The Kansas City Art Institute presents artist collaborations at ArtSounds on the second Tuesday of each month. On March 12, composer Jorge Sosa and poet Dina Von Zweck collaborated to create a multimedia musical drama that describes the atmosphere during the Occupy Wall Street protests.
VOICEOVER: On Tuesday Mar. 12, the Kansas City Art Institute presented a multimedia musical drama, “A Day in the Park,” at its monthly event, ArtSounds. “A Day in the Park” is a collaborative project between New York artists and Kansas City performers that describes a day in Zuccotti Park during the Occupy Wall Street movement.
SOSA: I just felt that I wanted to contribute to the conversation in the way that I do best, which is writing music and creating this type of operatic project.
VO: Jorge Sosa wrote music that combined instrumentals and electronics to accompany the poetry of Dina Von Zweck that was turned into lyrics for the operatic piece.
VO: The poetry described the atmosphere of the park and the hopefulness and chaos that surrounded the protests. The stanzas also included commentary from anonymous protestors performed by soprano Victoria Sofia Botero.
BOTERO: I occupy because many are being silenced. I am terrorized by what happens here on Wall Street.
VO: Von Zweck addressed many of the problems that accompanied the movement, like police brutality, the declining influence of the cause, and corporate backlash. Baritone Joshua Lawlor addresses the issue of media bias in the protests.
LAWLOR: Go home and watch CBS News, with commentary 12 steps away from reality.
VO: The performance evokes strong imagery and telling depictions of the movement, but Sosa stresses the importance of the presentation remaining unbiased.
SOSA: The piece is actually not necessarily in favor or against Occupy Wall Street. It just describes, I think, the mood and the ambience of what was going on, and I think, the general sentiment of the people.
VO: The Occupy Wall Street movement has been depicted in many ways since its inception. Botero explains the importance of the subject being presented in an operatic genre through an artistic lens.
BOTERO: I think what artists do is they can go back in time, even in recent time, and put something together in context and serve it back to people who have seen it and say, ‘Oh, that’s what happened,’ and you have a better understanding of it for yourself.
VO: This has been Hannah Swank, Art Addict.