Before the Saturday, February 25 evening performance of Metamorphoses, join Christopher Frizzelle for a spine-tingling story and listen to a track by composer Adam Haws in the Poncho.
Of all the ancient myths that the FrizzLit book club encountered while reading Ovid’s Metamorphoses in the summer of 2021, one in particular stood out. It was a story involving gods in disguise, romantic love, good luck, good food, and trees. At this pre-show event for Seattle Rep’s production of Metamorphoses, Christopher Frizzelle (the founder of FrizzLit and the leader of its book club) will share a spine-tingling story about how reality and myth blended together while the book club read this story. Then we will hear an original piece of music by local composer Adam Haws inspired by this story of gods in disguise — easily Ovid’s most beautiful myth.
Meet The Artists
As a book critic at The Stranger beginning in 2003, he wrote a literary column called The Nightstand, and threw parties for writers like Jonathan Safran Foer and Zadie Smith in rock clubs like Neumos. He went on to be editor-in-chief of The Stranger from 2007 to 2016, where he transformed the features section. He edited a feature by Eli Sanders that won a Pulitzer Prize in 2012. He also hired and edited writers like Jen Graves, who was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize in 2014. He holds an M.F.A. in creative nonfiction from Bennington College. Learn more about his work at frizzlit.com
In mid-2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and in the wake of widespread loneliness and isolation, my mother invited me to join the Quarantine Book Club (QBC), hosted online by Christopher Frizzelle (former editor of Seattle’s The Stranger). I discovered in the group a sense of community that had been missing for some time for me, and having so thoroughly enjoyed our foray into Melville’s Moby-Dick, I subsequently joined the group in reading Woolf and Vonnegut and Shakespeare and the QBC’s own Rebecca Brown. When a summer reading of Ovid’s Metamorphoses was announced, I was delighted, as this was terra incognita for me.
The idea of composing a piece inspired by each of the 15 books of the Metamorphoses came when I was compiling a list of musical works based on Ovid. I learned that the great composer Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf had composed symphonies based on the first 12 books (of which the first 6 survive). I thought that was a fun idea, so I decided to have my own spin on the idea. I had some apprehension that it might ultimately fizzle out at Book II like Sufjan Stevens’s 50 states albums, but nonetheless thought it a suitable project to keep me busy and out of too much trouble. Despite a few requisite moments of doubt, the whole thing ultimately cohered into this album.
Thank you to Christopher and the many amazing QBC folks who cheered me on throughout this process. Thanks to my mom Jana for her encouragement and for getting me involved in the first place. Thanks to William for all the cello collaborations and for everything else besides… I’ve most sincerely enjoyed this ride together!