The Myth of Homo Rudolfensis

Year: 2014

Instrumentation: 3 Sopranos, Clarinet in Bb/Bass Clarinet, Soprano Saxophone/Baritone Saxophone, Cello, Percussion, Accordion

First performance by Libretto: Yael Sherill, Direction: Franziska Guggenbichler
Ex Novo Ensemble
- 04.10.2014, Teatro Piccolo Arsenale, Venice (Italy)

This piece deals with inexistence on two levels - on the biggest context imaginable (a human species' extinction) and on one of the smallest (a short opera's ending). How can the three remaining homo rudolfensis'es deal with their awareness of their coming extinction? How can a piece of music function with the constant reminder of its coming ending? And how can an audience handle their conscious extinction as an opera's audience?
The musical processes throughout the piece try to begin and to gain momentum but always fail. These processes deal with time - they are musical elements that have a clear directionality and seemingly clear end point. But instead of arriving to this end point, the music diverges, ramifies, and what was understood before as a clock announcing the coming end, appears to be now a collection of subjective and different time perceptions. Thus the last minutes of the existence of these human creatures become a complex construction of time entities.
The three characters have three distinct musical characteristics that appear and disappear throughout the piece. Their personal voices emerge from a fused texture and then merge again to a unified sound. This gives the characters their dual existence - as a metaphor for musical existence and as three individuals confronting their disappearance.