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Spectral Transmissions

An evening of live storytelling, live music and film

70 minutes

 

Directed and produced by Michael Palmieri and Donal Mosher with live narration performances by special guest contributors.The program is set to a live score composed by Michael Palmieri, performed by Palmieri and Mosher, and contains additional costumed stage elements. 

 

Contributors:

Kirsten Johnson & Dick Johnson

Jeanie Finlay

Steven Sheil

Courtney Stephens

Maya Daisy Hawke

Charlotte Selb

Dodie Bellamy

James Davis 

Michael Palmieri

Donal Mosher

 

I. Marseilles

By Michael Palmieri and Donal Mosher

Narration by Charlotte Selb

 

Robots turn to a magical belief system to expand their consciousness using the Tarot. Narrated by documentary programmer and translator Charlotte Selb. In French with English subtitles.

 

II. Strange Gardens

by Michael Palmieri and Donal Mosher

Live narration by Donal Mosher

 

Using personal experience and the uncanny history of medical and visual technologies, Strange Gardens explores the links between dream states experienced during the current pandemic and those experienced by long term HIV survivors.

 

III. Improvement

by Robert Ashley

Adapted by Courtney Stephens

Live narration by Courtney Stephens

 

A spoken-word version of Robert Ashley’s dreamlike libretto.

 

IV. Ghosts

by Dodie Bellamy

Narration by Dodie Bellamy

With special appearance by a disembodied mystery guest

 

Celebrated novelist, critic, and experimental writer Dodie Bellamy explores paranoia, information overload, and pop culture in gentrifying San Francisco.

 

V. The Woman in the Screen

Written by The New York Times staff, 1953

Live narration by Michael Palmieri

 

A true story of a spectral television phenomenon as reported in the New York Times in 1953.

 

VI. The Lover

By Marguerite Duras

Original narration by Maya Daisy Hawke

Live narration by Courtney Stephens

 

Filmmaker, editor and multimedia artist Maya Daisy Hawke shares a haunting passage about time, love, and displacement from the classical novel by Marguerite Duras.

 

VII. Sprite Limits

by James Davis

Narration by James Davis

 

Poet and media critic James Davis looks at video game ghosts and childhood memories.

 

VIII. My Enemies Have Sweet Voices
Written by Steven Sheil

Narration by Jeanie Finlay

 

Writer and director Steven Sheil gives a contemporary take on the classic ghost story in which a cassette player holds the key to tender memories and a sinister mystery. Performed by the renowned documentary filmmaker Jeanie Finlay.

 

VIV. Night Wind Remembers

By Michael Palmieri and Donal Mosher

LIve narration by Donal Mosher

 

Created as a special live cinema performance for the First Look Festival at the Museum of the Moving Image, Night Wind Remembers is both a personal story and a reflection on performing in the midst of the pandemic that interweaves the classic film Fantastic Voyage with a meditation on aging, concepts of the body, and the power of breath itself. 

 

X. Phone Call from the Future

Narrated by Kirsten Johnson and Dick Johnson

Adapted by Michael Palmieri

 

Award winning Filmmaker Kirsten Johnson and her father (Dick Johnson of Dick Johnson Is Dead) negotiate disembodied space and attempt to connect through a series of voice messages left when calls to one another go unanswered.