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a musical meditation on spiritual liberation

'The Dreamer' is performed in twelve movements.


Each movement has composed and improvised musicwith sung and/or spoken text which accompanies butoh dance and a projectedslide image from the series of twelve original paintings.


The total length of the presentation is 2 hours.

The Dreamer was composed by Adam Rudolph in 1995 as a musical setting for a group of twelve paintings with text which were created by the artist Nancy Jackson in 1988. The text was inspired by and derived from 'The Birth of Tragedy' by Friedrich Nietzsche and 'The World as Will and Idea' by Arthur Schopenhauer. It loosely traces a story based on the philosophical ideas of those works. The text provides the libretto for the opera.

One of the first songs we learned as small children informed us that "life is but a dream." Now increasing numbers of people around the world are seeking to awaken to the Reality that it is we, ourselves, who are the dreamer. This is the theme of the multi-media opera by renowned world music composer, Adam Rudolph. Recently released on Rudolph's Meta Records label, The Dreamer is performed by leading musicians on a diverse assortment of instruments from a variety of musical cultures and genres.

The Dreamer is Rudolph's musical/philosophical "thesis" distilling a quarter century of intense study, travel, and performance. Within the unifying context of its composition, singers and instrumentalists fuse their voices into a "syncretic musical fabric" that is far more than an audio interpretation of paintings and text: As a composition whose constituent elements -- though vastly different -- are equally essential to the whole expression, it is a universe in microcosm, conceived and performed by conscious dreamers.




Kimball Wheeler

Since making her 1982 New York Philharmonic debut under the direction of Zubin Mehta, vocalist Kimball Wheeler has pursued an international career featuring operatic and concert repertoire from Monteverdi through the numerous contemporary works written for and premiered by Miss Wheeler. She has collaborated with many of the outstanding composers of our time. With major orchestras in Zurich, Vienna, Madrid, Dusseldorf, Sydney, Israel and throughout the U.S. ( Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center), her performances of the complete works of Mahler, Bach, Wager's Wesendonck Lieder, Verdi's Requiem, and Ravel's Sheherazade have received unanimously enthusiastic receptions. She sings regularly the leading dramatic mezzo roles in Aida, Lohengrin, Lulu, Tristan and Isolde, Das Rheingold, Salome and many contemporary roles with opera companies in Australia, Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland and the U.S.A. Her many festival appearances include those at Marlboro, Basically Bach, Venice Biennale, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino and the Aspen Festival.

Robert Wisdom

Actor Robert Wisdom has extensive credits in both film and theatre. . He has performed lead roles in many major productions internationally including Othello at Byre Theatre, Scotland, The Zoo Story, New York and The Bill for Thames television. In addition, he was Director of Performing Arts at the ICA, London, and Artistic Director at the Kitchen, NYC and New America Festival in Washington D.C. He recently completed major roles in the 1997 films "Face Off" and "Volcano" He is currently appearing in a leading role on the TV series "Cracker".


Since his childhood, Oguri began to create dance, later delving into the darkness of Butoh. In 1984 he met Tatsumi Hijikata then in 1985 joined Body Weather Laboratory (BWL) and Min Tanaka's "Mai-Juku". For six years, he lived as a farmer on the company's traditional rice farm in Japan and was noted for his solo work which he presented monthly in Tokyo. Since 1991 he has toured worldwide with his solo work or in collaboration with Roxanne Steinberg and other members of his troupe "Renzoku" and BWL International.

Adam Rudolph - composer



The Artistic Collaboration of Nancy Jackson and Adam Rudolph

One afternoon in 1986, while exploring Nietzsche to discover the roots of the original surrealist vision, artist Nancy Jackson happened on a vision of her own: She saw -- in a flash -- the enormous creative possibilities for translating Nietzsche's poetic prose into painted images.

Jackson copied out her favorite phrases from Nietzsche's The Birth of Tragedy and then Schopenhauer's The World as Will and Idea -- along with the pictures they produced in her mind. But then she went about her life -- as artist, mother, wife, and businesswoman -- setting aside her notes about philosophy as art.

The vision, however, had a life of its own. Thus, months later, when Jackson rediscovered her notes, she was moved to undertake what she knew would be a time consuming and engrossing project: interpreting passages from two towering thinkers into a series of narrative paintings.

Drawn by such pivotal themes as our evolutionary impulse toward enlightenment, Jackson freely adapted the philosophers' words to elucidate her own perspective. The text and images of The Dreamer thus portray our archetypal journey from enmeshment in a web of illusion to awakening in a sea of suffering; from realization of the inherent unity of all life to acceptance of the Self as both The Dreamer and The Dream.

