Kazakh-American Timur Bekbosunov and his band, Timur and the Dime Museum, will be premiering their new collaborative production, “Collapse,” described as a sardonic, post-ecological requiem for the planet, at Los Angeles’ Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theatre (REDCAT), from March 27-29. The multimedia requiem was composed by Daniel Corral and produced by Beth Morrison Projects.
The interactive show tells different stories through a four-piece band and Bekbosunov’s tenor. Bekbosunov plays Moloch, a God of human sacrifice, and global environmental degradation is embodied, lamented and repeated.
Corral has re-imagined the traditional requiem as a band-driven song cycle in which each aria describes an ecological scourge. Nuclear testing and the search for new energy resources are among them. Video artist Jesse Gilbert and fashion designer Victor Wilde contribute to the decadent spectacle of the devastating human impact on the planet.
Bekbosunov, who graduated from the California Institute of the Arts, was described by LA Weekly as “an architect of tension.” Timur and the Dime Museum, which formed in 2010, has been called “smashing, romantic, noisy,” by the same publication and “a genre-bending project that blurs the line between indie rock and smoky cabaret,” by Short and Sweet NYC.
Bekbosunov was born in Kazakhstan but moved to the United States after high school. He is a classically trained opera singer, but frequently chooses projects that reject the elitism and strictly circumscribed nature of high art, though he has made solo appearances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Opera Boston, the National Folk Orchestra of Kazakhstan and others. The singer has also collaborated on projects related to Kazakhstan, including Anne LeBaron’s large-scale project, Silent Steppe Cantata, a sonic portrait of Kazakhstan that made its debut at Astana’s Congress Hall in 2011.
REDCAT showcases interdisciplinary contemporary performance art pieces in a high-tech, versatile setting. After Collapse’s premiere at REDCAT, the show will move on to the Miami Light Project performance art series and the Operadagen Festival in the Netherlands.