Brainstorm, a work in progress
Sarah Drury, Anna Dembska and Valeria Vasilevski are collaborating on an interactive vocal performance, with Anna Dembska as performer, Sarah Drury as interactive media designer and Valeria Vasilevski as stage director. All three are collaborating on writing and media content.
Brainstorm is an operatic hybrid about truth, lies, technology and climate change, in which a processed video environment responds in real time to the singing of a live performer. Shakespeare loved using weather as metaphor: the madness of Lear's thunderstorm, the wizardry of Prospero's tempest. Contemporary madness and wizardry has brought about post-modern climate change, from global warming to the invisible ecosystem of the wireless matrix. Just as beliefs, propaganda and too much information hopelessly mingle truth with opinion, Brainstorm performers react to a landscape that in fact is reacting to them.
The vulnerable, visceral power of human singing collaborates with a video
set through voice signal processing and live generated media. Digital sensing of a singer's pitch, volume, energy and attack cause
disturbancescircling flocks of birds enlarge/come closer; cloud banks build/disperse; lightning flashes and spinning words fly across the sky. Composed music spirals into improvisation; operatic singing into extended vocal techniques and processed sounds. Texts, from Elizabethan songs to presidential denials of global warming, collide and collude. The work's formal structure of interactive environment engaged with live human performers parallels our techno-society's struggle to come to terms with our place on earth as one species in a diverse, threatened, living world.