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A new evening-length performance work for toy pianist Phyllis Chen blending music, film, dance and puppetry

The Latest Update

Residency and performances at Invisible Dog a wrap – off to Detroit!

Posted on February 7, 2016 by John Glover

After a fantastic week of development and rehearsal at the Invisible Dog Arts Center in Brooklyn NY, and two sold-out performances, the team is headed to the Detroit Institute of Arts. We’ll be giving two performances of ‘Snow’ in the beautiful Rivera Courtyard at 7pm and 8:30pm on March 4. 
If you find yourself in Detroit that weekend, come out and join us for the show!
More info on the show here

More Updates ▼

Snow at MOMI and DIA

Posted on November 16, 2015 by Jordan Morley

We have a work in progress showing of Snow as part of the Uncaged Toy Piano Festival on Dec 4th, 2015. “Snow Part 4: The Ravens Suite”will be shown  at the Museum of Moving Image  along side other Toy Piano pieces that incorporate film! 

Also we are pleased to announce that the full length version of Snow will also be shown at the Detroit Institute of the Arts as part of their Free Fridays programing on March 4th, 2016. 

The Raven Funeral

Posted on July 19, 2015 by Jordan Morley

Recently we completed filming with Melissa Toogood and Dylan Crossman for the forth story of The Snow Queen(The Prince and the Princess). The scene plays out like a silent film where two Ravens take on the roles of playing themselves and the Prince and Princess. This squence will be live scored by Phyllis Chen at the performance in January. Here is a sneak peak image from filming. 

“The Raven Funeral”


Working Hard

Posted on April 7, 2015 by Jordan Morley

John and I have been running through the story section by section creating notes, drawings, and scene lists for the show. Each section seems to be approuched slightly differently. All very exciting and crazy. 

I am pleased to announce some more creative help on the project. 

Nina Barlow, a mask maker from Detroit, MI is designing and fabricating 6 new flower masks for us. We have been in contact designing and discussing masks for the fire lily, morning glory, snowdrop, hyacinths,buttercup, and narcissus flowers. Drawing inspiration from art nouveau wallpapers and strong surrealist imagery.  This section uses the grandest gestures of saturated color. Also this is the first time where layered film of stop motion and live action will come into play harking an element of maddness. 

Former Merce Cunningham Dancers Dylan Crossman and Melissa Toogood have joined on for the project. They will be bringing to life the fourth story “The Prince and Princess”, being both Ravens and their courtly counterparts. Told through the vien of half abstract dance/half silent film, John and I have been combing the story to find its key narrative lines that hold true to the drama of silent film and the story. Shooting of this story is happening in mid-July with post scheduled in August. 

Paper Music

Posted on January 26, 2015 by John Glover

When starting to explore the work, desriptions of the sounds of snow started appearing in my notebook: 

muffled loudness, 
still white, 
hushed noise
loud quiet…

Digging into the Snow Queen meant exploring both the story and the remarkeble creative output of Hans Christan Anderson. The fariy tales he is known for are the tip of the iceberg. He made his way as a boy soprano, struggling playwright and actor, and in his spare-time was – most inspiring – a papercut artist. 

His work with paper (other than writing) can be seen on the Odense Museum Website here: http://hca.museum.odense.dk/klip/billedstart.asp?language=en

Paper generating sounds becomes the journey. 

I spent the afternon with Ranjit Bhatnagar at NYC Resistor exploring the possibilities of paper as a sound maker or instrument. Above is one exploration of paper as speaker thanks to Ranjit, magnets, coils, and Petula Clark

Collaboration between Phyllis Chen and Jordan Morley in the NYTIMES.

Posted on December 19, 2014 by Jordan Morley

In December Phyllis asked me (Jordan Morley) to customise 4 muisc boxes for her commission at BAC. This was a first for me to work in such a small scale and my first time creating with Phyllis. It was a great introduction on how we can work together for Snow. Look out world things are happening! 

