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Sep 25, 2022 @ 8:00 pm - 9:30 pmFree
music theater performance
Crashbox, 5302 Bolm Rd. #12, Austin TX 78721
Sat Sept 24, 8:00pm
An exploration of wrongful imprisonment and exoneration in the American criminal justice system,
The Innocents cuts to the emotional core of the human experience surrounding these issues. This work of performance art features a variety of found-object and home-made instruments, electronic soundscapes, and spoken texts in an hour-long dramatic performance. Co-composed by the performers, percussionists Allen Otte and John Lane, these seventeen individual tableaux delve into the concepts of mistaken identity, incarceration, injustice, politics, psychology, and resilience. Otte and Lane have embraced their roles as advocates by cutting directly to the emotional core of the human experience surrounding the gross injustice that is wrongful incarceration.
“In performance we have the opportunity to direct and focus not only attention, but more importantly, to engage on an emotional level where experience is more than simply processing facts and figures. Art provides a platform for advocacy and affords us an opportunity to raise our voices in the name of something other than ourselves in an eloquent and hopefully memorable way. For all of us, creativity catalyzes change faster than awareness alone. In the current socio-political landscape where we are confronted with the most egregious examples of the opposite, our offering wishes to prove the power of empathic engagement with issues that ultimately touch all of our lives.” John Lane and Allen Otte
“Briefly put, I think you have created a 21st-century masterpiece.
Given that it really is a piece of avant garde performance art, I’ve pondered its accessibility to regular non-musician people. There’s its powerful content of course, but I think the 17-part, bite-size nature of the piece really helps. If one wearies of a particular section (not me of course) it doesn’t last that long and moves on– literally to a different stage location and a different musical idea. So it’s always refreshing itself, sonically and visually. And yet the overall arc holds together extremely well and the ending, the exhilaration of the exonerations (tearing up the prison numbers– brilliant) followed by the subdued, there’s still work to be done coda is deeply moving and beautiful.
So again, yes, a 21st-century masterpiece. Truly.” — Dr. Mark Saya, Chair, Department of Music, Professor of Composition & Theory, Loyola Mariemont University Los Angeles
“I regularly listen to and am moved by stories of wrongful conviction, but it was not until The Innocents performance that I really felt what it must be like to be convicted of and imprisoned for a crime I did not commit. This gripping abstract performance takes you deep into the dark world of a wrongfully convicted prisoner and is one of the most moving performances I have ever witnessed.” – Claire Gilbert, Executive Director, Georgia Innocence Project.
The Innocents – Trailer
The Innocents – TrailerAnna VasquezAllen OtteJohn Lane
More information, photos and videos are available at the website:
John Lane is an artist whose creative work and collaborations extend through percussion to poetry/spoken word and theater. As a performer, he has appeared on stages throughout the Americas, Australia, and Japan. As an advocate of social justice he co-created with Allen Otte The Innocents which the duo has performed throughout the US, including appearances at the Innocence Network Conference, Woody Guthrie Center, and Atlanta’s Center for Civil and Human Rights. He has recorded two albums: The Landscape Scrolls (Starkland Records, 2018), TRIGGER: Artists Respond to Gun Violence (Albany Records, 2021). John is the Professor of Percussion at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. www.john-lane.com
Allen Otte was a cofounder of the Blackearth Percussion Group and of Percussion Group Cincinnati, and toured for decades throughout the world performing new and experimental music created for him and his colleagues. Otte regularly presents his own creative work, often in residencies centered around the theme of performing social justice, and is the regular percussionist with the early music quartet Trobar Medieval. He is professor Emeritus, University of Cincinnati, and in 2017 was inducted into the International Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame.