Thoughts and ideas about a work in progress
11th December @ 6.00pm
Using technology as part of our everyday life is a given in our times – at least in the ‘Western’ world. But what about technology being used to predetermine one’s personality, skills, or physical characteristics? What about machines being able to reproduce themselves? What about beings, part human and part machine, forming a new species? Transhumanism (H+) is a movement that desires “to make good the ‘half-baked’ project that is human nature”, to overcome traditional human limitations by means of mechanical enhancement, genetic modification, and other technological advancements, to make people “healthier, wittier, happier”… Many issues arise in sight of this prospect, and those concerned express themselves passionately for or against. But what about all these people walking down the street with a bluetooth attached to their ear, those employing virtual personas to experience what they can’t in their physical reality, or those being bullied online to the point of suicide? How much do these people, far from happier (in my opinion), can control the impact of technology in their lives? How much do we all?
As a composer who has found herself – after a series of choices and circumstances – working with technology, I am concerned with these issues, not as an expert, but as a simple human being with all my limitations. For my new electronic piece ‘People+’, I have chosen to work with the human voice and with ‘soundscapes’ filled with the presence of people, ordinary people, with their hopes and disappointments, their relationships and their health issues, their smartphones and their Plasma TVs. I will be discussing these thoughts and ideas that contributed to its conception.
Zoi Dachri is a PhD candidate in Composition supervised by Brian Lock, exploring polystylism in electronic and electroacoustic music. She has studied musicology, performance and composition in conservatories and universities in Greece and the UK. She has participated in ensembles of classical, popular and traditional music, and has composed for theatre and film.