The Nitrate Hymnal
In The Nitrate Hymnal, David Wilson uses found-film footage and Bob Massey’s original music and libretto to question the way many people obsessively catalog their lives. The film footage is drawn from home movies shot by Massey’s grandparents between 1941 and 1985. The score is a mix of chamber music and “post-punk” underground rock, and the libretto is garnered from phrases found in the couple’s correspondence. The narrative travels backward in time from the characters’ old age, through their experiences raising a family, fighting World War II, and finally reaching a crescendo toward their early courtship as they face the promise of a life not yet lived. The action onstage alternates between the idealized moments captured on film and the stormy reality of the couple’s real lives.
Los Angeles, CA
To explain his “weird resume,” Bob Massey describes music as his calling and writing as his trade. On the music side, he’s a 2002 Creative Capital grantee with filmmaker David Wilson for the multimedia opera The Nitrate Hymnal: A Dying Dream in Four Acts. He has toured and recorded with the Gena Rowlands Band, Tsunami, Telegraph Melts and others. And he has composed for film and stage. Bob currently works as a screenwriter in Los Angeles. Current projects include: a TV series, “Legion,” in development with Oscar-winning producer Akiva Goldsman (A BEAUTIFUL MIND); and a horror-thriller co-written with Scott Teems for Blumhouse Films (PARANORMAL ACTIVITY). He previously covered arts, culture and technology for The Washington Post and others.
David M. Wilson
David M. Wilson has produced and directed three of his own film/video works that have been screened at the New York Underground Film Festival, the Argos Festival in Switzerland, Melbourne Queer Film Festival, and other venues. He is the co-founder of True/False Film Festival.