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Photo: Ingrid Liavaag
Photo: Ingrid Liavaag

Crane Reflects on a Favor

Research Fellow Kristin Norderval's final presentation of her artistic research project at KHiO is the world premiere of “Crane Reflects on a Favor”, Part Two of the operatic diptych “The Sailmaker’s Wife”.

“Crane Reflects on a Favor” is Part Two of the operatic diptych “The Sailmaker’s Wife”. The diptych is loosely based on the Japanese folktale “Tsuru no Ongaeshi” (Crane’s return of a favor) about a crane who pulls feathers from her body to weave a fabric that sustains and enriches the person she is indebted to. Offering her body to create the fabric, she is eventually driven to the edge of depletion due to human greed and hubris.

“Crane Reflects on a Favor” is a post-operatic allegory; a dream-like sonic performance installation, sung in three parts by three women, each representing one of the stages of the crane’s response to her offering: first as a gift given freely, then in response to pleading, and finally after demands of ownership.

Reflecting on our current relationship to our earth-mother’s body, this story offers a powerful metaphor. Cranes are over 10 million years old. They are descendants of the dinosaurs whose bones are the fossils in the fossil fuels we extract for wealth and power. That power, however, is simultaneously creating our own demise by destroying the body that sustains us. “Crane Reflects on a Favor” creates a sonic space to collectively mourn this almost inconceivable existential state.

The performer-controlled interactive vocal processing interface used in this work was developed through a Ph.D. Research Fellowship at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts/Kunsthøgskolen i Oslo, Academy of Opera. This performance marks the final presentation of that artistic research.

“Crane Reflects on a Favor” is produced in collaboration with Kristin Norderval (KHiO), LOOS Foundation (Den Haag), and VoxLAB. Funded by Norsk Komponistforening, Komponistenes Vederlagsfond, Det norske komponistfond, Oslo National Academy of the Arts (Kunsthøgskolen i Oslo), Kulturdirektoratet.

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Read more about Kristin Norderval's PhD project