Be Here Now: RPI’s Neil Rolnick Performs “Mono” on Dec. 1 – A Musical Work About Hearing Loss [Berkshire on Stage]

Drawing on a personal experience of hearing loss, composer and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Professor Neil Rolnick will perform portions of his latest composition – titled “MONO” – an exploration of the nature and fragility of sensory perception, Dec. 1 at the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) in nearby Troy, New York. For more information: http://events.rpi.edu/event/showEventMore.rdo.

Rolnick began work on MONO in 2008, in the wake of a sudden loss of hearing in his left ear. Tapping the Internet for stories similar to his own, Rolnick was “inundated” with reflections on the changes wrought by a sensory loss that was significant, but not definitively debilitating.

The film of an earlier iteration of the work is embedded above, and is already fascinating. Although it is still a work in progress there has been significant expansion and enrichment since that video was shot – Rolnick has completed and will perform seven of the 12 pieces in the series at the Dec. 1 concert. – The piece combines video, spoken text, four singers, and six instruments. It is a unique pieces since MONO explores the loss of perceptual ability and the subsequent changes in how we relate to the world in response to that loss.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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