Extending Opera, research project by Carl Unander-Scharin, singer and composer. KTH/CSC and University College of Opera in Stockholm. December 2012.
How can a deepened understanding on vocal expression inform the creation of new vocal art and be explored in the artistic use of music technology?
The aim of this research project is to shed light on affinities between various technical and technological concepts involved in the creation of new operatic art, and, if possible, to identify and suggest a new concept – namely Vocopoesis - when trying to outline how the creation of music from a vocal perspective is possible.
The material consists of the researcher's performances, the researcher's musical compositions and of the performances of these works, including study of the technical and technological issues that arise from their creation and performance. The method resembles the participant observation, where the active participation of the creator is inherent in the role of the researcher - the reflecting practitioner (Schön). Research is carried out as “research from within the art form”.
The research project includes documentation of existing and emerging operatic works and of the processes leading to their creation. The dissertation has the form of a monograph, including video and audio recordings of performances and case-studies of technological development, e.g. the development of “The Virtual Viola da Gamba” of “The Throat III” and “Throat for iPhone”, “The Vocal Chorder”, “The Charged Room”, “Virtual a Capella” and others.
The corpus of existing and emerging works and of existing and emerging practices are compiled in a portfolio, wherein artworks as well as technological concepts are mapped in a matrix - and subsequently discussed.The dissertation will situate its ontological starting points with a short field study of the operatic art – in its original sense: as an arena for vocal and musical development as well as an arena for artistic novelties.
Extending Opera argues that the art of opera can avoid stagnation when a deepened understanding of vocal expression is conveyed via the artistic use of music technology.