Spoon River

for soprano, baritone and video (2013)

Spoon River Anthology, or the presence of past things.

A multimedia installation which is a spatial arrangement of video projections with sound. The projections show opera artists performing recitative-arias composed to selected poems by the American poet Edgar Lee Masters from the Spoon River Anthology volume. The heroes of the Anthology are inhabitants of a town who used to live next to each other and are now lying dead next to each other. Each poem is a short story of life and death told by one or more Spoon River citizens.
Spoon River episodes bring to mind the episodes of the Divine Comedy, where Dante, moved, listens to the life stories of souls he encounters during his journey. The apparition materializes and incarnates through the story it tells; memory evokes life; each of the phantoms has a moment to call to this life through memory.
The artists' naked bodies are filmed in close-ups so large that individual identification becomes impossible, but it is possible to observe subcutaneous life, it is possible to present tensions, vibrations, waves, flows, contractions, spasms and any movement of the body matter. The matter which brings sounds to life, is itself brought to life by these sounds.

The piece is sung in English.

The project was created as part of a scholarship from the Minister of Culture and National Heritage.


Performance history:

PREMIERE: 56th International Festival of Contemporary Music "Warsaw Autumn" 2013

December 18, 2019; presentation on TVP Kultura

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