Friday 13 September 2019, 7.30pm
Two years on from a pair of sold-out performances, US group Object Collection return to OTO, premiering excerpts from new opera ‘You Are Under Our Space Control’. Kindred spirit Tim Parkinson supports with a premiere of his own, an ensemble performance of recent Slip LP ‘Pleasure Island’.
‘You Are Under Our Space Control’ is firebrand US group Object Collection's inimitable Slip return: a utopian space-opera, a homing signal cast into an empty universe, a beacon for an aesthetically radical future.
Drawing on space travel, transhumanism, astronautics and the resurrection of the dead, Kara Feely's texts rehearse a progressive politics through a total re-envisioning of everyday life. Travis Just's limber speech-song vocal parts are eerily and spasmodically FX'd, and navigate surprisingly glistening instrumentals - a headlong tangle and squelch of flexing 808s and metal objects, roboticised guitar, and unreal synthesis.
YAUOSC's bubbling force belies its diverse, unruly underpinnings. The opera’s musical backbone is a drum-machine transcription of John Cage's 1951 piano solo ‘Music Of Change’, a landmark of indeterminacy; its title grabbed from Cy Roth's sci-fi romp ‘Fire Maidens From Outer Space’ (1951); its texts inspired by Sun Ra and the Russian Cosmists’ poetics and philosophies, and interviews from real (and imagined) space travellers and astronomers.
Object Collection charge these impulses with a burning, engrossing physicality. This is, above all, a piece of heaving, life-giving music, deep in the mess of futuristic fervour.
The group will perform for around 70 mins.
“One of the most confronting and exhilarating things I've seen” – BBC
“Innovative” – New York Times
“ferocious in scope” – The Guardian
“A disorienting, multi-sensory attack” – Frieze Magazine
'Pleasure Island' is British composer Tim Parkinson's disquieting and joyous Slip debut: play time in end times.
Titled after the Disney adaptation of 'Paese dei balocchi' (or the Land of Toys) in Carlo Collodi's 'The Adventures of Pinocchio' (1883), 'Pleasure Island' is a metaphysical playground of organic and digital cohabitation, its inhabitants pacified by toys and comforts.
Parkinson and his ensemble exert an uncannily emotional pull from an unlikely but potent alliance of ultra-minimal aesthetics, dead-beat drums, junk electronics, and mechanised mantras.
Voices are hemmed in by electronic sound. People buffeted around by machines. Words surrounded by garlands of digital interference. Time repackaged as countdown.
Tim's trash-opera 'Time With People' continues to be performed around the world, past champions of which include Object Collection, a.pe.ri.od.ic, Edges, and NEC, and he is a co-curator of London's longstanding 'Music We’d Like To Hear' series.
Tim Parkinson, Francesca Fargion, Suze Whaites, Laurie Tompkins