The Imaginary Voyage (an online opera)

(Links in green. Works only on desktops/laptops, not tablets/smartphones.)

Amorphous Isle

Isle of Cack

Land of Lace

Ringing Isle

The Soundhouse

"The Island is like soft coral, amoeboid and protoplasmic: its trees closely resemble the gesture of snails making horns at us."
Alfred Jarry, Exploits and Opinions of Doctor Faustroll, Pataphysician
"...this dead body is not only an island but a man: he is pleased to call himself Baron Hildebrand of the Squitty Sea."
Alfred Jarry, Exploits and Opinions of Doctor Faustroll, Pataphysician
"Suddenly a purer light than this emerged from the shadows, but in no way similar to the brutal genesis of the world."
Alfred Jarry, Exploits and Opinions of Doctor Faustroll, Pataphysician
"He then threw us on the deck whole handfuls of frozen words, which seemed to us like your rough sugar plums, of many colours..."
François Rabelais, Pantagruel IV.LVI.
"We have also sound houses, where we practise and demonstrate all sounds, and their generation."
Francis Bacon, The New Atlantis.
Interactive.
Guided by a pataphysical compass.
Slow interactions work best.
Interactive.
Probably the clearest example of the Syzygy Surfer in action.
Massively combinatorial, but not interactive.
Different every time you visit.
Interactive.
Release the coloured 'sugar plums' (snowballs) of frozen words.
Interactive.
Follow the instructions to operate the machine.

Texts generated by Fania Raczinski
See http://pata.fania.eu
Music: Andrew Hugill
Visual Design: Lee Scott

Ensemble Director: Andrew Hugill
Sop 1: Ruby Dayan
Sop 2: Emily Wenman
Alto 1: Harriet Hougham-Slade
Alto 2: Lizzie Post
Tenor 1: Josh Cooter
Tenor 2: James Green
Bass 1: Scott Richardson
Bass 2: Jonny Stewart

Music recorded and mixed by Lee Scott at Kings College London and De Montfort University

Produced by Lee Scott, Andrew Hugill, Frederic Wake-Walker and The Opera Group

Music/Video: Creative Commons samples, Andrew Hugill, Lee Scott
Visual Design: Lee Scott
Produced by Lee Scott

Words: Alfred Jarry
Animations: Jo Lawrence
Music: Andrew Hugill
Soprano: Elizabeth Cragg

Ensemble Condutor: Christian Prior
Keyboards: Jane Foo, Richard Hall, and Miranda Harris
Harmonium: Andrew Hugill
Flute: Joanna Shepherd
Percussion: Felix Higginbottom

Music recorded and mixed by Lee Scott at Kings College London and De Montfort University

Produced by Lee Scott, Andrew Hugill, Frederic Wake-Walker and The Opera Group

Words: Andrew Hugill
Music: Andrew Hugill
Soprano: Juliet Fraser
Visual Design: Lee Scott
Produced by Lee Scott

Music recorded at De Montfort University by Andrew Hugill and mixed by Lee Scott.

Words and Music: Creative Commons samples
Music Processing: Lee Scott
Visual Design: Lee Scott
Produced by Lee Scott

The Imaginary Voyage is an investigation into a new type of opera that emerges from the digital world (Hugill & Scott 2013, 253). The research is described in Hugill, A. and Scott, L. (2013) 'The Imaginary Voyage', Digital Creativity 24/3, pp. 253-257.

The user is cast in the role of voyager, travelling from island to island across the internet (or Squitty Sea). Each island has its own character and interactivity. The story is primarily modelled on the voyage of Doctor Faustroll in Alfred Jarry's posthumously published novel Exploits and Opinions of Doctor Faustroll, Pataphysician (1911), and similar descriptions by Iambulus, Rabelais, Cyrano de Bergerac, Bacon, Swift, Borges and Perec.

The Imaginary Voyage is underpinned by a novel technology: the Syzygy Surfer This was first described by Andrew Hugill and Jim Hendler (Hendler, J. and Hugill, A. (2011) 'The Syzygy Surfer: Creative Technology for the World Wide Web', Proceedings of the ACM WebSci'11, Koblenz, Germany, 1-3). This was subsequently developed by a team led by Hugill and Hongji Yang, with PhD students Lee Scott and Fania Raczinski.

The Imaginary Voyage was conceived by Andrew Hugill and created during 2012/2013 by Hugill, Lee Scott and Freddie Wake-Walker with The Opera Group. The music for Amorphous Isle, Land of Lace and Ringing Isle is all composed by Hugill. Isle of Cack uses a mixture of original music by Hugill and Scott with samples. The Soundhouse comprises entirely samples. All production, web programming and visual design is by Lee Scott, except for Land of Lace whose animations are by Jo Lawrence.

The work was first shown at the Digital Opera Research Group symposium on March 1st, 2013 which led to publication of a manifesto for digital opera (Hugill, A et al. (2013) 'Digital Opera: A Manifesto', Opera Compass. Available at http://operacompass.co.uk/pages/Articles/22? (accessed 29.10.13).

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