Beyond the Binary: A Meditation on Humans and Machines
29 E Allen St, Philadelphia, PA 19123, USA
The robots are coming! Join us to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the word "robot," as we explore the question of what it means to be human, centering on the profound and consequential questions that arise when we create artificial life."
A world premiere commission, Beyond the Binary is a major new choral cantata by composer Andrea Clearfield with libretto by Ellen Frankel, plus newly designed percussion and electronic instruments by David Kontak. In an innovative partnership, audience members will have opportunities to interact with robotic sculptures and wearables both on-stage and placed throughout the venue. These custom-fabricated prototypes are being designed and built by students of the world-famous University of Pennsylvania’s GRASP Lab and the Weitzman School of Design.
This performance, conducted by MCP’s artistic director Dominick DiOrio, features Philadelphia-based percussion-driven ensemble Square Peg Round Hole and drag performer Cookie Diorio as “The Oracle” alongside the 120-voice Mendelssohn Chorus and soloists. The concert will also include additional music by Carlos Cordero, Moira Smiley, and Moses Hogan.
This work is supported in part by the Dolfinger-McMahon Foundation, Fort Robotics, Musical Fund Society, National Endowment for the Arts, New Music USA, and the Sach’s Program for Arts Innovation.
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