Pharrell Wiliams has a long history of collaborating across mediums, and now the producer is adding a new project to his experimental repertoire: a multi-disciplinary show called Rules of the Game. Created alongside choreographer Jonah Bokaer and artist Daniel Arsham, the art-dance-music fusion will premiere May 17 at the second annual SOLUNA International Music & Arts Festival in Dallas, Texas.
The piece will feature an original score by Williams, which will be performed live by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and conducted by composer David Campbell, who has worked with the likes of Adele, Beck, Jon Bon Jovi, and Michael Jackson on over 450 gold and platinum albums.
Williams took to Rolling Stone to detail the project, saying the work was a “brand-new medium where movement is not only an addition, [but] essential to communicating the point” and that he felt “lucky to be working with such explosive, combustible ideas.” Bokaer also shared a bit of the backstory in the interview, revealing that the piece takes inspiration from Luigi Pirandello’s absurdist 1921 play, Six Characters in Search of an Author, though it’s not a direct adaption.
While Bokaer is a fresh face for Williams, he and Arsham have been working together over the last several years. In 2013, Arsham created molds of both Williams and the Casio MT-50 keyboard on which he first began playing music, the first of which was displayed at a Paris gallery in 2014 to ring in the release of Williams’ second studio album, Girl.
Over the span of his career, Williams has collaborated on projects that range in both genre and form. He’s designed accessories for Louis Vuitton, created art with Takashi Murakami, and worked with a slew of musicians that include Gwen Stefani, Kanye West, and Daft Punk.
Justin Timberlake recently teased a potential team up with the multi-hyphenate, posting a photo of himself and Williams in the studio with “Currently…” as the caption. The pair have worked together extensively over the years, most notably in 2002, when Williams produced Timberlake’s Grammy-nominated debut album, Justified.
Williams hasn’t released a record since 2014’s Girl, but he’s been busy behind the scenes. Amongst a number of projects last year, he debuted a beautiful new music video for “Freedom,” appeared on Missy Elliott’s “WTF (Where They From),” and curated the soundtrack for Dope.
He currently serves as a judge on NBC’s The Voice.