“Strange, the way a thought can send you reeling, everything you thought was the world suddenly dissolving, remaking itself into something new.” “Strange how we go about our lives inside our bodies like locked cars with all the windows up.”
“This might have been the scariest chapter in Hopscotch: an electronic soundscape without a single live performer in the car for 10 minutes – and all the windows blackened out. The audience had no idea where they were going. This was the first of Lucha’s nightmare visions upon Jameson’s disappearance: the first one a deep void, the other two – the surreal Bradbury Building scene and the river to Hell – followed chronologically as Chapter 25 and Chapter 26.
Librettist Sarah LaBrie shares how writing for Hopscotch mirrored her own life.
“I’m not sure any chapter was more disorienting than this one: it was like putting on a blindfold and being abducted, only to re-emerge with no sense of where you are or how you got there. I think it was a crucial experience for Hopscotch, and at one point I debated making sure each route had a version of this.
“The car only had to stop once because of a panicked audience member – much less than I expected, actually! More people than I expected called the experience deeply meditative, even transformative, based on the beauty of Andrew’s electronic soundscape. But for those scared of the dark, we offered versions of Jameson’s red notebook that lit up when you opened them. The assistant stage manager asked audiences to open them only if absolutely necessary.
“As luck would have it, this was the one car pulled over by traffic cops – because of the limo’s expired registration! It’s hard to imagine a more appropriate car to be pulled over by the police: the audience couldn’t see what was happening. The assistant stage manager tried convincing the police to let the car continue on its route for the sake of art, but that didn’t work: the audience needed to leave the car and walk to their next stop. Amazingly, none of them complained about the disruption – that unexpected engagement with the uncontrollable aspects of everyday life delighted more often than it detracted.”
Excerpt from the Hopscotch album, Track 14. Composer, Andrew McIntosh