Hosted by Gwen Siôn AKA catHead – ft. NikNak, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, catHead, TSVI & Loraine James, Gwenno, Floating Points, catHead, Gazelle Twin, Tara Clerkin Trio, Gruff Rhys , Djrum +++
‘2045: The Year Man Becomes Immortal?’, previewed as one of the ‘Five of the Best Classical Concerts’ by The Guardian, was premiered on the 6th of July 2016 at St. James’s Church, Piccadilly, featuring soprano Meeta Raval, countertenor Oliver Gerrish, the Aquinas Piano Trio and Helios Voices. A private performance followed on the 9th of July at Cowdray House for a select group of guests. In both occasions the piece was received with rousing standing ovations and unanimous praise. Moving, compelling, absorbing, powerful, mesmerising, haunting, uplifting, extraordinary…these adjectives appear again and again on the numerous audience testimonials gathered after the performances. Rarely a new piece receives such sort of praise. You can read all the audience reactions here.
‘2045: The Year Man Becomes Immortal?’ (2016) started as a homage to this concept called Technological Singularity, this new era that the techno-scientific community have predicted to be possible by 2045 in which technology will finally allow for man and machine to merge, enabling us the possibility to prolong life indefinitely, making us immortal effectively.
Through this paradigm of the future I explore the efforts of our technocratic society to overcome death, wondering essentially whether there’s a purpose to being mortal, whether there’s a purpose to dying. When our days are numbered, life becomes more precious and we cherish more the things we love. The piece wonders whether we should be tampering with nature’s cycle of life, where from death there’s always new life.
The piece is structured in 5 sections mirroring the five stages of a fruit tree, a metaphor for the cyclic nature of life. The first three sections constitute a first block representing the process from life to death. The last two sections constitute a second block where, after what we understand as death, I wonder about the immortal nature of the human soul. In the timeline of the piece, these two blocks are separated exactly at the Golden Ratio and all the individual pieces that constitute the piece follow the timings of the Fibonacci Sequence.
The piece was premiered at St. James’s Church in Piccadilly, London, on the 6th of July 2016 in collaboration with Tete-a-Tete Opera Festival. It was further performed at Buck Hall in Cowdray House on the 9th of July 2016. It received standing ovations on both occasions and widespread acclaim.