FJORDS is a multidisciplinary/ multimedia/ collaborative work by Manual Cinema and Chicago Q Ensemble based on the poetry of Zachary Schomburg (McSweeneys/ Black Ocean/ Octopus Press). It consists of 14 musical/ visual shorts based on poems from Schomburg’s forthcoming book of poems FJORDS (Black Ocean Press March 2012).

Created in 2012, FJORDS toes the line between live scored cinema and performance art. Using live shadow puppetry, actor puppet interaction, video projection and manipulated slide projection Manual Cinema will create haunting visual renderings of Schomburg’s pseudo-narrative texts morphing the real and the imagined, dream states with the everyday, the conscious and the subconscious.

Performed concurrently and in close collaboration, the original score (by Manual Cinema composer Kyle Vegter) for amplified string quartet, percussion, and live/fixed quadraphonic electronics will give voice to Manual Cinema’s visual realm. Employing extended string techniques, live audio signal processing, and theatrical staging, the musical portion of the work will be integrated with the visual elements of the show. Chicago Q Ensemble performers will manipulate amplified objects, play Peking Opera gongs, and interact with shadow puppets to create a unified and decidedly new theatrical performance experience.


Adapted from the book FJORDS by Zachary Schomburg
Orignial Score by Kyle Vegter
Adapted and Designed by Drew Dir, Sarah Fornace, and Julia Miller
Music performed by The Chicago Q Ensemble with Eric Streichert
Puppeteering By Lizi Breit, Drew Dir, Sarah Fornace, and Julia Miller

Produced in part by High Concept Laboratories


“. . . strangely mesmerizing and thoroughly modern. . . The young artists behind Fjords have managed the very risky blend of an ancient art with modern technology. The result is a touching, unmistakably 21st century tale.”
Wynne Delacoma, Chicago Classical Review Fjords, 2012


The soundtrack from the show is available here in limited edition, numbered, screen printed cd or digital download.