Recently I have started telling people that there is a short story by Jean-Paul Sartre about a virus which lives in the vocal chords of humans and is transmitted to others via the host speaking a specific language. This is not a Jean-Paul Sartre story, in fact, it is the plot to the video game Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. All this is to say that you don’t need a dead French philosopher to present a good idea, and that, much like this piece of writing attempts to do, sometimes approaching big ideas from oblique angles can illuminate facets that would otherwise be unseen. In her bigger, collaborative music-theatre works, Solomiya Moroz frequently does this – tackling big concepts with surreality, absurdity and a studied childishness (like being told about linguistic parasites by a man named “Skull Face”). In Short Wave Apocalypse or the Box, a collaboration with Eva Aukes, Marko Ivic and Margherita Bergamo, concepts of digitization and militarization in the work of Paul Virilio are combined with the caped adventures of superheroes and phone sex. The result marries recurrent aspects of Solomiya’s work – gestural controllers, theatre and multimedia – in a parade of increasingly bizarre theatrical, choreographic and musical episodes that points to the material from a distance, through a mist of dada-ed abstraction.
As well as her work as a composer, Solomiya works as an improvisor, flautist and electronic musician, frequently performing her own work and that of others. Whilst aspects of gestural control in her work, as well as its context within the history of Dutch institute STEIM, are discussed in detail in her Master’s Thesis Making Abstract Real: Live Electronics, Embodiment and Physicality (http://www.solomiyamoroz.com/uploads/5/1/3/3/5133774/making_abstract_real.pdf), this preoccupation combines with others in one of my favourite of her works, the recent piece Immaculate Machine of Liveness for french horn, trumpet and live electronics
performed in this video by Matthew Conley (trumpet) and Samuel Stoll (french horn) of ensemble apparat. Here accelerometers on each instrument control changing parameters in the electronics as the two performers jerkily twitch just outside of the uncanny valley and cash rules everything around them…
Solomiya will be performing new work at Weisslich 6 in London and Weisslich 7 in Manchester.