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The Shipwright & the Banshee

20 Jan

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The S&B was first performed by Chris Downes and Josh Santospirito as part of the 2011 Sound to Light evening which pitted a visual artist with a sound artist. Josh approached Chris in early 2011 about doing something together and they slowly developed the idea of performing a ghost story based on the Derwent River near Hobart, Tasmania.

Chris came up with the slow-burning 20 minute story of a young Shipwright meeting a banshee on the banks of Derwent River and Josh wrote the music and created the soundtrack and the music that he also performed. The story was cobbled together from various myths about banshee’s.

The second performance was at Chugnut (comics camp) in Victoria on the 31st of March 2012 where it was watched by every comicer worth a damn in the country (except for all the others) … who loved it.

The performance was then dissected for its weak points and turned into an interstellar monster with the addition of the idea of having an animated component along with Chris’s drawing … then we decided against that.

Then we asked Brian Ritchie (of the Violent Femmes) to include it in the MONA FOMA – an awesomely amazing music and art festival in Hobart, Australia … where Chris and I both live. The video is from the performance at the Rosny Barn as part of the festival.

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MONA FOMA 2013 – the Shipwright and the Banshee

13 Jan

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Joshua Santospirito and Christopher Downes perform The Shipwright and the Banshee on Friday the 18th at the 2013 MONA FOMA in Hobart, Tasmania.

It’s a performance that combines comics and sound – better make sure you get into the act!!

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Drawings from The Barbarians – MOFO 2012

26 Jan sheep-mask-web

SO – I just finished being a part of the premiere season of the Barbarians as part of IHOS theatre – here’s lots of stuff that I drew whilst I was sitting around the set in the Hobart City Hall as part of MOFO 2012. I was in the Greek Chorus which didn’t involve much talking, but a lot of costume changes, the last of which  involved us ten blokes being draped in a necklace of offal and being squirted with genuine blood. I assure you that it was a very funny sight to see 10 grown men charging through the backstage area drenched in blood and only wearing their knickerbockers to get to one of the four the showers first. Bravo Constantine Koukias and bravo IHOS – it was tops! And well done to MONA for commissioning this very very very amazing production!

I made a zine of these drawings and others which I gave out to the cast, most people appeared to like it – so that was a success. As an aside, someone gave a copy to Amanda Palmer … hopefully she gives it to Neil Gaiman … who knows. Crazy!! We had sheep in the production … until they ran riot all over the set and placed their faeces and urine everywhere under our bare feet … This was the set they ruined … in city hall in Hobart. This is Ayrton and the donkey (who was far more professional than his sheepish counterparts). The soprano Grace Ovens who was great! The rappers in the show. 

The Barbarians

14 Jan

I just saw Ryoji Ikeda’s Datamatics last night as part of the MONA FOMA festival … I felt a bit like I’ve looked inside the universe and understood it.

Also, the following night Nadine and I saw Pierre Henry play. He was in France in his house mixing his music which was filmed and beamed live to the other side of the planet to the big screen. Nadine made a beautiful picture based on it that she put part of here!!

I’m in the supporting cast for IHOS Opera’s The Barbarians at the MONA FOMA (MOFO 2012) … I’ve been making lots of sketches backstage during the rehearsals which I’ll stick up next week when I get a chance to scan them. Constantine Koukias is the director and here’s an article in the Australia Newspaper.

The opera of the Barbarians is based on a poem by the Alexandrian Greek bloke Constantine Cavafy called Waiting for the Barbarians. Here’s a quick comic based on the poster for the opera – I call it: Barbarian (f)art    

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