Iannis Xenakis

Oresteia Opera

Scored for soloists, mixed chorus, children’s chorus and chamber ensemble, Iannis Xenakis’ music for Oresteia has been cited as “ruggedly dissonant” since its 1987 première in Sicily. A wooden-planked stage is empty save three platforms, one each for the chamber players and percussion, another for a drummer on a separate perch. On a high screen to start, a loop video shows an almost-naked woman stretched out face down in a bathtub who is being hosed down uninterruptedly with water. No forewarning, and the clip changes to a thick forest, a small girl being physically abused by an adult man. While the same video images reappear at the end of the opera, but it’s nebulous soft-edged shapes –mood landscapes as it were – that are the usual backdrop for the 90-minute piece.

 

Auke Ijspeert

Roombot
Biorobotics Laboryator

The individual Roombots are about the size of fat grapefruits, but one day they could be much smaller. Vespignani and his fellow researchers are investigating ways for the bots to communicate among themselves, like bacteria. In a hundred years, maybe the individual units will be so small as to be microscopic–and instead of summoning 10 friendly robots from different corners of the room, a person could summon something as nebulous and numerous as an army of technological spores.

dan corson

Nebulous
The site-specific piece takes form as two large ‘clouds’ made of electronically controlled switch-glass, semi-transparent glass discs and LED fixtures. Corson ties in two distinct concepts to the work, dealing with seattle’s notoriously temperamental weather patterns and digital storage. more