words and music

Words Fail Series - Concert #2

Presented by Queensland Music Festival

Saturday 15 July 2017 | 7:30pm


Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts | Main Performance Space


Samuel Beckett  | Words and Music*

Score by Morton Feldman

Morton Feldman | Why Patterns

All dark no begging
No giving no words
No sense no need...

Sloth, love, ageing, and the meaninglessness of words themselves are explored in this enigmatic play by Samuel Beckett. The work casts music as an actual ‘character’ (although often also called Joe), who works with and sometimes against, ignores and sometimes taunts Words (often called Bob) as he gets lost in doubt-filled reflections, rambles, and songs. Interjecting throughout this strange dialogue, a third character, the inexplicable Croak, implores the two characters to “Be friends!” but it is clear that this relationship is an impossible one.

The music, written by American minimalist Morton Feldman and added to the radio play in 1987, provides an eerie and often sarcastic counterpoint to Beckett’s famously witty and self-conscious wordplay. Words and Music will be performed completely in the dark to preserve the intended platform of a radio play, and it will be followed by Feldman’s brilliant Why Patterns as a postlude. This production is a collaboration with award-winning Australian actress Helen Howard and local director and writer Michael Futcher, who makes a rare return to performing in the Australian premiere of Beckett and Feldman's work, and is presented by the Queensland Music Festival.

Concert run time approx. 75 minutes, no interval.
*Australian premiere
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