On 18 and 19 May 2013, the Algae Opera tours to Havelock Walk in Forest Hill as part of the
artist's open studio weekend. Just what can the people of Forest Hill expect as they step into the future to taste song?
I really do love Forest Hill. For a suburban village in South East London, it's pretty cool. It's got it's own Totem Pole, overstuffed walrus and an array of intoxicating coffee shops for casual or cutting-edge conversation. But this weekend, Forest Hill gets cooler. The Algae Opera tours to Havelock Walk in Forest Hill for the artist's open studio weekend.
The Algae Opera held its world premiere on the 22 and 23 September 2012 at the V&A Museum as part of the London Design Festival. It is a piece of performance art that imagines our world in 2060 where algae is the new Sunday Roast; the dinner plate the new opera house. From stage right enters the algae opera singer, Evalga. We watch as she is transformed with biotechnology to grow algae with her breath. As she sings, her symbiotic suit captures her breath to grow the algae for us to eat.
In this future scenario, The Algae Opera does not envisage opera as the traditional high art form we understand today. Rather it imagines opera as a breath ceremony that manufactures a future food: ‘imagine how our bodies in the future could be re-designed to eat differently, and how new rituals of eating will create alternative relationships with the ‘producer’ and enhance the sensory experience of eating.’ (Burton and Nitta).
In this imagined future, song becomes a tasty experience, a political ambassador. Musical form and systems shift to represent life in the Algae Age: ‘an imaginary 'folk' music, born of a Human/Algae symbiote culture where breath itself is the revered symbol of existence.’ (Gameshow Outpatient)
Because this is such an extraordinary project, Current Song of the Day has opened the rehearsal room doors so you can have a peep inside.
For those people who are joining us this weekend to step into the future, here is a preview of the weekend's menu:
DAILY SPECIALS AT HAVELOCK WALK
18 - 19 MAY 2013
18 - 19 MAY 2013
The songs are especially selected to reflect the issues of the day.
Call to breath
Course 1: Sweet
A song about moving to new lands and starting new cultures.
Course 2: Bitter
A contrasting song about consuming the talents of another person and how a performer can become trapped by the expectations of the audience.
Finale: Call to breath
Performance Details and Credits:
The Algae Opera, Stage 2
18 and 19 May, Studio 6 Havelock Walk, Forest Hill, London SE23
Performances are on the hour from 14.00 - 17.00. Duration: 10 minutes
Making Algae, Photography by Matt McQuillan (2012)