Oracle Hysterical is a collective of four composer-performers: twin brothers Doug Balliett (double bass, viola da gamba) and Brad Balliett (bassoon), Majel Connery (vocals), and Elliot Cole (guitars, vocals, harmonium). Half band, half book club, Oracle Hysterical combines eclectic musical influences with literary breadth, adapting great works of literature through the medium of song. The group has created hip-hoperas, art-rock song cycles, rap cantatas, and other genre-bending works all over America and Europe, collaborating with a variety of ensembles to cultivate a unique sound palette for each project.
Oracle Hysterical has created projects for Metropolis Ensemble (The Rake and Cleopatra), Washington Square Winds (Fisherman and His Wife), Chicago Composers Orchestra (Hecuba), New Vintage Baroque (Passionate Pilgrim) and the Lucerne Festival Academy (Billy Budd), where they were Spotlight Artists in 2011. This fall they debuted Tales of Lapham: The Sea, commissioned by A Far Cry, which premiered at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Boston) with support from a New Music USA award. In 2017, in addition to its CD release of Passionate Pilgrim, Oracle Hysterical mounts two new projects with New Vintage Baroque at National Sawdust, and will appear at Mainline Music/Starline Social Club in Oakland, CA in the spring. Oracle Hysterical has also performed at le Poisson Rouge, The Stone, Spectrum, the Berkshire Fringe Festival, MATA Festival, the Hideout Inn, and Constellation, and recently held residencies at High Concept Laboratories and the Edna Saint Vincent Millay Colony.