Rising Tides was composed for the OPERA Ensemble on Climate Change, and it was performed at Areté Gallery on 13th April, 2019.
The OPERA Ensemble of singing instrumentalists played pieces related to Climate Change, composed by the members of the ensemble such as Lucie Vítková, Stevie May, Vered Engelhard, Carolyn Hietter, Sydney Viles, Sky Macklay and Elizabeth Adams. The OPERA Ensemble was established in 2016 by Lucie Vítková, to play her whole evening piece OPERA during the series NEW+ADVENTUROUS at the Roulette Intermedium.
Two vocal shell duos and three individual running winds tuning to the rising tide.
First duo: Sinking Stone
Second duo: Floating Dyke
Each duo has a chime made of shells and beach trash and a score. For reading the score one has to follow the arrows slowly and pick up the vowels that one finds along the way. Listen to your partner’s pitch to get a sense of the timeline. Whenever you lose your track of arrows, try to calibrate by picking up on your partner’s pitch. For the singing you will be holding a shell on your mouth the entire time. Try to resonate with the shell as much as you can by changing the positions of the shell in your mouth as you switch between vowels. Switching vowels should be done very slowly. Reading the score once should take 8 minutes. Each running wind has an individual score indicating running and walking patterns. They will measure time in seconds by using watches that have a stop watch on their wrist and hold the score with the other hand. Whenever they’re walking or sitting still they are allowed to pick up on a pitch they hear and echo in singing.
Carolyn Hietter – voice and shell
Vered Engelhard – voice and shell
Elizabeth Adams – voice and shell
Stevie May – voice and shell
The shore is the site of contestation of the many phenomena we consider to be climate change. A constantly shifting habitat for the human and the natural, the living and the residual, the shore is the moving limit where we come to meet the constant infinite. An earthly trembling that causes a sinking stone, a floating dyke on the rising tide, and running winds greet in a disturbingly beautiful catastrophe, for some. For others, a series of tragedies thus:
"A sun of iron walks in a forest of guns (*) an eye bursts open STOP
Ishi cried this morning (,,*,,) STOP I counted up to 5 STOP the sea is on the phone"
From Etel Adnan, The Arab Apocalyspe
Ishi, the last remaining member of the Yahi people of the northern Pacific coast. A state-run genocide prevented these people from becoming the environmental refugees of the future, for which the corporations that run the state are to blame. This piece is an elegy. It is a plea for finding forms of mass organization against corporate pollution patters at a distance from the state. This verse was washed out to its vowels, becoming the libretto of the piece. The material for the instruments was sourced from various trips to the shore, where we established new bonds between people by means of our trash. Strangers from past centuries are in this room. The rising tide, a reminder of what binds us and a call to honor it.