One Night is a music video for the song of the same name, written and performed by Ian Coss. I met Ian in Bali, where he had been studying Gamelan and I was studying Wayang Kulit. Our ex-pat friendship led to creative collaborations, culminating in the Wayang Kulit show, Alexander Tapa, which we performed at the 2012 Bali Arts Festival.
While we were hard at work, Ian was also busy writing songs about his experiences while living abroad— those unexpected sparks of imagination, as well as the freedom and struggles found while living more-or-less alone in foreign places. These songs, including One Night, became An Act of Imagination, Ian's delightful new album. (On sale here.)
I was delighted to work with Ian on the music video for One Night. Since leaving Bali, I have continually grappled with the challenge of honoring and deepening my training in Balinese Shadow Puppetry while also developing work that is more than a Western simulation of Balinese traditions. Ian is certainly familiar with this challenge, as well. One Night features puppets built and designed in the traditional Balinese style, with an original protagonist— a portrait of Ian— with Western clothes and features, as well as a lighting design that incorporates ancient and contemporary techniques. Drawing from long-time traditions, rooted in Ian and my shared history, and designed with modern storytelling in mind, it is my hope that One Night feels both new and familiar.
One Night premiered in December 2014 on The Artery, Boston's NPR arts program.