Nebe Na Zemi (Heaven on Earth)
Nebe Na Zemi (Heaven on Earth) is a site-specific performance piece created for the Corpus Christi Chapel (Božího Těla), The Art Centre of University Palacky, Olomouc, CZ. The 32 minute work for soprano, four-channel interactive electronics and three video projections explores the coexistence of the 17th and 21st centuries sonically and visually, inspired by daily life in Olomouc on the eve of the Velvet Revolution's 20th anniversary, examining issues of labor, wealth, crisis and salvation.
Created for the Baroque-era chapel in The Art Centre, the interactive electronics are an evolving series of programming that process recordings of music by local Baroque-era composer Pavel Vejvanovský into "fabrics" of electroacoustic sound. These "fabrics" are independent sound-objects which are structurally coupled to the sonic environment; changes in the sonic environment as measured by the computer produce data that manipulates the timbral, rhythmic, frequency, and spatial properties of the sound-objects. The precise processing of these sound-objects is determined by the unique behavior of sound in the chapel, particularly changes in amplitude and frequency response. The sound objects are treated as analogous to multi-dimensional objects in a sculptural mobile and are programmed to seek a balance within the sonic environment created by the performance space, their own sound, and the soprano.
The audience perception of the interaction is that the "fabrics" of sound chase each other around the space, and seek a balance of volume, harmony and rhythmic synchronicity. The performance by the soprano of text from Karl Marx's Das Kapital contributes to the dynamic, interactive sonic-ecology of the chapel and transparently influences the processing of the electroacoustic sound, transforming the music along a continuum of sound from the familiar 17th century to the new 21st century.
Three channels of video are projected on the frescoed ceiling of the chapel. The video imagery is of local construction and renovation of Olomouc's many Baroque streets and buildings, Times Square, and The Mall of America.