Xylem Lines - Matthew Marcum

Reviewed By Luke Dodge

Fringe Reviewer

A compelling combination of poetry and neo-country blues (yes, this genre is made up but it fits), Matthew Marcum alternates between spoken word and original songs to create an experience that explores the connection between nature and our humanity.

Marcum’s delivery is powerful, leaving the audience hanging on every word when they’re not tapping their toes along to the beats of the songs. Building tension that culminates in goosebumps; he fills the entire space despite being only one person.

Both poetry and song are underlined by recorded music, giving the performance the feel of a well-curated album. A projector displays stunning time-lapse videos in the background that beautifully complement the subject matter.

Through repeated patterns and common language, Marcum creates a common thread throughout the individual pieces to forge a greater whole that is more than the sum of its parts. The performance circles back on itself to visit earlier ruminations in a cycle akin to nature itself.

A moving performance in an immersive and original show.

Marcum’s rhythmic lyrics are transfixing, reaching deep down and stirring up dark corners of your soul. It's the sort of performance that requires time to let sink in and process before knowing its full impact.

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