Music For Minorities

Conceived, written and directed by Mikel Rouse

Music,lyrics and video by Mikel Rouse
Lighting design by Hideaki Tsutsui
Production Manager Valerie Oliveiro
Sound design: Christopher Ericson
Commissioned by UCLA Live

Music For Minorities represents a quiet departure from the direction and performance of larger multimedia works. Another chance to be solo on the road again; a guitar, a harmonica, a video deck. The piece is a reflection of my time spent in the Delta as a composer in residence through the Meet The Composer New Residencies program. It’s also a kind of video memoir of my film and theatrical works, life in New York, and friends old and new. A recorded soundscape of percussion and multiple guitars are the accompaniment to a live performance that incorporates stories, interviews and songs with synchronized video. Interviews from numerous personalities in both Louisiana and New York are combined as I underscore (musically, that is) their reflections. This assemblage is a modest integration of film, music and performance, offering another approach to story telling in the media age.

As abstract images and sound combine with the various stories and insights of the subjects interviewed, an illustration of memory is created. Seemingly unrelated video images merge with the images of the storytellers to create a common thread: the views of the Silent Minority. The soundtrack to this “live film” is Music For Minorities, a collection of songs that express my continuing interest in using complex structures within the framework of vernacular music.–Mikel Rouse, 2005