NY Times: Move Over, Schroeder. Make Room for Tiny Dancers




Snow Stop Motion Landscape – Tests

Posted on July 19, 2014 by Jordan Morley

Attached is a landscape test for a scene from “Snow”created with plastics, metallic papers, and tempered glass. This paticular landscape is used for the scene where Gerda throws her shoes into the river in exchange for information that Kai has not drowned. To bring this scene to life we are using stop motion techniques to make whimiscal objects and animals  made from black oak tag float and move around under the surface of the water. 


Snow is a new multimedia performance piece by composer John Glover and choreographer/puppeteer Jordan Morley combining the virtuosity of ever-inventive toy pianist Phyllis Chen, the artistry of dancers Dylan Crossman, Mistral Hay, Amber Sloan, Janie Taylor, Melissa Toogood, and the imaginations of instrument-builder Ranjit Bhatnagar and mask-maker Nina Barlow A re-working of the fairy tale The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Anderson, Snow places Chen amongst live electronics and film, puppets and set pieces that transform into musical instruments for an evening filled with unexpected sights and sounds.

Just as Anderson’s fairy tale begins with a prologue describing a shattered mirror and then splinters into individual episodes, Snow is broken into musical/theatrical fragments of varying sizes. The audience follows Phyllis, both performer and story-teller, as she delves into the mysterious world of the Snow Queen. Centered around the young Gerda and her journey to rescue her brother Kai from the frozen north, the tale is filled with goblins, enchanted gardens, magic mirrors, talking ravens and countless other curiosities. Exploring the pleasures and pain of growing up, as well as the transformative power of youthful imagination, Snow gives the creative team the opportunity to push their art forms to the limit, giving audiences a fantastical evening of music, movement , and theater.

Creating Snow will result in multiple performances, an in-depth collaborative development workshop for the creators, and community engagement activities. In the summer of 2015 the team will participate in a two week development residency at the upstate community arts center Cherry Valley Artworks in their home, the Starr Theater. The residency will include open house days to allow people from the community a look into the creative process. At the conclusion of the residency we will give a work-in-progress showing of Snow. Following further revisions and work based on that residency, Snow will return to the composer and choreographer’s home base of Brooklyn to premiere at the Invisible Dog  January 28-30, 2016.

Project Media

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Features: John Glover

An excerpt from the 30 minute multimedia work ‘Life Cycles’ for flute, viola, live electronics, and live projections based paintings by Mark Mastroiani. Performers are Andrew Rehrig (flute), Liuh-Wen Ting (viola), and John Glover (electronics). ‘Life Cycles’ was commissioned by Ensemble Meme and composed/premiered in 2013. This is an example of recent work by composer for electronics and acoustic instruments and gives a sense of the sound world that will be explored in ‘Snow’.

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Features: Phyllis Chen

Created by Phyllis Chen and Robert Dietz, Slumber Thief is an interdisciplinary work for toy pianist, instruments/objects, live electronics and projection. ‘Slumber Thief ‘was commissioned by Opera Cabal. Video is taken from the premiere at Opera Cabal’s third operaSHOP – presented at High Concept Laboratories and the University of Chicago Logan Center for the Arts. This work sample shows the range and imagination of Phyllis Chen, the performer that ‘Snow’ is being created with and for.

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This was an initial workshop of “Snow” a new multimedia performance work centered around retelling Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale “The Snow Queen” In this section we encounter Kai and The Snow Queen. This is Kai’s first meeting with the snow queen when he attaches himself to her sled. The male dancer will be wearing a belt around his waist with a long retractable cord tethering him to a king sized sleigh bed frame which will be lit from the bottom. The following duet will then happen inside this bed frame.

Start and End Dates



New York City and Cherry Valley, New York

7 updates
Last update on February 7, 2016

Project Created By

Brooklyn, New York
Described as “an unabashedly expressive composer,” (New Yorker) John Glover has created music for concert, opera, dance, and theater. He has received commissions from organizations including Houston Grand Opera, New York Youth Symphony, On Site Opera, Ensemble Echappe,  Washington National Opera, Milwaukee Opera Theatre, American Conservatory Theater, Mirror Visions Ensemble, Del Sol String Quartet, Amber…

In Collaboration With

Astoria, New York
Bristol, Vermont
Brooklyn, New York
Residency and Presenting Organization
Cherry Valley, New York


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