Although this is our fifth year programming magic for Luminato, thanks largely because of the support of the Slaight Family, the magic series has become more adventuresome with Jorn Weisbrodt as the Artistic Director of the Festival. Jorn loves magic, and gets not only what it is but also, more importantly, what it could be. Like me, he is also into connecting dots and, for the past three years, we have been discussing how many dots we can connect to magic, magicians, and other arts and artists. It has been a very stimulating conversation.
Earlier this year, when we were bouncing ideas around for magic-related programming, I mentioned Gavin Bryars’ work inspired by Erdnase, A Man in a Room, Gambling, and Jorn jumped at the idea of having it at Luminato. Jorn is a huge Bryars fan. Fortunately one of the 7,000 contact names in his Blackberry was Michael Morris, the Co-Director of Artangel of London, the group that commissioned the original work. (See my previous post to see a clip for more.) Jorn connected those dots, and those dots enabled me to connect with Mr. Bryars.
After an initial email exchange setting the stage, I thought it best to speak directly with Mr. Bryars over the phone. I was in Miami at the time, and he was in the UK. My first question to him was whether he minded me calling him “Gavin”. He said, “As long as you don’t call me Colin.” This, it turns out, was the same advice he gave to his children, fearful that they might be inspired the Monty Python skit featuring Shakespeare, Michaelanglo and Mozart, that is, Colin Mozart, ratcatcher.
This conversation not only set me at ease, it established the tone for the entire production.
– DAVID BEN