Published Jan 06, 2010As any Knife fan knows, the Swedish brother-sister act have been working on their very own Darwinian opera since the tail end of 2008. It was commissioned by by Danish performance group Hotel Pro Forma, and done in collaboration with Berlin's Mt. Sims and orch experimentalists Planningtorock, involving everything from evolutionary themes, The Origin of Species and field recordings of fish in the Amazon.
The ambitious project, dubbed Tomorrow, In a Year, debuted onstage in September in Copenhagen, and at long last the Knife's Karin Dreijer Andersson and Olof Dreijer are giving the project a proper album release.
Courtesy of Mute, Tomorrow, In a Year is due out physically on March 9 (March 1, overseas), with the digital release coming February 2.
In the press release, Olof Dreijer says of the project: "At first it was very difficult, as we really didn't know anything about opera. We'd never been to one. I didn't even know what the word libretto meant. But after some studying, and just getting used to opera's essence of pretentious and dramatic gestures, I found that there is a lot to learn and play with. In fact, our ignorance gave us a positive respectless approach to making opera. It took me about a year to become emotionally moved by an opera singer and now I really do. I really like the basic theatrical values of opera and the easy way it brings forward a narrative. We've approached this before in the Knife but never in such a clear way."
Early last year, Dreijer Andersson also told Exclaim! a bit more about Tomorrow, In a Year, describing the Knife's role as "strictly the composers" of the work and saying "the idea is to describe the process of making that work, [The Origin of Species]. "
Dreijer Andersson added, "There are three singers: one classic, female, metso soprano; one male, more electronic pop singer; and a female actress. There are also six dancers in the piece as well. It's more like an opera in the old sense, just a work with music and that means we are very free to do what we want to do."
To get a taste of Tomorrow, In a Year, the Knife are currently streaming the 11-minute "Colouring of Pigeons" on their website. Also, if you're on European shores, more live performances of the opera are scheduled for the coming months in Sweden, Greece and Budapest (you can get the details here).
Tomorrow, In a Year:
6. "Ebb Tide Explorer"
7. "Variation of Birds"
8. "Letter to Henslow"
9. "Schoal Swarm Orchestra"
1. "Annie's Box"
3. "Colouring of Pigeons"
5. "Tomorrow in a Year"
6. "The Height of Summer"
7. "Annie's Box" (alt. vocal) *
* bonus track