One of my special projects that got postponed during Covid 19, has been a collaboration with German composer Torsten Rasch on his opera "The Other Wife". ( https://www.semperoper.de/.../stid/andere-frau-en/61446.html)
A commission from Semperoper Dresden which will hopefully be presented in the early 2022 at this point. Fortunately Villa Massimo, the German Academy in Rome, commissioned Torsten and I to produce an album of music inspired by the opera and some new pieces we have been co-composing. Incorporating a beautiful compilation of classical, experimental, new music and electronic music influences. I personally miss hearing such a hybrid these days.
During the Covid lockdown, I may have recorded close to one hundred vocals in my home studio mostly for this album. Torsten generously invited me to co-write my part in his opera and perform some of his existing writing in Sumerian the oldest known language with a very beautiful guttural tonality. I learned the pronunciation from the recordings of an Oxford scholar, an advisor on this project. As challenging as it is to perform and record myself and as much as I love recording with a great engineer in the best sounding rooms, it is not an unfamiliar journey for me to take charge of all elements of my vocal arrangements and soundscape. The privacy and control over its harmonic sensibility and the vocal production has been my signature for long and I have and still love the process. Ironically creating a virtual choir of my vocals is something I had to get used to from my early days of composition in NYC. I simply could not find vocalists familiar with my microtonal tuning nor and even less to find singers as interested in my exploration of global vocal heritage and melismas (so to speak) including the astounding indigenous vocal techniques of our planet, a major conversation on its own merit. The album will be released by the very prestigious Villa Massimo in early 2021 and I am very much hoping Torsten and I will present the music live in Europe as soon aa Covid allows us to move around again.
It's been a very special journey and some days returning to the recording felt as if going to a shrine and shelter through the music and singing in Sumerian. A privilege in the heart of so much sadness we all endured during COVID. I will keep you posted on the release date of the album and I hope soon after twe can announce the date for the premiere of "The Other Wife". Villa Massimo
Here's an excerpt from the music. https://studio.youtube.com/video/xoIXuqa4yXk/edit
Video by: Kaboon productions
Dresden Opera outdoors images: Albrecht Hoch
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