Open Fund: Edward Jessen
SYLLABLE, a bold commission from Trinity Laban, will be an evening-length work of operatic sonic theatre. Following on from two years of development, the project will expand into a fully-staged production, in a rich theatrical format engaging vocal soloists, sinfonietta-scale ensemble, auxiliary audio and visual projection.
While the story will reference a motif within The Periodic Table—Primo Levi’s 1975 anecdotal tour through the chemical elements—the project will be substantially bare of language. That is, the drama will be propelled by legible sound and activity, moreso than dialogue and narration.
The project is very much a theatrical experiment, with the question of: how might an audience be as involved with, and intrigued by a drama without the more common aspects of characterisation, of background, of plot and voiceover? The approach will involve strategies where sound and image might rapidly converse and collide as with the overlaps of imagery, information and speech that we navigate in life. SYLLABLE will aim to duplicate—or to get near to—that blissful state of grace, of an intersection between describing and showing.
The production will premiere at Trinity Laban, Greenwich, in December 2020.