Sounscapes of Color
Join the Arts Affinity Network in supporting student artist Michał Dzitko AB'18.
Soundscapes of Color is an opera and installation by Michał Dzitko. Commissioned by author Esther K Smith and fine-print publisher Purgatory Pie Press, the opera is based on a libretto of an 1874 typography and ink catalog, Specimens of Chromatic Wood Type. After two successful pre-shows in New York City, Soundscapes of Color will premiere in Gallery 6018|North in Chicago on April 22nd.
Dzitko believes that the next frontier of artistic performance is an immersive, virtual reality experience. This has led him to question the principles of operatic staging. The resulting innovation is the idea of remote conducting, a technique which puts the conductor in an isolated space, and asks of them to conduct to cameras instead of live performers. The live stream from the cameras then gets transmitted through a wire onto tablets in front of live musicians. Performers see the conductor on their respective screens, and are able to play in sync, regardless of whether they see or hear each other. Distributing musicians uniformly across a performance space now results in creating an art gallery, for sound.
The audience is free to roam and explore this space guided only by the sounds and sights that captivate them. Since the words of the libretto do not describe a story, but rather constitute brilliantly-illustrated poetry, the music itself becomes the only plot that can be followed. As the experience of music is deeply subjective, no two audience member’s experiences will be the same. Dzitko is also collaborating with lighting and stage designers to create a light show emulating his music, which will serve to heighten the immersive quality of the experience.
A reception as well as an artist’s talk and Q&A moderated by Steven Rings will start at 6PM. Refreshments will be provided. The performance time is 7PM. Free transportation is available for University of Chicago students and will depart from Reynold’s Club at 5PM.