February 19, 2016

Grant Wood Art Colony Fellow Christopher Jette has completed an opera entitled cmetq. The opera will be performed at Riverside Theatre in Iowa City on February 29. Jette is currently touring it across the country:

  • SEAMUS, February 11
  • UW Oshkosh, February 20 (watch the performance below)
  • Connecticut College, February 25
  • St. Cloud University, March 2
  • UC Santa Barbara, March 10
  • Stanford, March  13
  • Western Michigan, March 25

More dates and locations are being added.

cmetq contains both singing accompanied by fixed electronics and singing with live electronic processing. The piece examines the etiquette that encompasses communication technology. In addition to this complex web of etiquette, cmetq examines the human emotions tied to etiquette. The story is set in two time periods; the age of the invention of the telephone and the age of mobile communication and social media. The text for this piece was created using two distinct processes.Soliloquies were created to act as commentary on each of the ages and the unfolding stage work . Tweet-length texts were written and tweeted as reactions to readings about technology, etiquette, and their intersection. From the tweets, melodies were improvised and were translated with software. The newly translated melodies were then set to fixed electronics by the composer. The soliloquies are processed and mixed live in performance. The visual element combines abstract generative forms and color gradients that both frame the character and serve as a backdrop. cmetq portrays the human reactions to the introduction of new communication technologies. By setting our story in two time periods, the dawn of the age of the telephone and the adolescence of social media, we explore the similarity and differences between the two eras. With the use of a single performer, we move fluidly through time and situation. The actor is the every-man and the piece explores a wide range of emotions that exist when technology and etiquette meet.

Learn more on Jette's website or by listening to his KCCK interview from February 17, 2016, below.