Film-Gate to Present Selections from Opera

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We’ve been invited to perform a portion of my opera MelanchoLalaland™ at South Florida’s only interactive and immersive storytelling festival – Filmgate 2015 (February 1-8, 2015).  If you would like to experience our first efforts at realizing our transmedia opera, as well as a program of local dance peformances/screenings, and interactive demonstrations/seminars you can purchase tickets on Filmgate’s website  –

For presentation of scenes from MelanchoLalaland™:

  • Date: Tuesday, February 3
  • Location: Miami Light Box, 404 NW 26th St., Miami
  • Times:  7pm cocktail
  • 7:30pm – 9pm performance/screenings
  • free with FilmGate passes
  • $5 for students in advance, student ids will be checked
  • $12 in advance, IFCM members, Miami Light Box members
  • $15 at the door

Filmgate Interactive is an annual fusion event of leading international creators, thinkers, and practitioners from across the fields of film, tv, interactive, online, mobile, gaming, publishing and live events. Filmgate interactive presents the latest ideas and innovations of modern storytelling, audience engagement, and business practices. MelanchoLalaland™ is a transmedia opera composed and directed by Joey Bargsten, in collaboration with librettist/producer/lead choreographer Thea Zimmer. The project is made possible by the support of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters Advisory Board (FAU), the Bailyn Foundation, and the Avid Corporation. Most recently Bargsten received an Individual Artists Fellowship from the State of Florida Division of Cultural Affairs in the Interdisciplinary Art category.

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And just in case you missed our latest teaser/trailer, here it is:


Casting Call and Extras VideoShoot Nov. 7

Shiny Robots Dancing! Whoa!Are you an undiscovered musical or theatrical talent (or know someone who is)? There will be a casting call and extras video shoot for the film portion of MELANCHOLALALAND™, the multimedia opera by Joey Bargsten and Thea Zimmer, funded in part by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. It will be held on Friday, November 7 from 10am to 2pm at O Cinema, 90 SW 29th St., Miami (305.571.9970). We’re looking for operatic or musically trained vocalists (mezzo, tenor, baritone), and for improvisatory/modern/jazz dancers. Extras (non-vocalists) will be interviewed as members corporate focus group, and will be videoed holding a sign as part of a protest rally. This poster  (Casting Call) can be downloaded, printed, and distributed.

MelanchoLalaland™ Update

MelanchoLalaland™, our multimedia opera, is in full swing. Here’s a few of the lighting/staging sketches we prepared to visually explain the relationship of live performer to screen for the Miami venues we are currently pursuing.

The corporate-dystopia environment was built in Maya and Unity, and doubles as a set for the central film-within-the-opera, Casual Sex Fridays™.


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(Slideshow also available on Flickr)

In other news, we’ve met our Knight Foundation Challenge, with the generous matching of FAU’s College Advisory Board Fund, an award from the Bailyn Fund for Faculty Research from School of Communication and Multimedia Studies, and a software contribution by Avid Inc., creators of Sibelius music notation software. Plus, I’ve been awarded a Scholarship and Creative Activities Fellowship for Spring 2015, for a two-course teaching release, so I’ll have more time to devote to the production.

Additionally, librettist Thea Zimmer and I have just returned from exploring possible venues in New York City and Brooklyn for a possible production in 2016 or 2017. We met with folks at Three-Legged Dog in lower Manhattan, and Lyceum, Gowanus, Firehouse, and Irondale Ensemble in Brooklyn. We also attended a performance of the contemporary multimedia opera Maria Celeste,

Next step: pre-production, video, orchestration, etc, all summer!

Melancholalaland™, a multimedia opera by Joey Bargsten with libretto by Thea Zimmer will be presented in Miami in 2015. It is being made possible in part through a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and will include local singers and dancers in a live mix with video, animation, and digital music. Melancholalaland™ will bring elements of opera to a broader audience, exposing the South Florida arts community to newer forms of interactive media.

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. Knight Foundation’s Knight Arts Challenge funds ideas that help bring South Florida together through the arts. For more, visit

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Do you want to kick around in the 3D environment? Go here (and, ok , unzip, and yes, this is only for the Mac right now), and press your arrow keys!

New Year’s Update

my score, yoHi all! I know it’s been a while since the last post. As you may have guessed, there have been a few distractions in my feeble life over the past weeks:





Screen Shot 2014-01-02 at 6.14.39 PM (2)HOW ONE GETS THERE: STAFF PICK ON VIMEO

Yes, it only took six years, but finally, one of my little videos is featured on the curated part of the site. At 2,500 views, it’s garnered more hits than Kick-Ass Kitty! I know, 2.5k is tiny in YerTerb terms, but, you know, whatevs!




Screen Shot 2014-01-02 at 6.14.39 PM DO REAPER! IT’S GOOD!

So, I’m trying Reaper as my DAW of choice. Surprisingly robust, and mostly intuitive! Not bad for $60, and no requirement to upgrade to Palins (sorry, I meant ‘Mavericks’). And finally,





On January 27, come to Miami Beach to watch associates of the New World Symphony play the soundtrack to my latest video, Passing Bird, featuring SkyRon™ as that damn bird! Music by Toru Takemitsu (Rocking Mirror Daybreak —one of the first screenings of a video I made without my own music!). Are you on the vimeo page and locked out? What might that password be? Maybe “skyrondancing” or something like that? I have no clue!

And check out the typography on the poster for the concert—uberclever, no? (The c/n thing).nws_aiga

The Lavender Spray: Performance with Kinect

It happened. Some people got hurt, bad. Some may have even wandered home afterwards and hung themselves from silk stockings or rough rope they bought at Home Depot, despondent over the current state of the arts . . . .

(of course, I jest . . . . )

meme™ —media experimental ensemble™—provided a momentary distraction from that state at the FAU Faculty Biennial exhibition last Friday (September 20, 2013) on the Boca campus. It was a well attended event, and much curiosity was aroused by a certain crazed mad scientist in black conducting his torso-controlled remix of  Strauss’s Also Sprach Zarathustra ( seen in video above the final scrolling credits).

Additional Quartz compositions, videojam sets, and film remixes of the work of Ariel Baron-Robbins were provided by Anna Torlen, James Ko, David Wichinsky, Rosena Francois, and August DeWinkler.