Clapping-Game Songbook (2020)
Musical theater for small ensemble

Cast:

Cliff Oracle - Soprano - Mary Mackenzie
Ocean Oracle - Soprano - Felicia Chen
Sky Oracle - Baritone - Brian Church
 
Bass Clarinet - Amy Advocat
Alto Saxophone - Philipp Stäudlin
Percussion - Mike Williams
(vibraphone, bass drum, tam-tam, triangle, array of large tin cans)

Music, concept, and libretto: Caroline Louise Miller

 

 

This piece was written for Guerilla Opera. Documentation is of a workshop-performance at Brandeis University in March 2020.

Clapping-game Songbook starts and ends in the same space; three oracles skip stones upon a rising ocean. Between short rituals, the oracles perform songs/spells, created in the style of childrens' clapping games. They divine ominous meaning from everyday clues, including: a brilliant sunset through wildfire smoke, a beach flooded with trash, the remains of an upscale gated community that fell into the sea, the electric blue flare of a space-x launch, a massive digital glitch in times square. The four songs/spells reference times of day spanning from midday to the break of dawn the following day. Imminent daybreak in the final sequence of stone skipping signifies running out of time. How many skips will it take to stop the oceans from rising?