for 4 female voices
Duration: ca. 9’
Premiere: Quince Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, Chicago and New York, September 2017
Commissioned by Quince Contemporary Vocal Ensemble [part of INSTANT BEAUTY]
SEE is part of the in-process stage work, Instant Beauty, loosely based on Ovid’s Echo and Narcissus story. Instant Beauty is an open-form, multimedia opera, where actions can occur in various orders and more than once – from different perspectives. SEE represents one version of Narcissus’ death, his slow and self-inflicted wasting away. The title is a reference to the moment of understanding, the realization of what he (we?) have done. The voices in this work are not characters in a traditional sense, but function as a chorus, revisiting and meditating on crucial words and actions from the other parts of the story. At times the voices act as soloists and recall utterances from elsewhere. Their words invoke three different texts, each from a different time and place, but each uniquely linked to a crucial aspect of the Narcissus legend and its telling.