Dear friends, we hope everyone is faring well in this difficult time!
Today we released a new short work written by our resident trombonist Mickey and soprano saxer Jin. We were commissioned by Snape Maltings’ Aga Serugo Lugo to create the start of a musical chain, composing an opera aria that would be continued by other composers and singers, a musical game of ‘consequences’!
We were paired with the amazing soprano, workshop leader and festival director Lynsey Docherty. Please check out all her brilliant work at www.lynseydocherty.co.uk.
Our aria delves into the subject of social media and the insatiable need to be desired. In true Perhaps Contraption fashion, Lynsey dives straight into acting the part!
Jin: This has been such an enjoyable distraction from the pandemic. After some deliberation over the topic of the aria, Mickey and myself rehearsed some musical ideas and motifs before composing separately.
Mickey did a fantastic job putting everything together and I thoroughly enjoyed setting his libretto to the solo line and writing the core melody.
There’s an amusing self-referential feeling when writing an aria about the addiction of social media using only social media performance platforms. I love that audiences will feel an awkwardness of “liking” our aria.
Mickey: I can’t say opera has been a big part of my life, but it was enjoyable trying to fit our musical flavours and instrumentation into that world, and an honour to be invited to do so.
It was very difficult to come up with a topic that didn’t feel too direct, but wasn’t ignoring the fact we were going through a worldwide pandemic and massive social change (yes, it feels odd writing that).
Once the topic settled, it was clear that a Reich/Ades/Black Mirror vibe was required and after a fair bit of experimentation (and sonic failures), I hope that some of that social-media-fatigue climate we live in comes across in the music.
Jin did a tremendous job building a melody, writing some cheeky woodwind flourishes (I especially like the one at 1.17) and working with Lynsey (who nailed the part perfectly).
HEY! I’m not going to pretend it was all easy though… it was tricky-to-the-max working with everyone’s different lockdown situations and varying levels of access to recording equipment.
The drums ended up being digital (boo) and not everyone in the band was able to be involved. That’s pandemic-life… BUT those pandemic-acquired music and video production skills sure came in useful.
Lastline: You watch, you like
Composed by: Mickey Bones & Jin Theriault of Perhaps Contraption
Soprano: Lynsey Docherty lynseydocherty.co.uk
Music & Vid Prod. @mickeytbones
Musicians: Perhaps Contraption
Catherine Ring – Marimba Letty Stott – French Horn Steph Legg – Tenor Sax Jin Theriault – Flute and Soprano Sax Mickey Bones – PBone (Trombone) Yusuf Narcin – Euphonium and Bass Trombone