As mentioned above, the entire SOBRALASOLAS! project is conceived as a series of episodes. In this way the process is similar to podcast/audioblog and radio serial, in place of a succession of acts as an opera. Only the « mike-heads » are for the listeners the guiding light across the series. They are « probers » and not characters who follow the plot; The term « sound scenography » is more appropriate to approach the chain of events - or no-events or plural events - we recover and discover in SOBRALASOLAS! -- (such as "tragedy of listening" for Luigi Nono 1 , ie less a concrete music melodrama - La Tentation de Saint-Antoine, Michel Chion, 1984 - or new operas - those by Bob Ashley in using echolalias and arrays of soliloquies - but certainly closer to the series of Presque-rien by Luc Ferrari or to the Musicircus events by John Cage). This in-progress sonic scenography works on variable sound spatializations and "microphonic" locations: a mic-opera.
Each episode only presents places and times, interpreted by the sobralasolasers. The narrative effects arise because sound events occur in time and in places, collected or performed by each sobralasolaser. To probe in everyday life (the microphone at the end of the arm of vis-a-vis oneself to comment on surrounding) means to offer a similar time flux, but here it is "re-composed" and "improvised" by sound manipulations and live transmissions. All seems to be fortuitous and by coincidence. And at the same time all seems to be fictional, a phantom opera, simulteanously nostalgia and future, because we don't know and we don't live these distant places and moments -- that the Internet permits to interconnect.
SOBRALASOLAS! offers to listen to vibrant wakes in sound contexts & environments, and digs some grooves into our perceptions. Instead of a drama, this is rather sound suggestions and delicious reveries of listeners all together (choirs ?) 2 .
SOBRALASOLAS! is designed as a workshop which tries to question and to update established/conventional musical, sound and radio genres. This requests to freely explore on a collaboration basis in order to keep spontaneity and a variety of approaches. No definitive line-up is settled on and the used sound sources can vary, as much as the used materials (sound, video/webcams, networked texts, live and remote performances, installations), whilst keeping sound as the principle medium. Principles of interaction (between players, and with the audience also) will be developed in next episodes. If we take the opera form as a cue and clue of space- and time based system, we would like work towards a form of audio-visual scenography on networks, or better still a networked sonic-based scenography : sonic-mobs and net-opera.
The final realisation of next episodes can be performed live with on-line and local parts, on stage or/and on air or/and on networks. The potentials and possibilities are multiple and open :
- an extended machine/system feed by sobralasolasers which probes, interprets, and takes (streamed) snapshots of reality as a basis for building surfictions (fictionality of reality 3 ) and narratives.
- a system of « constructions of collective situations of inventions » (acts of inventing) and « listening manufactures » could be art objectives for the group.
"Reality is nothing but a collective hunch." (Lily Tomlin)
Some other common characteristics are present in the series of episodes : droning & long-form music, exploration of electroacoustic improvisation, continuous feedbacks between participants, remote/local actions, etc. This still echoes each time "floating" listening experience and radical (critical & crucial) sound production experiments.
"The event we call an "accident" requires the "cooperation" of many variables." (Howard Becker)
"When is Art ?" (Nelson Goodman)
"Art happens." (James Whistler)
(but what happens ? happened ? will happen ?)
The project aims also to "invent" collectively a social (art) conversation & circuits : a folk opera ?
Instead of merely demonstrating effects of Web 2.0, and all the strings of pervasive softwares' & social networks' effects (blog, twitter, facebook, Second Life, and so on) as undergone fictions, art practices should involve different methods of re-building these circuits -- that lie somewhere between memories, snapshots and desires (shared audiences) -- that are now fragilized both politically, ideologically, commercially and technically.
« Why do we must think and involve an organology of networked art ? How art practices could propose readjustments, improvements and restorations of circuits where things seems to go out of tune ? [...] The Web 2.0 announces the transition to a musical state (organologic and agogic dimensions) 4 , to our abilities to slow down the flux by condensing and interpreting them. » (Jérôme Joy) 5
To conclude, SOBRALASOLAS! is a sonic radiopera combining remote performed or apparently unadulterated contexts, and space- and sound- compositions with (field) recordings. It offers the chance to explore imaginary sonic spaces, interweaved with local perceptions and experiences : the construction of this listening drama and theatre of opera(tions). In this way SOBRALASOLAS! is conceived as a musical & sound exploration of individual & collective social contexts, both written, overhead and reinterpreted : remanences and persistences in a 'slow' opera-tional form.