It's 'A Marriage Of Concert, Puppet Show, Music Video And Live Film.’ Give Up?

Jan 25, 2014

James Phillips of the band Bombadil poses with the puppet made in his likeness for the show
Credit Bombadil

What is ‘a marriage of concert, puppet show, music video and live film?’ It's a brand new show, premiering under the Duke Performances umbrella, called ‘Love’s Infrastructure.’

This weekend Durham hosts the world premiere.

First, let's start with the music. The show is based on tunes by the Durham, NC based indie-pop band Bombadil. Haven't heard of them?

You're in for a treat:

So, take Bombadil's music, and add the inventive puppets of Torry Bend

She's a director who seems to be able to find cool stories just about anywhere. One time she heard the story of a guy in Chicago who would ride the subway and use his newspaper to fold paper hats for people.

That story became an acclaimed puppet show:

"The Paper Hat Guy"
Credit Torry Bend

The videographer for Loves Infrastructure rehearses angles one week prior to the event
Credit Carol Jackson

Now, Torry Bend is bringing high tech to the ancient craft of puppetry.

In her new show, there are multiple sets. And each set has a camera which captures the action. There's a a director who decides what the audience sees on the big screen. And all this has to be synchronized to Bombadil's live music.

It's a huge undertaking. Three of the four shows this weekend are already sold out.

James Phillips of Bombadil describes the collaboration this way:

It's been really wonderful to work with an artist who does art in a very different field for us and be inspired by her process, and see how she took our art as a jumping off point to make something  much bigger.

Read an in-depth article by the Indy. And here's their cover image, that just says it all:

Credit Indy Week

Love's Infrastructure is part of the 2014 Duke Performances series.

WUNC Digital Editor Carol Jackson profiled 'Loves Infrastructure' for North Carolina Now. The story starts 8 seconds after the video begins: