Oracles at the Opera House

A new work of ambient collaboration comes at the Marigny Opera House
all photos by mike griffith

Oracles at the Opera House

On Sunday night, as part of the INSTINT conference, ambient artist Justin Peake will present the premier of his new interactive work Oracles. The lineup features Helen Gillet, Aurora Nealand, James Singleton, Rex Gregory and Simon Lott performing live in concert in conjunction with an innovative and subtle conducting system, which Peake has built specifically for this performance. I was able to speak with Peake a bit about his inspiration for the work and what the audience should expect from the performance (without ruining all the surprises). This project includes elements of improvisational music, interactive sculpture, audience response and technological bootstrapping that all work together to create an immersive environment. Peake spoke of the origins of the work, “I was doing the Merge Music Series that started to incorporate a lot of multimedia, visuals, live visuals and lighting design stuff, but a lot of my over arching goals as an artist have always been to incorporate interactive technology and sculpture and lighting and music, all together in one kind of coherent piece—where none of them have to really take the back seat to the other. It's really exciting for me at this point to be able to begin to do that and also still preserve a mentality of experimentalism because some of the sculptures in the piece that we've built are largely influenced by the audience.” What is really interesting about the piece is how it intersects with Peake’s sense of community creation, “We are setting up a situation in which the audience becomes kind of a small community, in the sense that they are kind of experiencing their own effects on the system itself.”

Peake designed this performance specifically for the Marigny Opera House and the possibilities and histories of the space inform the piece even further, “Well you know, it's such an awesome place. I mean that very literally awesome. There's something about these really large old structures that are humbling in their way that they've been constructed and the amount of time that it's been sitting there…It's a really nice place to present this piece because the piece itself is a kind of a meditation on materials and participation in any world that you're in. Whether it be this community that you live in on a day to day life or the small installation or the small temporary world that you live in, if it's a piece of art or something. It's really about thinking about what's going on.” One of the neater aspect of this performance will be the cuing of the musician via an application, written by Peake, that feeds off of environmental response to build musical direction, “The way that the musicians are cued will be based on this piece of software that I've written that's translating the way the audience is interacting with the sculpture, or the way that they had interacted with the sculpture. It's translating that into what they [the musicians] are seeing on their screens. Then there's a second phase of it where there's some kind of … another set of sculptures that we use that will allow for very simple audience interactions that I'm very excited to see how that pans out. Then there will be some more music based on those interactions…There will be some live music, some electronic sounds, some ambient sounds, hopefully very tasteful for the space and hopefully just very calming, pleasant experience.”

Personally, I can’t wait to see how this all comes together Sunday night.



Marigny Opera House

Sunday 1/22 Doors 8:30 p.m.


Punk at the Hi-Ho

Thursday night NE-HI and the American Wrestlers brought an evening of high power punk to the Hi-Ho. Despite some persistent sound issues both bands were able to pour in fantastic performances. NE-HI gave the crowd a preview of what to expect from their new record while the American Wrestlers proved once again why they had one of our favorite records of 2016. The American Wrestlers began with a beautiful solo intro by front man Gary McClure before the band came out to rip into “Vote Thatcher”. It was a positively electric moment.




To Do This Week

Tomorrow night check out Matthew Logan Vasquez at Gasa Gasa. Saturday Lydia Loveless will be at Gasa Gasa with Angelica Garcia. Sunday night make sure to hit Justin Peake’s new production—Oracles at the Marigny Opera House. Tuesday check out Mike Doughty at Gasa Gasa. Wednesday catch Mike Dillon at the Maple Leaf.


To Listen This Week


Categories: In Tune, Music, Nightlife, Theatre + Art, Things To Do