Described by LA Times as "dangerous and seductive", Timur and the Dime Museum creates “romantic, smashing, noisy” (LA Weekly) songs for a variety of eclectic projects. Known for theatrical flair and dynamic live performances, the band blurs the lines between many styles. Equally at home in clubs as well as theatrical venues, Timur and the Dime Museum performed at the ALOUD series; America's Got Talent with Kristian Hoffman; Joe’s Pub in NYC; World Café in Philadelphia; Hotel Cafe in LA; Redcat Gala with Jack Black; the Industry LA's Crescent City; opening for Tiger Lillies at the Echoplex and DeVotchKa at El Rey Theater. Led by the Kazakh-American opera singer TIMUR, featured in LA Weekly's BEST OF LA PEOPLE ISSUE 2011, the band made its NYC debut in 2013 as part of the PROTOTYPE festival. The band has closely collaborated with Beth Morrison Projects on COLLAPSE, a glam-rock Requiem by Daniel Corral with fashion designer Victor Wilde and video artist Jesse Gilbert. Premiered at Redcat Theater in 2014, the show toured to Miami Light Project, Operadagen Rotterdam and BAM 2015 Next Wave Festival. Upcoming new projects: "Artaud in the Black Lodge" by David T. Little and "Nueva Canción: Songs of Protests and Resistance." More info: www.timurandthedimemuseum.com
In collaboration with Isaura String Quartet, I am currently developing a staged version of ONE BODY by composer John Kennedy, a profoundly moving cantata for solo voice in three different ranges (baritone, tenor and countertenor), string quartet and percussion. One could describe ONE BODY as a modern liturgy of secular humanism, which joins spirituality with intellectual freedom.
The concert performance of ONE BODY took place on February 15th, 2019 at Boston Court Theater and the archival video recording is available upon request.
Nueva Canción: Songs of Protest and Resistance (produced by Beth Morrison Projects and Miami Light Project, 2020) Timur and the Dime Museum will feature Mercedes Sosa’s songbook repertoire, performed in English and Spanish, and arranged by different composers. Nueva canción, a Latin American style of socially committed protest songs of 1960s-80s, is now widely recognized as a powerful movement for sociopolitical change. The revolutionary songs of nueva canción often described political uncertainty, poverty, empowerment, democracy, and the Latin American identity. Born in the Soviet Union and raised in post-USSR era in Kazakhstan, Timur will also explore the parallels of social movements between former USSR and Latin America.
Artaud in the Black Lodge is a contemporary work of opera-theatre by composer David T. Little with text by Anne Waldman, co-founder with Allen Ginsberg of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. It explores the imagined psychic connections between Antonin Artaud, William S. Burroughs, and David Lynch. Existing in a Bardo-like place where dreams and reality intersect and the individual is confronted by demons of their own making, it is a work about the suspension of time, communication across realms, and the altering of sublunary experience. The idea of reincarnation, and escaping the wheel through a quest for perfection/enlightenment, is central to the piece, which is structured according to the six realms of Samsara. It is a ritual destruction of the self toward a rebirth of the psyche, presented in the form of a multi-media rock show. Currently in development with Beth Morrison Projects, the project is created for Timur and The Dime Museum and a string quartet.
PERMANENT REVOLUTION OF FRIDA & TROTSKY
Songs by Ori Barel with words by TIMUR, representing the world of Trotsky. Additional songwriter, composing from the view of Frida Kahlo, will be announced soon.
Frida Kahlo’s aesthetic confrontation and transcendence of Mexican indigenous and pre-colonial culture in the context of her relationship with Leon Trotsky and his theory of Permanent Revolution.
