National Sawdust has partnered with all-female artist collective SPA THEORY to create an operatic music film featuring excerpts from the opera performed by the composer and mezzo-soprano Abigail Fischer.
I CARE IF YOU LISTEN is excited to premiere this video today, and we reached out to Du Yun for a comment on the project. Watch the video and read her story below.
“I’m a child of music video. I’m a child from the late 1980s. When Michael Jackson’s Thriller got to the then China that hadn’t been completely Westernized, I thought I was watching a true American blockbuster movie. That was the cool factor in school: the shoulder pads, the opening sequence, the mind-shattering music that follows.
I’m a composer. I wrote some opera, some concert music, and some others. Then I thought, ‘What if I could do a music video of an opera?’ Royce Vavrek, my brilliant librettist partner, is also a child of music video.
So we said to ourselves: why not making a music video that is based on our opera Angel’s Bone.
Angela Fan is one of my favorite people working and talking with. She is my girl. I met her working on my first opera. Over the years, we bonded over our artistic visions, our girlie-ness as well as non-whiteness. She has a cool eye, an air of je-ne-sais-quoi, and an tremendous attention to detail. And she is a good ten years younger than I.
One of the nights when I visited her, we said we want more girl power, we want take more control in what we could do in the world. And we drank more wine, with a whole pineapple I brought along in sight.
Then she showed me a music video she worked with the team she built. An all girl team. So it seems more logical than anything else to work with her on this music video.
On collaborating this work, I only said three things to her: I want this video still possess an ineffable beauty and a traceable vulnerability within the doomed; I want an angle of looking out to a city faraway; and I wanted a drone shot.
Then she and her team ran wild.
Her incredible team, Olivia Obin, Kim Tran, and Michelle Yun, all women of her generation, delivered and outran my initial imagination.
Thank you for making Royce and my child dreams come true, all the girls at the Spa Theory!
And it was so fun to act with Abigail Fischer, the powerful mezzo who originated the role of Mrs. XE.”
About Du Yun
Du Yun, (Composer) born and raised in Shanghai, China, now based in New York, is a composer, performer, performance artist, curator, and activist working at the intersection of orchestral, opera, chamber music, theatre, cabaret, pop music, oral tradition, visual arts, electronics and noise.
A truly international artist, she is one of the most exciting and groundbreaking thinkers working today. Known as chameleonic in her protean artistic outputs, her music is championed by some of today’s finest performing artists, ensembles, orchestras and organizations around the world. In addition, Du Yun has also made works in the art field, including the 4th Guangzhou Art Triennial, Sharjah Biennial (UAE), Auckland Triennial, and Istanbul Biennial.