Quarantine: A Telematic nO(t)pera (2020-21)

Quarantine: A Telematic nO(t)pera is a piece by Doug Van Nort, created for the Electro-Acoustic Orchestra (EAO), for the virtual space of connected isolation, for Casper the cat, and for self-sanity. It is not an Opera, but it is not not an Opera. It is a composition for musical, visual and virtual engagement. The music consists of six movements that span disparate sonic landscapes. It is organized by pre-composed palettes that integrate text, graphics, Soundpainting and software instruments, and are augmented with additional real-time composition via EAO’s unique Soundpainting conducting. This content is a crystallization of ideas that have emerged from months of regular online rehearsals that date back to the beginning of the pandemic, bringing together performers from three continents and numerous time zones. As a meditation on (and a product of) our network-mediated present, the nO(t)pera also introduces diverse networks of improvised collaboration: cross performer-machine collaboration, performer-animal collaboration and audience-machine-performer collaboration.

In one movement of the piece, the audience is invited to improvise drawing input that are interpreted by machine learning algorithms, and in turn will determine the overall structure and sonic content of the music.


Composition and Direction:
Doug Van Nort

Electro-Acoustic Orchestra:
Tom Bickley (EWI+electronics), Lo Bil (voice), Viv Corringham (voice+electronics ), Björn Eriksson (feedback boxes), Faadhi Fauzi (synths), Colin James Gibson (guitar), Yuanfen Gu (notpera granular patch), Rory Hoy (bass+electronics), Melanie Jagmohan (guitar+legos), Kathy Kennedy (voice+electronics), Aida Khorsandi (notpera FM patch), Nicholas Lina (bass), Kieran Maraj (kin/electronics), Diane Roblin (inside piano/synths), Omar Shabbar (guitar+electronics), Danny Sheahan (violin+electronics), Peter Vukosavljevic (percussion), Doug Van Nort (conducting/composing).

Live action-or-lack-thereof:
Casper, the cat
Cat-herding and video work:
Stacy Denton
Virtual Staging and visuals:
Rory Hoy
Deep Machine Learning (conducting and drawing recognition):
Kieran Maraj