October 22, 2014
Vinyl Factory Films
Singer faces down Conrad Shawcross’ robot at The Ada Project for the most unique of duets.
It’s a scene straight out of a sci-fi film. In a flowing silver dress, the opera singer commissioned by Warp-signed producer Mira Calix to ereform her track, stood face to face with a three-legged robot to deliver a stirring aria, originally composed in response to the robot’s movements, but now put on a pedestal for one of the most unique duets imaginable.
Programmed using notes made by Ada Lovelace, the visionary mathematician whose annotations of Charles Babbag’es Analytical Engine pre-date computer software by over one hundred years, the robot’s movements are part dance, part plea, in one sense the most controlled of choreographies, in another pushed so close to the limit of its flexibility it appears to yearn and languish like a wounded animal.
Staged as part of the launch party for Conrad Shawcross’ three week Ada Project installation at The Vinyl Factory’s Brewer Street Car Park Space, you can now watch the performance of Mira Calix’s track ‘If Then While For’ in full, with both limited edition and regular 12″ versions available from The Vinyl Factory online shop.
Mira Calix is one of four female collaborators to respond to the robot’s movements, all of which you can hear now. To celebrate both the exhibition and Ada Lovelace day last week, we put together an interactive timeline of women in electronic music, which you can view here.