Pamela Z in collaboration with
Matthew Brubeck
(co-composer/cellist) &
Christina McPhee

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Wunderkabinet is an experimental multi-media opera developed by composer/performer Pamela Z in collaboration with cellist/composer Matthew Brubeck and media artist Christina McPhee. Scored for voice & electronics, cello & electronics, & video, the piece is inspired by and based on the exhibits displayed at the enchanting and renowned Museum of Jurassic Technology in Los Angeles. Wunderkabinet (which premiered in September of 2005 with a two-week run at The LAB Gallery in San Francisco) has also been presented at REDCAT in Los Angeles (October 2006) and at the King Street Theatre in Kitchener, Ontario as part of the Open Ears Festival (April 2007).

The boundary between reality and imagination is blurred as Wunderkabinet's central character "Alice May Williams" makes her strange and magical journey in search of the scientists of the Mount Wilson Observatory to whom she has been sending abundant correspondence, only to find herself in a strange cabinet of curiosities where she eventually becomes a docent.

The music of Wunderkabinet is performed by Pamela Z (voice and live electronic processing) and Matthew Brubeck (cello & electronics). (The October 2006 REDCAT performances featured Alex Kelly on cello & electronics.) The piece is performed in a multi-layered set (designed by Pamela Z) which constantly shifts and changes as it is bathed in Christina McPhee's projected images – evoking the dark yet radiant focus of the museum's dioramas. The score (composed by Z and Brubeck) utilizes bowed and plucked strings, sampled found objects, and a wide range of vocal work ranging from operatic bel canto to experimental extended vocal techniques and spoken text. The libretto is derived from passages of actual descriptive texts from the Museum of Jurassic Technology's exhibitions and stories inspired by them.

large scale performance works | repertoire index | Pamela Z Productions | contact | home





images | video excerpts

60 minutes

voice & electronics:
Pamela Z

cello & electronics:
Matthew Brubeck

composed by:
Pamela Z & Matthew Brubeck

Christina McPhee

Lighting Design:
Elaine Buckholtz

Updated 2/25/14 11:11 AM