The Theory of Love Page

The Theory of Love Performed in Portland and Seattle, 2007.


The Theory of Love Page

The Theory of Love Performed in Portland and Seattle, 2007.

“Love is one part feeling, one part thought, the distance between lack and plenty.” 
     —L. Wittgenstein
“Baby, baby, baby, baby, oh baby.” 
     —A. Einstein

In 2007, Liminal created a traveling multimedia lecture-opera entitled The Theory of Love. The Liminal Love theorists worked for three years to research, test, and experiment with the hidden workings of Love. Not tested on animals, the resulting mixed-genre formula proved conclusively that everyone’s favorite emotion is more than mere hypothesis.

But hasn’t enough been said about Love already? “It certainly has,” says composer and project leader John Berendzen, “and Liminal would like to have the last word.”  The Resurrectory (2005) was a complex and relentless investigation into Death. Similarly, the Theory of Love tackled the only other great subject with equal passion and intensity.

Special host partners Reed College, Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland Public Schools, and the Seattle Fringe Festival provided the multimedia classroom facilities appropriate for the undertaking. Using alternative techniques of musical hypnosis for accelerated superlearning (pioneered by Soviet-bloc and Japanese researchers in the mid-20th century), audiences were invited into states of blissful, relaxed attentiveness as mind and sense hyper-saturate with full-spectrum vibrations of sound, light, and thought.

News Release


Portland Tribune, April 13, 2007

Willamette Week, April 11, 2007

Portland Mercury, April 19, 2007

Venues and Locations

Friday April 13 - Sunday April 15
Reed College, Eliot Hall, rm. 314

Friday, April 20 - Sunday April 22
Pacific Northwest College of Art, rm. 201

Friday April 27 - Sunday April 29
Chapman Elementary School, auditorium

June 15 at 8pm & June 16-17 On the Boards’ Northwest New Works Festival

Project Collaborators

Mr. David Abel (bass) and Ms. Leo Chapeau (alto) combine their sung and spoken voices, and charismatic personalities, to lead the public experiment. Mr. Abel, himself a poet, also serves as the piece’s author/librettist.

Metaplastic provided the visual media design. The team, led by Anna Daedalus and Leo Daedalus, featured the talents of Samuel Miller, Tomek Karwowski and Kate Sanderson.

John Berendzen was the piece’s composer, sound designer, and musical director.

Jenny Fern Anderson returns to Liminal to fashion the event’s attire.


The Theory of Love was funded with support from RACC, The Kinsman Foundation, and individual donors.  Willamette Week provided  media sponsorship.