Exploring the fragmented and distributed self in the digital age, this electroacoustic work interrogates the themes surrounding identity, agency, ownership and the myriad systems that lie beneath the distribution of data.
Led by Chamber Made Artistic Director Tamara Saulwick and with composition by Peter Knight, My Self in That Moment expands on the company’s approach to experiment with different technologies that impact live performance and music forms.
My Self in That Moment has been created via a series of recorded interviews with the three vocalists: Jessica Aszodi, Alice Hui-Sheng Chang and Tina Stefanou, who reflect on what it means to be digitally captured and archived.
Tina Stefanou explains that a right-wing French media company took a soundbite of her voice, “For over four years, my voice was used as the introduction for a video news channel. I had no idea they were using it. It was very strange,” she said.
My Self in That Moment is a polyphonic piece – there is one live voice amongst a polyphony of pre-recorded voices spread across the speakers with the 49 devices.
Audiences experience this work through a series of digital tablets that are networked to function as a visual and sonic ensemble. There is a live soloist performed alternately throughout the season by Jessica Aszodi and Tina Stefanou.
“This presentation style opens up exciting possibilities for the spatialization of image and sound. It feels strangely subversive to take these ubiquitous personal objects and to turn them into a kind of musical instrument,” said Saulwick.
Peter Knight has composed a complex and spatial sound design from recorded voices. “Each vocalist has a very different approach to voice. It has been exciting to create something using their distinctive palette of individual sounds and extended vocal techniques,” said Knight.
The ability to replicate, deconstruct, change and distribute a person’s image and voice presents a swathe of social and personal possibilities and conundrums.
“Digital devices are central to how we project ourselves into the world today. They create an ever-present and ever-multiplying archive of the self that can be shared and manipulated, raising questions about how much agency each of us has,” explained Saulwick.
Chamber Made has a reputation for bringing performance, sound and music together in surprising ways. My Self in That Moment will take the company’s hybrid experimentation to a new level.
Concept and direction: Tamara Saulwick | Performers and collaborators: Jessica Aszodi, Alice Hui-Sheng Chan, Tina Stefanou | Composer and sound artist: Peter Knight | Visual artist and photographer: Sarah Walker | Dramaturg: Martyn Coutts | Creative coder and programmer: Steve Berrick | Lighting designer: Amelia Lever-Davidson | Costume: Geoffrey Watson
My Self in That Moment
The Substation, 1 Market Street, Newport
Season: 27 – 30 July 2022
For more information, visit: www.chambermade.org for details.
Image: Tina Stefanou – photo by Sarah Walker