projection, documentary, installation, film

"In these strange and isolating times I am immersed in electronic music, by necessity imagining works that I can create by myself on a laptop in almost any environment. 'Let Me Freeze Again to Death' began as a purely synthesized piece, but I soon found myself craving something more, something vocal. I needed a beautiful wail that would not only hint at the drama of the present moment but would offset the boxy math of the electronics with some heart-crushing operatic romance. Enter countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo ('Ahknaten', 'Glass Handel'), who recorded, in his apartment, an a cappella version Henry Purcell’s aria 'What Power Art Thou' (commonly known as 'The Cold Song') from the 1691 opera 'King Arthur.' I dismembered, re-assembled, twisted and tweaked this vocal file (with Anthony’s generous blessing), using Purcell’s aria as a kind of sketch from which to create a completely new electronic work.

Throughout this process the thought of pandemics past and present was never far away. In 1695 Purcell, then at the height of his career, succumbed to tuberculosis at age 36. In 1983 German countertenor and performance artist Klaus Nomi, whose version of 'The Cold Song' is one of the most haunting and memorable out there, died of complications of AIDS at age 39, also at the height of his career. Isolated in my home during the Covid-19 pandemic, I found this aria, it’s history, and in particular this excerpt of the text, all the more powerful:

'I can scarcely move
Or draw my breath

I can scarcely move
Or draw my breath
Let me, let me,
Let me freeze again

Let me, let me
Freeze again to death

Let me, let me, let me
Freeze again to death...'

'Let Me Freeze Again to Death' was written before the Black Lives Matter protests following the murder of George Floyd, but the lines 'I can scarcely move or draw my breath' take on new resonance amidst the daily chants of 'I can’t breathe'. This piece has become a sonic portrait of the summer of 2020, a time of both extreme isolation and fast connection, of upheaval and reflection, a time that I hope will lead to positive change in the music industry and beyond." ~Missy Mazzoli

"I knew I was going fast but didn’t register I was 100 miles over the speed limit until everything stopped. The time off has made me realize I don’t want to live at that pace. I don’t want to be great at multitasking, 'sorry for the delay' emails, or constantly at odds with the life part of the art/life balance. I want to be fully present for all that I love and if that starts by closing my eyes to appreciate my good friend’s new music, then it’s a start." ~Adam Larsen
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