Beginning in 1959, the British modernist poet Christopher Logue embarked on a life-long, multi-volume project of “translating” Homer’s Illiad, entitled War Music. The work remains controversial, not least because of its jarring, jagged free verse and its wide frame of contemporary reference. The reader is plunged into the thick of battle, hearing a “classical” story with heart-stopping immediacy. Even amidst the violent rush, desolation is the poem’s constant pedal point.
Permanent Red juxtaposes scenes from Logue’s re-imagining of Homer’s Illiad with the template of a conventional violin and piano recital program. Exploring ideas of the “classical”, it weaves Logue’s free-verse poetry together with physical theater, and music for violin and piano by Matteis, Lutoslawski, Saariaho, Stravinsky, and Symanowski.