Oracle Hysterical a collective of composers and performers: twin brothers Doug Balliett ( double bass, viola da gamba ) and Brad Balliett ( bassoons ), Majel Connery ( vocals ), Elliot Cole ( vocals, harmonium ), and Dylan Greene ( percussion ). Half band, half book club, Oracle combines eclectic musical influences with literary breadth, adapting great works of literature through the medium of song. The group has created hip-hoperas, art-rock song cycles, rap cantatas, and other genre-bending works all over America and Europe, collaborating with a variety of ensembles to cultivate a unique sound palette for each project.
This past year, Oracle dropped Baroque pop album, Passionate Pilgrim on Naxos/Vision into Art ( VIA ). Called “music that is unstuck in time” by the Wall Street Journal, Passionate Pilgrim weaves “Beatlesesque” ( Steve Smith ) tunes with discredited Shakespearean poetry, in a collaboration with period ensemble, New Vintage Baroque. The group’s sophomore album, Hecuba, releases on Naxos/Vision into Art ( VIA ) in May 2018. Hecuba is a live concert, and an art-rock concept album based on Euripides’ tragedy of the same name. Other current projects include The Sea, a symphonic song cycle commissioned by Grammy-nominated ensemble, A Far Cry, called “a globe-trotting sonic adventure” by the Boston Globe. Adapted from “The Sea” issue of literary journal, Lapham's Quarterly, the project debuted at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, 2016. Other ongoing Oracle projects include Cleopatra with the Metropolis Ensemble, and Grimms’ Fairy Tales with New Vintage Baroque. Oracle has appeared at the MATA Festival, the Berkshire Fringe Festival, The Stone, Le poisson rouge, National Sawdust, and at the Lucerne Festival Academy, where they were Spotlight Artists in 2011.
An evening length set of songs inspired by history’s greatest seafarers, found in the literary publication Lapham's Quarterly.
An song cycle that sets poems falsely accredited to Shakespeare.
Psychedelic baroque album based on the tragic play by Euripides.
THE BROTHERS GRIMM
Based on the folk tales of the Brothers Grimm and the macabre humor found within.
THE RAKE'S PROGRESS
Telescoping one terrifying moment in the mind of Tom Rakewell, the doomed fool from Stravinsky's opera The Rake's Progress, into a hip hop odyssey.
Inspired by the imaginative materialism of Lucretius' De Rerum Natura (On the Nature of Things). A history of the world to 2000BCE in 20 minutes.
"A living-room opera on a folktale from Afghanistan. It's a familiar story to anyone who knows what happened to Cupid & Psyche: a marriage, a breach of trust, and redemption through trials..." - EC