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Based on Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex, Umbilical (in nine movements) circumvents textuality, telling the story through music and from the perspective of Jocasta – Oedipus’s mother and lover. Thus, I hoped to both intervene in an established ‘grand narrative’ and present a work tackling issues around female agency, sexuality and immanence – aspects with continued resonance in contemporary society. The title Umbilical is apposite, as the umbilical cord is the connective tissue linking mother, father, and son-lover. The theatre version of Umbilical, featuring Butoh dancer Sayoko Onishi, was premiered at the Rua Red theatre on 4 November 2011. The concert version was premiered at the Hugh Lane gallery on 6 November 2011, with Barry Guy (double bass), Maya Homburger (violin) and David Adams (harpsichord) and tape. The work was released on the Diatribe label Umbilical | Benjamin Dwyer | Diatribe Records (

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