...As A Song Of A World
"This piece is about the question of how we relate? Relate to self, other, and environment, and so it is also a question of tools or instruments, since we relate via instruments."
Jessie Cox — Drums and more
Bethany Younge — Voice
Yuma Ueseka — Cyborg Clarinet
Vasko Dukovski — Clarinets
Ras Moshe — Tenor Sax
Pauline Kim Harris — Violin
James Ilgenfritz — Double Bass
Produced by Either/Or Ensemble
Q&A Host — Isaac Jean-Francoise
Live Performance of an Opera by Jessie Cox with Either Or Ensemble.
A Q&A will follow the performance hosted by Isaac Jean-Francoise.
On Saturday October 24 2020 Either/Or ensemble, known for their adventurous programming (CMA/ASCAP), will join forces with Jessie Cox to present his new and innovative opera that crosses genre boundaries of New Classical Music, Free Jazz, Electronics and more; and could be related to the works of Sun Ra, Lachenmann, or the Art Ensemble of Chicago.
Jessie Cox is composer and drummer whose music has been described as “…some of the most experimental music of not just the day but the season… held a listener’s attention with surprises and delights aplenty,“ (LA Times) is currently pursuing his doctorate at Columbia University. Growing up in Switzerland, and also having roots in Trinidad and Tobago, he is currently residing in NYC. He has written over 100 works for various prominent musical ensembles and performers including electroacoustic works, solo works, chamber- and orchestral works, works for jazz ensembles and choirs.
This opera involves not only novel musical confluences and a fresh approach to the tradition of operatic works; but also involves newly developed technologies (the Cyborg-Clarinet) and other extensions of the musical instrument to its environment. The plot is centered around a species of nomads that developed, and re-develops, a technology which allows them to travel at and beyond the speed of light and so allows for migration through music. This very technology is a secret, hidden from the species, and has to be discovered by them so as to allow for a new migratory phase. In this sense it is a story about looking for a myth, a technology, a way of interacting with the world that allows for a different story than death and life—in other words, how do we relate to living?
“The question of how we, as individuals, relate (and here I am consciously also evoking Glissant) to each other but also to our environment is today more important, even urgent, than ever. This relationality is reflected in our technologies, which are our filters, or mediums, through which we relate to each other and to the world (physical and noetic) around us. Climate change, loneliness, nihilism, etc. and our use of technologies, or how we think of technology and how it concomitantly then is produced (not created) are related. I hope that with this project we can bring awareness to this relationality and hopefully suggest some other ways, or alterdestinies to use Sun Ra’s word."
"This cyborg technology is my artistic means by which I can deal with the environment in which I live. We are all partially cyborgs - not only are we surrounded by digital technology, but we are also dependent on it. Moreover, this ubiquity has also consequences in our relation to the "non-digital" environment, and also to ourselves and to each other. In this sense, this piece is not only a "study" in organology and/or electronic music, but also, most importantly, an exploration of humanity's current situation. I hope that this piece will inspire a new way of dealing with the digital world and the "traditional" musical instruments; because, ultimately, it is about how humanity deals with its environment, and with itself. "