Albatross

 

 

Albatross, 
Released as a three-track album by Dzang Recs,
Los Angeles, 6.1.2015

Here are three tracks, three different ways of addressing a subject: the return of United States soldiers from the current and recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Track 1, Over There, is a survey of scenes from recent American war movies. It acts as a preface to Albatross. Each scene depicts, in different contexts, the dilemma of whether to take enemy soldiers as POWs or kill them. Movies are the most visible images of war, and I think they are accepted as accurate images (even, I think, Inglorious Bastards, in some kind of preconscious way). So I re-present them here as a reminder, and to ask the question: is this the kind of experience we assume veterans had when they were “over there”? Or what else?

Track 2 is Albatross, a piece for radio written between December 2014 and March 2015. It is a fictional foray into the life of an American soldier returning from combat service in Iraq. Central to this piece is the very real impossibility of understanding what soldiers (or people who spend time in combat zones) go through; but Albatross refuses to succumb to the impossibility of knowing. A lack of understanding does not widen the gap between soldiers and the “rest of us” but provides an alternative mode of addressing veterans of war: one of recognition and of acknowledging distance. The goal is not necessarily to transcend this distance, but to interrogate the assumptions that can widen it unnecessarily.

Track 3, Screenplay for a Short Film is a “supplementary text” to Albatross and another way of visualizing an event.

Credits:

Track 2:
T – Matt Doyle
M – Emily Jane Rosen
TWO – Mallory Wedding
Drum Interludes – Matt Doyle
Audio Producer a. Engineer – Adam Gunther
Recorded at Excello Sound

Track 3:
Sarah Mendelsohn

All:
Written by Sarah Mendelsohn a. Fred Schmidt-Arenales
Directed by Fred Schmidt-Arenales

Thanks to Regards Gallery, Chicago, Pieter Performance Space, Los Angeles, and Chelsea Knight and Abrons Arts Center, New York for hosting readings. Also thanks to KCHUNG, Los Angeles and Version Fest, Chicago for broadcasting previous iterations of Albatross.

Track 1 includes material from the films Saving Private Ryan (1998), Lone Survivor (2013), and Inglorious Basterds (2009).

This version of Albatross was broadcast as a radio play on KCHUNG 1630 am, Los Angeles, on 3.14.2015 and on WLPN 105.5 fm, Chicago, for Version Fest, 4.23-5.3.2015

 

 

 

 

Abrons_o
Albatross, Staged reading: Abrons Art Center, New York, 4.12.2015
Text by Sarah Mendelsohn a. Fred Schmidt-Arenales
Read by Millie Kapp, Ellenor Riley-Condit, a. Fred Schmidt-Arenales

 

 

 

 

pieter-image
Albatross, Staged reading: Pieter Performance Space, Los Angeles, 2.28.2015
Text by Sarah Mendelsohn a. Fred Schmidt-Arenales
Read by Matthew Doyle, Emily Jane Rosen, a. Mallory Wedding

 

 

 

 

04_Albatross
Albatross, Staged reading: Regards Gallery, Chicago, 2.8.2015
Text by Sarah Mendelsohn a. Fred Schmidt-Arenales
Read by Alex Stein, Courtney Mackedanz, a. Katherine Swan