Goldberg's Variations

October 17 – 19, 2013

Country of Origin United States
Description An early bird pulls on a string (mistaken for a worm), which shoots a pistol, which bursts a bag, which drips water on a man, who gradually wakes up…

The absurdist inventions of Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Rube Goldberg (1883—1970)—which include such contraptions as the Simple Alarm Clock, the Modest Mosquito Bite Scratcher, and a ridiculously complex method for lighting a cigar in a speeding car—come to life in composer, musician, and filmmaker Andy Biskin’s Goldberg’s Variations.

In a series of droll black-and-white animations based on Goldberg’s original illustrated designs, Biskin sets apparatus after apparatus in motion to the sounds of his whimsical original score. Performed by an all-star sextet featuring Biskin on clarinet, the music channels early jazz, vaudeville, and Looney Tunes-style mayhem to add tongue-in-cheek drama to these masterstrokes of ingenuity and wit.
Identifier 2013f.00015
Season Fall 2013
VenueFisher Building (Fishman Space, Hillman Studio)
visual artistAndy Biskin