Curated by Peter Courtemanche. Artist talk and demonstration Friday April 27th at 8pm, free admission.

Performance Saturday April 28th at 8pm, $8/$5 at the door. Operator makes connections between speeches delivered in public over cell phones and the theatrical treatment of text in various forms of opera. During our residency at the Western Front we travel throughout Vancouver on foot and public transit with the purpose of recording cellphone monologues: overheard halves of conversations that are dramatic in tone and subject matter. We are interested in speeches that have the flavour of performances and seem to be meant to be overheard by strangers. These cellphone texts are paired with plot points from classic operas to become the libretto for an improvised opera we prepare and perform in the Grand Luxe room at the Western Front. As audience members move through the performance space they are tracked by video to become the opera chorus.

The grand piano in the Grand Luxe has been fitted with a Disklavier computer playback system. This piano and audio speakers fed by computers running MAX/MSP serve both as soloists and the orchestra accompanying live actions.

We will explore the use of the piano/Disklavier in combinations of these modes: played as a normal acoustic instrument; as a midi controller for audio samples of voice and piano sounds via MAX/MSP; as a player piano that receives playback instructions via midi.

Scenarios: The rhythms of vocal sounds we produce live become the rhythms of acoustic piano notes. Notes physically played on the piano become control messages that transform recorded vocal passages. These transformations are temporal (re-orderings in time), spatial (distributions in audio space), and textural (zooming into breath sounds and consonants).

Process: During afternoon sessions open to the public. Light/shadow effects produced by sunlight in the Grand Luxe are photographed and videoed. Improvised piano/voice pieces become audio and midi recordings.

Performance: We process stills and video of the sunlight shadowplay effects using a custom Jitter program and project the output onto the windows, walls and ceiling of the Grand Luxe room, and perform the ‘opera’ using live voice, the piano/Disklavier and an audio system fed by computers running MAX.