The Knife, in collaboration with Berlin DJ/producer Mt. Sims and Boltondeutscher Planningtorock, have been collaborating on one of the more bizarre sounding projects of the past year – an Opera celebrating Charles Darwin’s origins of the species [perhaps hoping to replicate the anti-creationist success of the Jerry Springer Opera]. It’s been comissioned by the Danish performance group Hotel Pro Forma, who’ve created many other such pieces of quirky music and theatre together with other European artists.
The development of the project has drawn from a multitude of sources, and the list of influences on The Knife’s website seems like something from Hesse’s Glass Bead Game:
‘Tomorrow, In A Year’ is a unique musical project. Richard Dawkins’s gene trees have formed the basis of some of the musical composition, artificial sounds have been mixed with field recordings, with the music inspired by everything from the different stages of a bird learning its melody, to a song based on Darwin’s loving letters about his daughter Anne. These are compositions that challenge the conventional conception of opera music.
The collective are to release the studio version of the opera ‘Tomorrow, In A Year’, on the 1st March 2010. You can listen to the first track from the forthcoming album on Soundcloud by clicking here [a download is available if you subscribe to their mailing list]; atmospheric, cleanly produced, intricate and odd – like a sonic cross between a Kabuki play and a Rubix cube, with Fever Ray over the top of it. Whatever that means, it’s odd, and interesting.