“The Ice Siren” is an hour-long composition with music by John Ellis and libretto by playwright Andy Bragen.
The piece features an 11-piece ensemble including two singers. This is Ellis and Bragen’s second collaboration — the first, “Dreamscapes,” had its premiere at the Jazz Gallery during the venue’s Composers Series II in December 2007. A single composition, largely sung through, “The Ice Siren” draws on traditions in jazz, opera and theatre. Taking inspiration from horror films, nightmares, puppetry and animated films, it is scary, romantic and sometimes quite funny.
In “The Ice Siren,” a young man visits his dead lover’s crypt and is lured down into it by an ethereal voice. Once in the crypt he discovers a moonlit frozen lake, and again he is drawn forward, as if in a dream, toward the mysterious voice, which may or may not belong to his dead lover. The siren claims her victim, seducing him and wrapping him up with ice, so that they may freeze together, for eternity.
John Ellis - tenor sax/clarinet/bass clarinet
Andy Bragen - libretto
Miles Griffith and Gretchen Parlato - vocals
Marcus Rojas - tuba
Mike Moreno - guitar
Chris Dingman - vibraphone, glockenspiel, and chimes
Daniel Sadownick & Daniel Freedman - percussion
Hiroko Taguchi - violin
Olivier Manchon - violin
Todd Low - viola
Christopher Hoffman - cello
J.C. Sanford - conductor
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