Clifford Anderson, Score for “The Divine Comedy” exhibit at the Harvard School of Design (2011)

cliff“I created the musical score for four short films about The Divine Comedy, an exhibition at the Harvard Graduate School of Design featuring new works by acclaimed international artists Olafur Eliasson, Ai Weiwei, and Tomas Saraceno.

“Working with filmmaker Rob Meyer (who received an Honorable Mention at the Sundance Film Festival), I composed a musical accompaniment for videos of each of the three installations plus a curatorial overview.

“It was a wonderful experience collaborating with the filmmaker and The Divine Comedy team at the GSD. The exhibition website at thedivinecomedy.org contains the full videos and the official information. Below, I’ve included my personal thoughts on the individual works and my experiences composing for the films.”    –Clifford Anderson, Armor-Plated Dove Productions

Ron Jenkins “To See the Stars” (2012)

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“Lynda Gardner, Saundra Duncan, and Deborah Ranger will give a reading of a new play at a Harvard University conference next week. A different kind of alma mater qualifies them for this appearance: York Correctional Institution in Niantic, Conn., a high-security state facility for female offenders.
While behind bars at York, all three joined theater workshops with Wesleyan University professor Ron Jenkins and students from his Activism and Outreach Through Theater course. They got to know Shakespeare and Dante, and it changed their lives.
I spent my first six months [in York] trying to figure out ways to kill myself, and the next four and a half years trying to see how much more I can live,” says Gardner.
Inspired by these three and other inmates he worked with, Jenkins wrote a play about their existence behind bars, ‘To See the Stars,’ which mingles inmates’ stories with bits of Dante’s epic 14th-century poem, ‘Divine Comedy.’
The women have their own perspective on ‘Divine Comedy.’ They tend to say that they are still working on its third part (Paradise) but that they are well versed in the first two (Hell and Purgatory).
‘I’ve been in a lot of the circles of hell,’ says Gardner, 63. ‘It really isn’t about hell; it is about hope. Climbing out of those circles.’
The trio will perform ‘To See the Stars’ on March 3 in a lightly staged reading at a Harvard conference on race, class, and education called Disrupting the Discourse: Discussing the ‘Undiscussable,’ sponsored by the Graduate School of Education’s Alumni of Color. The Harvard performance is open to conference participants only, but the public can attend a free performance at Brown University’s Lyman Hall in Providence on March 2 at 3:30 p.m.”    –Joel Brown, Boston.com, February 12, 2012 (retrieved on July 9, 2012)

“O.N.C.E. in Hell: Dante’s Inferno in Ten Courses”

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“After a smashing success in December of 2009, O.N.C.E. in Hell returns to OBERON for one night only and features ten courses of locally sourced food and a theatrical journey through the rings of hell of Dante’s Inferno. Food is by Cuisine en Locale, who offer O.N.C.E (One Night Culinary Events) throughout the city, highlighting seasonally appropriate local food. Allegra Libonati, Artistic Associate at the A.R.T, and Steven Mitchell Wright, Movement Director for Cabaret, create the performance and the cast will be filled with familiar faces from the A.R.T. and OBERON.
Virgil, your Maitre D’, will lead you through the nine circles of hell in search of the love of your life, Beatrice, who has summoned you from beyond the grave. Meet furies, a three-headed dog and a cast of wild characters as they serve you not only your meal but also a night of devilish entertainment.”    —American Repertory Theater (retrieved on November 21, 2010)

“…a 10-course, three-hour meal designed to reflect the famous Italian poet’s uniquely described ‘circles of hell.’ (In its first, sell-out staging last year, plates included ‘Beelzebub’s Burgers’ and ‘Tofu Wellington’ – the tofu being used in place of beef for the fraud circle…”    –Scott Kearnan, Stuff Boston, October 4, 2010

Contributed by Patrick Molloy

Dante Drives a Honda Civic

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Cambridge, MA with CT plates

(Photo by Dien Ho, 2008)