Clocktower Media Residency librettist/video artist Mary Griffin and visual artist Hisao Ihara complete the video mise en scène for Coincidents, a mixed-media opera with music by Leroy Jenkins.
Griffin and Jenkins use incidents from their personal family histories to illustrate the fragility, flexibility, and resilience of individual identity in the tumult of mass migrations impelled by famine, war, and political oppression.
Ihara is creating an expansive video environment for the live action of the opera, using family interviews, landscapes, images and texts manipulated through digital media.
Jenkins, who wrote the score shortly before his death in 2007, was one of the most inventive and adventurous composers of his time. Trained in the classical violin at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in South Side Chicago and Florida A&M, he went on to become a legendary soloist and one of the most prominent and prolific composers of his time. He extended his reach to write chamber and orchestral works, and in the 1980s he began a series of operas, which culminated in Coincidents when he asked Mary Griffin to write a libretto for him.