“A living, pulsing world” is what composer, cellist, and vocalist Bonfire Madigan Shive set out to create with her music for the Villa’s outdoor production of Elektra. Though it’s been described as haunting and subtle, the sound is also a powerful character of its own, rising to an anguished fury that combines cruel sonic blows from a hand drum with sorrowful cries of a Waterphone.
In this video, Shive talks about how she fused modern and ancient sounds to bring the audience into Elektra’s inner world. To hear about the Waterphone and how it’s the perfect metaphor for this production of Elektra, jump to 5:07.
And if you’re wondering about the lyre she describes at 4:22—it did arrive from Pakistan after all.