Aria (for our ears)

Aria (for our ears) March 2014

A recording of Gluck’s Objet de Mon Amour from his opera Orfeo ed Euridice.

I was invited to contribute to a Listening Seminar at Goldsmiths curated by Diana Policarpo. The recording was originally intended to be a live performance. I is an adapted the idea specifically for the format of the listening seminar; for the artists and the audience to sit and focus on the act of collective listening in the dark.

My focus was on the content of the aria rather than any visual elements I had planned for the live performance. I improvised the English lyrics during the recording sessions based on my writings concerning smartphone technology. I worked with the French phonemes and verbalised similar sounding English words that best reflected my concerns with smartphones and technology. The adapted narrative is that Foxy Moron has dropped and broken her smartphone and is singing the aria to the functionless object. In Gluck’s opera, Orfeo is singing to the dead body of his beloved wife, Euridice.

We project our emotions onto the devices that allow us to communicate with others. When speaking to a loved one on the phone, I have often looked lovingly at the device after the conversation has ended. I find it amazing and strange that we simultaneously aim our affections both at, and through, the device.

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