Accomplished over a two year period, Jackson's meticulously rendered imagery illuminates these ideas with dreamlike surreality. All 12 of the original works are painted in gouache on 6"x9" paper. They were later reproduced in book form, in limited edition, by Jackson and her husband -- the renowned world music composer/performer, Adam Rudolph.

Jackson has been making art since the age of four. While still in high school, she studied at both the University of Chicago and Chicago's famous Art Institute. Her advanced studies were undertaken at the Carnegie-Mellon School of Fine Arts in Pittsburgh and at Oberlin College in Ohio.

Despite this rigorous academic background, Jackson's style is uniquely her own -due, no doubt, to her steadfast refusal to narrow her focus exclusively to the world of art. Because she pursues such a wide range of interests, it is not unusual for her to draw inspiration from many sources, including works of philosophy and literature.

For a number of years, Jackson reluctantly followed the required steps for publicizing and marketing her paintings. Though she achieved some degree of recognition -- exhibiting in galleries and several museums -- she disliked the influence of competitive marketing on her artistic expression. It was on a trip to Bali in 1991 that Jackson first experienced a culture in which art pervades every aspect of life. Since that time, she has ceased to look to her paintings as a means to achieve either money or status in the world. She now creates income through her private design business, "Once Upon a Wall." This leaves her free to explore and expand her creative expression unhindered by outside influences or concerns. She explains:

"It has been a kind of spiritual path, trying to clear a 'free' area, an attitude and life where the process of creation is contained only by imagination and physical reality -- where I can be playful, pursue tangents, be unreasonable and wrong; and can follow my intuition."

Rudolph is also guided by intuition in the creation of his compositions. A great admirer of Jackson's distinctive style, he was inspired to compose a unique blend of the musics of the world to amplify the universal philosophy at the heart of her painted images.

As the couple's first collaborative project as artists, The Dreamer deepened their understanding and respect for the differences in their approach to the creative process. For Jackson, the words of Nietzsche and Schopenhauer immediately evoked visual images which she then recreated in her paintings. But Rudolph did not instantly hear the music for the works of art.

In fact, because he had never before written music for words -- or created a work with distinct yet thematically unified movements -- Rudolph had to "feel" his way, by "trial and error," into the emotionalism of each painting and the messages they illustrate:

"As I started each movement, I would contemplate the pictures and words and think: Can they be sung, can they be spoken? These aren't phrases like 'The rain in Spain stays on the plain.' This is Nietzsche. So how can they be sung in a way that is beautiful and also reflects the feeling that you get from the painting and the text? I had to follow an intuitive process to be responsive to all of those things at the same time."

Another important contrast between them that the couple observed in creating The Dreamer relates to the appropriate timing for offering suggestions: Accustomed to working in solitude, Jackson waited until she was nearly complete with each painting before asking her husband for comments. But as a musician who is used to working collaboratively, Rudolph solicited Jackson's opinion in the early stages of his work. Only after he was well underway did he step back from interaction to bring what had taken form in his mind into full expression as a completed composition.

By respecting and protecting the differences in their approach to their art -- and in how their minds married the images to sound -- the couple became more artful at the yin and yang "dance" of venturing forth and backing off with their suggestions.

It is by these means that Jackson and Rudolph brought a unique and holistic genre into being -- in which philosophy is communicated in a transforming way through a unified composition of art, text, music (and dance, when The Dreamer is performed live). At the same time they have helped to further the collaborative art of loving relationships and the vital beauty that this brings into the world.

Jackson and Rudolph were high school sweethearts. Their most outstanding joint project is their daughter Hannah -- who can be heard performing the child's vocals during the ninth movement of The Dreamer. In live performance, Hannah contributes percussion parts as well. In a recent interview, her father explained:

"This isn't the first recording that I've done where Hannah has participated. She's part of our family. As with everybody else, I asked 'Can you sing this part?' It's a part that's in a 15\4 time cycle moving through groups of 3, which is something that musicians -- if they tried to analyze and do it -- might find difficult. But for Hannah, I just said 'Sing along' and she did it on the first take."

Creating and performing poetry, art, and music together fulfills this unusual family's primary intention to "create new rituals and contexts that everybody can participate in while still having the sense of real evolved musicality going on."



Concert Bookings for the Dreamer

Please contact us for performance fees, availability and technical specifications at:

 tel: 310. 397. 1316

  fax: 310. 397. 7116




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