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This Is Not For You

14 Oct

Some Of The Best Things Happen in Secret or Wolf Like Me

Full disclosure: Staciaann from CakeIn15 shot the cover art and promotional photos for Peter Wolf Crier and cas is a founding member of the theatre company Lamb Lays with Lion, of which This Is Not For You director Jeremey Catterton is Artistic Director. Neither blogger here at CakeIn15 was involved in any aspect of the production of This Is not For You.

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A man wakes up in the middle of the night to write an album, a theatre troupe appears in a house to play it’s ghosts and the house shakes and grows of its own accord. This Is Not For You, is a CD release show like none other.

The CD is Inter-Be, the debut release from Peter Wolf Crier, the duo of Peter Pisano (The Wars of 1812) and Brian Moen (Laarks, The Shouting Matches). The record, streaming in full at their website is a breathy, pulsing affair, appropriate to the woken-in-the-middle-of-the-night writing sessions that produced most of the text. Inter-Be stands up well alongside contemporaries like The AntlersHospice and Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson, with driving folk and blues guitar and metronomic, spare percussion. Inter-Be plays faster than The Antlers and with less of the Dylan-on-downers feel of MBAR, but Pisano and Moen wring their instrumentation for a texture that carries from the record to the live performance of This Is Not For You.

Because This Is Not For You is definitely a performance, and one that only few are privy to. Pisano, Moen and director Jeremey Catterton have shanghaied a non-descript house in Saint Paul to create an interactive venue to debut the songs of Inter-Be in a promenade performance inspired by the visual novel House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski. It is not an adaptation, but the cast and crew (Billie Jo Konze, Jenna Lory, Adam Scarpello, Abbie Williams, Kevin Chick) take on the personas of the Navidson family, who in the novel are afflicted by a house that grows of it’s own accord. The conceit of This Is Not For You is that we are witness to the remnants of the family, that the house contains it’s own surprises, as if activated by the music of Peter Wolf Crier.

The actual show is divided in to three levels according to level of involvement and price types. The General level witnesses most of the action via handheld camera and a pile of televisions warping in and out in the main foyer of the house, and then the Private and Handheld levels that follow Catterton through the house as witnesses to the action. The Handheld break off at a point to be privy to a final secret of the house. The different levels play into some basic human emotions- curiosity, jealousy- that are effectively and subtly manipulated to create an investment in the performance that extends beyond the performers themselves, who are creating a living, immersive fantasy, a tactile MTV.

The vignettes and tableaux that follow do not form a linear narrative (there is no sound but the music and Catterton guiding the tour) but impressionistically leave participants in the experience with the aura and haunted feel expressed by this lost family. Catterton made the point after the preview performances, that all the actions in This Is Not For You are “manifestations of their greatest fears.” The ensemble created the movement with an economy of resources focused around items that would be found in a home with children, and effectively leaven that fear with child’s play and wonder, aptly passed on to the crowd with some simple but breathtaking technical effects.

There is a tension between the desire, since it is theatre, to hear every word of Pisano’s vocals articulated but that is sublimated in favor of the textural and ambient aspect of the music; Inter-Be provides the sutures of the performance. The sound literally fills the house at points, as the drums reverberate through the walls and music from different rooms leaks and flows through doorways. To fully describe the event would be to undercut it’s secrets and as unfulfilling as the cliff-notes to House of Leaves. This Is Not For You deserves to be experienced, and since it is not for you, it is all the more special that you can be there.

This Is Not For You opens tonight and runs through October 23rd. Visit peterwolfcrier.com for tickets, pricing and secret directions.

This is Not For You Trailer: Presented by Northern Outpost from Peter Wolf Crier on Vimeo.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

  1. TC Spotlight: Metallica & Peter Wolf Crier - October 15, 2009

    […] 3 Minute Egg takes a detailed tour of This is Not For You, a local collaboration between theater director Jeremey Catterton and Peter Wolf Crier. Described as “a theatrical multimedia staging of an album,” the installation contrasts music and theater throughout a variety of locations in a St. Paul home. More information on the project, which opened last night, can be found at Cake in 15. […]

  2. Cake In 15 » Blog Archive » Ticket Giveaway- Harper Simon at the Cedar Cultural Center - November 9, 2009

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  3. Cake In 15 » Blog Archive » Picking Up Crumbs: Harper Simon + Peter Wolf Crier - November 26, 2009

    […] hand, have been building something transcendent with their debut record Inter-Be and live show This Is Not For You and any chance you get to catch them casting their intimate, gasping song live, you should jump at […]

  4. Peter Wolf Crier sign to Jagjaguwar | Cake In 15 - March 2, 2010

    […] just released their record Inter-Be this last fall with the Jeremey Catterton-directed house show This Is Not For You and graced the First Avenue Mainroom stage as part of the “Best New Bands” showcase in […]

  5. Peter Wolf Crier | Cake In 15 - May 24, 2010

    […] frantic tunes were introduced to world via the innovative and intimate series of house shows, This Is Not For You. In the intervening time, the admiration and interest in the band and record grew and with The […]

  6. Video Premiere- Peter Wolf Crier “Hard As Nails” | Cake In 15 - June 14, 2010

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