|“having fun with elvis on stage” is a 1973 album collaged entirely from elvis speaking on stage between songs at live concerts — no music. one reviewer wrote: “hearing it is like witnessing a car wreck, leaving onlookers too horrified and too baffled to turn away.” concerto for having fun with elvis on stage reimagines this vilified recording as the libretto for a sort of ‘ghost opera’ — creating a memetic hologram of the endless purgatory of celebrity afterlife. |
members of the now hear ensemble perform composer daniel corral’s original live musical score along with the original LP as if they were the pit orchestra for opera or musical theater — sometimes harmonizing with the words or painting emotions in the spaces between. meanwhile, alexander gedeon’s ‘elvis’ persona becomes a vehicle to explore all things banal and absurd in pop idolatry — as well as the vast distances between ‘signifier’ and ‘signified’.
concerto for elvis is the first in a series of collaborations between corral and gedeon, in which four 20th century american icons are dismantled through collage, color constancy, and racial representation. each dissemblage reveals a new, unrecognizable totem — a 21st-century Rorschach test — “collaged with myriad identities, stripped of universal meaning, and transfigured in the light of the now”.