EcoSono has released my ecoacoustic opera, Auksalaq, a work created in collaboration with producer Scott Deal and performed by Lisa Edwards-Burrs, Kelly Sulick, Adam Carter, John Mayhood and I-Jen Fang as the EcoSono Ensemble. Auksalaq was recorded live at the Phillips Collection during the Auksalaq reprise performance in February of 2011, a performance that happened concurrently with Lu Magnus in New York City and OpenGrounds in Charlottesville. Joe Adkins edited the video which features media by Jordan Munson, Miho Aoki, Ryota Kadjita, Maya Salganek, science by Hajo Eicken, and technology by the NOMADS Group (Dave Topper, Steven Kemper, Paul Turowski and Matthew Burtner) and Chuiyuan Meng.
Auksalaq, the Inupiat word for “melting snow/ice”, is an opera that provides an in-depth journey into the vast and remote, yet rapidly changing arctic regions of Alaska and Canada. Created by composer Matthew Burtner and media artist Scott Deal, the work integrates artistic expression, scientific information, and social/political commentary into an interactive, multi-dimensional collection of narratives that provide a stirring and sobering commentary on a world that is disappearing as a result of global climate change. The narrative of Auksalaq incorporates fragmented and conflicting perspectives about the state of climate change as experienced in Alaska and the Arctic. These accounts, portrayed in the form of a scientific commentary and interviews with people of the region, are woven into a story about change in the far north. The music expresses interlocking environmental forces as eco-musical forms, expressing the profound changes in the ice-flows of Arctic waters. The media presents vivid imagery of Arctic land, sea and sky, as well as scientific data and animation. An interactive audience-participation software called NOMADS enables engagement with the performance in real-time across all the stages.