Mid-1800s boxing short story ensemble hybrid concludes Garden Music Series in Carbondale | PostIndependent.com
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Mid-1800s boxing short story ensemble hybrid concludes Garden Music Series in Carbondale

Cross-genre piece explores the life of a bare-knuckle brawler through narration and music

Death of the Pugilist performers, from left, Blayne Chastain, MinTze Wu, Jem Moore, Joy Adams, Eric Thorin.
Adelaide Moore photo

Carbondale Arts wraps its Garden Music Series this week with a cross-genre ensemble performance on Wednesday and Thursday at the Orchard.

Local musician MinTze Wu will play violin, accompanied by three other musicians plus a musician/narrator in a hybrid performance of Daniel Mason’s novella “Death of the Pugilist,” which follows a man from a rough dockside upbringing in England in the 1800s as he comes of age as a bare-knuckle fighter, eventually squaring up with a boxing legend.

The story is read in its “unedited entirety” and weaved together with modern, minimalistic music, some of the works of Johann Sebastian Bach and Irish folk.



“This show is so special in that it was my first cross-genre experimental ensemble from 12 years ago,” Wu said. “It is such a compelling story and experience that I’d love the chance to introduce it to the community.”

Wu is accompanied by Jem Moore, who narrates and plays music, and fellow musicians Eric Thorin, Joy Adams and Blayne Chastain. The original story was published by Mason in 2008.

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The show is the fourth and final in Carbondale Arts’ Garden Music Series, which was “designed to celebrate the rich diversity of artistic styles and cultural backgrounds in our place and time,” according to Carbondale Arts’ website.

Wu played in all four events, starting on May 27 with “Bach, Ballads & Ballet.”

Both nights of “Death of the Pugilist” will feature the same show. Tickets are $30 and are available through the Carbondale Arts’ website. The concerts are “bring your own everything,” according to Carbondale Arts.

“Bring a chair or blanket, some yummy snacks and refreshments, and be ready to be serenaded.” its website says.


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