End of the World
The Latest Update
The Grand Paradise (formerly “End of the World”) + Kickstarter
Thanks to support from New Music USA, Third Rail Projects was able to commission composer Sean Hagerty and collaborating musicians Isaiah Singer and Elizabeth Carena to create the score for our upcoming immersive work, developed under the title End of the World. After nearly two years of development, Third Rail Projects is thrilled to announce that the final work will be presented in a new independent production entitled The Grand Paradise here in New York City. We are thrilled to bring this work to fruition in our hometown, and to share it with our local community who made Then She Fell such a success.
The Grand Paradise will be an intricate immersive theater work, set in a late 1970s tropical resort, around the central idea of a fountain of youth that promises to quench audiences’ deepest longings. Third Rail Projects is likewise excited to continue the collaborative relationship with Hagerty, bringing him on as the Sound Designer for this production, in which he will create a dense, multi-track design utilizing this multi-layered commissioned score for The Grand Paradise’s myriad environments.
Third Rail Projects recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for the design and build of this brand new immersive environment. Thanks to 397 donors the campaign has more than doubled our initial goals in just two weeks. We’ve added multiple stretch goals, which, if achieved, will push this vision of paradise even further in the realm of the fantastic, magical, and weird. Click here to visit the Kickstarter campaign, or find The Grand Paradise online at thegrandparadise.com.
Genuine Plastic Reliquaries
In April, 2015, Third Rail Projects presented Genuine Plastic Reliquaries, a suite of three original pieces staged as performance installations in office lobbies around Manhattan. Freestanding art installations were created at each site, where everyday artifacts, steeped in time and distance, took on the nostalgic patina of icons and became unlikely containers of remembrance. These installations then became the stage, setting, and framework for lunchtime dance/theater performances – Yolk, Sign of the Times, and Pizza Queen. Genuine Plastic Reliquaries was a rumination on the relics of a bygone America, honoring the quotidian objects and environments of our lives. The performances were commissioned and presented by Arts Brookfield.
Genuine Plastic Reliquaries was created as part of the development of End of the World (working title). The free-standing performances continued Third Rail’s explorations of character and movement scores. Sean Hagerty and Isaiah Singer developed new sound pieces, while Elizabeth Carena’s performance of Pizza Queen included new songs. Third Rail’s costume and set designers also entered the process as the company and collaborators move toward the final development phase this summer.
(Photo by Darial Sneed, courtesy of Arts Brookfield.)
First Listen, From In-Process Performances of End of the World (Working Title)
Listen to a sample track of the music in development. This recording, “Revealed Above,” includes some of the major musical themes beginning to appear in the score.
From Sean’s notes:
“The overall instrumentation of the music grew from a late 70’s rock aesthetic, mixing Wurlitzer electric piano, electric bass, and slide guitar with violin and electric mandolin. In particular, the lap steel became a recurring, distinctive instrument that prevailed through much of the piece, tying sections together in a similar manner to the accordion and air-organ of Then She Fell or the toy piano of Steampunk Haunted House.”
First In-Process Performances of End of the World (Working Title)
In late September, 2014, Third Rail Projects presented in-process performances of House No. 17, the first stage of End of the World (working title) for invited audiences, following a 5-month creative residency with Governors Island in New York City. Small audiences experienced the first sketches of the characters and scenes that will populate the End of the World, and heard the first compositions and recordings by Sean Hagerty and Isaiah Singer.
From Sean’s notes:
“The process for creating music for the House No. 17 workshop involved a combination of techniques we’ve developed with Third Rail Projects over the last number of years for projects including Then She Fell and Roadside Attraction.
“It was very collaborative in nature, starting from improvisation sessions where we created music alongside the dancers and directors, responding to each other in physical and verbal conversation. This material was continually developed, edited, reshaped, and augmented in order to fit the overall structure and needs of the final performance.”
End of the World (EOW) marks the fourth collaboration and most ambitious project to date between Third Rail Projects and composer Sean Hagerty. Building from the currently touring Roadside Attraction and the critically acclaimed, BESSIE-Award winning Then She Fell, EOW is a new immersive theater experience that will develop over the next 26 months.
Set in and around a seedy boardwalk on a desolate strip of coastline in late-1970s/early-1980s America, the work begins when a vacationing family pulls their pop-up camper into a dilapidated beachside tourist trap at the edge of America. In this immersive world the audience is no longer a passive observer but an active participant as they follow this “typical” 1970’s family unit, as well as the inhabitants of the attraction, throughout a series of lushly designed environments.
The musical variety of the era provides inspiration for the score, offering a deep three-dimensionality. Ranging from 1978-1983, the score investigates the simultaneous rise, collapse, evolution, and mutation of the music then sharing the airwaves. From understated jazz, funk and soul to the bombastic insistence of disco, glam rock, and punk, music spills out along the boardwalk through a variety of textures and tones. As in Roadside Attraction, set in the mid-1970s, the composition for EOW will evoke of the wide range of musical trends of the era, while having a decidedly contemporary reinterpretation, at times featuring passages of ambient cascades of sound, contemporary arrangements, and self-aware allusions to the period.
The creation of an original score is a crucial component to an immersive work such as EOW. Building on methods developed for the wildly successful Then She Fell, Sean Hagerty and his collaborators, Isaiah Singer and Elizabeth Carena, will compose a 90-minute original score, orchestrated for multiple instruments, which can be tracked and mixed separately. This approach allows Hagerty to create a unique mix within each environment found at the EOW. Along the glitzy boardwalk, the score may include bright electric guitars and keyboards. Simultaneously, in a remote, ramshackle beachside cottage, the same melody is played on banjo and harmonica. As the audience moves throughout the space, the score shifts and changes with the environment.
Likewise, Hagerty and collaborators will continue their exploration of integrating live music into the fabric of the soundscape and performance, including live vocals performed by Carena (as something of a balladeer) throughout the evening, and the integration of a rotating house band. Having a house band is an opportunity to connect to a local community of musicians. Local bands will be brought in on a weekly basis to perform their own music as part of the “beachside activities,” and to perform sections of Hagerty’s score, which will be mixed live into the soundscape and echoed throughout the environment. For a long-running theatrical production, this serves to highlight local talent and foster cross-pollination between audiences.
Then She Fell is Third Rail Projects’ currently running immersive theater hit, combining a hospital ward, the writings of Lewis Carroll, and just 15 audience members per show. The work is the second collaboration between the company and composer Sean Hagerty. This sample represents the multi-channel, multi instrumental layerings that are structurally synonymous with our proposal for the new work, End of the World, though the tones and textures will be of a much different nature, closer to the music samples in Roadside Attraction video sample.
Start and End Dates
11/01/2013 — 12/31/2015
New York, New York