I, Norton Approacheth

As Professor Farnsworth would say: Good news, everyone!

Gino Robair will be on the show Sept. 11, a special 2:00 p.m. start time, to talk about his opera, I, Norton. His CD of past performances is/should be ready to come out, and there’ll be an I, Norton performonce on Sept. 19 at the San Francisco Electronic Music Festival.

(“The Show” is listenable at kzsulive.stanford.edu, or 90.1 FM if you’re in the Bay Area.)

I got to see an excerpt of I, Norton at an sfSound show last year, and it was good stuff. Tom Duff played Norton, strutting around the stage making his hefty proclamations. Aurora Josephson, playing the role of an imaginary First Lady, I think, added wordless, improvised vocals as part of the musical backing. Robair conducted the orchestra.

Here’s the official explanation, from Robair’s Rastascan Records site:

In performance, I, Norton takes the shape of an improvised collage structure that combines conduction (using hand cues), graphic scores, and memory-based improvisational structures. The opera can be performed by a mere handful of people, or with a large ensemble. Although the score includes text-based material for speakers and singers, a realization of the opera can be completely instrumental. The piece does not require staging, sets, lights, or costumes. It is meant to be performed anywhere, anytime: A “mobile guerrilla anti-opera,” if you will.

You can read a little more about the opera, and a lot more about Robair, in this terrific Paris Transatlantic interview.

Now, it so happens The Bad Plus is in town for a stint at Yoshi’s SF next weekend, so the Yoshi’s folks have arranged for them to be interviewed as well. They’ll be on at 3:30. I’m particularly interested in talking with them about the origns of the band and about Ethan Iverson and Dave King’s work with Tim Berne in Buffalo Collision, which plays the Monterey Jazz Festival on the 20th. Nothing against the guys, but I hope their appearance doesn’t overshadow Robair’s.