Crypto Opera (2022) is a work by Anaïs Borie that investigates the power of voices as an emancipatory force.
The opera is based on Monique Wittig’s novel Les Guérillères, in which a large group of women separates from society, creates a new community and wins a war against the patriarchy. Borie has adapted the novel into a three-act opera.
During the Summer Sessions at V2_, she collaborated with Amédée de Murcia to create an automated singing device to be used in the opera and two soundtracks. The first act tells of the new utopian, anarchistic world the women have created. Borie created an optimistic future music with a steady tempo and tangled melodies.
Because the women speak a new language, she used Antoine Caillon’s Max/MSP device Rave to create a weird new dialect. With de Murcia she worked on a pretrained model of Rave with voices, to be developed later into a new language. As it’s important that this be free of any form of domination, it will be trained on Wittig’s novel, as well as texts from movements fighting for women’s rights and voices of women protesting (a voice is power).
The opera’s second act is about the remembrance of these women’s battles. It will resemble a medieval folk song, and Borie has used the melody of “L’hymne des femmes,” the famous song of the French women’s liberation movement MLF (Mouvement de libération des femmes), written by 1960s female protesters including Wittig.
The opera’s third act will take the form of a sound-and-light installation with a sculpture.
This project was developed as part of a Summer Sessions residency at V2_.