performance from April '15, featuring the band. And a big chandelier.

Tiny Desk Concert: Other Lives (NPR)
The band performs three songs as part of NPR’s Lilliputian web series.

Dan Deacon Remix of Other Lives’ “Easy Way Out” (KCRW)
The Baltimore-based producer’s reimagining of a track from Rituals.

Terry Kinney on Reconfiguration (
“I became somewhat obsessed with them,” said Kinney of Other Lives.


Mapping Intersensory Domains (BAM blog)
From Kanye to Occupy, both members of Reconfiguration's visual design team bring a rich creative practice to the table.

Reconfiguration—A Visual Transformation of Music by Other Lives (BAM blog)
Other Lives brings a cinematic expansiveness to music, and now a team of theatrical designers is providing a setting on stage befitting the sound.

Terry Kinney (BOMB Magazine)
A younger Terry Kinney talks about hating directing, being a provocateur, and more.

Now your turn...

What did you think? Discovering the band for the first time? Describe their sound in six words or fewer? Thoughts on Terry Kinney’s pairing of image and sound? Tell us what's on your mind in the comments below and on social media using #OtherLives.


  1. Other Lives were brilliant, just as expected. They seem so down to earth and dedicated to making really unique music, with such a blend of native american rhythms, modern alternative and a great selection of instruments. The addition of visuals was also excellent and very suited to the music. On a slightly more technical note, the seats (A10-A12) were great to see the band up close, but a bit too close to the right speaker & the lights were quite blinding - would have all worked perfectly from midtheatre, but the volume and light intensity was a bit much so up close.

  2. Loved the music and the band's performance. Thought the quasi-narrative was a bit distracting and would have preferred the stuck to visual motifs only.

  3. The music and images were haunting. I still find it all floating through my brain, especially the planetary theme and the boy-rocket images. I admit it was a bit strange to listen to such peaceful music and watch a cartoon of a boy who looked so traumatized most of the time (riding full speed, chased by monsters, falling, running, etc.), but I love the idea behind it all and I hope BAM will do this again in the future (especially with Other Lives -- what amazing talent).

  4. I knew nothing of Other Lives but was attracted by BAM’s advertising description of the show, with its multifaceted offerings. Although impressive in a number of ways, Reconfiguration disappointed because of the music, which I found unrelievedly ponderous, portentious, and at times grandiose. The individual numbers lumbered through like heavy-footed space-age mastodons, with relatively little variation in tempo, melodic shape, or mood—perhaps by artistic intent for this integrated work. At times the excesses of the piece reminded me of the overblown orchestral art rock of the 1970s (sans string section): like HEAVY, man—too heavy.

    That said, the work is impressively layered and orchestrated, and it was played very well by a group that demonstrates technical skill, commitment, and artistic sincerity. Once outside the music (during the post-show ovation), they seemed free of the pretension and mannerisms that marred the musical performance.

    Front man Jesse Tabish introduced the post-show offering with the comment “enough of these sad songs,” acknowledging the dark weightiness that had preceded. The pieces that followed were, alas, all too similar in nature, albeit less apocalyptic.

    I don’t know how representative this evening’s work was of their overall oeuvre—kindly excuse my ignorance.

    The light part of this son et lumière was visually engaging, at times mesmerizing, and quite enjoyable.

    Addendum: I checked two 2015 studio performances from Other Lives (below) and found the songs much more enjoyable, free of what struck me as lugubrious pretense in the multimedia Reconfiguration. The group members (represented mainly by the lion-maned Mr Tabish) again seemed down to earth and likable in person.

    KEXP — May 12, 2015:
    Music Apartment — April 15, 2015:


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