Mass and Time and Motion
Music composition Nick Brooke
Directed by Nick Brooke and Jenny Rohn
Produced by MassMoCA, North Adams, MA,
and Bennington College, Bennington, VT 2008
TIME AND MOTION STUDY
Time and Motion Study takes as inspiration technological culture of the 1920s and 1930s, when Muzak was first pumped over telephone lines to bolster worker productivity. In a large arena somewhere between a factory, an office, and a Wagnerian opera, eight performers sing, lip-synch, bricklay, and shovel, coordinating their movements precisely with a dense electronic maquette of sound effects, song fragments, and recorded text. Time and Motion Study sonically traces the history of background music, deconstructing how it has seeped into modern U.S. culture and influenced daily work rituals.
Mass reworks pop tunes heard over the last 30 years, creating a kind of secular service based on ephemera of U.S. pop culture. Mass is half American Idol and half religious service, combining virtuosic singing with hand-to-hand combat.
Sets: Sue Rees
Lighting: Michael Giannetti