The Knife, in collaboration with Mt. Sims and Planningtorock, are to release the studio version of the opera “Tomorrow, In A Year”, on the 1st March 2010 on Rabid Records. Commissioned by Danish performance group Hotel Pro Forma to write the music for their opera based on Charles Darwin and his book “On the Origin of the Species”, The Knife decided to make this a collaborative process, working with artists Mt. Sims and Planningtorock for the first time, to capture the huge width of the Darwin and evolution theme.
Small ‘Gas’ Talk with Olof Dreijer:
What made you decide to write an electro-opera?
Hotel Pro Forma invited us to make the music to their opera about Charles Darwin and the evolution with a focus on biology and geology. They set the framework and theme. I had been working with music for modern dance and feature film before and I wanted to continue on this track so I was excited to take on this project. Me and Karin invited the musicians Mt. Sims and Planningtorock to try a more collaborative process for the first time. This turned out to be very successful, I think the most exciting music in the piece is due to the collaboration. I’ve been very happy to take part of Darwins texts, mainly to understand that he emphasised non hierarchical variation and diversity rather than development and evolution. Before I mainly thought about social darwinism when I heard the name Darwin but now I understand that’s the big misunderstanding due the political climate of the early 1900′s.
What was the biggest difficulty in this project?
Finding what we as musicans can tell about this scientific theme that hasn’t been already told by scientists. We can only give a feeling of what evolution is. Also to write lyrics based on a 1800′s language in way that we can relate to it withour it becoming too pretentious. Also it was crucial to find a balance between conceptual and emotional.
What is humanity’s greatest enemy?
There is no other species as dangerous as the human so it is of course itself.
The first track to be taken from the album, called “Colouring Of Pigeons” and is available for free download. Grab it here
Hotel Pro Forma and The Knife’s Darwin electro-opera “Tomorrow, In A Year” plays at the Pallas Theatre, Athens (8 -9 January 2010). More info here
update: The Knife’s entire new album “Tomorrow, in a year” is now available for streaming More info here