The story of King Nebuchadnezzar and Daniel is well known, and a local group, Gerauschbiest, has used it to inspire their performance for the Winnipeg Fringe Festival which begins today.

Gerauschbiest, meaning noise beast, consists of two brothers, Jesse and Thomas Krause. What sets them apart is their arsenal of homebuilt instruments made from trees, bicycles and just about anything they envision being useful and contributing to their sound.

"The Dreams of Nebuchadnezzar" is set during the Israelite exile in Babylon and jumps around through the book of Daniel, ultimately showcasing King Nebuchadnezzar's downfall into boanthropy. Some of the dreams portrayed include ones experienced Nebuchadnezzar's son, Belshazzar. 

The foundation of this show was first thought out when Gerauschbiest performed at the Winnipeg New Music Festival years ago and has now transformed it into a 45-minute showcase. Krause was also inspired by a William Blake painting depicting King Nebuchadnezzar during his "animalistic madness."

Nebuchadnezzar, William Blake (Wiki)Nebuchadnezzar, William Blake (Wikipedia)

"It's not like a traditional opera or musical where particular characters are played by particular people. There's a little bit of that and a little bit of, sort of, miming going on on-stage while Gerauschbiest sings through the narrative," says Jesse Krause. "Some of it is sung as songs with a pulse and a beat and some of it is chanted in this free-flowing harmonized chant-style."

Gerauschbiest takes the stage to perform this famous Bible story throughout the Winnipeg Fringe Festival, from July 19-30, and features The Riel Gentlemen's Choir and soprano Sara Clefstad.

"The concluding anthem for the whole piece speaks about how humans aren't really higher than animals and we shouldn't consider ourselves different than them."

Krause later says that the theme comes from Ecclesiastes 3:19 NIV, "Surely the fate of human beings is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath; humans have no advantage over animals. Everything is meaningless."

Sara Clefstad is said to have a minor but important role throughout "The Dreams of Nebuchadnezzar," Krause calls her role the "Holy Watcher," which is only mentioned in the Bible throughout chapter 4 in the book of Daniel. Cleftstad also portrays Daniel throughout the show as well.

For show times and tickets, click here