Pneumatica is an event about air, made of air and powered by air. The Squonkers pump up the volume with live original music that permeates the air, while inflatables pump up and immerse the audience.
Figures and tentacles grow, powered by blowers and vortex fans, and culminate in the 40-foot high Lady Pneumatica who incorporates a wind turbine on her head. She blossoms with sails, breathing steam and raising her inflated arms to the sky. Squonk’s music incorporates the swoops and eddies of air with electronic bagpipes and a vertical accordion that is Lady Pneumatica’s lungs, played like a piano while it rises and falls with her breath. Playing with visual puns, air is used to activate costumes – Squonkers inflate like blowfish and musically activate headtubes with wild guitar and bass riffs.
With the creation of Pneumatica, the Squonkers continue to pursue the most American and democratic of art forms: the public celebration, with boisterous music and surreal image. Squonk taunts and whispers, bellows and caresses, using the very medium of sound: air.
“Incorporating elements of street theater, pop-up art installation and solstice celebration” – Tribune Review
“Visual puns, wacky costumes, electronic bagpipes and general surreal merriment” – City Paper
“An eccentric show that its audience won’t soon forget” – The Roanoke Times
“Fusion of funky inflatables, zebra-striped bagpipes and rocking guitars” – Champaign-Urbana News Gazette
Go to Media for full articles.
The Artistic Directors
Steve O’Hearn & Jackie Dempsey
Keyboards & Accordion
Drums & Electronics
Electronic Bagpipes & Flute
Jackie Dempsey with the Squonkers
Design & Staging
Graphic Design &
Contributing Visual Artist
Venise St. Pierre
Painting & Sculpting
Assistant Live Sound
Video Editor & Camera Person
2nd Camera Person
Steve and Jackie would like to acknowledge everyone involved in this production
for their creative contributions, especially the Squonk musicians for adding their
own individual flavor to the music, and the designers, builders and technicians who
added detail and richness to the production.
This show can be set up within a 40’ x 40’ x 40’, on paving or grass, and has self-contained technical systems and run crew. All scenery, sound, blowers, inflatables, run crew and musical instruments provided by the touring company. There will also be a front of house roofless sound/interactive station that will be about 30’-50’ in the house, on center.
A 26’ box truck needs to get to the site for set-up and strike, and needs secure offsite parking. If offsite, we would need a storage area or pod of some sort to store our equipment overnight or in the event of rain. Onsite security is also needed. We require 3 double rooms and 2 singles at a local hotel for 10 performers and technical staff. Set up and strike require 4 hours each with a couple of on-site volunteers for a couple of hours.
Power Needs: 12 @ 20 amp 120v, separately breakered circuits, at the site of the set. These will all be loaded to at least 2000w each. If power is not onsite, please provide a whisper-quiet generator that will be located about 25’ upstage of the set. The show must be modified if less power is available. We use biodegradable confetti in the finale that dissolves in moisture.
Flint Hills International Children’s Festival … Ordway … St. Paul, MN
Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts … Kimmel Center … Philadelphia, PA
Artsplosion! at the Center … CFCC Humanities & Fine Arts Center … Wilmington, NC
Wake Forest Renaissance Centre … Wake Forest, NC
Pawley’s Island Festival of Music and Art … Georgetown, SC
ELLNORA | The Guitar Festival at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts … Urbana, IL
Arts Festival Oklahoma … Oklahoma City, OK
Mary B. Martin School of the Arts at East Tennessee State University … Johnson City, TN
Hancher Auditorium at University of Iowa … Iowa City, IA
Moss Arts Center at Virginia Tech … Blacksburg, VA
Arts on the Allegheny … Kittanning, PA
Providence International Arts Festival … Providence, RI
Strawberry Festival … Midland Theatre … Newark, OH
Calgary International Children’s Festival … Calgary, AB Canada
Main Street Fort Worth Arts Festival … Fort Worth, TX
Schenley Plaza … Pittsburgh, PA
Harvest Festival … Waynesburg, PA
Braddock Redux Community Day … Braddock, PA
Bottleworks … Johnstown, PA
Wheeling Arts Fest … Wheeling, WV
Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival … Pittsburgh, PA
A big Squonk Thank You to the following people who contributed to our Kickstarter campaign and helped to make Pneumatica a reality! And thank you to Nara Garber for the amazing video! We hope you all get a chance to see one of the shows!
James & Patty Antenucci
Ralph Flaugher Jr
Gregory G. Granger
Shannon Light Hadley
J Gavin Heck
Amy Kara Lewis
Kristie Kovacyk & Lee Mason
David & Heidi Matthews
Rachel Sica Meyer
Robert O’Hearn & Theresa Provenzo
Cynthia L. Pennington
Albert William Schenck
Bob & Jane Steineck
David E. Vachon
Ronald W. Wilson
Steve Dzurilla & Donna Wojnar