The Gray Cat and the Flounder

PNME Theatre of Music

The Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble (PNME) Theatre of Music is made up of first class artists from all over the world. Set up in 1976, the company seeks to bring people and art together with pioneering technology, reinventing the concert experience. PNME uses music as the vehicle for larger ideas, commissioning, performing, and presenting new work.

We met Kevin Noe and Catherine Noe’Rourke from the Pittsburgh Theatre of Music team in 2018, when they contacted us to chat about bringing their show ‘The Gray Cat and the Flounder’ to the Edinburgh Fringe in 2019. A couple of meetings, a Skype and some very expensive headphone deliveries (more on that below) later, we formalised our partnership — and we can’t wait to unleash the magic of this work on Edinburgh audiences.

About The Gray Cat and the Flounder

It didn’t take us long to fall hard for this show; an upbeat and tender tale of ageing, loss and undying love. Using actors, musicians, puppets and pioneering binaural audio technology (with the audience in headphones), these artists deliver an immersive and intimate storytelling experience that wraps the audience in sound and music from all directions.

The show paints a portrait of love and loss that’s both heartbreaking and uplifting, ultimately leaving you with the warm, fuzzy notion that true romance is beautifully ordinary.

To us, PNME’s passion for this work is contagious; we found ourselves smitten with the company and the story itself from day one. The fact that Kevin insisted on sending us some very pricey headphones, to ensure we could fully appreciate the surround-sound technology as we watched a video of the show, is typical of the company’s dedication to quality.

What does “binaural” mean?

Put simply, binaural music technology transmits sound “in 3D”, creating a surround sound effect. Audience members wear headphones, which combined with the use of binaural microphones replicates our ears’ natural perception of sound distance.

It allows us to hear music and other sounds from all directions (including from behind or above), creating a uniquely immersive audio experience of theatre.

PNME at EdFringe 19

The Gray Cat and the Flounder is coming to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August 2019. We’re currently in talks with venue contacts and tech staff to make sure the space we end up in can accommodate the complex specifications of this show.

We’ll post more information here later in the year as contracts are signed and tickets go on sale.

The real Gray Cat and Flounder

This beautiful piece tells the quirky love story of two Pittsburghers (and longtime PNME supporters) with limitless imagination and huge hearts. It’s inspired by the life of Bernadette Gabrielle Callery (aka the Gray Cat), a librarian at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, and her husband Jospeh Newcomer (aka the Flounder).

They were known among their friends for their creative sense of fun, which saw them craft an epic cartoon series of almost 4,000 images chronicling their life together, called The Gray Cat and the Flounder. Bernadette and Joseph were married for 46 years, until Bernadette died from ovarian cancer in 2012.

Find out more about the PNME Theatre of Music.