Thursday, February 4, 2010

Writers writing, musicans playing and a vampire vamping

UPDATE: This performance has been moved to the Dumas Center, 108 First St. NW in Roanoke. This is across the street from the Culinary Institute and near the Higher Education Center.

By Dan Smith

Simon Nolen (right), a teacher at Community High School in Roanoke and a film and media arts graduate of Temple University, has put together a ... uh ... something. I’m not quite sure what to call it, but it sounds literate, engaging, entertaining and, well, unusual. In a nutshell, it looks like this: local bands, a famous writer, a vampire--presented in a church.

It’s called "Jack Pendarvis & Nosferatu, Scored by Rootstone and Magic Twig’ and it sounds local, international, fascinating and certainly creative, which is the entire point of the Marginal Arts Festival, of which it is a part.

It is scheduled Friday, Feb. 12, 7:30-11:30 p.m. at the old church building on the corner of Church and 5th St, across from the Kirk Family YMCA. (An aside here: This is the church where a judge once sentenced me to attend AA or go to jail after being busted for drunk driving. I picked AA.) Here’s what Simon says (heh, heh) about his production:

“All right here is the deal: Marginal Arts Festival is all about mixed media, and man do I have a doozie. Imagine if you had access to a really gifted author, Jack Pendarvis.

"Now consider German Expressionism, in the form of Murnau's classic silent film ‘Nosferatu.’ Also imagine if you could expose an audience to the inner-workings of the concept of score.

"This is what I have planned, featuring the best group of musicians in Roanoke, The Magic Twig Community along with The Rootstone guys. I think this along with the venue will offer our city a chance to view literature, film, and music in a social atmosphere.

"I am expecting quite an event. One of the things that I am fascinated by at the moment, is how venue influences cinema. I enjoy new locations and different set ups. Where people sit and where they stand can change their perception of the work. I also enjoy exposing the inter-workings of film.

"That is why I like the notion of viewing musicians, scoring a piece, as we view the piece. I chose ‘Nosferatu,’ because I find it highly accessible compared to other German Expressionism. Murnau has a way that is elegant and familiar. I think this is a great way to introduce an audience to what the German Expressionists gave to cinema.

"Tagged to this event I also have novelist and Oxford American columnist Jack Pendarvis. It is difficult to get people to come out for a reading, so why not mix mediums? Exposing people to new forms and artists is what the Marginal Arts Festival is for.”

Simon went all the way through this narrative without saying that “Nosferatu” will scare the stuffing out of you.

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