Saturday, July 05, 2008

Independent article on Andy Jones and Mark Bragg's Sound Symposium project Songalogues

Sound Symposium makes for fascinating fusions of music and words; Jones and Bragg reunite

Saturday, July 05, 2008

It’s the start of a summer day and the sun is splintering through the glassed-in atrium of The Fairmont Newfoundland in St. John’s. Despite the early hour, actor Andy Jones and musician Mark Bragg have no problem launching into an impromptu rendition of their music-and-monologue Sound Symposium piece — “Songalogues” — for an Independent photographer.

While Bragg fills the air with his trademark off-kilter piano music, Jones leans over the gleaming top, recounting the tale of Reverend Freep’s Christmas Message in rapid-fire detail.

“‘You give me the money!’ I shouted. ’Tis Christmastime and it’s time for you to pay back. You haven’t got any money?’ I laughed,” Jones bites off, eyebrows knitted severely.

Later, after the photograph has been tended to, Bragg outlines the back story of Reverend Freep and how the so-called Christian brother verbally assails a homeless bum who begs for change. As collaborators for the 14th Sound Symposium — the biennial summertime musical multi-disciplinary extravaganza — it has been the multi-instrumentalist’s challenge to put Jones’ character to music.

As it turns out, the Reverend provided fertile creative fodder.

“I wrote the song Stars Fall for that monologue,” says Bragg. “With Andy’s ideas and imagination, there were terrific characters, and for the song I was able to take images from the events, rhyme them up and let ’er loose.”

For their July 5 performance date at the Arts and Culture Centre in St. John’s, Bragg and Jones will perform two songalogues, each comprised of a monologue and song.

In addition to Reverend Freep, a character based on local ministers featured on CJON television’s Thought of the Day, Jones has written a monologue in response to Bragg’s song, For Rose.

While hesitant to reveal too much before opening night, Bragg does say there are some “sordid” events that transpire throughout the song.

Read the rest here.


Andy Jones and Mark Bragg will be appearing at the Sound Symposium gala concert tonight (Saturday July 5) at the Arts and Culture Centre.