Reflections on 40 Years

Dear friends,

This is the 40th year anniversary of Overtone Industries. Livia Reiner, who has pretty much grown up with Overtone, helping backstage and now performing with us, was interested in the history of the company and found some old pictures from our earliest productions.

Overtone Through The Years

It’s impossible to sum up so many years of work in a little paragraph. But here are some non-linear impressions from the last forty years ;-)



40 years
Only seems like a hundred
All the composing that takes place in silence
Listening for the tempo, the rhythm that has meaning
Following after the faintly heard melody
Falling asleep at the keyboard between two notes.
The joy of finding the people I can work with –
Knowing we can see our way into the same dream
Nothing to do with education or upbringing –
an immediate recognition; a whole sensibility understood at the speed of intuition.
Recognizing our common desire to explore
What’s going on here -
how is the inner life exalted in the outer story
How to take flight -find the words that call up song and extravagant feeling
Clothing the invisible
The brutal editing
Whole chests of treasure thrown overboard for some other mermaid to find
Performing in magnificent old halls
In tiny start-ups
Dim makeshift dressing rooms
Pawing through my suitcase of stuff
Now we are on a hard-won trajectory of a much wider reach in state-of-the-art venues
But I still love these times in the earliest phases of development where I’m flopping around
on a grubby stage, bringing costumes from home
Instruments piled into the back of my car
Haggling with my beloved collaborators
about what comes next,
what works
Staring at each other looking for clues
Late night rehearsals locked in god’s workshop figuring out what we know
What curtain are we pulling back and looking behind
Coming back from the outer turmoil, the deadlines, the meetings.
Coming back to the point
To the initial particular moment or story that sparked the wish to devote
five years, ten years of life to bring it into the world.


Thanks to everyone who has been a part of this community, we look forward to many more years of making art with and for you in the decades to come.

With love,
O-Lan Jones, Artistic Director

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