The Inquisitive Musician
The struggle for precedence between the Kunstfeifer and the Common Players presented in a sparkling new comedy
A project by Cindy Bernard
Translated and adapted by Cindy Bernard and David Hatcher
Music director: David Watson
Curated by Jose Luis Blondet
The Inquisitive Musician is an adaptation of a 17th century satire attributed to Johann Kuhnau, Bach’s predecessor as cantor of Leipzig, Germany. The satire pits itinerant “beer fiddlers” against the official city sanctioned “Kunstpfeifer” (or “art piper”) in an argument over who is the better musician and has the right to perform and be fairly compensated. The struggle arises out of the challenge of an economically strained populace to compensate musicians for their labor — a familiar story which continues to this day.
The roles are populated by artists, musicians and writers who identify with the struggle represented in the play which is presented as a staged read with video and live music.
Prologus / Pickelhering: Dick Hebdige
Bona: Haruko Tanaka
Cupid: Ami Tallman
Count Musophilus: Thomas Lawson
Fiedel-Hänsel / Käthe: Marnie Weber
Bocks-Märten / Bailiff: David Watson
Pechmann / Waschebleil: Mike Watt
Schiefer-Barthel / White Horse: Dave Muller
Paulis Harmonicus: Gregory Lencyzcki
Enantius: William Roper
Musicians: William Roper, David Watson, Tom Watson
The Inquisitive Musician was produced at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) on May 7, 2011 with support from the Harpo Foundation, US Artist Projects, The Durfee Foundation and the Goethe Institute.
For the first time it incorporated a video of The Comedy of Washesbleil, a play with in a play which takes up Act 6 of the production.