“the cricket seeks a mate” is part of the Ensiferan Variations, a group of works for voice based on the natural music-making activities of the crickets and katydids, collectively known as Ensifera.
Fuelled by a wonder at what might lie beyond the cognitive and perceptual barriers separating us from the ever-present yet essentially unknowable subjective world of animals, and guided by the principle that wherever possible, the work should reflect observed behaviours of its insect subjects, the piece draws on contemporary scientific understanding of Ensiferan musical practices as well as attempts from the 19th and early 20th centuries to transcribe or translate insect sound into a form reproducible by humans.
The Variations themselves are part of a loose collection of works called Arthropoda, which explores through music, sound, installation and performance the territory where our scientific, aesthetic and experiential understandings of invertebrate lives intersect, and is the practical component of an AHRC-funded PhD project investigating representations of animals on the opera stage.
This performance of “the cricket seeks a mate” is made possible through the additional support of the Centre for Research in Opera and Music Theatre (CROMT) at the University of Sussex.
Curated by_Justin Grize