Death and the dancing bear is the newest piece by Edinburgh-born harper and composer, Maeve Gilchrist. Written in collaboration with Sharmanka, the groundbreaking Kinetic sculpture theater in Glasgow, created by Russian sculptormechanic Eduard Bersudsky, theatre director Tatyana Jakovskaya and light and sound designer Sergey Jakovsky.
Maeve was introduced to the transportive world of Sharmanka as a child and continued to visit through her life, enamored with the churning scrap-metal, whirring engines and the simultaneously humorous and grotesque wooden figures created by Bersudksy. As the years have gone by, memory and imagination have blurred together manifesting in a slew of memories, chimerical creatures and grinding, clanging, metallic sounds.
This suite of music for harp, cello, viola, fiddle, harmonium and pre-recorded sounds from Sharmanka takes it’s satirical tone from Bersudsky’s art; lightly playing with the juxtaposition of light and dark, life and death and the irrepressible life force that connects us all. Along with the stunning visuals by Sam Hurt, this piece is intended to suspend reality, if only for a few magical moments, and bring us to a different place. Together.
Celtic Harp (Maeve Gilchrist)
Harmonium (Fergus McCreadie)
Fiddle (Aidan O Rourke)
Viola (Ruth Nelson)
Cello (Su-a Lee)