A Scale Unfamiliar: OZET Songs
April 1-5, 2020
Brooklyn, New York
A Scale Unfamiliar: OZET Songs uses a decade of songs to tell OZET’s story from start to finish for the first time. Joining Meicht and Blumenthal are long-time collaborator Daniel Baker and a stellar band featuring drummer Kate Gentile, bassist Devin Hoff, and guitarist Taylor Levine.
About the OZET Songbook
We have been writing OZET songs together almost from the beginning of our collaboration.
The first, Lullaby From the First Generation of the [YOUR SHIP NAME HERE] to the Last, was written as a standalone performance piece in 2009: a sing-along, with the audience in the role of OZET’s children learning about the terrestrial origins of their ancestors.
In the following months, we tried out different song genres as vehicles for telling OZET stories. The Ballad of Yana and Gigi (You Drunken Fuck), built on top of an electronically processed sax solo played by Aaron’s brother Seth, began as a funeral ode and turned into a murder ballad. Folkie, guitar-driven story songs of social injustice inspired The Milk Cow Song, about a villager who tumbles into the gulf between OZET’s socialistic ideals and the dictates of its authoritarian Council. We wrote Spider’s Egg after a breakfast soundtracked by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. There are songs styled after gospel and electronic dance music.
Writing songs eventually became a way to explore the ideas and stories that we wanted to turn into longer performance pieces. The lyrics of the song Koba laid out a detective story (“Someone must have known him / and someone must have killed him / and someone has to find the one who killed the only stranger.”) from start to finish, while the 2010 performance piece Koba abstracted the story into 7 scenes performed by three actors and seven musicians (including a saxophone quartet). Birds in Boxes became the epilogue of Alberts I-V, a short play about two test subjects in a pre-OZET space research program. Common Hall Village 20, Katorga and the upcoming OoRT all spawned their own songs.
This year’s performance at The Brick will be the third OZET “band show”. A full rock band played Songbook songs as the second part of the Koba evening. Aaron, Scott and OZET collaborator Daniel Baker performed a longer set in 2011, in the Brooklyn basement of Aaron’s Cousin Dave. The show this April will be the first in which they use the songs to trace the entire known history of the OZET in chronological order.
Daniel Baker: voice, chimes
Scott Blumenthal: voice, acoustic guitar
Kate Gentile: drums
Devin Hoff: electric bass guitar
Taylor Levine: electric guitar
Aaron Meicht: voice, trumpet, keyboards
Designers / Crew
Cha See: lights
Broken Chord: sound
Phillip Peglow: sound mixing