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Friday, May 31, 2019

In Context: Triptych (Eyes of One on Another)

Situated somewhere between erotic heat and cool classicism, the work of controversial photographer Robert Mapplethorpe obliterates the high-low divide, exploding classical conceptions of beauty. Fueled by a lifelong fascination with the artist’s transgressive, sacred-profane vision, composer Bryce Dessner (The National), in collaboration with Korde Arrington Tuttle, designer Carlos Soto, video designer Simon Harding, and director Kaneza Schaal (JACK &, 2018 Next Wave), invites us to experience these arresting images anew. Featuring photographic projections and a new score by Dessner—performed by the daring eight-person vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth and a chamber orchestra—Triptych (Eyes of One on Another) examines how we look and are looked at, bringing us face to face with our innermost desires, fears, and humanity.

After you've attended the show, let us know what you thought by posting in the comments below and on social media using #Triptych.

Program Notes

Triptych (Eyes of One on Another) (PDF)


Three takes on Implicit Tensions: Mapplethorpe Now, a yearlong exhibition currently running at the Guggenheim Museum:

Roomful of Teeth is Revolutionizing Choral Music (The New Yorker)
"It’s really just pushing the bounds of what’s beautiful," says Roomful of Teeth's founder Brad Wells in this profile of the experimental vocal group.

BAM Artists and the Culture Wars of the 80s and 90s (BAM Blog)
Mapplethorpe’s photos were a target of the late-20th-century conservative trend to censor artwork that might be offensive; several BAM artists were not spared.

Bryce Dessner on Triptych (Eyes of One on Another) (BAM Blog)
We spoke with Bryce Dessner about his connection to Mapplethorpe’s photography, how he structured his composition, and how Tuttle’s libretto influenced the music.

Watch & Listen

Roomful of Teeth: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert (NPR Music)
The experimental music group performed a few songs at Bob Boilen’s desk at the NPR Music office.  

Finding Poetry and Music in Mapplethorpe (YouTube)
Director Kaneza Schaal and composer Bryce Dessner discuss their work on Triptych (Eyes of One on Another).

Now your turn...

What did you think? Tell us what's on your mind in the comments below and on social media using #Triptych.

© 2019 Brooklyn Academy of Music, Inc. All rights reserved.

1 comment:

  1. Deeply moving and powerfully surprising all at once. I have a completely new perspective on Mapplethorpe after seeing this amazing performance. The wonderful music, words and images were exquisitely choreographed to create a rollercoaster ride of emotion. Bravo!


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