The multi-faceted artist has incorporated his work as a stone carver into his latest musical narrative.
Actor-musician-stone carver Karl Ramberg hasn't presented one of his solo musical narratives in three or four years. But his hiatus is over.
At 8 p.m. Friday, Ramberg will bring his ``Stone Fragrances'' to Lawrence Community Theatre, 1501 N.H. It's a show Ramberg describes as ``a stream-of-conscious story of love lost and stones, and circuses, and badgers with improvisational music interludes.''
``I use to do music things once a year at the (Lawrence) Arts Center,'' he said. ``But I've been too busy with theater.''
Ramberg has appeared in a number of English Alternative Theatre productions and has provided the music for shows at Lawrence Community Theatre.
``Stone Fragrances'' will showcase material he has written during the past few years.
``I'd be off building walls or gathering stones in the Flint Hills and that would trigger images, and I let these images pull the writing along,'' he said. `` ... It was a free-form type of writing I hadn't done before.''
Rather than setting the words to music, he will present the writings and his keyboard compositions in separate intervals.
``I'm doing it as a reading, it's not memorized. And I'm trying to do a little bit of staging,'' he said, explaining that some of his stone carvings might be used as props. `` ... This is a little more obscure than what I've done in the past.''
Ramberg, who studied at Kansas University, Berklee College of Music School in Boston (he dropped out of both) and a Buddhist institute in Boulder, Colo., said he is doing the show ``to let people who are continuing in my life know where I am at this time.''
He also sees it as a sign of creative growth.
``It's difficult for me when I don't see things changing or growing,'' he said. ``That's how I see the creative process. I get disappointed with artists who lock into one thing. I always want to see what's next.''
Ramberg doesn't see the different genres of the arts as being fragmented. To him, his writing, carving, music and acting are interrelated.
``What's important is the creative part of life and seeing it change,'' he said. ``The end result is more of a record to show where you've been and where you're heading.''
And what exactly does the show's title, ``Stone Fragrances,'' mean?
While carving or doing masonry work, Ramberg sometimes discovers a hole, or hollow spot, within a stone. When he comes upon such a find, he holds his nose close to the hollow spot and breathes deeply because the air filling the hole may contain the scent of an earlier time.
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