A critically-acclaimed video rock opera about the environmental catastrophes. Composed by Daniel Corral for Timur and the Dime Museum and produced by Beth Morrison Projects, COLLAPSE is envisioned as a Requiem, reflecting on past, current, and imminent environmental disasters caused by our dysfunctional stewardship of the planet's resources. Interactive video projections by Jesse Gilbert with costumes by the fashion designer Victor Wilde of the Bohemian Society. World premiere: Redcat Theater, Los Angeles. Past performances: BAM 2015 Next Wave Festival, Operadagen Rotterdam Festival, Miami Light Project and CSUSB. The album COLLAPSE, produced by Nick Urata of DeVotchKa and Nick Tipp, is now available on iTunes and Amazon.
The large-scale sonic odyssey into the heart of the Republic of Kazakhstan was premiered in Astana's Congress Hall on December 10, 2011. Dedicated to the nation's 20th anniversary of Independence with major support from Samruk-Kazyna Foundation, Silent Steppe Cantata, is composed by renowned composer Anne LeBaron and co-created with Timur, also featuring Timur as a soloist and folk-ethnographic orchestra "Sary-Arka" and women's chamber choir of the Astana State Philharmonic Society. This concert drama, set in Kazakh, Russian and English, explores the music, culture and history of Kazakhstan. Filmmaker Sandra Powers provided further insight into the project by creating a documentary film, The Nomad's Song. Silent Steppe Cantata was funded by grants from CEC ArtsLink Foundation, the City of Los Angeles DCA, additional support from the Kazakhstan Embassy in the United States and his Excellency Erlan Idrissov, the U.S. Embassy in Kazakhstan, City of Astana DCA, City of Almaty DCA, Rixos Almaty and Rixos President hotels, KCell, Center for Cultural Innovation, Puffin Foundation, and private individuals. www.thesilentsteppe.org.
Re-contextualizing the songbooks of Billie Holiday, Carole King, Patsy Cline, Lesley Gore and others, "Love, Honor, Obey" is inspired by the second-wave feminism and its process of reclaiming relationships from the patriarchal context. The songs are from the 1940s-60s with the spoken monologues written by the renowned comedian Margaret Cho. The show is constructed in the form of a stand up comedy with a touch of The Lawrence Welk Show. Arranged for a voice, string quartet, keys and drums by composers Evan Ziporyn, Ulrich Krieger, Ellen Reid, Daniel Corral, Ori Barrel, Isaac Schankler and Andrew Tholl. Work-in-progress trailer.
Directed and conceptualized by Timur with his long-time film collaborator Sandra Powers, DO_SCREAM installation is based on Purcell’s opera “Dido and Aeneas”, Marlowe’s play “Dido, Queen of Carthage” and Virgil’s epic “The Aeneid." This exhibition, premiered at Fish Haus Gallery in Wichita, Kansas, and originally developed at CalArts, utilized live-feed video cameras, film projections, large photographs, actors, opera singers, musicians with conductor Geoffrey Pope, exploring the dangerous world of Queen Dido, caught in the midst of war, economic crisis and doomed love. Supported in part by Puffin Foundation, Art of Opera, Foundation for Contemporary Art and private donors.
The voice cycle “Songs of the Mad Muezzin” (1918) represents for Karol Szymanowski a dangerous venture into the esoteric world of mystical-erotic ecstasy. Using this vocal composition, the Szymanowski Project examines the subjects of voice and desire within Orphic elegy and Dionysian rites. Utilizing the elements of Staniewski’s theatrical practice, the Szymanowski Project explores the issues of artistic revelation and conceit. The text, based Szymanowski’s own writings, Euripides’ “Bacchai”, Rumi’s poetry and original material, serves as an intermediary between the mental sanity of characters. Set in an everlasting garden, the story follows Orpheus, who imagines himself as a Muezzin, and the dying composer Szymanowski. Orpheus-Muezzin is confined to sing forever in a minaret while Szymanowski painfully recollects his brief but intense love affair with Boris Kochno. The beautiful god Dionysus observes the great passions unfold between the chaos and discipline, assisted by the dauntless Secretary and the mischievous Maenads, the followers of Dionysus.