Today in the ArtZany! Radio studio Paula Granquist welcomes author, playwright and storyteller Kevin Kling to talk about the Zeitgeist presentation of For the Birds at Carleton College.
Zeitgeist: “For the Birds”
Thursday, 25 January 2018
@ 8:15 pm – 9:45 pm
Kracum Performance Hall, Weitz Center for Creativity
Performed by Zeitgeist, Music by Victor Zupanc and Poetry & Stories by Kevin Kling.
Sponsored by the Northfield Arts Guild and Arts @ Carleton
Seating is free and open to the public: no tickets required.
For the Birds (2010), an evening-length chamber suite with narration by composer Victor Zupanc and humorist Kevin Kling. For the Birds is a concert length work that, on the surface, seems to be about birds. It features a series of musical pieces extolling the nature of each particular bird (sparrows, roosters, woodpeckers, Canadian geese, hawks), drawing parallels with our own human nature. Interspersed between, is insightful storytelling created by Kling reflecting on childhood memories, immigration, illness, accidents, and healing. However, just below the surface (but discernible to those that look), For the Birds is a work about that part of our human nature that compels us to reach beyond ourselves for more —more opportunity for our family, more money, more fun, more speed, more knowledge, more love. When all goes well, we call that need aspiration. When it doesn’t, and we plunge to the earth with melting wings, we call it hubris. Through utterly delightful music and a worldview only Kevin Kling can provide, For the Birds gives us the space to contemplate our nature, laugh at ourselves, and heal.
Kevin Kling is a well-known playwright and storyteller, best known for his popular commentaries on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered. His storytelling stage shows like Tales from the Charred Underbelly of the Yule Log, deliver hilarious, often tender stories. Kling’s autobiographical tales are as enchanting as they are true to life: hopping freight trains, getting hit by lightning, performing his banned play in Czechoslovakia, growing up in Minnesota, and eating things before knowing what they are. The National Endowment for the Arts, The McKnight Foundation, The Minnesota State Arts Board, The Bush Foundation, The Jerome Foundation and others have recognized Kling’s artistry. In 2014 Mayor RT Rybak named Kling “Minneapolis Story Laureate”.
Kevin Kling continues to write plays and stories in a rigorous fashion, and travels around the globe to numerous storytelling festivals, residencies, and has been invited to perform the acclaimed National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, TN for several years. Kevin has released a number of compact disc collections of his stories, has published five books, “The Dog Says How”, “Holiday Inn”, “Big Little Brother”, “Big Little Mother” and “On Stage with Kevin Kling.” His plays and adaptations have been performed around the world. He lives in Minneapolis.
Victor Zupanc has been involved in over 300 theatrical productions as composer, musical director, sound designer and performer. In 1989 he accepted and still retains the position of Music Director/Composer at the Tony Award winning Children’s Theater Company of Minneapolis (CTC). At CTC, Mr. Zupanc composes scores and conducts orchestras comprised of the finest professional musicians in the country.
Lauded for providing “a once-in-a-lifetime experience for adventurous concertgoers,” Zeitgeist is a new music chamber ensemble comprised of two percussion, piano and woodwinds. One of the longest established new music groups in the country, Zeitgeist commissions and presents a wide variety of new music for audiences in the Twin Cities and on tour. Always eager to explore new artistic frontiers, Zeitgeist collaborates with poets, choreographers, directors, visual artists and sound artists of all types to create imaginative new work that challenges the boundaries of traditional chamber music. The members of Zeitgeist are: Heather Barringer, percussion; Patti Cudd, percussion; Pat O’Keefe, woodwinds; Nicola Melville, piano.
Upcoming collaborations include Crocus Hill: A Ghost Story, a macabre tale of a house possessed brought to life with chamber music, narration, and video, by composer Julie Johnson and author Cheri Johnson.