Father-Son is a networked musical drama. It was staged for the first time on 3 March 2013 in an event linking the Sonic Arts Research Centre (SARC) and the School of Music of Queen's University Belfast.
The piece features two parallel storylines, staged simultaneously in separate locations.
One stage, representing the fictional present, introduces a gay man trying to come to terms with the views of his old conservative father. The other venue stages the son's memory; the same characters inhabit an open universe where personal stories of trauma, hope and friendship could provide the answers that the son so urgently needs.
Intermittent audio and video links between the two spaces allow for glances into the past, drawing interfaces between reality and memory.
Music scores are triggered live on tablet computers, aiding coordination between pianists and dramaturgy.
Father-Son comprises two alternative endings - one where the son discloses his sexual orientation to the father, and one where he keeps it a secret. The duty to decide lies with the public, as action halts onstage and audience members are invited to participate in a location-based game scenario. This collaborative stage entails active exploration of both fictional spaces by the public, who search for facts that might inform their decision.
Objects often appear fragmented or incomplete; dislocated participants must cooperate in joining together pieces scattered along reality and memory. Decision is manifested by standing on either side of a line, which splits the play area into two halves.
Benjamin Grant Father
Daniel Cunningham Son
Jordan Hanna Boyfriend / Waiter
Robert Casey Pianist
Andrew Gray Father
Daniel Smith Son
Brian Diamond Father's Friend
Miguel Negrão Waiter
Pedro Rebelo Pianist
Isobel Anderson Narrator
Concept and music by Felipe Hickmann
Text by Juca Lima
Translation by Fernanda Ferçosa
Game Design by Nacho Pintos and Felipe Hickmann
Robin Renwick Audio Networking
Eduardo Patrício Video Networking
Rui Chaves Video Networking
Diogo Alvim Video Recording
Dionysis Athinaios Video Recording
Felipe Hickmann Video Editing
Produced by Emily Robertson
Directed by Felipe Hickmann