Every society has rules that people deal with in different ways. What I basically create [in the game pieces] is a small society and everybody kind of finds their own position in that society. It really becomes, like, a psychodrama. It’s like scream therapy, or primal therapy. People are given power and it’s very interesting to see which people like to run with that power, which people run away from it [and] who are very docile and just do what they’re told [and those] who try very hard to get more control and more power. . . . It’s very much like the political arena, in a certain kind of a sense . . . [where performers] are having a little carrot dangled in front of them. And it’s interesting to see who tries to grab the carrot and who doesn’t. And a lot of times the people who try to grab the carrot, it’s pulled out of their hands by someone else in the band. So, it becomes kind of a scary, frightening thing to be in front of that band to see these people blossom and become the assholes that they really are.
Collapss + Polyorchard present John Zorn’s Cobra:
March 29 at The Shed 8pm (807 E. Main St., Durham NC 27701)
April 3 at Empire Books in Greensboro at 7:30pm (1827 B Spring Garden St., Greensboro NC 27403)
Scheduled to be participating:
Carole Ott (voice) Tadeu Coelho (flute) Steve Stusek (saxophone) Nick Rich (guitar) Jonathan Wall (electronics) David Menestres (bass, objects) Jason Bivins (guitar) Dan Ruccia (viola) Bill McConaghy (trumpet) Christopher Robinson (saxophone) Charles Phaneuf (clarinet) Laurent Estoppey (Cobra Commander)
John Zorn’s Cobra is a sort of musical game. The composer becomes the conductor, leading an ensemble of varying sizes by holding up cue cards, making some gesture or movement, and commanding a subset of players to respond to the instructions. By design, it’s incredibly mutable, capable of shifting from atonal paroxysms to dreamy drones without any sense of logic. For this performance, Raleigh’s Polyorchard and Greensboro’s Collapss combine for a two-show tour, starting in Durham tonight but ending in the Gate City April 3rd. For maximum edification, see both, and understand just how flexible games can get. —Grayson Haver Currin