Behind the Scenes, Getty Villa, J. Paul Getty Museum

Video: Bonfire Madigan Shive on the Music for “Elektra” at the Getty Villa

“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.

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2 Comments

  1. Posted November 16, 2010 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    I LOVE how she talks about it!

  2. Posted January 23, 2011 at 4:23 am | Permalink

    Bonfire Madigan Shive is an extraordinarily talented musician who is also gifted with an uncanny ability for extemporaneous poetic speech. Thank you for this wonderful interview, which gives us a glimpse of her genius mind and stunningly beautiful physical presence.

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      The boxer is resting in the Getty Museum’s galleries through November 1.

      He’s older, he’s muscular, he’s exhausted. This less than idealized figure is typical of the Hellenistic style of sculpture that celebrated the portrait as a way to portray emotion.

      So what do you think, did he win or lose?


      Seated Boxer, “The Terme Boxer,” 300–200 B.C., bronze and copper. Museo Nazionale Romano—Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, Rome. Su concessione del Ministero dei beni e delle attività culturali e del turismo—Soprintendenza Speciale per il Colosseo, il Museo Nazionale Romano e l’area archeologica di Roma. Photo © Vanni Archive / Art Resource, NY

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