When I feast heard David Little's Soldier Songs at City Opera'sVOX in back in May, I was shaken by the work, which uses interviews with veterans to paint a horrific, first-hand portrait of war. But, as startling as that performance was, it lacked the visual stimuli to really drive the point home.
Last night, Little and producer Beth Morrison offered a semi-staged performance at Le Poisson Rouge, directed by Yuval Sharon. The production, which has been in development for nearly two years, utilizes video projections and jarring sound effects - such as explosions and sirens - that were nearly-deafening in the confined basement space. (It reminded me of Bill Morrison's collaborations with Michael Gordon and other Bang on a Can peeps.)
Baritone David Adam Moore (not to be confused with this other David Moore) was disturbing and fearless as the soldier/narrator, his ripped torso on prominent display. Little's own Newspeak ensemble - which includes both amplified and acoustic instruments - were led by violinist Todd Reynolds, in his conducting debut.