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The Lost Colony: Work in Progress Listening Party

May 19, 2023 @ 8:00 pm 10:00 pm

$15.00 Suggested Donation

A sneak peek listening party for a speculative/sci-fi audio book with a full musical score in progress by writer and musician Douglas Detrick at Blue Butler Studios on May 19th.

(Portland, OR)—A musician best known in Portland as the Executive Director of Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble, Douglas Detrick offers an early preview of his next project, an epic science fiction audio novel with an original musical score, with the working title The Lost Colony. The book is reminiscent of Frank Herbert’s Dune and N.K. Jemisen’s The Fifth Season, with diverse musical influences including Morton Feldman, Pauline Oliveros, Brian Eno, and Ornette Coleman.

This event will feature a playback of the recording of the first chapter of the fully-scored audio book on the venue’s excellent audio equipment in an acoustically treated space meant for close listening. The playback will last about 45 minutes with an introduction by the author. Immediately following will be a social time with drinks and light refreshments provided concluding by 10 pm.

Event Details

“The Lost Colony” sci-fi audio novel with an original musical score work in progress event
Words, music, programming, and narration by Douglas Detrick
Featuring recorded performances by Amelia Lukas (flute and alto flute) and Jasnam Daya Singh (piano).
Friday, May 19th, 2023 at Blue Butler Studios
2400 SE Holgate Blvd, Portland, OR 97202
Free admission with suggested donation of $5 to 25 at the door
Beverages and light refreshments provided.
Doors open at 7:30 pm, playback at 8 pm, refreshments at 9 pm, and ending by 10 pm. 

This event and project are funded in part by the Regional Arts & Culture Council. Thanks to RACC!

More about The Lost Colony

Drawing inspiration from the history of America’s early colonial period, this story begins as a crew trains to become the first humans to leave our solar system and establish a colony on a fictional planet orbiting a newly-discovered red dwarf star. The protagonist, Mariana Branco, is experiencing visions that hint toward a mysterious future on this new world. As she struggles to make sense of this, she has a devastating setback in her training. In a tender yet turbulent scene with Adnan Dahoud, another colonist that she has a romantic relationship with, she receives upsetting news about her role in the mission.

The novel’s main plot points are inspired by a historical event, the establishment and mysterious disappearance of the colonists at Roanoke from 1585 to 1590, the first English colony in the New World. At that time England was under the rule of Elizabeth I, and was threatened with invasion by Spain, who wanted to overthrow Elizabeth and return the country to Catholicism. At this time, England was a minor European power under constant threat from its neighbors, but would eventually become the world’s biggest and most powerful empire at the turn of the 20th century.

The Lost Colony is set just over 150 years into the future from the present. No longer the world’s one super power, the United States has become comparatively weaker than a bloc of nations led by China. In a power struggle at the intersection of nationalism, ethnicity, and spirituality similar to the geopolitical conditions of the Protestant Reformation in Europe, the United States leads a smaller group of nations devoted to the idea of “Truth.” 

As technologies like artificial intelligence and space travel have changed the geopolitical reality of this speculative future, “Truth” as these characters see it rests on an intentional limiting of technology in favor of human judgment, and an intense, patriotic commitment to the “vow of discovery” that these colonists take in the novel. It is an ideological as well as diplomatic and military conflict reminiscent of the Cold War, with a similar feeling of existential threats that constantly haunt the characters.

This novel is part of what will eventually become a series of allegorical novels that create analogues to the early history of the United States. The novel arises in the context of the interpretation of American history becoming a target of right wing extremists who are advancing racist, xenophobic, and reactionary views of American history. This series will aim to present a critical view of what the founding values of the United States were and show how they could evolve into a future that embraces equal justice, and equality among its citizens and planet.

About Douglas Detrick

Douglas Detrick is a composer and multi-instrumentalist, writer, and podcast producer whose work in these diverse areas is distinguished by its quiet thoughtfulness and its embrace of good ideas from unconventional sources. He is the founder and principal of Substrate Arts Consulting, a business providing grant writing, nonprofit management, and project management and development services to clients in Portland and across the country.He was awarded a 2017 Oregon Arts Commission Individual Artist Fellowship, led the chamber-folk quartet Little One, chamber-jazz quintet AnyWhen Ensemble, and was Executive and Artistic Director of the Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble from 2013 to 2023. He has performed his own music throughout the United States at venues including the Stone, the Phillips Collection. He is the author of Glass Stories, his debut short story and musical recording collection featuring two stories set centuries apart in the same neighborhood in Warsaw, Poland, and two songs.

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