Infused with Robert Ashley’s vocalization and John Zorn’s postmodern practices, This Takes Place Close By takes over the 50,000 sq. ft. renovated factory of the Knockdown Center to create a hypnotizing live sonic landscape of voices, acoustic sounds and electronics surging through the space. The audience moves into five spare scenes to experience the songs and stories of six characters as they grapple with the inevitability of storms and feelings of empathy, guilt and grief.
A woman crushed under a building, a bureaucrat from FEMA experiencing victimhood for the first time, a musician channeling his energy into a relief concert, and a shop owner insisting on rebuilding storm after storm.... In short vignettes, the opera captures ordinary people thrown out of their “comfort zone,” while addressing issues such as the voyeurism of storms, the anxiety of privilege, and the emotional distance humans tend to keep between themselves and disasters. Ultimately, This Takes Place Close By invites us to consider our own place in today’s fractured world.
It features direction by Ashley Tata, sound by Daniel Neumann, video design by Brad Peterson, lighting design by Travis McHale and set design by visual artist Jesse Greenberg.