Thursday, 28 October 2021, 8.10pm

Super Human
for violin, cello, interactive audio and projected video

The forces combine unpredictably in Fergal Dowling’s new multi-movement, multi-media composition to question the relationship between technology, control and creativity.

In this post-digital era, pervasive technology informs our worldview and our assumed technological prowess. Like a later-day King Canute, we command the (viral) tides to be still; like Doctor Frankenstein, we invent then destroy new life forms; when we gaze at the heavens we don’t see gods but only men, billionaires and retired TV actors, racing in low Earth orbit.

Even that most human of impulses, the creative act, has become a drudgery to be conquered and automated by artificial intelligence. In this age of super-human feats, what does it mean to create, to shape or control the world around us? What do our creations say about us? What would they say to us if spoke to us? Would they, like Frankenstein’s creature, bite back accusingly at their creator and condemn us for our arrogance?

In Super Human the live instrumentalists interact with computer sounds. But the computer part seems to take on a life of its own and emerge beyond the control of the musicians. The dissonant harmonies seem to claw at the music’s own fabric, as if cannibalising itself and reassembling itself at the moment of sounding, as if the music refuses to obey the musicians, or refuses to be created.

Performed by Dublin Sound Lab.

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Published by Dublin Sound Lab on 22 October 2021

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