This Friday: Muzikon orchestra will perform The Upgrade for musicians with phones (…in an imaginary waiting room from a not-too distant future), the music theater piece written in 2017, and ever-since performed only in compressed chamber versions. All musicians are looking at their smartphones throughout the entire work, while they use only hand to play their instruments. Musicians have their parts produced in separate but synchronized videos for their smarphones that are also designed to illuminate their faces in relation to sounds that they are making.
Finally, in concert Midnight Makes Sense at Kvaka 22‘s balcony it will be performed by:
-complete string orchestra (Muzikon),
-flute (Jelena Vujnović),
-trumpet (Jovan Savić),
-accordion (Branko Džinović),
-piano, voice and a pen (me, myself and I).
Read the concert announcement from danas.rs (consult google translate)
The concept of the work emerged for the needs of a chamber two-minute opera on the subject of social change and it continued developing into a new piece for a much bigger ensemble.
In March 2017, two of my cousins (11 and 14 years old) used to stare at their smartphones all the time, mostly watching YouTube and singing and whistling MTV hit song “Kill ‘em With Kindness” by Selena Gomez. They spoke as little as possible and only when it was absolutely necessary.
Hence, I imagined my cousins as heralds of social change. Their interests, habits, body posture and speech triggered imagining of a moment in the future which, in this instant seems more or less fictional, or maybe not at all. The piece does not present any specific stance or critique regarding moments in the present or future. The only intention is to present and play with an idea of a moment that could be a “new normal” a decade or two from now, and imagine some of the possible events in it.