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robertogreco : nicomuhly   5

Finally, an Art Form That Gets the Internet: Opera - Robinson Meyer - The Atlantic
"The same surveillance video clip plays three times in Two Boys, at the beginning, the middle, and the end. In it, we see Brian meet Jake in an alley. The older boy puts his arm around the younger; they walk outside of the frame. The video clip has a timestamp in the corner; it precisely frames the opera in history. Like Anne’s office, stuffed with papers and filing cabinets, that timestamp bears the brand of the archive.

Muhly has dwelled in an archive before. For his first job in New York, he tended the personal archives of Maira Kalman. His second album, Mothertongue, moved in and out of the stacks. As mentioned, one of its pieces, called “Archive,” asked a singer to remember phone numbers off the top of her head (knowing it to be a meaningful exercise, as cell phones now remember most trivia for us); another recounted a folk song—the recursive “Oh, the wind and the rain”—in the first movement, mangled it with electronic chimes in the second, then put it back together in the third.

The World Wide Web is a big archive, the biggest one we’ve ever created, humanity’s greatest “work of literature,” in the words of London artist James Bridle. What is chatting, even? All an instant message user does is read and supplement a document devised, archived, and accessed in the very, very recent past. Although the actual downloading happens offstage, little wonder that the plot cannot be resolved in Two Boys until the chat logs are downloaded from the server—or that the chat logs stick around long enough to be analyzed and parsed at all. Quinn Norton asks, “How do we make concrete, or at least reconstructable in the minds of our readers, the terrible, true passions that cross telephony lines?” The trouble of Two Boys is making the archive live onstage, making the operagoer see and hear the library.

In the second act, Brian struggles to describe the chatrooms to Strawson. “There is a world,” he tells her, “a real place—better than, because it’s real. You can’t see it, but it’s real.”

In its choruses, in its gliding towers, the opera gives the Internet dimension. Dancers, moving forward and backward on the stage, give it depth; their jagged stops and starts hint that the web has its own time. They are mimicking computers, which are, themselves, mimicking tools."
robinsonmeyer  nicomuhly  2013  opera  internet  art  depiction  aim  instantmessaging  music  chatrooms  quinnnorton  jamesbridle  surveillance  archives  mairakalman 
october 2013 by robertogreco
Nico Muhly » Difficult, Simple
"And surely the process of becoming an adult is one of figuring out which of ones difficulties should be sanded down in the interests of being a functioning member of the community, and which can be left as distinguishing and endearing eccentricities."
nicomuhly  2011  process  learning  self  culture  art  design  creativity  thecreativeact  opera 
november 2011 by robertogreco
Frieze Magazine | Archive | Variations on a Theme
"For me, the library was a dangerous place – I couldn’t get enough. My curiosity is voracious and canine; I am like a golden retriever and will slobber on every object in the room until I keel over!"

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nicomuhly  music  interviews  libraries  cv  learning 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Nico Muhly » Dutch is
"Dutch is one of those languages I wish I had a quicker time with. I’ve mastered ordering coffee and sparkling water without people switching to English, so, that’s good. There’s something slightly disturbing about the visual scan of the language (I don’t even know what the term is for that: you know when you see a page, or a sign, written in a language and you have an immediate impression of the content of the text? This works also in your native language: look at a page from, like, Dickens, and you can sort of get the Shudder of the Text, or whatever, anyway, what I mean is that some languages, like French, always seem to bear a melismatic philosophy behind the page; German, an authority, Amharic, a crooked delight…) … with Dutch what I get is a sort of childlike pornography: hoog, sneeuwt, poesje, standplaats."

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dutch  language  sound  expression  languages  vocabulary  nicomuhly 
november 2009 by robertogreco
Nico Muhly » Wormhole
"Did everybody process Michael Jackson dancing to R. Kelly: [video here] There is, in this video, one of the most amazing ten seconds of dance I have ever seen; it’s like Butoh and Tallis Cadences all at once. Watch the hands: he starts with these tight fists held close to the chin, and slowly slackens them. The left hand opens up and slowly falls, and then the right hand opens up, angles itself, and does a quick “come here” gesture. That gesture focuses the entire torso & head: watch as everything quickly tightens and the upper lip gets taut! It’s soooo good, and I love where it happens in the phrase: it’s in the beginning of the second bar of a four bar phrase, which is about as random a place as possible to put an accent — it’s like having a wild and crazy night out on a Tuesday rather than Friday. <3 Michael."
michaeljackson  dance  nicomuhly  music 
july 2009 by robertogreco

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