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“I wonder if there is an exact moment
When I gave up the idea of permanence.”
The Scent of a Thousand Rains by Damon Falke is a love story. A man (Ryan Childers) finds himself alone in an apartment in Budapest. He peers from the window to discover a woman (Tana Bachman-Bland) standing on her balcony. Their unlikely connection sends him on a journey through his memories to reckon with the places and people that have ordered his life. A literary and musical exploration of a life lived in pursuit, the show suggests that perhaps in a life of transience and loss, love and imagination are the only things that remain to us and of us.
The Scent of a Thousand Rains, directed by Charles M Pepiton, is a performance piece in verse for an actor and a violinist. The music for the production was composed and arranged by Tana Bachman-Bland. It sits in the ancient tradition of solo versed performance with live music that connects us to Homer and the oldest forms of live theatre in the Western tradition.
The Scent of a Thousand Rains is the third in a series of original works for theatrical performance with live music exploring the nature of memory and why we hold on to certain memories of place and story at the expense of others. In The Memory Cycle, playwright Damon Falke and director Charles M Pepiton explore how live music can function as a character in a theatrical performance. Not music as a backing piece, but music as a key voice in the dialogue. The Memory Cycle began in 2010 with The Sun is in the West, which featured a blues guitarist and trio of braided narratives. It explored the power of place, story, and the search for consequence in the span of each human life. The Sun is in the West was produced by Square Top Theatre and Santa Fe Performing Arts. In 2014, Now at the Uncertain Hour, a piece for live performance, online streaming, and broadcast radio featured an actor speaking a poetic narrative, a reel-to-reel recording of a soldier’s memories of war, a fretless banjo, and a modular synthesizer. The show was produced by Square Top Theatre, North Country Public Radio, St. Lawrence University, and New York Council for the Humanities. It reached a combined audience of 46,053 in its premiere run. The script and recording have since been included on theatre and American literature syllabi at universities in the U.S. and Norway. Now at the Uncertain Hour asked what can we take hold of that will go on, that will not be lost. The Scent of a Thousand Rains poses a response to that question.
*We appreciate the Frederic Mompou Private Foundation for their permission to use “Pajaro Triste” and Tana Bachman-Bland’s adaptation for violin as part of the forthcoming performance of The Scent of a Thousand Rains.