Gideon ’04 and his new art form of video operas

by A.N. Kini '13

[Alexis Gideon '04]Video artist and composer Alexis Gideon '04 has created a new art form: the stop-action video opera. After performing his earlier video operas 350 times in 11 countries, Alexis, who sings all the parts of his characters, is hard at work creating "The Crumbling."

Gideon, 33, has created an individual art form for which he creates the story, story boards, sets, puppet characters — all with help from colleagues — and the music, for which he alone is responsible. Gideon even sings all the parts — normal voice for men, falsetto for women. He samples his voice for a loop when there are overlapping textures.

“ ‘The Crumbling' is set in a mythical town in which a librarian apprentice tries to save her city, which is crumbling around her,” he says. “She makes three trips through a portal into another dimension in which she encounters quasi-historical figures who give her advice, which she tries to use to save her town.”

While he was driving up to Middletown, Conn., to check out Wesleyan University as his next step after Music and Arts High School in New York City, he listened to an album by Muhal Richard Abrams, which included Anthony Braxton in the band.
“When someone mentioned he was a professor at Wesleyan, I got very excited,” Gideon says.
“Actually, I applied early. When I met Braxton, he said clearly it was fate.”

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Image: c/o Jasmine Goldband/Tribune-Review

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