Holcombe Waller Wayfinders


Holcombe Waller, Wayfinders Photo: Tyler Kalberg


Copresented with Chicago Humanities Festival

Like Rufus Wainwright and Antony before him, Holcombe Waller has a gorgeously androgynous voice, both as a singer and songwriter—one that cuts through ordinary and extraordinary situations with delicacy and emotional precision.
—National Public Radio

Now, more than ever, we’re deluged with data telling us where we are and what’s around us. In his highly imaginative song cycle Wayfinders, Portland-based performance artist Holcombe Waller asks—both literally and figuratively—where are we? Titled after Wade Davis’s acclaimed book which connects endangered and extinct cultures with our own sense of meaning and purpose, Wayfinders is inner poetry come alive and a haunting blend of lush song arrangements, video, light, and movement.

Waller’s stories, luminous interactive videos, and live music, which flows between arranged and improvised notes, converge in this poetic search into how technology both illuminates and obscures our awareness of presence, place, and death in our everyday lives. The score and libretto reveal Waller’s unique blend of chamber pop, folk, opera, and sung epic storytelling. The five-piece chamber ensemble integrates his arresting vocal performance that looks at both how we journey and is a beautiful journey in itself, evolving with each performance.

A formidable music project, Wayfinders is an MCA commission and was developed in residency at the MCA earlier this year.

Running time: 50 minutes, no intermission

Sun, Nov 9, 7:30 pm
This performance of Wayfinders includes an American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation service.