Hyperorgan interactions, suspended choirs, and the The Tale of the Great Computing Machine

Back in Berlin after a few days of work down in the R1 Reaktorhallen, KTH KTH Royal Institute of Technology for a unique opera piece: The Tale of the Great Computing Machine. A project led by Åsa Unander-Scharin and Carl Unander-Scharin. I took care of designing the gestural interactions with the Skandia pipe organ inside R1, the interactions with a set of speakers mounted on motorised winches (which we call “the Suspended Choir), as well the interactions between the organ and robots that will perform alongside humans. It’s all going to be live, and there are several other talented collaborators that are taking care of live visuals, lights, sound, and more. We had to network quite a few computers in order to make everything work in such a big and unique space.

The opera is based on the novel “The Tale of the Big Computer” written by Olof Johannesson in the 1960s. The book describes the rise of an intelligent network of computers and its relationship with humans. Olof Johannesson is actually a pseudonym of Hannes Alfvén, a physicist who would win the Nobel Prize for his work on magnetohydrodynamics just a few years after the book was published.

Premiere on the first of December, and apparently many shows are already sold out!