|More about Legibly Speaking
Legibly Speaking is the performance work in a series of monologues with original musical accompaniment. The stories are from David Greenberger’s conversations with elderly Portland, Oregon residents collected during an artist residency sponsored by Portland Institute of Contemporary Art (PICA.)
Legibly Speaking is a collaboration between David Greenberger and the musical ensemble 3 Leg Torso. It features eleven new stories derived from conversations with elderly Portland residents. Greenberger has made a career out of talking with old people, writing down the conversations and presenting them as both performance and literature.
The music composed by 3 Leg Torso provides shadings of mood and passion. Formed in 1996 as a violin, cello and accordion trio, 3 Leg Torso creates original modern chamber music for their unique instrumentation. Over the ensuing years the band has expanded both its musical mission and its size to become a quintet that now performs its eclectic synthesis of chamber music, tango, klezmer, Latin and world music. The two founders, Courtney Von Drehle (accordion, bazouki, soprano saxophone), and Béla Balogh (violin, trumpet, mandolin), are joined by members Gary Irvine (drum set, percussion, vibraphone, marimba), Michael Papillo (double bass), and Craig Martin (vibes, marimba, xylophone.) Thomas Mckay plays the mallet instruments during the upcoming tour.
With subtle wit and nuance the music introduces changing characters reflecting on universal subjects: everything from gambling, (“Single,”) and pets, (“How Whivet Got Her Name,” and “Another Bruno”) to painting and the foundations of Western thought, the dreamy, chilling retelling of a stroke and the shadows cast on a diminished life reveal not only the darker side of aging, but the depth of emotion those losses arouse in all of us. Ultimately, Greenberger’s goal is to expose the richness of the whole person through humor and intelligence with genuine tenderness. In a singular listening experience, the disc provides a brief journey, a sort of walk alongside eleven consecutive characters. The listener finds familiarity in meeting these irresistible new friends.